The hip adductors (groin muscles) are notoriously tight for many people. With the daily routines that most of us have, we constantly have these muscles in their shortened positions, rarely engaging them with any purpose to keep them stimulated and healthy. For the most part our adductors perform the functions of squeezing our legs together and assisting with some hip flexion, with the adductor magnus also assisting in hip extension. These days our most common position tends to be seated with legs together or often crossed, placing these muscles in their shortest positions. We spend hours like this, so it’s no wonder these tissues start to adapt and become short and lazy. They attach to the pelvis and femur (thigh bone) apart from the gracilis crossing the knee and attaching to the tibia (shin bone). Due to their attachment points they play an often-overlooked roll in pelvic stability and angle. The stability and angle of the pelvis has large implications throughout the rest of the body, low back discomfort being at the top of the list. So, it’s important to keep these muscles pliable and healthy.
Stretching is one option that’s an easy way to help stimulate these muscles. A couple of options for you to try are the Frog Stretch which targets the short adductors that only cross the hip joint, and the Goalie stretch that targets the long adductors that also cross the knee joint.
As always please consult a health professional before attempting new exercises, as the following suggestions may or may not be appropriate for you.
For these stretches there are no specific time rules of how long to hold positions. You are moving through different ranges of each stretch and if you feel more tension in a certain range, you can spend a little extra time there. The goal is to feel some tension release and balance throughout the different ranges and from side to side.
Dynamic Frog Stretch
Dynamic Goalie Stretch