14 Effective Adductor Stretches

Do you have tightness or pain in the groin?

This blog post covers 14 simple (but very effective) ways to stretch the adductor muscles.


Warm Up

Before starting the stretches to the inner thigh, it is highly recommended that you perform the following warm up routine.

Why?

To reduce the risk of a strain!


1. Go for a walk or a light jog for 5 minutes

This will generally warm up the whole body.

2. Apply Heat

Apply a heat pack to the inner thigh region for 5-10 minutes.

(Warning: Place a towel underneath the heat pack to minimize the risk of getting a skin burn.)

3. Perform Dynamic stretches

adductor muscle warm up

Instructions:

  • Stand up.
  • Hold onto something for balance.
  • Swing your leg from side to side.
  • Gradually increase the amplitude of movement.
  • Continue for 30 repetitions.
  • Repeat on both sides.

4. Perform Hip Pushes

adductor dynamic stretch

Instructions:

  • Stand up.
  • Have your legs wide apart.
  • Push your hips to the side.
  • Aim to feel a gentle stretch in the inner thigh region.
  • Alternate sides.
  • Perform 30 repetitions.

Release to Adductors

Now that your adductor muscles are all warmed up, the next step is perform releases on them.

(The aim of this release is to help relax the tight muscles.)


a) Release With Foam Roller

adductor foam roller releases

Instructions:

  • Lie down on the stomach.
  • Place a foam roller underneath the groin region.
  • Completely relax this leg.
  • Apply an appropriate amount of your body weight on top of the foam roller.
  • Roll up/down over the foam roller.
  • Make sure to cover the area from the groin to the inner knee region.
  • Continue for 2 minutes.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Note: You may need to spend more time on specific areas of the muscle where there is increased tightness.

(Hint: The tight areas are the ones that hurt the most when you apply pressure to it!)

Note 2: Do not apply an excessive amount of pressure as there are sensitive structures (such as nerves and arteries) that run through this region in your leg.

Adductor Stretches

This is a complete list of the 14 best Adductor stretches that will help loosen up the inner thigh muscles.


KEY POINTS:

– Specifically position your body so that you can FEEL the firm stretch in the adductor muscle.
DO NOT stretch into pain.
– Breathe and relax.
– Gradually move further into the stretch as tolerated.


BASIC STRETCHES

Start with the following easier stretches and progress to the more difficult stretches as tolerated.


1. Standing Side Lunge

adductor side lunge stretch

Instructions:

  • Start from a standing position.
  • Have your feet wide apart.
  • Keep your feet facing forwards.
  • Lunge towards the side as far as you can go.
  • Aim to feel a stretch in the groin.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat on the other side.

2. Lying Down Stretch

lying adductor stretch

Instructions:

  • Lie down on your back.
  • Bring the bottom of your feet together.
  • Bring both feet as close to your pelvis as possible.
  • Tilt your pelvis backwards.
  • Flatten your lower back to the floor.
  • Allow your knees to drop to either side of your body.
  • Relax your legs and allow gravity to gently push you further into the stretch.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.

3. Sitting Stretch

sitting adductor stretch

Instructions:

  • Sit down on the edge of a chair.
  • Spread your knees and feet apart as wide as possible.
  • Sit up right.
  • Push your knees outwards with your hands.
  • Maintain the arch in the lower back.
  • Lean your torso forwards by hinging at the hips.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.

4. Quadruped Position

quadruped groin stretch

Instructions:

  • Kneel on the floor.
  • Have your hands on the floor in front of you.
  • Spread your knees wide apart.
  • Tilt your pelvis forwards.
  • Maintain the arch in your lower back.
  • Sink your hips backwards.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.

INTERMEDIATE STRETCHES

Once you feel that the previous stretches are fairly comfortable to perform, progress to the following stretches.


5. Wide Knees in Standing

standing stretch to adductors

Instructions:

  • Start in a standing position.
  • Have your feet wide apart.
  • Push your knees outwards.
  • Place your hands on your knees.
  • Perform a deep squat.
  • Push your knees out with your hands.
  • Aim to feel a stretch in the groin region.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.

6. Inverted Wall Sit

groin stretch against wall

Instructions:

  • Lie down on your back.
  • Place both legs onto a wall.
  • Keep your bottom as close to the wall as possible.
  • Allow your legs to part to either side.
  • Aim to feel a stretch in the adductors.
  • Aim to keep your legs completely relaxed.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.

7. Stretch With A Strap

inner thigh stretch with band

Instructions:

  • Lie down on the floor facing upwards.
  • Loop a strap around the foot.
  • Place the leg you would like to stretch out to the side.
  • Keep this leg completely straight.
  • Pull the strap further into range to increase the adductor stretch.
  • Contract your glute muscles and push your hips forwards.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.

8. Butterfly Stretch

adductor butterfly stretch

Instructions:

  • Sit down on the floor.
  • Rest your back against a wall.
  • Bring the bottom of your feet together in front of you.
  • Use your hands to pull your feet as close to you as possible.
  • Sit straight and maintain the arch in your lower back.
  • Drop your knees down to the sides.
  • Use your elbows to slowly push your knees towards the floor.
  • Keep relaxed!
  • Aim to feel a stretch in the inner groin region.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.

9. Kneeling Stretch

kneeling inner thigh stretch

Instructions:

  • Kneel down onto the floor.
  • Place your hands on the floor in front of you.
  • Place the leg that you would like to stretch out to the side.
  • Make sure to have the foot of the outstretched leg pointing forwards.
  • Maintain the arch in your lower back throughout this stretch.
  • Spread the legs as wide as possible.
  • Push your hips backwards.
  • Aim to feel a stretch in the groin of the outstretched leg.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.

ADVANCED STRETCHES

If you can perform the following advanced stretches… Congratulations! You are well on your way to completely eliminating your tight muscles.


10. Inner Thigh stretch on Floor

inner thigh stretch on floor

Instructions:

  • Lie down on your stomach.
  • Spread both knees out to the side.
  • Bring the bottom of your feet together.
  • Try to keep your feet close to the pelvis.
  • Keep your hips and legs completely relaxed.
  • Sink into this position.
  • Engage your glutes and push your hips towards the floor.
  • Aim to feel a stretch in the groin region.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.

11. Partner-Assisted Stretch

(This is my favorite image on this blog post.)

partner assisted adductor stretches

Instructions:

  • Sit down on the floor.
  • Spread your legs wide apart.
  • Keep both legs completely straight throughout this stretch.
  • Sit up tall and maintain the arch in your lower back.
  • To keep your legs spread apart, instruct a partner to place their feet on the inside of your knees. (See picture)
  • Lean forwards.
  • Instruct your helper to slowly pull you forwards.
  • (Remember – you will need to guide your partner as to how much you would like to be pulled into the stretch!)
  • Hold for 30 seconds.

12. Hip Adductor Stretch

hip adductor stretch

Instructions:

  • Start in a standing position.
  • Have your feet wide apart.
  • Drop down to one side.
  • Push your hips forwards.
  • You can position your foot pointing upwards or forwards.
  • Aim to feel a stretch in the groin.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Strengthening Whilst Lengthened

The following 2 stretches involve strengthening the adductor muscles whilst in a lengthened position.

(This is a very effective way to increase the length of muscles!)


13. Isometric Contraction

side lunge adductor isometric

Instructions:

  • Have your feet wide apart.
  • Lunge towards the side until you feel a firm stretch in the groin region.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Apply a firm amount of downward pressure into the ground with the foot on the outstretched side.
  • Feel the contraction of the inner thigh muscles.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Relax.
  • Increase the lunge towards the side to increase the stretch to the inner thigh.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat on the other side.

(Keep in mind: You can apply isometric contractions at the end range of your movement with any of the stretches listed on this blog post.)

14. Eccentric Strengthening

eccentric adductor strengthening exercise

Instructions:

  • (You will need a sock and talcum powder for this exercise.)
  • Place a sock on the foot that it is on the side that you would like to stretch.
  • Place a small amount of talcum powder on a non-stick floor surface. (Eg. Tiles or wooden floors)
  • Push the foot with the sock out towards the side as far as you can.
  • Aim to feel a stretch in the groin.
  • Apply a downward pressure with your foot into the ground as you slide it back to the starting position.
  • Perform 20 repetitions.
  • Repeat on each side.

Common Questions:

Do you have a question that is not mentioned here? Feel free to ask me in the comment section!


a) What muscles are in the groin region?

  • Adductor Magnus
  • Adductor Longus
  • Adductor Brevis
  • Gracilis
  • Pectineus

b) Why is my groin so tight?

The main reason why groin muscles are so tight in the vast majority of people is that we do not habitually place the hip in a position for them to be stretched.

Think about it.

When was the last time you had to move in a way where your legs were far out to the sides?

The other main cause of tightness is due to previous injuries to the groin muscles such as strains and tears. This usually occurs when there is a sudden (often forceful) contraction in the muscle in an overstretched position.

c) What are the benefits of stretching the groin?

Stretching the groin can help loosen up the tight muscles in the hips, increase hip mobility and improve the general movement of the leg.

d) Is it good to stretch a pulled groin?

As a general rule: I would wait at least 5-7 days after straining your groin muscle before you decide to stretch the adductors.

When stretching, there should be absolutely no sharp pain at all.

e) How often should I perform these stretches?

In the initial stages: Perform the adductor stretches 2-3 times per week.

As your body is able to tolerate the stretches, you can increase the frequency to daily.

f) Do I need to do ALL of the stretches?

When you are first starting out with the stretches, it is recommend that you perform all of the stretches.

As you become familiar with how your body responds to the specific stretches, you can start to focus on the main ones that give you the most improvement.


Conclusion

It is very common to have tight groin muscles.

The 14 different adductor stretches suggested on this blog post are a great way to address this tightness.

It is recommended that you attempt each stretch and focus on the one that brings you the most benefit.

Remember – only stretch to the point where you are able to comfortably and safely tolerate.


What to do next

1. Any questions?… (Leave me a comment down below.)

2. Come join me:

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3. Start doing the exercises!


Disclaimer: The content presented on this blog post is not medical advice and should not be treated as such. It is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Use of the content provided on this blog post is at your sole risk. For more informationMedical Disclaimer.

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