The best stretches for groin pain are ones that target your adductor muscles and allow you to improve flexibly and range of motion without causing more strain.
It's normal to feel a bit of a pull during these groin stretches but if they are causing excess pain you should always consult a doctor.
Your groin pain is usually caused from one of the 5 adductor muscles and can cause discomfort and limited range of motion in your hip. To combat that, you want to stretch and strengthen the muscles in your inner thigh using these 10 exercises.
- The muscles involved that cause groin pain
- The 10 best stretches & exercises for groin pain & tightness
- Implementing stretches for groin pain into your workout routine
- Frequently asked questions
When you feel pain and discomfort in your upper inner thigh, there’s a good chance that you are experiencing an issue with your adductor muscles.
Your adductors start in your pelvic area and attach at you femur (thigh bone), which is why it’s common for that muscle to be agitated when you have groin area pain.
The adductor muscles include your adductor magnus, brevis, and longus, gracilis (this one actually attaches at your knee), and pectineus.
Best Groin Stretches
One of my favorite stretches for the groin is the one legged inner thigh stretch. This movement is going to allow you freedom to stretch as lightly or as hard as you want.
The more you rock your body back towards your heel, the more you will feel the stretch in the straightened leg.
One main cue that I remind my clients during this movement is to keep the foot flat on the extended leg. Pushing into the outer part of your foot to keep the foot planted will help improve the stretch.
I like to sit back into this movement for 3 - 5 seconds, come out of it for 1 - 2 seconds, and then back down for 3 - 5 seconds.
Perform 1 set of 30 - 45 seconds per leg.
If you want to save time on your stretches and target both of your groins, set up in frog pose position.
You’ll start on your knees and gently extend your knees out as you sit back into the stretch.
If you have tight adductors, this stretch might be difficult to get your knees spread apart.
Work on your range of motion with a distance that is comfortable but you can still feel the stretch. As you continue to work on stretches for your groin pain, you’ll get deeper and deeper into the stretch.
Perform 1 set of 45 - 60 seconds.
The rotating 90/90 is one of my favorite stretches that will target both your inner and outer hip area.
It’s a great exercise to do right after the frog pose or inner thigh stretch since you started loosening up the muscle and now you’ll be moving it back and forth through new ranges of motion.
Perform 1 set of 8 reps on both sides.
To start stretching your groin area in a more dynamic fashion, attach a band to a squat rack, wall, or any stable surface.
Get into the band and position the band so it’s under your arm pits.
From there, step back to create band tension and spread your feet out so they are past shoulder width and your toes are slightly pointed out.
The toes slightly pointed out will allow your knee to track over them safely as you sink into this stretch.
The band is going to help make the movement easier and allow you to explore new ranges of motion with your groin stretching.
Perform 1 set of 4 - 8 reps on each side.
The last of the best groin stretches is an exercise called hip airplanes.
This exercise is another dynamic movement, meaning you won’t be holding a specific stretch like the first two stretches.
It involves your trunk rotating and your hips opening in abduction, while your planted foot, knee, and hip don’t move.
This targets your inner thigh and is a great way to warm up the groin for any lower body movements you want to perform.
Perform 1 set of 8 reps on each side.
How To Foam Roll Your Groin Pain
In addition to stretching your groin, you’ll want to foam roll the affected area.
Foam rolling your inner thigh will help loosen tissue in the groin area and can help improve your range of motion.
Learn How To Foam Roll Your Inner Thigh in this in depth article.
Perform 1 set of 30 - 60 seconds per side.
When I’ve worked with clients on improving groin pain, I like for them to foam roll the areas around the groin, especially before a workout.
The two main muscle groups around your adductors are your quadriceps and hamstrings so targeting those would be smart to do in addition to stretching your groin area.
Perform 1 set of each for 30 - 60 seconds on each muscle group.
Best Groin Exercises
Now that you’ve learned to stretch your groin, you want to start adding in exercises to strengthen the adductors.
The best way to do that is choosing exercises that get you moving in the front plane. One of my favorites is the lateral lunge. Check out my complete guide on lateral lunges here.
When you first start doing this exercise, stick to body weight only and see how your groin pain feels.
If it feels good and you want to progress to one or two dumbbells, give it a shot!
Perform 2 sets of 6 - 8 reps per side. Rest 60 - 90 seconds between sets.
A similar variation to lateral lunges is your reaching lateral squat.
It’s the same in the fact that you are moving side to side working your adductors, but instead of stepping into it like a lunge, you’ll stay planted on both feet.
Hmm…I think you've seen this before haven’t you?!
Yep, this movement is just like the band assisted lateral squats, but now you won’t have assistance!
Perform 2 sets of 6 - 8 reps per side. Rest 60 - 90 seconds between sets.
The last of the best exercises for groin pain is a dynamic movement exercise that will continue to move your body in the front plane.
The difference now is that you will have a small jump from side to side.
Be smart with this movement and listen to your body. If you feel inner thigh tightness when you jump to the affected groin side, stop the exercise immediately.
Perform 2 sets of 15 - 20 jumps per side. Rest 60 - 90 seconds between sets.
You’ve learned the 10 best stretches and exercises for groin pain, but that doesn’t mean you have to do ALL of these movements every day.
Here’s how you can develop your program:
- Pick 1 movement between the one leg inner thigh stretch or frog pose.
- Perform rotating 90/90’s.
- Pick 1 movement between hip airplanes or band assisted lateral squats.
- Foam roll all 3 areas; inner thigh, quads, and hamstrings
- Choose 1 - 2 of the adductor strength exercises.
Do that each day and you will notice an improvement in your groin pain and improved range of motion in your hips.
Frequently Asked Questions
When you have a pulled groin, you want to be very smart with your stretching so you don’t aggravate the injury any further.
If you try any of the stretches above and immediately feel a sharp pain, you’re not ready for stretching and should stick to rest and ice.
If your range of motion is limited but you feel a slight stretch in your groin, you should be ok for the stretches.
As always, if you feel any sharp pain in your groin area, speak to a doctor.
A groin strain feels like a sharp pulling pain in your upper inner thigh area. It will be tender and may feel worse when you bring your legs together, squat, run, or jump.
A tight groin means you’re experiencing tightness in your adductor muscles.
This can be caused from an injury, excessive exercise, performing an exercise with improper form, or excess sitting.
Yes, a girl can pull a groin muscle since both male and female anatomies have adductors. The adductor is a group of muscles that connect from the hip to your femur.
This is why you can feel tightness and tenderness in your upper thigh regardless of sex.
The Best Groin Stretches & Exercises Recap
I hope you found this article useful!
When researching the best stretches for groins, I noticed there was a lack of depth past basic stretches.
When healing from groin pain, you want to be incorporating stretching, foam rolling, and inner thigh exercises.
This is why I provided you with all 3.
Find the stretches and exercises that feel good for your groin pain, train smart, and you should be feeling better in no time!