When we get tired, we tend to stretch and flex our back and shoulder muscles because they are often the muscles in the most pain. But maintaining flexibility in our lower body is also very important, especially if you're an athlete.
Your groin is the location of powerful abductor muscles which extend down your inner thigh and play a key role in stabilizing your hips, knees and lower back. This makes your groin a key site to stretch in order to maintain flexibility in your legs.
In this article we'll outline three simple groin stretches you can perform, but first, let's take a look at the importance of stretching in general.
Why is Stretching so Important?
When you stretch different muscle groups in a controlled and consistent way, what you are actually doing is helping to lengthen and strengthen your muscles, thus equipping them to perform their full range of movement. Not only this, but when you stretch, you can improve your balance as well as giving yourself a mental health boost - there's a reason why everyone's doing yoga and it's not for the tight pants alone!
Stretching becomes especially important as you age because your muscles naturally start to shrink and lose elasticity.
Stretching can also give You a Host of Secondary Benefits
These benefits include:
- Reduced pain and discomfort and potentially fewer bouts of muscle cramps
- Fewer injuries
- Better posture
Groin Stretches to Enhance Flexibility
Here are three of our favourite groin stretches that will help loosen up your legs. They each give you a great stretch, are easy to perform and don't expose you to a high risk of injury. As always if you experience pain while doing any of these stretches, especially in your joints, stop immediately.
- Squatting Stretch - this stretch targets your groin and hip muscles.
- Stand up straight and point your feet about 45 degrees outwards
- Squat down as low as you can to the floor, pointing your knees outwards over your toes
- Place your arms on the floor while keeping your back straight so your inner arms rest against your inner thighs.
- Hip Opener - this stretch targets your groin and lower back muscles.
- Adopt a forward lunge position and drop your right knee to the ground
- Place your left elbow on the inside of your left knee
- Press the elbow into your knee and gradually twist your body to the right until you feel a strong stretch.
- To deepen the stretch; raise your right arm behind you until you feel a stretch in your lower back
- Frog Stretch - this stretch is based on a yoga pose and is great for runners. It targets the groin and hip muscles.
- Start on all fours and slide your knees apart so they are further than shoulder-width apart
- Turn your toes outwards and rest the inner parts of your feet flat on the floor
- Move your hips backwards towards your heels
- For a deeper stretch shift your weight from your hands onto your forearms.