If you run or play a sport that involves a lot of running, this is for you! The chances of you pulling your groin muscles are high if you are not warming them up before play.
The muscles of the groin help to adduct the legs together. These adductor muscles are one of the biggest muscle groups in the body and can be injured easily.
To minimize the risk of an injury like a pull or a tear, make sure that you are dynamically stretching them out before the game.
Dynamic stretches before an exercise help warm up the muscles and joints so that they glide easily over one another.
It gets your heart rate up allowing it to pump more blood and nutrients to the muscles to perform effectively. All of this put together helps prevent injuries like muscle tears and strain.
3 ways to dynamically stretch the groin:
Stand on both feet and get into a wide stance. The distance between your feet should be wider than your shoulder width.
From there, start bending one knee by leaning sideways on one leg and straighten out the other leg. Repeat on the other side. Keep the momentum going by moving from side to side.
10-15 of these on each side should be good.
Open and close gate stretch:
Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Raise the right knee up to hip level.
Rotate it externally away from your body and plant your feet down. Similarly bring it back in front by rotating it internally and put your feet down. Repeat on the left side.
This is a good warm-up for the groin muscles. 10 on each side should be sufficient.
Get into a high plank position and bring your right leg/strider forward and place it next to your palms. Jump back while you get the left leg forward.
Repeat 10-15 times on each side.
3 ways to statically stretch the groin:
Static stretches should be done post a physical activity like playing as a part of an effective cooldown. These stretches help eliminate the lactate that builds up post a strenuous activity, prevent muscle soreness and faster recovery. It also regulates the body temperate, heart rate and breathing.
3 static stretches that you should be doing:
Seated butterfly stretch:
Sitting down on the floor, bring the soles of your feet together and let your kneed drop to either side till it touches the floor(do not force if this does not happen at the first go). Remember to keep breathing, hold for at least 10-15 seconds.
Seated adductor stretch:
Extend both the legs to the side making a wide V till you feel a stretch on your inner thigh. Hold for a minimum of 10-15 seconds. If you are doing this for the first time, take it easy and don’t overdo it.
Squatting groin stretch:
With your legs wide apart, open out your feet and start squatting till you get parallel to the ground. Stop once your knees are in line with your ankles. Place both hands on the inside of your thighs and push your legs out.
Hold for 10-15 seconds.
The groin is the most commonly injured area. If you want to ensure that you minimize the risk of an injury, take some time and warm them up.
Apart from injury prevention, a warm-up psychologically enhances your performance. For combating muscle soreness and faster recovery post a game, a cool-down is a must!