The Neglected Stretch
Most of us by now have been told that we should stretch before and after activities. There are many schools of thought behind how, why and even IF, stretching helps. While the pragmatists of the world continue to bicker, I remain firmly in the camp that qualifies stretching as an integral part of a daily routine. If for no other reason, it feels good!
One area that many of fail to address is the groin. Sure, you may do a quick side to side stretch or even sit down into a butterfly stretch, but too often, it is the first stretch to get cut when time is crunched. Once you ‘pull your groin’, you recognize how much it propels us through even the simplest of movements. Integrate these stretches as part of your routine to help elude this stubborn injury. So, throw on an episode of G.O.T. and #getyourstretchon
Standing Groin Stretch:
How to do this stretch:
- Stand with your legs wide apart.
- Shift your weight to the left.
- Allow your left knee to bend until it is over your left foot. You will feel the stretch in your right groin. (rotate your foot to hit various aspects of the muscles)
- Keep your feet on the ground facing forward.
- Hold for 60 seconds.
- Repeat the stretch on the opposite side, then repeat the stretch three times on each side.
Seated Groin Stretch:
Sometimes called the butterfly stretch, this stretches the groin and inner thigh. Here’s how to do it correctly.
- Get into a seated position.
- Bend your knees and bring the soles of the feet together.
- Hold your feet with your hands and rest your elbows on your knees.
- While keeping your back straight (no slouching), allow your knees to fall towards the ground. You can apply gentle pressure on the inner thigh by pressing gently on the knees with the elbows. You should feel gentle pulling and tension in the groin. Do not bounce Do not press down with great force.
- Hold the stretch for 60 seconds. Release and repeat three times.
- To increase the stretch, bring the feet closer in towards your groin.
As you become more flexible, you can get a deeper stretch of the hips and back by leaning forward at the waist. Exhale and lean forward, keep your back flat and allow your chest to fall as close to the floor as possible.
Squatting Groin Stretch:
This is a slightly more advanced groin stretch that intensifies the exercise by stretching both sides at once.
- Stand with your feet wide apart.
- Slowly squat down until your knees are directly over your ankles and bend to 90 degrees.
- Place your hands on top of your inner thighs and slowly push outward to open your hips. You will feel a stretch in the groin muscles in both legs.
- Hold for 60 seconds, relax and repeat three times.
Hip Opener and Groin Stretch:
This exercise stretches the muscles of the hips, groin, and lower back.
- Begin in a forward lunge position and drop your left knee to the ground.
- Place your right elbow on the inside of your right knee as pictured.
- Press your right elbow gently into your right knee and twist your torso to the left.
- Reach your left arm behind you until you feel a gentle stretch in your lower back and right groin.
- Hold the stretch for about 60 seconds, release and repeat on the other leg.
Note: These stretches are held for 60 seconds in order to achieve lasting elongation to the muscles. Research has shown that stretches held for less time will not yield lasting results. For optimal results, hold for 120 seconds each. There are many styles of stretching and reasons behind each. You should always consult a professional when starting a new routine.