Download the free step by step groin strain rehabilitation program. Split into 4 phases this takes you day by day from injury to full fitness.
Always seek professional advice. The following is information and not intended to replace professional advice.
The objective of phase 1 is simply to get the bleeding and swelling down.
The length of this stage is a minimum of 48 hours but can be a lot longer depending on your injury. A very severe groin strain where a large part of the muscle has torn may need to stay in phase 1 for a week or more.
There is no point rushing the rehabilitation exercises until they can be done pain free.
Phase 2 covers the early stage rehabilitation exercises up to the time jogging can be done pain free.
If you have had a long term or recurrent groin injury then you may have progress more quickly though this phase than if you have recently suffered an acute groin tear.
This is a very important part of rehabilitation and the time spent on phase 2 will depend on a number of factors. Here are the top tips for moving through phase 2:
- Don't progress too quickly. If you feel exercises are painful then go back a step.
- Only move on when you are comfortable on the current level.
- Don't neglect treatment, especially application of cold therapy which can help reduce pain and inflammation after exercises.
The aim of phase 3 is to return to normal training. This is done by increasing the resistance or intensity of strengthening exercises, whilst reducing the volume and focusing more on building up running speed.
Low pulleys are ideal here or use a heavier resistance band. If muscles are worked harder or more intensely then they need longer time to recover. Remember you are not training when you are training, you are training when you grow back stronger to cope with a higher level next time.
By now you should be feeling pretty fit and wondering why you should bother doing exercises or taking it easy. However do not be complacent. The aim of phase 4 is to return to full sprint speed by focussing on the quality and speed of running and reducing the resistance load of the exercises.
If you haven't done already then now is the time to start adding in some change of direction type exercises and drills which are more specific to the demands of your sport.
Shuttle runs are basic drills we include here although you can add or substitute similar exercises depending on your sport. For example footballers may use cones on a pitch, tennis players can use lines on the court, sprinters may do specific sprint drills. The aim is to get the muscles used to the demands of the sport again.