The following Groin strain exercises form part of our groin strain rehabilitation program. Created by elite sports physiotherapist Paul Tanner it includes stretching, strengthening and movement control exercises.
When can I begin groin strain exercises?
Begin groin strain exercises as soon as pain allows. This is usually after the initial acute phase passes. However, avoid groin stretching exercises in the early stages.
Groin strain stretching exercises
Avoid specific adductor stretching exercises in the early stages. You can however, do other stretching exercise for the gluteal muscles, hip flexors, hamstrings and calf muscles. In phase 2 of our rehab program you should be able to do light adductor swings.
Swing your leg out to the side in a slow, controlled manor. The leg being stretched is the one that is moving. Do not force it, especially in the early part of the groin strain rehab program.
High knee reach out
High knee into a lateral reach out. Good for hip mobility as well as activating the quad and gluteal muscles. Your toes should be pulled up towards the ceiling.
Strengthening exercises for Groin strains
Strengthening exercises begin after the acute phase has passed and normal daily activities are pain-free.
Isometric ball squeeze
Squeeze a medicine ball or gym ball between your knees. Aim for 50 to 70% maximum effort and increase it gradually as you get stronger. Hold for a few seconds then relax and repeat. Vary the position of your legs to change the exercise and target different parts of the adductor muscles.
Whilst not specifically a groin strain exercise, core strengthening is an important part of our rehab program. The hip, groin and core muscles all work together. The plank is a basic core exercise, to begin with.
Take your affected leg out to the side. Drag it in towards you using the friction of the floor as resistance. This is a useful exercise to see how sore or tight your groin muscles are.
Long lever adductor hold
Long lever adductor holds are more difficult than short lever holds. Your weight should be going through your top foot on the bench as you perform the exercise. Hold for a few seconds then relax.
Adduction in standing
With the weight-bearing leg slightly bent, pull your leg in towards the centre using the elastic band for resistance. Keep the leg you are working straight.
A basic squat exercise using only your body weight as resistance. As you get stronger in the later phases perform loaded squat exercises with weights.
The lateral lunge works the quadriceps muscles whilst giving you a little bit of a stretch on the adductors.
Functional Groin strain exercises
These exercises are more dynamic and bridge the gap between basic Groin strain strengthening exercises and returning to normal activity.
Quick feet and hold
Here we explain groin strain stretching and strengthening exercises for recovering from and preventing groin strain injuries. Both stretching, strengthening, and sports-specific exercises are important.
Always seek professional advice before starting a rehabilitation program. The exercises below should form part of a full groin strain rehabilitation program.
References & further reading on groin exercises
- Serner A, Tol JL, Jomaah N et al. Diagnosis of acute groin injuries: a prospective study of 110 athletes. Am J Sports Med 2015;43(8):1857–64.
- Serner A, van Eijck CH, Beumer BR et al. Study quality on groin injury management remains low: a systematic review on the treatment of groin pain in athletes. Br J Sports Med 2015;49(12):813.
- Weir A, Brukner P, Delahunt E et al. Doha agreement meeting on terminology and definitions of groin pain in athletes. Br J Sports Med 2015;49:768–74.
- Hölmich P, Uhrskou P, Ulnits L et al. Effectiveness of active physical training as treatment for long-standing adductor-related groin pain in athletes: a randomised trial. Lancet 1999;353:439–43.