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Runner's Targeted Relief: Effective Adductor Stretches For Groin Pain

Updated: Jun 20


Ready to conquer your run without the worry of groin pain? This guide will show you how to incorporate a dynamic adductor stretch into your pre-run routine to warm up your muscles, followed by some static groin stretching after your run to achieve your goals injury-free! 


We'll explore what adductors are, the nature of groin pain, why runners are prone to it, and most importantly, how to alleviate and prevent it through targeted stretches and self-care techniques.


Let's keep those legs moving smoothly!


women bending and stretching groin adductor muscles

What Are Adductor Muscles?


The Powerhouse Behind Your Stride


Adductors are a group of powerful muscles located on the inner thigh. They play a crucial role in numerous leg movements. In fact, they are responsible for pulling the legs together and stabilize the hip joint.


These muscles include the adductor longus, adductor brevis, adductor magnus, gracilis, and pectineus. During activities like running, these muscles play a crucial role in controlling the movement of the legs, absorbing impact and propelling you forward.


Therefore, it is essential to incorporate targeted adductor stretches in any warm-up and cool-down run routine.




What Is Groin Pain?


Why Does My Inner Thigh Hurt? Groin Pain Demystified


For runners, conquering pavement often comes with the battle against niggling injuries. One common complaint is groin pain, often attributed to strained adductor muscles. It can put a serious damper on your training. So, it is important to understand the culprits and explore preventative measures.


Adductor muscles tend to be very stiff, especially in men. Tension in this area may contribute to misalignment of the pelvis, lower back pain & hip pain after running & exercise. 


Groin pain in runners typically manifests as a dull ache or sharp pain in the inner thigh. The discomfort usually manifests where the thigh meets the pelvis. It can range from mild to severe and may be accompanied by swelling or bruising.




Why Runners Get Groin Pain


Causes and Solutions


Runners are particularly susceptible to groin pain due to the repetitive nature of the sport and the high demand placed on the adductor muscles



black men runners legs


Factors such as improper running technique, sudden changes in training intensity or volume, inadequate warm-up, and muscle imbalances can contribute to the development of groin pain. Let's explore these more in detail:


  • Overuse: Repetitive running, especially sudden increases in mileage or intensity, can overload the adductors. This can lead to tiny tears and inflammation, causing that dreaded groin pain.

The key is to increase your mileage gradually. It might not be as exciting as a quick jumpstart, but it's crucial for preventing injuries and keeping you running strong. Moreover, remember that Recovery is Key to Build Stronger Muscles.


So schedule your recovery sessions regularly. They’re as important as your training sessions. Muscles need to rest to recover and grow stronger. So don't skimp on those rest days!


  • Muscle Imbalance: Weak or tight glutes and hamstrings can put additional stress on the adductors, causing them to overcompensate. Try these 13 stretches for lower back pain and discover effective ways to keep these muscles strong and flexible. 


  • Improper Technique: Running with poor form, such as excessive foot overstriding or internal rotation, can put undue strain on the adductors.



How To Prevent Groin Pain


Adductor stretches and Massage 


Thinking about tackling your first half marathon (21.6 miles)? That's fantastic! But remember, a well-designed training plan is your best friend. A 12-week marathon training plan can help you gradually build your endurance and strength while minimizing your risk of injury.


Incorporating activities like dynamic stretching, foam rolling, and a well-deserved sports massage. You'll be giving your body the TLC it needs to thrive and significantly reduce your risk of experiencing groin pain.


 1. Dynamic Stretches Before Your Run:


Before running, your muscles are still cold. So we recommend warming up with dynamic groin stretching, which can help improve flexibility and reduce the risk of strain. It can make you feel all stretched out! Examples include leg swings, lunges with a twist, and lateral leg raises.


Here are some simple videos to learn how to stretch the Adductors, better known as the Groin area! Make sure you add these groin stretches to your exercise routine, alongside anterior tibialis stretching to prevent shin splints.



Adductor Stretch No.1




Adductor Stretch No.2





2. Foam Rolling After Your Run:


Post-run, using a foam roller to massage the adductor muscles can help release tension and promote recovery. Sit on the ground with a foam roller placed under your inner thigh. Gently roll back and forth, applying pressure to any tight spots. Hold for 10-15 seconds on any tender areas. Repeat 3-5 times per leg.


Here is a simple video to learn how to foam roll the Adductors:




3. Regular Sports Massage:


Regular sports massage therapy can prevent adductor strains by reducing muscle tension and improving circulation. Sports therapists are trained in the anatomy and physiology of athletes. They understand the specific demands placed on your adductors during running.


Ola, one of our sports therapists, can identify and address any tightness, imbalances, or trigger points that might be causing you trouble. She has a degree in sports science and has assisted countless runners to conquer their marathon dreams injury-free. 





How We Can Help You


  • Increasing blood flow to the area, promoting healing and reducing inflammation. 


  • Reducing Muscle Tension thanks to deep tissue manipulations. We can release tight muscle fibres, improving flexibility and range of motion.


  • Trigger Point Relief: Trigger points are those hyperirritable knots in your muscles that can cause pain even in other areas. Our skilled therapists can locate and deactivate these trigger points, bringing relief.


  • Enhanced Recovery: Sports massage can help your adductors recover faster after a tough run, reducing post-workout soreness and stiffness.



oil sports massage on upper leg


The Benefits Go Beyond Groin Pain. While alleviating groin pain is a major benefit, sports massage for your adductors offers additional advantages:


  • Improved Running Form: Reduced muscle tightness can lead to better running form, potentially improving efficiency and performance.

  • Injury Prevention: By addressing imbalances and tightness, sports massage can help prevent future injuries.

  • Enhanced Performance: Increased flexibility and range of motion can contribute to a smoother, more powerful stride.



How Often Shall I Receive A Sports Massage?


The frequency of sports massage for your adductors depends on your individual needs and training intensity. Here's a general guideline:


  • Once a Month: A good starting point for maintaining healthy adductors and preventing pain.

  • More Frequently: During periods of high training volume or if you're experiencing specific tightness or pain.

  • Pre- and Post-Race: Consider a massage before a big race to prime your muscles and after a race to aid recovery.






Conclusion


Adductor Stretching: Strides Towards Pain-Free Running


Groin pain can significantly impact a runner's performance and enjoyment of the sport. By understanding your adductors, their role in running, and the causes of groin pain, you can take proactive steps to prevent this common injury and alleviate discomfort. 


Incorporate dynamic stretches, foam rolling, and sports massage into your routine to maintain optimal adductor health and keep you on track towards your running goals.   


Remember, consistency is key! Make these stretches and preventative measures a regular part of your routine. Listen to your body, prioritize recovery, and train smart. By following these principles, you'll be well on your way to achieving your running goals, pain-free!

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