One of the most debilitating injuries that a person can get is when they strain their groin muscles, also known as hip adductors. For some individuals, hip adductors can be extremely tight. For others, the groin area can be a consistent problem.
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If you are an avid fitness enthusiast or athlete, this specific area is important and needs to be properly warmed up. We all know the basic stretch of sitting on our buttocks, bringing our heels toward the pubis area, and then letting our outside of knees be held in an isometric stretch to lengthen these muscles.
This is a great stretch, but it is also crucial to mimic the movements you are going to be doing when playing your sport.
A great example is that most individuals run in one direction or plane of motion. If you look at runners, they move in a straight line, not side to side. If you look at what a football player does, they run forwards, backwards, sideways and do quick side steps and cutting type of movements.
If a seasoned runner decides to play tennis one day, there is high probability they may injure their groin area, because those muscles are not conditioned for lateral quick-burst movements.
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Here is a list of steps you can do to condition and stretch the hip adductor muscles:
- Perform lateral drills with an agility ladder or with some cones.
- Slowly mimic the movements that you'll perform in your activity as a warm up.
- Stretch not only the surrounding leg muscles, but stretch and hold in the direction that you will be moving. If you'll be doing deep lateral lunges after a ball, then go into that lunge and hold with a slight stretch for 20 to 30 seconds.
- Once you are warmed up, stretched your quadriceps, hamstrings, calves and adductor muscles. Do a quick set of 30 jumping jacks to really warm up that groin area. Also, skip sideways one way and then reverse it and go the other direction.
- Lastly, before engaging in your activity, start out slowly with some warm up runs, shots, hitting or throwing. Once you're loose and warm, then start to increase the speed, tempo, intensity and duration of the activity until you feel you're comfortable with performing at 100 percent.
Whether you've been sedentary for a long period of time or want to try a new activity, make sure to properly warm up to prevent injury to the hip adductor.
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