How to prevent Groin Strains

In the kinetic chain of the lower body, the pelvis and hip region is subject to many forces that have the capacity to cause injury. It is important, therefore, to warm up the muscles of the lower body properly. This helps them absorb the forces imposed on the structures involved in movement. A particularly common injury seen in the hip region is a groin strain, which causes significant impairment in function and performance.

This injury can be seen in many sports, including soccer, football, basketball and others that involve running, jumping, or cycling. It is common for a groin strain to occur when the muscles of the groin are not warmed up properly before being stressed. It can also happen when they are stretched too far.

To decrease the risk of a groin strain, it is important to warm up the groin muscles properly. You can do this by incorporating exercises that strengthen and increase the flexibility of the muscles in the groin region. Some important groin warm up exercises are listed below.

Sumo squats

Doing Sumo Squats or a sumo squat walk is a good way to dynamically warm up the muscles of the groin region. The sumo squat stretches the glute muscles and the adductor muscles, which are usually the muscles that are injured in a groin strain.

These muscles get pulled past the point where they are fully able to stretch, resulting in significant pain and impairment. Flexibility in these muscles is vital so they are able to stretch further without getting injured.

The sumo squat movement also strengthens the quads and improves overall hip mobility. This stretch is great for tennis players, soccer players, or hockey players, who often stretch the adductor muscle when skating, kicking a ball, or lunging.

Multi-directional lunges

These are a compound exercise, meaning they work many different parts of the body at once. This makes them a great exercise for overall function and mobility, even if you don’t play sports. They involve a degree of balance and coordination, making them ideal for warming up the muscles of both the groin and the hip joint.

A warm up movement like this one prepares the muscles for movements that involve changing direction or speed while running. Multi-directional lunges challenge the musculature of several different joints. This means they don’t just warm up the groin area, but other muscles involved in running and jumping as well.

Gate openers and closers

Often used in combination, these are one of the most popular dynamic warm ups used in sports. They are included in the FIFA 11+ warm up for soccer, which is proven to dramatically reduce the risk of major injuries in soccer players.

They are also popularly used by weightlifters before squatting or deadlifting. These exercises open up the hip flexors and increase flexibility, along with activating the glutes and core. In these two movements, an athlete activates the hip flexors and glutes, which are the antagonists to the adductor muscles. By simultaneously activating and stretching these two muscle groups, the risk of a groin injury is reduced.

In sports where there is a lot of running, jumping, or changing direction involved, groin strains are fairly common. These include soccer, hockey, basketball, volleyball, and many others.

It is important for athletes to warm up their bodies properly. This is not only to reduce the risk of injury, but for overall muscle and joint health as well. A proper warm up prepares the muscles for movement, and increases the blood flow to those muscles. This makes them more effective and less likely to be injured when put under the stress of playing a sport.

Flexibility, stretching, and proper strengthening of muscles is essential for long-term muscle and joint health. It helps to make sure you stay moving your whole life.

Do you need help with your exercises? Do not hesitate to book an appointment with Steven McGee