The Best Exercises for Preventing a Groin Pull

April 11, 2013 | Joe Giandonato

Must See Sports Injuries Videos

A twist to the right, a sharp turn, or a pivot could set up you to score—or mess up your groin. Ranging from mild strains to sports-induced hernias, groin injuries are becoming problematic in most field sports—because of the frequent use of such directional movements to change direction.

The major contributors to groin injuries aren't necessarily the movements but the muscles that control the movements—the hip abductors. (1)

During a hockey game or a rugby match, the abductors provide pelvic stability. This means they're constantly firing, even during basic athletic movements like skating or charging your man.

Most groin injuries are caused by a forceful twisting, turning, or pivoting motion that causes the abductors to overstretch, resulting in a strain or tear.

A groin injury can happen to anyone. However, athletes at greater risk are those with:

  • Tight groin muscles
  • Weak cores and hip abductors
  • Poor hip internal rotation
  • Poor pelvic and lumbar stability

Groin Pull Exercises

Recovery is a long and painful process. Protect your athletic future by including the following prevention exercises in your routine:

Abductor Foam Roll

The main purpose of this foam roll is to lengthen your abductors.

Sets/Time: 2x30-60 (each side)

  • Lie supine with forearms on the ground to support your upper body
  • Situate a foam roller beneath your thigh and inside your knee, running parallel with your torso
  • Bend the knee and glide laterally atop the foam roller, keeping your core braced
  • Pause on areas that are tender or tight, applying pressure until the tightness is reduced, or for up to ten seconds

Quadruped Fire Hydrant

Addresses hip mobility.

Sets/Reps: 2×10-15 each direction (each side)

  • Assume all-fours position
  • Pick right knee off floor
  • Rotate clockwise through entire range of motion for specified reps, keeping knee at 90-degree angle
  • Repeat in counterclockwise direction
  • Perform set with opposite leg

Kettlebell Goblet Asterisk Lunge

This lunge will help you develop both core strength and hip mobility.

Sets: 2-3 (each side)

  • Grasp a kettlebell with two hands and hold it against your chest and under your chin.
  • Keep your core braced the entire time, inhaling as you drop into a lunge position and exhaling as you return to a standing position.
  • On one side, in this order, perform: a forward lunge with your foot directly in front of your knee; a forward lunge with your foot outside of your hip; a lateral lunge; a reverse lunge with your foot outside of your knee; and a reverse lunge with your foot lined up with your knee.
  • Briefly pause in the bottom of each lunge, maintaining a tight core, big chest and upright torso.
  • Switch sides.
  • Both sides completed is one set.

Sumo Plank

To lengthen the abductors as well as build up the core.

Sets/Time: 2-4 x15-30 seconds

  • Assume a plank position
  • Place your feet out wide, pressing your toes against the floor
  • Keep your core braced and spine neutral
  • Hold for specified time

Source

(1)Maffey L & Emery C. "What are the risk factors for groin strain injury in sport? A systematic review of the literature." Sports Medicine. 2007.

Joe Giandonato
- Joe Giandonato, MS, CSCS, is the head strength and conditioning coach at Germantown Academy in Fort Washington, Pa. He has authored numerous articles on a...
Joe Giandonato
- Joe Giandonato, MS, CSCS, is the head strength and conditioning coach at Germantown Academy in Fort Washington, Pa. He has authored numerous articles on a...

Featured Videos

Eastbay Path to the Pros Episode 2: Laying the Groundwork Eastbay Path to the Pros Episode 2: Laying the Groundwork Views: 199,152
Eastbay Path to the Pros Episode 4: Skill Training Eastbay Path to the Pros Episode 4: Skill Training Views: 399,519
Path to the Pros 2015: Shaq Thompson Path to the Pros 2015: Shaq Thompson Views: 77,649
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Robert Griffin III Pocket Presence QB Drill Robert Griffin III Pocket Presence QB Drill
Views: 6,866,374
Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied
Views: 12,224,126
Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill
Views: 9,501,467
Dustin Pedroia on Training Dustin Pedroia on Training
Views: 10,921,057
Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 6,202,163

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like
Dry Needling: Powerful, Drug-Free Pain Relief for Athletes

Dry Needling: Powerful, Drug-Free Pain Relief for Athletes

Athletes suffering from serious or chronic soft tissue injuries are often prescribed powerful anti-inflammatory drugs to combat pain and inflammation....

Impressive Advances in ACL Rehab

Impressive Advances in ACL Rehab

The Secret Weapon Powering Stephen Curry's Resurgence

The Secret Weapon Powering Stephen Curry's Resurgence

How to Treat Piriformis Syndrome

How to Treat Piriformis Syndrome

Evan Gattis's Protection-Enhanced Catcher's Helmet

Evan Gattis's Protection-Enhanced Catcher's Helmet

Preventing ACL Injuries in Soccer Players

Preventing ACL Injuries in Soccer Players

6 Simple Tips to Prevent Knee Injuries

6 Simple Tips to Prevent Knee Injuries

Predicting the Impact of DeMarco Murray's Hand Injury

Predicting the Impact of DeMarco Murray's Hand Injury

How to Prevent Hamstring Injuries

How to Prevent Hamstring Injuries

Why Tommy John Surgery Is Ruining Pitchers

Why Tommy John Surgery Is Ruining Pitchers

The Future of Sports Injury Rehabilitation

The Future of Sports Injury Rehabilitation

Eliminate Elbow Pain with These 3 Methods

Eliminate Elbow Pain with These 3 Methods

Sports Hernias: What You Need to Know

Sports Hernias: What You Need to Know

How to Train With Running Blisters

How to Train With Running Blisters

How to Prevent Baseball Injuries During the Off-Season

How to Prevent Baseball Injuries During the Off-Season

Quarterbacks: 4 Tips to Keep Your Throwing Shoulder Healthy

Quarterbacks: 4 Tips to Keep Your Throwing Shoulder Healthy

Prevent ACL Injuries With This Hamstring-Focused Workout

Prevent ACL Injuries With This Hamstring-Focused Workout

6 Stretches to Alleviate Lower-Back Pain

6 Stretches to Alleviate Lower-Back Pain

What’s With the Stethoscope? Heart Murmurs in Athletes

What's With the Stethoscope? Heart Murmurs in Athletes

Coaches: Prevent Injuries With the Recovery Management Tool

Coaches: Prevent Injuries With the Recovery Management Tool

6 Steps for Recovering From a Season-Ending Injury

6 Steps for Recovering From a Season-Ending Injury

5 Things You Can Do to Prevent Muscle Injuries

5 Things You Can Do to Prevent Muscle Injuries

6 Ways to Prevent Common Sports Injuries

6 Ways to Prevent Common Sports Injuries

10 Ways to Fix Back Pain

10 Ways to Fix Back Pain

Megan Rapinoe’s Secret to Staying Healthy

Megan Rapinoe's Secret to Staying Healthy

Connective Tissue: The Key to Preventing ACL Injuries

Connective Tissue: The Key to Preventing ACL Injuries

4 Sports Massage Techniques to Relieve Tight Muscles

4 Sports Massage Techniques to Relieve Tight Muscles

2 Ways to Fix Anterior Pelvic Tilt

2 Ways to Fix Anterior Pelvic Tilt

Fix 3 Common Ankle Problems to Prevent Injury

Fix 3 Common Ankle Problems to Prevent Injury

5 Bodyweight Exercises to Prevent Baseball Injuries

5 Bodyweight Exercises to Prevent Baseball Injuries

7 Ways to Fix Back Pain

7 Ways to Fix Back Pain

3 Steps to Prevent Soccer ACL Injuries

3 Steps to Prevent Soccer ACL Injuries

How to Keep Your Feet Healthy On and Off the Field

How to Keep Your Feet Healthy On and Off the Field

Avoid Low-Back Pain With These 7 In-Season Exercises

Avoid Low-Back Pain With These 7 In-Season Exercises

How to Prevent In-Season Volleyball Injuries

How to Prevent In-Season Volleyball Injuries

Achilles Tendon Ruptures: Prevention and Recovery

Achilles Tendon Ruptures: Prevention and Recovery

Avoid ACL Injuries in Softball with PREP

Avoid ACL Injuries in Softball with PREP

4 Tips to Relieve Muscle Stiffness

4 Tips to Relieve Muscle Stiffness

STUDY: Imaginary Exercise Helps You Recover Faster From Injury

STUDY: Imaginary Exercise Helps You Recover Faster From Injury

3 Steps to Alleviate a Sore Neck

3 Steps to Alleviate a Sore Neck

Reducing Low-Back Pain: What You Need to Know

Reducing Low-Back Pain: What You Need to Know

8 of the Most Ridiculous Off-Field Athlete Injuries of All Time

8 of the Most Ridiculous Off-Field Athlete Injuries of All Time

5 Tips to Intelligently Train Through Lower Back Pain

5 Tips to Intelligently Train Through Lower Back Pain

STUDY: Female Athletes Are at Higher Risk of Overuse Injuries

STUDY: Female Athletes Are at Higher Risk of Overuse Injuries

Basketball Players: Prevent Ankle Sprains With These 3 Exercises

Basketball Players: Prevent Ankle Sprains With These 3 Exercises

YardBarker