So you’ve been diligent about your deloading from sport and gym, done the appropriate release work AND started with some basic adductor exercises to get the ball rolling.
Pain has settled, your moving better and perhaps discussed reintroducing straight line running or other load you want to get back to. Now you’re ready for bigger and better things!
In this half of the blog I’ll speak to some harder groin related exercises. These may not specifically just need to be done as rehab, they can be done for ongoing maintenance of adductor strength and prevention of injury! ‘Prehab’ if you will.
Time to get strong, preferably stronger than you were before!
Advanced Groin Rehab
1. Cossack Squat
- Take a wide stance
- Chest up, butt back
- Squat to one side!
Here I’m keeping both feet down and using a reduced range (not squatting very low).
If your inner thigh/groin is on the mend, it is likely to appreciate this adjustment.
As pain subsides and as your mobility allows, you can squat lower, add some load (see dumbbell in the goblet position) or allow the foot of the straightened leg to point upwards.
2. Adductor Slides
Or if you prefer… “Sliding lateral lunge”
Direct relative of the cossack squat but a completely different movement experience (if you ask me)
If you’re fancy, use a slide board OR at home, use a towel/sock under your foot on hard flooring or tiles.
- Keep you weight over the stance leg and squat down, whilst you allow the other foot to slide out!
- Stand back up, bringing the sliding leg back underneath you. Smoothly though! Please exercise some control!
3. Adductor "Rock Back"
Bet you were surprised you weren’t stretching til now, huh! I’ve left it out on purpose!
If your groin muscles are unhappy and painful, there is a good chance just stretching out aggressively isn’t actually going to leave you feeling much better!
When you start looking to stretch please do it within a relatively comfortable range for you. I would also advocate for something which sees you continuously moving rather then just statically stretching (holding one position)
- 4 point kneeling (hands and knees)
- Put one leg straight out to the side. This foot may be slightly in-front of your hips
- Gently allow your pelvis to shift back, avoiding excessive change to low back position! Keep it neutral where possible.
- Try rocking back and forth, 10 times per side, twice through and see how you feel!
4. Sumo Deadlift
You’re getting less groin pain now and looking to get back into things? Delightful! Lets get you stronger.
The wide sumo stance puts your adductors in a lengthened position.
The deadlift puts your hamstrings in a lengthened position.
This combo is great for rehab as a massive portion of our adductors (Adductor Magnus) also works like a hamstring!
Building strength is also awesome generally, so please do it
Normal deadlift cues apply, neutral spine and drive the movement from your hip!
If your inner thigh, back, hip, whole-self doesn’t seem to gel with this movement pattern - get it checked out!
You, as a functioning human being, should be able to comfortably lift heavy things off the floor!
5. Copenhagen Adductor Exercise
Oh boy. The holy grail of adductor strengthening!
How much and how often?
To begin, 3-5 reps per side. 3 times per week
Work up to 12-15 reps (this has been done over an 8 week period)
For in-season sport/maintenance of strength, 12-15 reps was performed once per week
This is only a recommendation! The research looking at this protocol looked at semi-professional soccer players. So it really depends! This prescription may need to be altered! Chat to your physio about what exercise frequency is best for you if you’re coming back from injury or just have a niggle. There are variations and regressions on this exercise available!
What to remember
- If you have a niggly groin that isn’t getting any better, seek some guidance from your physiotherapist or other movement focused, allied health professional!
- Physiotherapy outcomes are about what you do! You could have the best program in the world written for you but if the work doesn’t get done, you don’t get better.
- Take deloading seriously. Physios generally don’t enjoy telling someone they can’t play sport or participate in whatever thing it is that gives them joy! We are making this recommendation so you can get back to playing and feeling 100% as soon as possible. If you jump back in too quickly, the more likely the issue isn’t going to be resolved properly and its just going to raise its head again!
- If prescribed rehab and are receiving ongoing monitoring from a physiotherapist, see it through! When prescribed anti-biotics, you finish the whole course even if your symptoms have subsided. Physical therapy is much the same, just because your pain is gone - doesn’t mean the issue is resolved and won’t come back!
If you have any question, please don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Or if you wished to be assessed by myself or one of our awesome physios - contact our friendly reception team on (08) 7226 9901!