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Fast Fitness - Hidden Source of Groin Pulls

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An old sports medicine joke says that if you pull a groin muscle, make sure it is someone else's. Here is less known info for Friday Fast Fitness - do you stretch in a way that groin pulls are more likely to happen to you?

When you lift one leg to kick, stretch, or step up, you can get the needed range from the upper leg muscles, or you can just round your back. Many people round the spine and roll the hip under (tuck too much) to make the stretch easier. They don't get the stretch from the muscles high in the leg, leaving the area tight.

In event of large or sudden kick, step, or slip, high forces pull on tight groin muscles. Varying degrees of injury can occur, or the tight area yanks the standing leg out from under and the person falls backward suddenly - seen in aerobics and martial arts classes, and funny video shows. Then the person hobbles around saying they don't understand it since they do their stretching, and articles get published that stretching doesn't work and no one know why.

Being so tight that your other leg comes forward with the lifted one, comes from bad stretching habits that allow hip and pelvis to round and tuck under too much:

  1. When you stand on one leg and lift the other, don't bend at the knee and hip, pictured at left. Straighten your back with chin loosely in, not rounded forward. Hold pelvis upright without letting it tilt and round under you, pictured right.
  2. Keep the standing leg normally straight (not locked straight, but not bent more than normal standing). Stand straight and relaxed (both at once). Don't force or strain. Breathe.
  3. Feel more stretch in the front thigh and groin of the standing leg.

Check your stretching, kicking, and stepping. Check if you round your back and hip when taking the stairs, stretching while standing, and stretching lying on your back.

When lying on your back to stretch by lifting one leg, keep the other leg flat on the floor, not bent at the knee and hip. It is a myth that you must bend your knees when stretching legs to protect your back. If you must bend your knees to protect your back, how are you supposed to stand normally and move?


Prevent Stretch And Exercise Habits Promoting Tight Anterior Hip:

Fast Fitness - Don't Shorten Hip When Stretching Hamstring
Fast Fitness - Hip Stretch and Spine Stability Training When Stretching Legs
Is Bad Martial Arts Good Exercise?
Fast Fitness - Better Standing Hamstring, Achilles, and Inside Leg Stretch
Common Exercises Teach Hip Tightness When Kicking, Stretching, and on the Stairs

 

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About the Author


M.Ed, PhD, FAWM

Dr. Bookspan is an award-winning scientist whose goal is to make exercise easier and healthier.

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