Groin Stretches | Static and Dynamic Foam Rolling Stretch
The groin is an area located on the innermost part of the thigh. The groin is made up of a group of muscles whose main responsibility for the movement of the upper thigh. Groin stretches are important for athletes due to their large role in running, jumping, changing direction, and their proximity to the center of the body.
For this area of the body to function properly a multitude of muscles must perform in unison to deliver the desired body movement. If any of these muscles of the groin are tight, or limited in their range of motion, it will have a severe effect on athletic mobility. Groin stretches play a large role in preparing an athlete for competition.
A soccer player is a good example of an athlete that needs groin mobility. Soccer players are constantly moving the thigh in different directions whether it is defending an opposing player or simply dribbling the ball up the field. This makes proper preparation of the groin muscles essential so soccer players do not have to focus on running or dribbling the ball, but instead concentrate on more complicated aspects of the physical activity being performed.
Using The Recovery Foam Roller To Perform Groin Stretches
To properly perform groin stretches athletes will place a Recovery Foam Roller on the ground so the foam roller is laying parallel to the body. Athletes will lie on the ground and place the Recovery Foam Roller high on the inner part of the upper thigh. Align the knee so it is pointing vertically away from the body. Athletes will then perform the groin stretch by rolling the Recovery Foam Roller down the inner thigh until just above the knee. Athletes can slightly sink the hips to apply additional pressure throughout the groin stretch. For easier balance athletes can bring the ankle in toward the body and place it on top of the Recovery Foam Roller.
Athletes will perform the groin stretch by rolling down the inner thigh looking for any sensitive or uncomfortable areas. Once a trouble area is discovered athletes will perform a static hold on the spot for 15-20 seconds before performing 1-3 inch massaging rolls over the area. Continue this process down the entire inner thigh, being sure to release all tight spots discovered. This same process should be performed on the opposite leg. Depending on the activities being performed by the athlete these groin stretches should be performed at least 3-4 times per week to ensure the legs and hips are properly prepared for physical activities.
Static And Dynamic Groin Stretches
Performing groin stretches with the Recovery Foam Roller is an excellent way for athletes to prepare the lower body for physical activity. However, additional warm-ups and stretches may be required to ensure the groin is performing at maximum potential. Static stretches can be utilized with a belt or any long object which can be securely wrapped around the middle of the foot and reach to the hands. For this static groin stretch athletes will secure one end of the belt around the middle of their foot, grab the other end of the belt with their hand and position the foot so the inside is facing up. From this position athletes will keep their leg straight and begin to pull the foot up the side of the body. A pull should be felt on the inside of the thigh. Athletes need to make this a constant, steady groin stretch and should avoid bouncing the leg back and forth. Hold this stretch for 15-20 seconds before performing the groin stretch on the opposite leg. To learn more static stretches which can increase range of motion head to the cheerleading training section and check out some of the groin stretching sequences detailed here.
Dynamic groin stretches can also be performed on the groin area. Dynamic stretches should include movements which closely mimic the motions being performed during physical activity. These dynamic stretches can include different lunging combinations as well as leg swings which take the upper thigh outside of the body frame. Perform dynamic stretches before intense physical activities to decrease injuries and activate crucial muscles.
Importance Of Groin Stretches On The Mobility Of The Lower Body
In order for the human body to function properly athletes need to ensure the entire body is properly prepared. Properly preparing the body for physical activity can mean different things for different athletes. For example, a gymnast or cheerleader will benefit from performing groin stretches with the Recovery Foam Roller, to release tension in the groin area and static stretches to increase the range of motion in the groin area. However, an offensive lineman in football will benefit more from performing dynamic stretches which take the athlete through game like movements to achieve greater muscle activation and prepare the joints for physical activity.
Along with performing groin stretches athletes should devote time to stretching the hamstrings, glutes, calves, and IT band. Performing static stretches and foam rolling these muscles of the leg will help the body to function at a higher level while performing vigorous physical activities.
Athletes performing intense exercise with both the upper and lower body (football and basketball) should stretch the muscles of the back, arms, and chest before beginning a training session or competition. Athletes who primarily use only their lower body (sprinters and soccer players) should stretch the muscles of the upper body as well, particularly focusing on the arms, shoulders, and lats.
The entire body works as a single unit, therefore, if the muscles of the upper body are functioning properly they can aid and enhance the power and speed which can be produced by the legs, abdominals, and hips. Proper movements of the upper body use inertia to force greater muscle activation as the athlete goes through a dynamic leaping or running motion. Greater muscle activation means greater force will be produced from the muscle being pushed into the ground by the swinging of the arms.