What Muscles Do You Feel Stretching When Performing a Butterfly Stretch?

Spending several hours a day sitting in front of your desk working can make your groin muscles as tight as a stretched rubber band. This stiffness will make your daily activities and workouts more difficult because you cannot easily extend and rotate your hips when you get in and out of your car or climb stairs. The butterfly stretch stretches your inner thigh muscles, including the adductors group, gracilis and pectineus. You can either stretch from a seated position or the more relaxing supine position. So take a deep breathe, exhale -- stretch.

Seated Butterfly Stretch

Sit on the floor and bring the soles of your feet together. Rest your hands on top of your ankles.

Sit tall with your chin tilted slightly up and your eyes focused forward. Extend your spine a little and relax your shoulders.

Relax your knees and hold the stretch for five to six deep breaths.

Lying Groin Stretch

Lie on your back and place the soles of your feet together.

Rest your hands on your knees and bring your heels to your groin as close as you can.

Hold the stretch for five to six deep breaths.


  • Use a foam roller to give yourself a massage along your inner thighs. This helps release tight spots -- or trigger points -- in your muscles and tissues that cause sensitivity and stiffness. Roll slowly and gently as you do this, taking slow, deep breaths as you roll from near the top of your knee toward your groin.


  • If you feel pain during the stretch, do not continue. Check with your health-care provider before continuing to stretch or work out.

About the Author

Nick Ng has been writing fitness articles since 2003, focusing on injury prevention and exercise strategies. He has covered health for "MiaBella" magazine. Ng received his Bachelor of Arts in communications from San Diego State University in 2001 and has been a certified fitness coach with the National Academy of Sports Medicine since 2002.