When you're warming up or cooling down from a tough workout, you might not give your groin or inner thighs a second thought. But these muscles play important roles in maintaining balance and flexibility -- and tension in the groin can radiate to your hips and back, and throw your posture out of whack. If you're suffering through a groin strain, gentle, regular stretching can help ease tension, increase circulation and improve your recovery time.
Warm up before stretching. You'll be more flexible and less likely to overextend a muscle or joint if you stretch with warm muscles. Five minutes of walking, cycling or jumping rope at a low pace can all help get your groin and inner thighs moving and warm.
Stand with your toes pointed slightly outward -- 45 degrees or so. With your feet about shoulder-width apart, gradually lower your body toward the ground by bending your knees. Rotate your thighs and knees outward until you feel a stretch. If you don't have enough balance or flexibility to completely lower yourself, try squatting and then rotating your knees outward until you feel stretching. Hold for 30 seconds.
Sit down and bend your knees, then put your feet together. Pull your feet in toward your torso with your hands until you feel a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds. This stretch not only stretches your groin and inner thighs, it can also help stretch your glutes.
Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your right knee and slowly lean toward your right side, straightening your left leg until you feel a stretch. Hold for 10 seconds, then switch sides. This stretch can increase flexibility in your hip adductors and improve balance.
Van Thompson is an attorney and writer. A former martial arts instructor, he holds bachelor's degrees in music and computer science from Westchester University, and a juris doctor from Georgia State University. He is the recipient of numerous writing awards, including a 2009 CALI Legal Writing Award.