A brief, low-resistance session on an elliptical trainer is a great way to stretch out tense groin muscles while simultaneously warming up the rest of your lower body. The elliptical is particularly good for stretching groin muscles because the motion requires a greater range of motion from the hip joint than a running or walking motion. Elliptical stretching is also effective for rehabilitation from hernias and other groin problems; patients can often start gentle elliptical stretching exercises within two weeks of surgery.
Consult your doctor before starting any new exercise program or if you have an existing groin injury.
Set your elliptical machine to its lowest resistance setting. Adding resistance actually diminishes the motion's reliance on the groin muscles to power the elliptical movement, which is not ideal for a good groin stretch.
Lower the machine's elevation to the flat ground setting. Elliptical training at an incline restricts range of motion at the hip joint and is thus less effective for stretching groin muscles.
Push down on the elliptical platform, gently sliding your leg forward until the hip joint is fully extended.
Hold your body in position for 15 seconds, stretching out your groin and glute muscles.
Push down on the other plate to glide your other leg forward, then hold the stretch for 15 seconds.
Perform five repetitions of the stretch with each leg.
Complete five to 10 minutes of low-speed, low-resistance elliptical training to dynamically warm up your groin muscles and other supporting leg muscles.
Dan Howard is a sports and fitness aficionado who holds a master's degree in psychology. Howard's postgraduate research on the brain and learning has appeared in several academic books and peer-reviewed psychology journals.