The adductors (muscles of the groin and inside of the thigh) are often left out when we think of self care for the hips and low back, but they are important hip flexors and stabilizers, heavily involved in holding us upright and allowing us to bend, squat, run, and jump with ease. Furthermore, they all attach to the pelvis, and when tight, their pull can affect alignment of all the surrounding tissues, including the back.
Here are a few ways to stretch the adductors.
- Stand with your legs far apart and lunge to the side. Keep your feet facing forward and your back straight. You can put your hands on your hips or thighs, but don’t rest against the knee of the leg you are stretching because that can add unwanted strain. You should feel the stretch on the inside of the leg that is straight.
2. The butterfly stretch: sit with your knees bent and the soles of your feet pressed together. Holding your feet, allow gravity to pull your knees toward the ground. You can scoot your feet closer and further away to stretch different muscle fibers.
3. Lie on the ground with your butt up against a wall and your legs flat along the wall. Spread your legs out slowly and let gravity pull them into a gentle stretch.
Hold these stretches as long as feels appropriate to you. It’s more effective to stretch gradually and slowly than to rush or push your muscles further than they are ready to go.