Warm up to prevent groin pulls
Have you ever suffered a muscle pull or strain in the groin area of your upper thigh? It can be incapacitating and painful.
The adductor or groin muscle is the one that takes the beating when you play soccer, football or volleyball. Often separated into two different areas within the upper thigh, the cause of strains to this area are basically the same. The motion of the leg in a side kick, or the push off of a sprint in a sideways motion will add stress, and sometimes injury, to this seldom-used area.
To work the groin or adductor area of the thigh, you need to raise your knee and slightly turn your knee in and out. Adductors pull the thigh and knees together. When playing soccer, the leg movements of kicking with force and sudden defensive movements can overwork this area, especially with no pre-warmup.
Hill climbing with the side-to-side movement of the hips, or skipping with the knees turned, may also cause a pull or strain. I find within a class structure that a groin pull seldom happens unless the student has a tendency to lift the knee too high or do side lunges with too much width. The structure of the body plays a definite part in who is more susceptible to this type of injury.
Many different types of sports use this muscle area. The problem is compounded when the person who plays volleyball is also a person who plays basketball or soccer. Movement sports such as these, along with impact and sudden twisting moves, make for more susceptibility to adductor or groin strains. There are also some well-used swimming moves that work this area against water resistance.
Now that you know what causes an adductor injury, what can you do to prevent it? Warm up. I can’t say that often enough. If you injure this adductor or groin muscle area, you may be in for a long recuperation.
Rest, ice and more rest will help, then massage and stretch gently when the pull or strain is healed. Your sports doctor can tell you if you are healed and how much retraining is safe. You may have a slight twinge in the adductor area after returning to your sport. These little twinges are not the severe types mentioned above.
Remember to work to the point where you do not feel that muscle being used, and stretch slowly.
• Jerry Vance is the owner of Sweat Shop/Wet Sweat. She offers classes through the Carson City Recreation and Aquatics Center and is a fitness instructor for the Carson City Senior Citizens Center.