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Adductor Stretches

Adductor stretches target the group of muscles on the inside of the thigh including the groin. These muscles work to pull the thigh inward, hold you on a horse and to stabilize the pelvis when weight bearing.  These muscles include the pectineus, gracilis, adductor longus, brevis, and magnus. Groin and adductor injuries are common in sports that require flexibility in hip outward (abduction) movements such as hockey players.

What are the Adductors.
Adductor Stretches
Groin Strains

Adductor Stretches

What are the Adductors

The adductor group of muscles makes up most of the mass on the inside of the thigh:
Pectineus
Origin:     This is a short flat muscle that sits over the front of the hip originating from the pubic bone.
Insertion:   The pectineus inserts into the pectineal line of the femur.
Action:     Adducts and flexes the thigh    
  
Adductor Brevis
Origin:     This muscle is deep to pectineus and adductor longus and anterior to adductor magnus. It originates from the pubic bone.
Insertion:     The adductor brevis inserts into the pectineal line and the proximal part of the linea aspera on the femur.
Action:     Adducts the thigh and is also a very weak flexor.

Adductor Longus
Origin:     The adductor longus is the most anterior of the adductor muscles. It originates from the pubic bone.
Insertion: The adductor longus inserts into the middle third of the linea aspera on the femur.
Action:     It adducts and flexes the hip. it can also laterally rotate the flexed femur.

Adductor Magnus
Origin:     The adductor magnus is the largest of the adductor group. It originates from the pubic bone and ischial tuberosities.
Insertion:     It inserts into the gluteal tuberosity, linea aspera, adductor tubercle, and the medial supracondylar line of the femur.
Action:     it adducts the hip and also extends the hip.

Gracilis
Origin:     The gracilis is a long strap muscle on the inside of the thigh. It originates from the pubic bone.
Insertion:     Gracilis inserts into the medial aspect of the tibia proximally.
Action:     It adducts the hip and flexes the knee.

Obturator Externus
Origin:     the obturator externus muscle originates from the margins of the obturator foramen and obturator membrane.
Insertion:     Obturator externus inserts into trochanteric fossa on the femur.
Action: Obturator externus laterally rotates the hip.
adductor anatomy
 

Adductor Stretches


Short Adductors
  • Kneel onto your right knee and put your left foot in front of you such that your left knee is at 90 degrees.
  • Inhale and slide your right knee out to the side and back.
  • Exhale and left your chest up.

Short Adductors can also be stretched in sitting.
  • Sitt on the floor with your knees apart and the bottom of your feet together.
  • Keep your chest up and your back straight.
  • Bend forward at the hips while accentuating your lumbar lordosis (keep pelvis tilted anteriorly)
  • Apply gentle pressure to your knees pushing them toward the floor.
  • Relax and hold this for the appropriate time.

Long Adductors
  • Kneel onto your left leg and place your right foot in front of you to assume the lunge position.
  • Slide your right foot out to the side and place both hands on the floor in front of you.
  • Try to straighten the right knee and lean your body forward while relaxing your hips.
  • Rocking the hips forward and back will  change the pull slightly to get all muscles.

Long adductors can also be stretched in sitting. This stretch also includes hamstrings biasing the medial hamstrings, semimembranosus and semitendinosus.
  • To stretch both sides simultaneously sit with your legs straight out in front of you with your back straight.
  • Slowly work your legs apart as far as they will go.
  • Hold this and relax for a few seconds.
  • Now as you exhale bend forward at your hips until you feel more resistance.
  • Be sure to keep your chest up and maintain a lumbar lordosis (normal inward curvature of the lower back) 
  • Hold this for the appropriate time.
  • Most people will gain a benefit from 30 seconds.

short adductor stretch kneeling
short adductor stretch sitting


long adductor stretch kneeling



long adductor stretch sitting

Groin Strain

Groin strains result from a sudden lengthening of the groin muscles beyond their normal length. This occurs frequently in sports that involve quick stops and starts, and cutting movements such as hockey, soccer, and football. Goalies are particularly susceptible.

Inadequate warm up, poor core stability, adductor muscle tightness, and poor technique can all predispose one to a groin strain. Lengthening the adductor muscles allows for greater excursion before stress is placed on the connective tissues of these muscles. 

If one is in doubt, medical advice should be sought. Groin pain can be due to other causes as well, such as hip joint problems, nerve irritation, and herniae.

Click here for more information on groin strains.