Tight hip adductors (groin) paired with tight hip flexors is a recipe for lifelong lower back pain. In extreme cases the tightening of the hip flexors and adductors causes interior pelvic tilt known as lordosis. This condition is commonly seen in athletes like female gymnasts who strengthen and use their hip flexors in every exercise they do. The great news is that lower back pain can be relieved with proper stretching of your hip flexors and hip adductors. Many times, we find that people stretch their hip flexors but neglect to stretch their hip adductors. Listed below you will find the best hip adductor stretches in an easy to follow format.
Hip Adductor Stretches
We recommend stretching your hip adductors every day. Hold each stretch position for 20-30 seconds for each and every stretch (I prefer to time with slow deep breaths). If you are using breaths make sure you hold your stretch positions while you slowly inhale and release to increase the stretch position while you slowly exhale.
Seated Butterfly Stretch
- Sit on the floor with your back upright and with your legs in front of you
- Slide the bottom of your feet together and into your groin as close to your body as possible while maintaining an upright posture.
- Still sitting tall allow your groin to relax while you inhale and actively stretch your knees towards the ground with your legs while you exhale continuing stretching with this breathing rhythm for 20-60 seconds.
Lying Butterfly Stretch
- The easiest way to get into this pose is to start by laying on your back.
- Like the seated butterfly stretch slide the bottom of your feet together and into your groin as close to your body as possible while keeping your back on the floor.
- Again breath through your stretching for 20-60 seconds.
- The frog stretch is an advanced stretch of the hip adductor. This is one of my “go to” stretches pre-workout.
- To do the frog stretch start on your hands and knees
- Turn your feet outward while you slide your knees out to the side maintaining close to a 90-degree bend in your knees.
- Lower from your hands to your elbows. Once you feel a stretched position this is where you will start to relax and breath holding your frog stretch.
- You can modify the frog stretch by pushing your hips backwards hold, move forward and lower deeper into the stretch and push backwards into the hold in the lower stretch position.
Standing Side Lunge
- Start standing upright with your feet 2 shoulder widths apart.
- Gently bend your left knee while shifting your weight to the right. Make sure your bent knee is tracking over your foot and to the left side.
- You will feel this stretch in your right adductor and hamstring.
- To get a deeper stretch move your hips back while maintaining an upright posture.
- Now repeat the stretch on your other side.
Advanced Low Side Lunge
As you start this stretch, I recommend keeping your hands on the floor to help maintain your balance from falling and to slowly move through this adductor stretch.
- Start standing with your feet 2-3 shoulder widths apart.
- Bend down and put your hands on the ground.
- Slowly rock your weight to right side as you sink into a deeper squat. Your left foot should slide farther away as you lower into the stretch.
- Shift to the other side by staying low and using your hands on the floor as you transfer your weight to the other side.
- As you get more comfortable with this stretch you can bring your posture upright and lift your hands off of the floor.
Seated Adductor Stretch – (Straddle Pancake Stretch)
This stretch will find your bodies tightest part of your back-side muscle chain while stretching your hip adductors
- This hip adductor stretch starts in a seated position with your legs extended out straight in front of you.
- Bring both legs out to the side approximately 3 shoulder widths apart. Varying the distance of your legs will change the emphasis of this adductor stretch.
- Keep your spine upright as you hinge forward at your hips extending your arms as far out in front of you as possible. Continue reaching as far forward as possible throughout the stretch.
- As you advance through this stretch you can change your hand position to grab your feet once you reach, then your heels from the inside to help pull yourself down and forward.
- Focus on breathing through this stretching deeper with every exhale while maintaining your position through your inhales.
Squatted Groin Stretch
- Start standing with your feet 3 shoulder widths apart with your feet turned out approx. 45 degrees. (As you gain hip flexibility you can turn your feet our further however this can put unwarranted pressure on the knee’s, so this isn’t necessary for most.)
- Slowly squat down while maintaining an upright posture. Keep your hips turned under with a pelvic tilt.
- You can use your own hip/leg muscles to open your stance pulling your knees out to your sides.
- Hold for 20-60 seconds with an upright posture
Supine Wall Stretch
You will need a clear wall space for this stretch.
- Lay down on your back with your butt against the wall and your hips bent at 90 having your legs extended straight up the wall.
- Slowly lower your straight legs (fuzzy socks help your feet slide down the wall) down the wall as far as possible while maintaining a pelvic tilt.
- Do not sacrifice proper hip and lower back position to push your legs down the wall farther. There should not be a large arch in your back causing your lower back to lift off of the floor.
- Relax in this position and allow gravity to do the work for you.
Enjoy your new hip adductor stretching routine. Remember that gaining flexibility is not an overnight quick sprint but a marathon. Flexibility is a long slow process so enjoy the stretches each and small progresses everyday! To dig in deeper to hip flexibility try the book Hip Flexors Complete Guide.
More from Hip Flexor Rehab:
- Top 5 Stretches for Tight Hip Flexors
- The Best Stretching Machines
- Best Way to Foam Roll Your Hip Flexor Muscles
- Should I use a Hip Flexor Compression Wrap
Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautions before following any of the exercises from this article and website. To avoid any problems while doing the exercises, it is advised that you consult a medical professional. The responsibility lies solely with the reader and not with the site or the writer.
This post contains affiliate links meaning if you buy something I get a small commission at no extra cost to you.