Groin Strain Exercises

It is Friday, so let’s do the QnA thing.  Today let’s focus on a question that I received on groin strain exercises.

This is the email that I got from a friend:

Anyways, wanted your professional opinion about an injury actually.

Any advice on how to best quickly heal a groin injury?

I hurt mine doing (of all things) bodyweight squats with a little too wide a stance on vacation (just doing hundreds of reps of bw squats a week to try to make up for lack of access to weights) …

So I stopped squatting about a month ago, and only deadlifted about twice in that time to about 80% if that (groin started acting up) … trying to get it to heal.

I’m pretty good on nutrition and supplementing with Vit C, MSM, Wobenzym, Glucosamine, and of course fish oil …

Layed off the squats and just focusing on bench/press stuff (along with some power cleans).

Anyways, any idea of exercises to help this thing heal? I’ve never done the good girl/bad girl machine or anything — would that help you think?

I’ve been focusing on walking more than usual and dragging the (light) sled, etc — just trying to keep blood pumping in the area without overworking the groin too much.

Much appreciation for any ideas bro! Been dealing with this for over two months and just now got on some ibuprofen cause the chiro is telling me it’s mainly inflammation at this point 🙁


Wow, I have never heard the Hip Adductor/Abductor machine called the good girl/bad girl machine.  That is funny, it put me on the floor.

This is what I would do it if it was me.

Some of the things that you will need to work on are:

  1. tissue recovery to relax and lengthen the muscle
  2. core stability in multiple planes of movement
  3. core stability of the hip in multiple planes of movement
  4. strengthening the hip in multiple planes of movement
  5. work on bilateral and unilateral stability
  6. working on that groin dynamically in multiple planes of movement

I know, it sounds like a lot, but it is easy to integrate into your workout based on the appropriate exercise selection or progression.

Let’s get started.

Let’s start with the rapid fire answers:

  • Yes, you can do the the good girl/bad girl machine. This will help work on point #4 from above but also you need to work on the other planes of movement in the hip.
  • Sled dragging is great. Start working on dragging the sled in different ways – sideways and backwards.  Start progressing your speed based, on symptoms and feel.

Let me go through a few other things that you can do.

Here is an exercise to work on point #1 from above.

Foam Rolling for a Groin Strain

CLICK HERE to go directly to the video above.

About Foam Rolling for a Groin Strain

In the above video, what I go through is an adductor foam rolling exercise. This would be appropriate and important for someone that ends up having a groin strain. This exercise is great when it comes to helping with the adductors, helping relax the adductors, and helping  the adductors recover from an injury.

But it’s not going to be the only thing that you do to recover from a groin strain. Remember, you will need to integrate or isolate the five components that I talked about at the top of this article.

How to do Foam Rolling for a Groin Strain

You lie down on the foam roller. You can use a 3-foot foam roller which I have in the video or a 1-foot foam roller. With the 3 foot, you end up having the foam roller on the lower part of your leg from below the ankle, up the shin and with the top of the foam roller in the inside part of your knee.

You have the rest of your body in a plank position and roll all the way up the inside part of your thigh, right up to the private parts. Then you move all the way back to the start. You move in a nice slow, controlled manner, really working on the adductor muscles.

You can add a little bit of internal rotation (rotating your thigh inwards). Start with your shin on the foam roller and then begin to lift your ankle and shin off the foam roller to move into more internal rotation to hit the adductor more.

There you go – so those are the foam rolling exercise for the adductors.

Now let’s move onto a strengthening exercise (#4 from above).

Excellent Groin Strain Exercise

To go straight to the video, CLICK HERE.

Foot Position and the Groin

Let’s go through a strengthening exercise for the groin. When I am performing leg exercises, I can change up my foot position . A lot of times the foot position is about a hip width apart, but as I go with a wider foot position, it targets the adductors even more.

How to do the Bodyweight Hip Thrust

One example of an exercise that you can do is a bodyweight hip thrust.

Here I get into position with my shoulders on the bench. If you have a shoulder injury, you may have to modify the height of the bench. You have your feet about a hip width apart and then you work them out to about a shoulder width apart. You bring your seat down towards the ground, so it’s close to the floor. This is the starting position.

Then what you do is drive your hips up so your knees, hips and shoulders are in good alignment. You are really working on gluteus maximus. With a wider foot position you are working the adductors a lot more when it comes stability of the hip and dynamically lengthening.

It Targets Hip Movement

I also like this exercise as it works on hip movement. I like to move down to where my seat touches the ground and come back up. Then I can work into hip flexion back to neutral.

Injury Tips

A few things to remember if you have certain injuries:

  • Vertical Shin – If you have patellofemoral pain syndrome, ACL injury or a meniscus tear, work on keeping the shin in a vertical position or a negative slope.
  • No Stress on the SI Joint – If you have SI Joint injury, watch the end position of the thrust. You should not feel stress in your SI joint, but if you do, decrease how high you thrust.
  • Shoulder Pain – If you have shoulder impingement, decrease the height of the bench or the depth that you drop your hips.
  • Knee Pain – One thing to remember about the wider foot position is it puts more strain on the medial part of the knee. If you end up having a meniscus injury or medial osteoarthritis, it puts a little bit more strain on that area. You need to be cautious of the excess strain.
Well CO, I hope that helps you out.
Just wrapping up with a few kind words:

Helped My Rotator Cuff Clients

Effective Rotator Cuff Exercises has helped me provide exercise programs for my clients who have rotator cuff injuries and feel confident that not only will the program be effective but also that the exercise program will not cause further harm to the client’s shoulder.  The exercises included are easy to teach and most are simple enough that clients can feel confident doing them on their own without worrying about whether or not their technique is correct once they have been shown how to do the exercise.

Jeff Peterson
Personal Trainer
Racine, WI, USA

Here are a few more kind words about Muscle Imbalances Revealed:

Okay, have a great weekend and we will talk to you soon.

Rick Kaselj, MS

P.S. – Here are a few other exercises that will help you out with your groin:

Single Leg Squat with Foam Roller

Foam Roller Hamstring Exercise