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27 December 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Stretching pt 6- Inner Thigh

In the introduction post to this series, we reviewed and answered some common questions regarding stretching, including why, when, how, etc. Click here to review it.

In this post we will be talking about stretches specifically for the inside of the hip and thigh. This includes the adductor muscles and the smaller internal rotator muscles of the hip.

The Rules:

1) Stretching should NEVER hurt. The goal is to only go until you feel a pull in the muscle. It should not be to go until it hurts in one of those “no pain, no gain” efforts. It should be comfortable and repeatable, allowing you to move a little further with each repetition.2) Perform stretches when the muscles are warmed up. This can be following a workout or following work with the foam roller. Click here to review the self massage post for the inner thigh (this includes pictures and video using a foam roller and tennis ball to review 3 self muscle release techniques).

2) Hold for 20-30 seconds and repeat 3-4 times. You can hold longer than the 20 seconds, but the reps are key. You will always get more out of stretching frequently versus one killer session a week.

3) If hurt- be sure to stretch the opposing muscle groups. For the inner thigh, this means the back of the hip (glutes, piriformis, etc), the outside of the hip (glute med, TFL, and ITB), the back of the thigh (hamstrings), and lastly the front of the hip (psoas, hip flexors, etc). If it is too painful to stretch out the inner thigh do to injury, focus on these groups instead and work your way up  to stretching the injury itself. Always start at level 1 and work you way up.

The Progression:

1)  Seated. This is the easiest of the progression and works on both the adductor and internal rotator muscles. Start with your feet together and use your elbows to apply pressure until you feel a stretch. Aim for 20-30 seconds and repeat four times. If using a partner to push your knees down for you, be careful! this should never hurt!

2) Standing. The trick with standing is to keep both knees straight like a board, no bending. Prop your foot up on a surface that is about knee height and then bend towards that side. Try not to lean forward or back. Instead keep your shoulder down and trace your hand down the side of your thigh. Hold 20-30 seconds and repeat 4 times.

3) Standing with rotation. While in the same position as above, to increase the stretch in the smaller rotator muscles, rotate your shoulders away from the leg you have up. See the video for a demonstration! Same counts, 20-30 seconds, 4 times.

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