The 4 Best Stretching Exercises to Ease Groin Pain

Groin pain is a common complaint for many athletes and exercise enthusiasts. In simplest terms, groin pain is discomfort that occurs where the inside of your upper thigh and your abdomen come together.

Typically, people who experience groin pain indicate that the pain and tenderness is worse when they squeeze their legs together. It also may get aggravated when you raise your knee on the injured side. And in more severe cases, you could experience swelling or bruising in the groin area or inner thigh.

Below, we walk you through what causes groin pain as well you provide you with four stretches you can do at home to address your groin pain. You also will find out when you should talk to a healthcare provider for groin pain.

What Causes Groin Pain?

Groin pain can be caused by many things, including tight, weak groin muscles (adductors) or groin pulls or strains. It also can be caused by hip injuries and even osteoarthritis.

This problem often occurs in people who play sports such as basketball, hockey, soccer, and football. While this condition can sometimes be called a "sports hernia," the name is misleading since it is not an actual hernia.

A well-rounded workout routine that addresses multiple regions of the body or previous injuries is the best approach to treating groin issues. That said, if your groin pain does not improve with home treatment and exercises, you should see a healthcare provider for further evaluation. Sometimes groin pain can be the result of a more serious condition.

4 Best Exercises to Ease Groin Pain

While it's recommended that you work with a qualified sports physiotherapist or trainer to design the perfect routine for your condition, there are some measures you can take to help treat groin tightness on your own.

A consistent warm-up and post-workout stretching program can be a good place to begin. The following series of exercises can be used as a stretching program after each workout session to help treat groin pain and prevent future groin pulls.

The four best exercises to ease groin pain are standing groin stretch, seated groin stretch, squatting groin stretch, and hip opener. Check out this short video below for visual guidance on stretches for groin pain.


Watch Now: 4 Stretches To Ease Groin Pain

Standing Groin Stretch Exercise

Verywell / Ben Goldstein

How to do this stretch:

  1. Stand with your legs wide apart.
  2. Shift your weight to the left.
  3. Allow your left knee to bend until it is over your left foot. You will feel the stretch in your right groin.
  4. Keep your feet on the ground facing forward.
  5. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds.
  6. Repeat the stretch on the opposite side, then repeat the stretch three times on each side.

Seated Groin Stretch

Seated Groin Stretch

Verywell / Ben Goldstein

This simple stretch, sometimes called the butterfly stretch, stretches the groin and inner thigh. Here's how to do it correctly.

  1. Get into a seated position.
  2. Bend your knees and bring the soles of the feet together.
  3. Hold your feet with your hands and rest your elbows on your knees.
  4. Allow your knees to fall toward the ground while keeping your back straight (no slouching). You can apply gentle pressure on the inner thigh by pressing gently on the knees with the elbows. You should feel gentle pulling and tension in the groin. Do not bounce (learn the rules of stretching). Do not press down with great force.
  5. Hold the stretch for 20 to 30 seconds. Release and repeat three times.
  6. To increase the stretch, bring the feet closer in towards your groin.

As you become more flexible, you can get a deeper stretch of the hips and back by leaning forward at the waist. Exhale and lean forward, keep your back flat and allow your chest to fall as close to the floor as possible.

Squatting Groin Stretch

Squatting Groin Stretch

Verywell / Ben Goldstein

This is a slightly more advanced groin stretch that intensifies the exercise by stretching both sides at once.

  1. Stand with your feet wide apart, toes pointing outwards.
  2. Squat down slowly until your knees are directly over your ankles and bend to 90 degrees.
  3. Place your hands on top of your inner thighs and slowly push outward to open your hips. You will feel a stretch in the groin muscles in both legs.
  4. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds, relax and repeat three times.

Hip Opener and Groin Stretch

Verywell / Ben Goldstein

This exercise stretches the muscles of the hips, groin, and lower back.

  1. Begin in a forward lunge position and drop your left knee to the ground.
  2. Place your right elbow on the inside of your right knee as pictured.
  3. Press your right elbow gently into your right knee and twist your torso to the left.
  4. Reach your left arm behind you until you feel a gentle stretch in your lower back and right groin.
  5. Hold the stretch for about 20 to 30 seconds, release and repeat on the other leg.

You can modify this stretch based upon your own anatomy, flexibility, and limitations. If you have knee pain, be sure to keep your forward knee over or behind your ankle and not in front of your ankle.

2 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Arner JW, Li R, Disantis A, Zuckerbraun BS, Mauro CS. Evaluation and treatment of groin pain syndromes in athletes. Annals of Joint. 2020;5:17-17. doi:10.21037/aoj.2020.01.03.

  2. Penn Medicine. Groin pain.

By Elizabeth Quinn, MS
Elizabeth Quinn is an exercise physiologist, sports medicine writer, and fitness consultant for corporate wellness and rehabilitation clinics.