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3 Simple Adductor Stretches for Better Flexibility

standing adductor stretch can be done anywhere


Using adductor stretches in your daily routine can help improve your overall fitness and lower your risk for injury. This particular area of muscles (groin muscles) can benefit from improved flexibility since we practically use them for all lower-body movements - such as running or walking, even squatting - you name it!  

Simply walking and getting around makes use of our adductor muscles along with sports such as basketball, soccer, football, and more. Both team sports and solo sports that require swift direction changes (such as tennis or martial arts) can also see benefits from these types of stretches. 

So let’s explore some awesome, simple stretches and get into some useful info about the adductor muscles!

How to Do Adductor Stretches: 3 Stretches to Try

  1. Standing Adductor Stretch
  • Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart
  • Keep your toes pointed forward with your back straight
  • Shift your weight to one side, slightly bending your knee while keeping the other side straight
  • You will feel the stretch along the inner thigh of the extended leg
  • Hold this position for 15-30 seconds
  • Repeat on the other side
  • See the following short video for a visual! 

    1. Sitting Adductor Stretch
    • Sit on the floor with legs extended and opened as wide as comfortably possible - forming a V-shape
    • Keep your back straight and toes pointed up
    • Lean forward at your hips reaching toward the center (or towards the side if tolerated)
    • Your inner thighs will feel this stretch! 
    • Hold this position for 15-30 seconds  
    • Repeat if desired
    • Check out the following short clip on how to do it! 

    1. Frog Pose
    • Start with hands and knees on the floor with knees slightly wider than your hips
    • Keep your ankles directly behind your knees
    • Pointing toes outward, create a 90-degree angle between your thighs
    • Lower your hips toward the ground
    • You will feel this stretch in your inner thighs and groin area!
    • Hold for 15-30 seconds
    • Slowly return to the starting position and repeat as desired 

    Stretching Tips: 

    • Do a warm-up before doing any exercises or stretches
    • Be mindful of your breathing and don’t hold your breath! Breathing also helps you relax into your stretch and focus on your form.
    • Don’t push past any pain or discomfort, start slow and go slow! 
    • Be consistent with doing these stretches at least a few times a week. 

    Adductor Stretch: Basic Anatomy 

    The adductor muscles - if you haven’t guessed by now do the opposite of the abductor muscles. Located on the inside of the thigh, they work together to move your legs towards the midline of the body. 

    The adductor muscles include:

    • Adductor longus
    • Adductor brevis
    • Adductor magnus (the largest muscle)
    • Gracilis
    • Pectineus  [1]

    These muscles perform the following functions:

    • Hip adduction: The action of bringing your leg back towards your body (think of walking, running, and sideways movement)
    • Stabilization: They work to provide hip joint stability - during direction changes and weight-bearing tasks
    • Pelvic floor support

    An interesting way of looking at your adductor magnus muscle in particular is that since it can flex, rotate, and adduct your thigh it functions much like your deltoids do for your arms - serving as a dynamic stabilizer of the ball and socket joints with which they are associated. [1]

    Benefits of Doing Adductor Stretches

    It has been generally acknowledged in the health and fitness world that stretching is beneficial in many ways. Adductor muscles are no exception and should be included in your stretching routine. 

    Some benefits include:

    • Improved flexibility
    • Lower risk for injury
    • Muscle relaxation
    • Better circulation (improving systemic and local vascular function) 
    • Increase pressure pain thresholds [2]

    A systematic review published in the Journal of Functional Morphology and Kinesiology states “poor adductor flexibility has been previously associated with groin pain and injury. Stretching has therefore been hypothesized to aid in recovery from GPI (groin pain injury), despite lacking a clear cause-effect relationship.” The article goes on to suggest that stretching alleviated GPI can help with recovery due to improvements in hip joint range of motion and reduction in muscle stiffness. [2] 

    Consistently including stretches in your warm-up routine seems to add multiple benefits that can’t be overlooked! Try the ones listed on this page - but don’t limit yourself, it can be pretty easy to find the ones you enjoy doing if test them out yourself and you do more research!  

    Adductor Stretch FAQ

    How do you loosen tight adductors?

    Stretching exercises can help loosen your tight adductors. Trying the three stretches noted in the above section can help you gain more flexibility. Remember to warm up beforehand, consistency is key, and don’t push too hard during a stretch! 

    What causes tight adductors?

    Several factors contribute to tight adductors. Some of these include:

    • Muscle overuse/overdoing it during a workout
    • Skipping warm-ups
    • Sedentary lifestyle
    • Muscle imbalances

    Having tight muscles can affect your athletic performance and surely limit your range of motion as well as put you at a higher risk for injury. 

    Should you stretch adductors?

    Yes, you should! Increasing your flexibility and range of motion can help with physical performance - whether you’re doing everyday activities such as walking or participating in sports. In the long run, you’d be doing yourself a favor since it can also reduce your risk of injury. Check out the above section on the Benefits of Doing Adductor Stretches. 

    Now let’s briefly mention the times you shouldn’t do any stretches. For example, don’t stretch if you’ve had an acute injury or trauma, as you would need time to recover - in this type of scenario, stretching may actually make it worse and cause you additional pain. If you also have any inflammation or other specific conditions remember to check with your healthcare provider before starting any stretching routine.

    How do you self-release adductors?

    Releasing your adductors (just as with most muscle groups) involves deep tissue massage or myofascial release techniques. Using your own hand/fingers or even massage balls would be useful tools in achieving this - considering the area may be tricky to reach.

    Using massage for muscle release may take some practice but it’s a great skill to learn for any muscle tightness, knots, or tension. Check out our other pages on how to do this - What is a Trigger Point and How to Release Chronically Tight Muscles are good places to start!

    Adductor Stretch: Conclusion

    The benefits of consistently doing adductor stretches are too awesome to skip! If we want to maintain our flexibility and mobility into our old age, stretching is an ideal place to begin. My take on stretching is that you can easily do it anywhere and there are so many cool stretches to try.

    As you continue your journey towards improved flexibility remember the key points such as avoiding stretching and listening to your body - stretching is something meant to be done with gentle, controlled movements. Good luck and stay loose!



    [1] Jeno, S., Launico, M., Schindler, G. Anatomy, bony pelvis and lower limb: thing adductor magnus muscle. StatPearls, 2023.

    [2] Afonso, J., Claudino, J., Fonseca, H., Moreira-Goncalves, D., Ferreira, V., Almeida, J., Clemente, F., Ramirez-Campillo, R. Stretching for recovery from groin pain or injury in athletes: a critical and systematic review. Journal of Functional Morphology and Kinesiology, 2021. 

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