Adductor strains are a difficult muscle to rehab. A lot of the short term care guides for them suck. This will be the best early guide to manage a groin injury (first few days).
What Are The Best Exercise For A Strained Adductor?
Do not use RICE, POLICE, PRICE or any of those useless abbreviations (LINK). Comparatively, when you need to treat a groin strain, you need to strengthen it. To treat and rehab a groin strain, you need to focus on the main function of the groin (source), hip adduction (moving the leg to the midline of the body). This muscle is almost always strained when trying open up and sprint, usually from a sudden change in direction. Yes, the groin also works to extend the hip, but it is rarely injured that way so we will focus on hip adduction.
- Standing Groin Stretch
- Hip adduction
Isometrics For An Adductor Strain
Isometrics are the single best rehab early on in the rehab phase. They strengthen the muscle without lengthening or shortening of the muscle. Additionally, this allows the exercise to be very tolerable early on as well as having 0 risk of damaging the muscle.
- This typically done with an exercise ball
- Squeeze into the ball with both legs
- Hold this for 10 seconds
- Complete 15 reps of this
- Perform this 2x a day, separated by 6 hours
Standing Stretch For A Strained Adductor
This is NOT a static stretch. This is going to be moving the muscle through as much pain free ROM as there is.
- Lean away from the injured leg as far as tolerable
- Hold the position for 1 second
- Release and go back to a standing position
- Perform another rep and find that painful limit
- As you perform more and more, that painful sticking point will get further and further until full ROM is restored
- Perform 50 reps per session
- Repeat this as long as needed until you restore full ROM
Hip Adduction For A Groin Strain
Do not progress to this until you have full ROM. Strengthening a muscle in a limited motion will result in causing more dysfunction and increasing injury risk. Below are two options pending what equipment you have access to.
- Regardless of option complete 3×10
- Add reps before adding weight
- ie progress from 10-12-15 reps, then add weight when 15 reps are achievable. This would take 3 rehab sessions before weight is increased
These exercises will take you from an acute groin strain to being able to have normal ROM and moderate returns in strength. You are now ready for a traditional strength program to return to normal function.
A lot of times, it can be hard to determine the difference between a groin and hamstring strain. For hamstring injury management, check here.