Whether you are into Olympic lifting, kettlebell sets, lunges, squats, or even just casual running, keeping the groin and hip mobile is essential in maintaining form and minimising the likelihood of injury. As far as mobility efforts go, groin mobility is one of the easier areas to work on with or without the aid of equipment.
Why is it important?
Keeping the groin mobile is paramount in order to perform correct technique without discomfort.
- Smoother range of motion: squat or lunge depth, kettlebell thrusts, or opening the hip during a lift are significantly more manageable and comfortable if the groin isn’t tight or sore. If you have ever attempted a one rep max front or back squat with an immobile groin, you will understand how frustrating that can be. In all likelihood, if you achieved your 1RM, it probably hurt like heck, looked a mess, or both (but good on you for hitting it!)
- Less likelihood of injury: when the body is tired or sore, it will find other ways to try to achieve what you are asking it to do. If the groin is tight, other parts of the body will try to compensate which opens up a world of possibilities for injury.
- Tight technique: the reason why coaches and colleagues (or health and fitness blogs – Project UNITED, tell ya friends) put so much emphasis on technique is because when movements are done correctly, performance improves and injuries are minimised. By keeping the groin mobile (or any muscle group for that matter), you are giving yourself the best chance of performing a movement with the tightest technique possible.
This particular stretch is quite straightforward and can be quite relaxing:
- Grab a weight plate, a kettlebell, or something reasonably heavy. The weight will depend on your current level of mobility and how intense a stretch you are looking for.
- Sit on the ground with the souls of your feet touching each other and your knees flared outwards (or as near to that position as possible).
- Lean slightly in either direction so that one leg is almost flat to the ground.
- Place the weight on this leg so that it is supported by the inside of your knee, thigh, and calf muscle.
- Slowly lower yourself backwards until you are lying down. If you are very mobile, you may be able to lay perfectly flat and symmetrical on the ground. If not, lean slightly towards the weighted leg to reduce the intensity of the stretch.
Once in this position, hold for a couple of minutes and then swap sides. As with all mobility drills, move calmly and work into the stretch at your own pace.
Below is a demo video from Albany CrossFit levelling-up the super frog with a resistance band. Once you have the regular super frog under control, try the banded super frog for an even greater stretch.