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Groin pain and groin pull injury

Brad Walker provides a guide for the identification and prevention of groin injuries.

The groin, described as the junction between the lower limbs and torso, is vulnerable to a lot of different injuries. Hernias, stress fractures, and avulsion fractures are all common injuries that affect the groin, but for this issue, we will be focusing on one of the most common groin injuries; groin pulls or groin strain.

Depending on the severity, a groin pull can range from a slight stretching to a complete rupture of the muscles that attach the pubic (pelvis) bone to the thigh (femur) bone.

A groin pull or strain affects the "Adductor" muscles explicitly. (Adductor; meaning, moves part closer to the midline, or middle of the body) These muscles are located on the inside of the thigh, and help to bring the legs together.

The adductor muscles consist of "Adductor Brevis", "Adductor Magnus" and "Adductor Longus," all of which are displayed in the picture to the right. Adductor Longus has been cut to show the muscles underneath.

Of these three, it is Adductor Longus that is most susceptible to injury, and the most commonplace injury on Adductor Longus is the point at which the muscle and tendon attach to the femur (thigh) bone.

What causes a groin pull?

Competitors that participate in sports that require a lot of running or rapid change in direction are most susceptible to groin injuries. Other activities like kicking, jumping, and rapid acceleration or deceleration also place a lot of strain on the groin muscles. Another activity that puts a lot of strain on the groin is any movement that results in a sudden pressure being applied. Such as a fall, landing awkwardly, twisting, or bending while stress is applied to the groin muscles.

How to prevent a groin pull

The basis of prevention comes down to two simple factors.

  1. A thorough and correct warm-up will help to prepare the muscles and tendons for any activity to come.
  2. Flexible muscles and tendons are vital in the prevention of most strain or sprain injuries. When muscles and tendons are tight and stiff, it is quite easy for those muscles and tendons to be pushed beyond their natural range of movement, which can cause strains, sprains, and pulled muscles.

Strengthening and conditioning the muscles of the groin will also help to prevent groin strain. There are several specific strengthening exercises you can do for these muscles, like cable adductions and machine adductions.

Article Reference

This article first appeared in:

  • WALKER, B. (2006) Groin pain and groin pull injury. Brian Mackenzie's Successful Coaching, (ISSN 1745-7513/ 37/ November), p. 4-5

Page Reference

If you quote information from this page in your work, then the reference for this page is:

  • WALKER, B. (2006) Groin pain and groin pull injury [WWW] Available from: [Accessed

About the Author

Brad Walker is a prominent Australian sports trainer with more than 15 years of experience in the health and fitness industry. Brad is a Health Science graduate of the University of New England and has postgraduate accreditations in athletics, swimming, and triathlon coaching. He also works with elite level and world champion athletes and lectures for Sports Medicine Australia on injury prevention.