Recovery with Foam Rolling
Adductors (Inner Thigh)
Reasons to consider mobilization (foam roller, lacrosse ball, trigger point cane, etc.):
- Muscle soreness in inner thigh/groin from a recent workout
- Compensatory valgus (knees cave-inward) when squatting
- In other words, your knees tend to cave-inward when you squat as a consequence of muscle imbalance, most likely coming from the hips and/or ankles.
Likely culprits might be:
- Weak tibialis posteriors (arch-supporting ankle muscles)
- Weak glutes (hip-supporting muscles)
- Weak quadriceps (knee-supporting muscles)
Co-existing issues might include:
- Flat feet
- Low-back pain
- Lateral (outer) knee pain
- Kneecap pain
- Limited motion or feeling of a “block” when side-stepping (e.g., side-lunge).
- Discomfort when pivoting on a planted foot (e.g., getting a drink from the water fountain, then turning to walk away).
How to foam roll the inner thigh:
- Let’s say that you want to foam roll your RIGHT inner thigh.
- Variation #1:
- Place the foam roller on the ground in a vertical position (up and down). Lay down on your stomach and straddle the foam roller on your RIGHT inner thigh, between your knee and your hip. Straighten your RIGHT knee and point your toes away from the ground, then allow your RIGHT leg to lay out to the side. Support your body with your arms and LEFT leg. You can intensify this by bringing your RIGHT leg further out to the side, making it more perpendicular with the foam roller instead of parallel. Yes, this area will most likely be tender! So, be sure to fine-tune your leg position slowly and focus on small areas of the inner thigh at a time (about 1-3 inches or area at a time).
- Variation #2:
- Place the foam roller on the ground in a horizontal position (side-to-side). Sit down on your bottom and place the foam roller underneath your RIGHT thigh, using your LEFT leg and arms for support. Straighten your RIGHT knee and point your toes toward the ground, leaning toward your LEFT leg so that the foam roller makes contact with the inner thigh muscles. You can intensify this by creating more distance between your legs (scoot your legs further apart). Again, this area will most likely be tender! So, be sure to fine-tune your leg position slowly and focus on small areas of the inner thigh at a time (about 1-3 inches or area at a time).
- Hold on tender areas for about 15 seconds a piece!
- After you are done foam rolling, take the opportunity to stretch your newly mobilized inner thighs! Maybe try a seated or wall-laying butterfly stretch, or a seated frog stretch! If you do not know how to do these stretches, ask a trainer to show you.
- In general, mobilizing tissue using a foam roller, lacrosse ball, trigger point cane, or another instrument will cause some discomfort; after all, the goal is to mobilize (move or “free-up”) the tissue from any restrictions that might be limiting your body’s movement or range of motion. However, if you experience too much discomfort or pain, you should stop.
- In general, you should not attempt to mobilize (foam roll, lacrosse ball, trigger point cane, etc.) a recent injury that has occurred within the past 48 hours.
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by Nick April, coach at Bent On Better