What muscles does the groin stretch target?
How to perform stretch:
Position yourself on all fours as per the image
Place one foot out to the side with a straight leg
Move your hips backwards while moving the straightened leg out further along the floor
Hip adductors include Gracilis, Pectineus, Adductor Longus, Magnus and Brevis muscles. All these muscles pull the thigh inwards. Along with that, their action also includes flexion of the hip. Gracilis and a section of Adductor Magnus extend the hip instead. Gracilis is a long muscle that crosses both hip and knee joint and therefore is also involved in flexion and medial rotation of the knee.
Activities and sports that involve sudden change of direction, zigzag motion, twisting and turning such as in soccer, football, rugby, martial arts, aerobics, require the use of these muscles. For this reason, in order to perform these activities with ease and efficiency these muscles need to be well stretched.
People, who remain desk-bound or physically inactive for most part of the day, often have very stiff hip adductors. This is even more so if the legs are kept firmly crossed repeatedly. Mental stress as well as lower back issues can also lead to the same consequences.
The hip moves away from the midline (abducts) and flexes a little as well. Normally the hip abducts from 30-50 degrees, with the knee in a flexed position. However, in this exercise, the knee is in the extended position and the two-joint Gracilis muscle restricts the full hip abduction.