Upavistha Konasana is an effective stretch for the deep inner thigh and groin muscles.
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The deep inner thigh and groin area is marked by the pubis bone and made up of several muscles. These muscles are known as the adductor muscles and include the adductor brevis, adductor longus, adductor magnus, gracilis and pectineus. Together they move the upper thigh bone or femur into the body. Moving the femur bone into the midline of the body is an action termed adduction.
Principles of Stretching
The thing about stretching is that there are so many ways to do one pose. This is because of so many different schools of thought and belief systems. To stay on the safe side, keep the pose active by contracting the muscles that perform the action opposite to the muscles you are stretching, instead of pushing or pulling to get deeper into the pose. This will help you prevent over stretching. In your stretch, a burning sensation is OK, but a sharp feeling is not. Listen to your body and find how to adjust the stretch to suit your needs.
To stretch the adductors you will have to move the leg in the opposite direction, called abduction. In general, exercises that demand abduction stretch the adductor muscles. Bend your knees and bring the soles of your feet together. Allow the knees to fall. Squeeze your butt muscles to actively lower the thighs down toward the floor. Hold the pose for six long and deep breaths, deepening the pose with each exhale. This stretch is called Baddha Konasana, or Seated Groin Stretch. It is an effective first pose to practice when stretching the adductor muscles.
Upavistha Konasana is a deeper stretch than Baddha Konasana. Take it easy and move slowly. Sit on the floor and open your legs as wide as possible. The wider your legs are, the deeper the stretch will be for your adductor muscles. Hinge at your hips and bring your elbows, forearms and hands to the floor in front or you. Extend your spine, maintaining a straight line from your tailbone to the crown of your head. Make sure to actively rotate your legs back so your knees and toes are pointing up toward the ceiling. Hold for six breaths.
Kneeling Groin Stretch
The Kneeling Groin Stretch is also known as Frog pose. This is a very deep stretch, so be very aware of your movements and the sensations the stretch produces. Come to all fours. Lower yourself onto your forearms. Turn the feet out so your toes are pointing out and away from you with the inside of the foot on the floor. Squeeze your butt muscles to actively move your knees out in opposite directions, broadening the space between them. Hold the pose for six long and deep breaths. With each exhale allow your knees to move out a little more.