Throw out the foam roll for this one! Because we have a better option for you.
The adductor muscle group is the large muscle group on the inside of the thigh, traveling from the groin to the inside of the knee. The location of these muscles helps stabilize the hip and knee and is crucial for lateral push-off while running and changing direction.
Be honest - mobilizations and strengthening is generally focused on the quadriceps and hamstrings but not the adductors.
It is a forgotten muscle group that doesn't complain too much. Until it does. But the problem is that the adductors don't ever feel painful - the pain shows up at the inside of the knee or in the groin. The location of pain is rarely the cause of pain!
As an experienced athlete, you know that you need to mobilize the adductor muscles, but the location makes it difficult to get any soft tissue mobilization work done - it's hard to target with the foam roll, difficult to apply pressure with a lacrosse ball, and the massage guns just don't feel great.
So what's the answer? We think that we have found it.
This is the Adductor Smash. And yes, it's just as awesome as it sounds. The goal is to apply compression to the muscle while keeping that muscle as inactive as possible. It's a tough thing to do, but this method makes it a whole lot easier. Because if you fight it, it's just going to hurt more.
For this technique, all you need is a cylindrical object.
Pro tip: Find something that is NOT bendable or breakable. A water bottle isn't firm enough, so I use a Hydroflask most of the time. If I don't have a metal Hydroflask, my blender bottle works well enough.
Watch the video for specifics, but the basic idea is to put the bottle between your thighs, cross your ankles, and use the outside of the hips to roll the legs inward. This motion will put pressure on the bottle while you're able to keep the adductors relaxed. Kind of like the mechanics used in a pair of scissors. Don't use too much pressure. You don't need to crush the bottle.
Try this one out and let me know how it goes! Give the adductors some love - because they are often the neglected muscles in the lower legs.
Not confident that this will work for you? Let NorCal Physio take the guesswork out.
If you are an athlete who wants to validate the diagnosis before you attempt self-treatment, don't hesitate to reach out and schedule a Physiotherapy Evaluation. We can diagnose, treat, and create a plan to give you a clear path to recovery.