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Adriaan David Scholtens

Split training: experiencing pain in groin

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Adriaan David Scholtens

Hello my fellow gymnasts,

 

A few months ago, I noticed that I was pretty close to a split, without too much training. Encouraged by this, I started training for a full split. I was aware that making progress with the split might take a while. However, I never really thought of warming up my legs much. At first this was not much of a problem, but after about two months I started to experience pain in my left groin. When this pain kept coming back everytime I trained for the split again, I decided to rest for a few months to let my groin heal.

 

I have now been resting for two months and yesterday I decided to attempt a split again. I wanted to be sure that I did it right this time, so I warmed up with: Running in place, jumping jacks, mountain climbers, squats and the butterfly stretch. I did this for about a total of 10 minutes. So I now felt safe to go into a split, but as I slowly lowered into a split I experienced the same pain in my left groin again. (No pain felt in my right groin)

 

How can I make sure this doesn't happen again? Did I permanently damage it? Should I rest longer?

 

Any help is welcome!

 

Adriaan S.

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Connor Davies

Simple:  Don't train splits until you've achieved a full pancake.  :)

 

Are you doing 'box' splits or 'side' splits?  Are your feet pointed up, or to the front?

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Adriaan David Scholtens

Simple:  Don't train splits until you've achieved a full pancake.  :)

 

Are you doing 'box' splits or 'side' splits?  Are your feet pointed up, or to the front?

Yes, I just read something about that, I had never heard of it and I will try it out.

I looked both terms up, but I couldn't figure out the difference between 'box' and 'side' splits.

I'm just doing whatever he is doing: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-r6g_q0gKF68/TvJAhaKah3I/AAAAAAAAAB4/i5fcn66Gpyk/s1600/ftsai_split.jpg

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Cole Dano

Groin injuries are slow to heal, and if there is any scar tissue, there may residual pain for a long time.

 

Regarding warm up, there is more to it than just running around and then going right into the split.

 

Butterfly is a good start, but as said above, assuming you are working on side splits, doing some straight single leg to the side stretches and pancake work first is a key part of warming up.

 

From there gradually open the pancake in the direction of splits. Only once that process is complete and easy is it time to begin to go straight into side split work.

 

Particularly with you having the groin issue, working out from pancake is essential, and only working to the point you just begin to feel the discomfort, not pushing through it. That is assuming your pancake is even up to par.

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Colin Macdonald

I love the butterfly stretch, it's a great way to get a focused stretch on the groin with a lot of control. But with a bit of commitment, it does get easy pretty quickly.

 

What has been working for me is wedging my feet apart, which great intensifies the stretch. Once I could get my knees to the floor, back against a wall with my feet in tight. I started to add a spacer between my feet to push them apart. Then I got my knees back to the floor, then just go ahead like that, wedging and stretching. Working like that has really helped work out some chronic tightness on my left inner thigh.

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Connor Davies

I may have to give that a go Colin...

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Adriaan David Scholtens

Good idea Colin, I will try it out!

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Adriaan David Scholtens

Groin injuries are slow to heal, and if there is any scar tissue, there may residual pain for a long time.

 

Regarding warm up, there is more to it than just running around and then going right into the split.

 

Butterfly is a good start, but as said above, assuming you are working on side splits, doing some straight single leg to the side stretches and pancake work first is a key part of warming up.

 

From there gradually open the pancake in the direction of splits. Only once that process is complete and easy is it time to begin to go straight into side split work.

 

Particularly with you having the groin issue, working out from pancake is essential, and only working to the point you just begin to feel the discomfort, not pushing through it. That is assuming your pancake is even up to par.

Thanks for the tips on the pancake stretch Cole! As I mentioned earlier, I had never really heard about the pancake stretch. Although my knees can easily touch the floor in a butterfly stretch, the pancake proved to be quite hard for me. So I'll definitely get working on that, thanks a lot!

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Colin Macdonald

I found a pile of old bar coasters that works perfectly for this. They're thin enough to progress gradually, but they're hard enough that they wont compress or deform during a hard stretch.

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Connor Davies

Thanks for the tips on the pancake stretch Cole! As I mentioned earlier, I had never really heard about the pancake stretch. Although my knees can easily touch the floor in a butterfly stretch, the pancake proved to be quite hard for me. So I'll definitely get working on that, thanks a lot!

Have you considered leaning forward during the butterfly?

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Cole Dano

Butterfly stretch is very nice, but will only take one so far in side splits, so make sure you think of them as distinct directions of working.

 

Butterfly progressions go something like

 

- Soles of feet flat together, feet away from body

- Work feet in closer

- Open soles of feet (top of foot is flat on the floor) / knees flat

- Bend forward

 

from there the more advanced variations

- bring feet in under you / heel to anus

- and the scary looking flip feet under / toes point back

 

without seeing exactly what you are ding Colin, I'm guessing you'd have the same effect simply by bringing your feet in closer, ideally to the point that the heels are touching the groin.

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Colin Macdonald

 

without seeing exactly what you are ding Colin, I'm guessing you'd have the same effect simply by bringing your feet in closer, ideally to the point that the heels are touching the groin.

The effect is the same, just amplified. Like I said, once you can get your feet in tight with your knees to the floor, then you can try and intensify the stretch further. I think adding a spacer between your feet if they weren't in tight towards your body would do very little to increase the stretch intensity.

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