Although they’re probably not the first muscles hikers think about when they work out, groin muscles are essential. The groin muscles, or adductors, are a group of five muscles that adduct (move the leg inward toward the body), provide rotation for the hip joint, and help with hip flexion. Ever use that hip adduction machine in the gym? These are the muscles we’re talking about. You might not realize it, but these muscles help hikers ascend and descend steeps, and they also provide hip stability and control knee motion.
Weak groin muscles can contribute to low back pain, hip pain, groin pain, and knee pain. Although you activate and engage the adductors with all leg exercises, rarely are they the focus. Try the exercises below to shift the focus to the adductors and infuse variety into your program.
Copenhagen Plank Short Lever
Begin by lying on your side perpendicular to a workout bench (a chair works just as well). Place the knee of the top leg on the bench and place the opposite hand on the floor, with your arm extended or bent at the elbow, directly beneath your shoulder. The bottom leg should rest beneath the bench for now.
During the exercise, drive the top knee into the bench to raise…