Often stretching your groin doesn’t fix the underlying issue if it is sore or tight

I get a sore groin when I run or do weights…

My groin gets very sore when I do the side split exercises…

My groin is tight after martial arts practice!

Often these problems are singled out as a flexibility issue

Are people generally tight and inflexible in their groin muscles – sure

However, there is usually a bigger underlying issue – strength!

If you have been following along, you will know that we don’t just teach increased flexibility and range of motion – you also need strength through range.

The problem is that most people have VERY little strength in their groin muscles and struggle to engage these muscles with conventional exercises.

Much has been conveyed about the advantages of hip abduction (moving the legs laterally away from the body), legs out, knees out exercises such as sideways band walks, wide stance squats, hip thrusts etc. 

Yes, these types of exercises and movements help turn on and develop your glutes/hip rotators and should be a staple part in a complete lower-body program.

However, there is another prevalent need that lacks serious attention in most training plans. 

The presence of groin strains, weak and underdeveloped inner thighs is at large right now and a testimony to this fact.

With so much attention being directed at the aforementioned ‘legs out’ exercises and movements, it appears that many have forgotten the opposing muscles and movements.

Weakness in the adductors (groin muscles that move the legs towards the body) leads to the underdeveloped inner thighs, groin injuries, tightness, decreased lower body strength and movement impairments. 

To mitigate this, most people are advised to stretch this area. However, this is not enough and does not target the underlying cause.

You should be performing at least one isolated ‘legs in’ strength exercise each week.

Some may tell you that single leg RDL’s, lunges and single leg squats train these muscles effectively enough to negate the need for doing isolated adductor exercises. 

However, EMG based studies show that they aren’t on the same level of stimulation as more isolated exercises like the Copenhagen.

If you’re new to the Copenhagen exercise, we don’t recommend starting with the full straight leg version with the top leg elevated – this should be more of an end goal. 

Instead, you will need to work your way through some progression and only level-up in advancement once you hit the required rep ranges of hold times. 

Below are eight progressions and loading guidelines to help you build up to the ultimate Copenhagen with straight legs (top leg elevated).

We start by building isometric strength for each position before making it dynamic.

Once you can complete 15 reps (dynamic variations) or a hold time of 30 secs (isometric variations) for one progression, move up to the next progression and do the same. For best results, do 2-3 sets, 2-3 times per week.

Make sure you start at a progression that matches your ability level and do not compromise technique in order to advance. Refer to the following demonstrations:

1) One leg straight (isometric) – leg on floor:

2) Both legs bent (isometric)

3) Both legs bent (dynamic)

4) Bottom leg straight (isometric)

5) Bottom leg straight dynamic

6) Top leg straight (isometric)

7) Top leg straight (dynamic)

8) Both legs straight (isometric)

9) Full Copenhagen – Both legs straight (dynamic)

It’s important to keep your hips stacked and as straight as possible when performing all the Copenhagen progressions:

It’s also important to make a note to remember the height of the bench or implement you are using –  the height will make a big difference to range of motion and therefore the amount of loading placed on your adductor (inner thigh) muscles. 

If you can, use the maximum range of motion you’re capable of.

As you work your way through the progressions, you will develop your inner thighs, do away with groin pain and tightness, while also seeing your other lower body exercises greatly improve.

Integrate Copenhagen’s into your program today and see the difference for yourself.



Do you stretch a lot but never seem to fix the underlying pains or tight spots?

Do you feel particularly sore in certain areas of the body and you’re unsure of why?

If you’re serious about getting answers to these kinds of questions, then reach out to one of our expert coaches. 

It’s not ok to feel perpetually restricted, sore and immobile.

Fill in your details below to get help from one of our expert coaches today……or you can continue to do the same thing you have always done and continue to get the same outcomes you always have.