A sports hernia is basically a strain or tear in the soft tissue of your lower abdomen or groin area. A sports hernia is usually caused by sports where you plant your feet and twist with maximum effort, like soccer, wrestling and football. These stretches & exercises should help. See Doctor Jo’s blog post about this at:

First you will do transverse abdominis (TA) recruitment. For TA recruitment, go to top of your hip bone, slide your fingers towards your belly button, and then cough. The muscles pushing into fingers are the ones you want to contract. Breath in and slowly blow out like you are blowing out candles while you are keeping the muscles engaged. This will help retrain the muscles to work correctly. Do this about 5 times.

Now you will do some stretches for the hip flexors. Start in a kneeling position. Place the knee of the hip flexor you want to stretch on the ground, and take the opposite leg and bend it in front of you at a ninety-degree angle. You might want to place a pillow under your knee to protect it. You will be in a lunge position with the knee of your injured side on the ground. Now drive the knee of the uninjured side forward away from your body. Hold for 30 seconds, and do this 3 times.

Next you will stretch your quad muscles. Place the knee of the quad you want to stretch on the ground, and take the opposite leg and bend it in front of you at a ninety-degree angle. You might want to place a pillow under your knee to protect it. You will be in a lunge position with the knee of your injured side on the ground. Then grab the ankle of the side you want to stretch and pull it up towards your buttocks. Hold for 30 seconds, and do it 3 times.

Then you will stretch your groin/inner thigh area. This is a simple butterfly stretch. Sit on the ground, and put your feet together pulling them towards your body. If you need more of a stretch, you can place your elbows on your inner thighs, and apply gentle pressure downwards. Hold the stretches for 30 seconds, doing 3 of each set.

Now you will stretch your inner thigh/adductor muscles. In a tall kneeling position, put the let you want to stretch out to the side of your body. Point your toes forward, and try to keep your leg straight. Lean downward and away until you feel a stretch. Hold it for 30 seconds, and do it three times.

Finally, you will do a hamstring stretch. There are many ways to stretch them, and you can check out the hamstring stretches video for other ways to stretch them. The most important part of this stretch is to keep your back straight. Many people try to curl their backs to be able to touch their toes. Your hamstrings are attached to what is called the ischial tuberosity, or your butt bone. So if you bend at your back, you are not going to get a good hamstring stretch. Try to bend at your hips. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and do it three times.

Related Videos:

Hamstring Stretches for Tight or Sore Hamstrings:

Quadriceps Stretches for Tight or Injured Quads:


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Doctor Jo is a Doctor of Physical Therapy.


Sports Hernia Stretches & Exercises:

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  1. I'm not able to do butterfly strech at all I can not even cross my legs because of the fermonal hernia it's just not letting it but the rest are perfect. Thanks

  2. i am a hernia patient i gone through surgery 2 years ago. Again it is comming in other side. With these exercise as you shown in the video may it causes any side effects? waiting for your reply madam.

  3. Hi Jo, I hope you're well! I had a proper inguinal hernia in my left groin area repaired a few years ago, and when I had the MRI they said I had a tiny hernia on my right side which was nothing to worry about then. There's no bulge at all so I'm guessing it's a sports hernia, but it's just started to hurt, I must have tweaked it somehow.

    Will these exercises help with pain management?

  4. I was doing a couple of pushups, I stopped & got back to doing them after 10 minutes, after 1 I felt like my lower ab hurting. When I want to do pushups or sit ups it hurts , could this be a sports hernia or abdominal strained muscle?

  5. hi doctor jo, just looked at your hernia exercises and although this is a good video I was just wondering if they are suitable for someone (me) who has had trouble with exercising after hernia surgery a few years ago and on pain medication ever since I have on weight and I what too loose a few pounds , thanks for your time

  6. Hi, I'm post inguinal hernia( surgery was 10th December 2019) but I danced too much as it was festive season in SA and I think that might have slowed down my recovery time. I tried running on the treadmill, did on 2km on the 4th January 2020 and it felt like I had a groin injury, so I decided to lay low for at least a month. Can I do these exercises? I need to start running again because I have a marathon ( 42km race) on the 15th of March 2020. The surgery was laparoscopic and all my stitches have fallen off. As I write this the date is 30 Jan 2020. I'm hoping to start with exercise as from next week as I will be a month as a sitting duck. Please advise.

  7. hy dr, i have pain in lower abdomin only when i kick ball,i am a soccer player. if I rest for one day there is pain at all ,but when i go to play and kick ball, pain apears , does your exercise helpfull for that kond of injury ,the area of pain is lower abdomin and inner side of thaies.thaks

  8. Hi, Dr. Jo. I’ve seen a specialist who does hernia surgery and they aren’t sure if this is the issue. Mine has bothered me in the groin/lower abs/scrotum/hip/psoas for 14 months. I was told there are a lot of nerves there. How do they find which type of hernia it may be if none of it shows in imaging. Thanks btw. I’ll try these. Do you think these exercises can help avoid surgery? From most of what I’ve read online this isn’t something that will heal on its own. And how often do you suggest doing these exercises?

  9. Hi! I am currently in-between health insurances. I have already been properly diagnosed with Athletic Pubalgia. I was wondering, until I am able to return to Physical Therapy, is there any form of physical exercise I should be able to do safely? Swimming, yoga, upper body lifting? I am kind of going crazy not being able to workout and I'd like to be able to do whatever I can, I just don't want to make the injury any worse at the same time. If you could let me know, I'd really appreciate it. Thank you!

  10. Hello Doc, I have gotten sport hernia around 5 month ago, and it hasn't gotten better. Sometimes when I cough I can feel pain a bit. What can I do to get better thanks.

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