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Injury Prevention

Ask a Trainer: Is My Injury in the Groin or Psoas?

As a triathlete, multiple factors can put you at risk for both of these injuries.

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“How do I know if I have a groin injury or a psoas injury? What can I do on my own to treat it?”
– Benny the Groin

There are numerous muscles surrounding the groin region that, if strained, can reproduce similar symptoms: the iliopsoas, rectus abdominis, adductors, TFL, and rectus femoris. As a triathlete, multiple factors can put you at risk. High volume training can lead to fatigue, leading to overuse or strains during high-intensity workouts, while improper training or poor flexibility can also place additional stress on these muscles.Though the injured muscles may be different, the home treatments are all the same:

RELATED: Muscle Retention with High Training Volumes: Advanced Nutrition Strategies

Rest

If it’s truly a muscle strain, you’re in luck—muscles have terrific blood flow and can heal within a week as long as the strain is not severe. Make sure you are getting enough rest for this healing to happen.

Don’t Sacrifice Simple Stretching

Athletes with similar hip/groin injuries have incorporated yoga (like these stretches for sore tri muscles) into their routines with great success. Also, try adding simple stretches like a hamstring series with a strap, pigeon stretch, or lizard stretches.

Incorporate Core and Hip Stabilization

Adding some short strength training routines a few days per week can provide a huge benefit, and strengthening muscles can push them to handle greater loads during higher intensity bouts. Use various versions of planks, bridges, clamshells, and band walks, but don’t shy away from various functional exercises including squats, lunges, and deadlifts. Not only will you be healthier, but also you’ll have greater power output for hammering down on the bike or in the final kick of the run.

RELATED: Is Your Strength or Mobility Holding You Back?

Review Your Training Program

Make sure you’re getting appropriate rest over the course of your routine. Avoid training at higher intensities too frequently—pushing too far when your body is screaming for recovery can lead to muscles breaking down and a dreaded DNS.

Bowersock is the owner of Virginia- based University PT, specializing in orthopedics, manipulative therapy, and sports medicine

RELATED: Dear Coach: How Do I Prevent Injuries as I Increase Running Volume?