Back in my day...way back in my day, I was a decent football freestyler. For any of you unfamiliar with what football freestyle is, it is the juggling trickery you sometimes see people doing on TV adverts or music videos. From 15 to 19, I practised with fervour and got good enough to perform with the guys in the picture below. Gerbeshi Faton was famous for his unique style and skills and Abbas Farid went on to win many national and international titles and travels that world dazzling people with his skills to this day.
I remember many days of long practise that led to pain or injury in the muscles of my groin/inner thigh. I was not alone. With the repetitive movements of hip flexion (closing the angle between the front of the leg and the lower abdomen) and the lateral movement of the legs towards and away from the other leg (adduction and abduction) in common movements like 'Around The World' (ATW) where the leg is taken at least once around the ball while it is in the air in time to recover control of it, it is no wonder that these muscles become a problem area for most freestylers at some point.
The speed of the movements made by freestylers combined with their frequency means that any slight imbalances can escalate into pain quickly.
I know how it is for you freestylers working hard for many hours a day to tune your skills, often alone, often with little chance of getting paid for your expertise so I would like to help you with this problem of pain in the inner thigh muscles.
What I write is general and will not work for everybody as a consequence but I hope so of you can take something from it and maybe extrapolate to help with other issues you may be having.
The muscles of the inner thigh - the adductors - that we are talking about here help perform three functions. I will cover what I feel will be the most important for you here: hip flexion (bringing your upper leg towards your abdomen) and hip adduction (bringing your leg towards your other leg).
Many of us have adductors that are constantly working too hard to compensate for other muscles somewhere else that aren't working hard enough. This is nothing to do with these muscles being weak, rather being lazy. They need waking up so that your adductors can relax a little or vice versa.
Tomorrow I will write about how you can perform this process which will also make your ATWs easier and a little quicker if you figure out how to do it well!