The adductor muscles of the legs are in the inner part of the thighs. They attach from the pelvis to the inner thigh bone (femur) and knee. As they are named, they adduct, or bring the leg toward the midline. Short adductors include the adductor longus, adductor brevis, and the pectineus muscles, while the long adductors include the adductor magnus and gracilis muscles.  Each adductor group has its own unique stretch.

The short adductors attach from the pubic bone to the inner thigh. A great stretch for these muscles is called the frog stretch, which I demonstrate in the video below.  There are three levels of this stretch, each one giving a little extra length to the short adductors.

Although some people have weak adductors, which require strengthening, many people get tight adductors instead. If your adductors are tight, try the frog stretch; and if you are unsure, try the frog stretch as well–it will let you know if you have tight adductors. Have fun.

51 Responses to Frog Stretch For Inner Thigh Pain Relief

  1. Avatar Anonymous says:

    Really usefull as it showed me and gave me a clear insight into were I may be experinecing the pain – I have had very painful cramps on my inner thigh ( left Leg) and it may be the short adductors – I am not sure why – possible dehydration ( after drinking wine ) but has only appeared in past 6 months – will use gentle excersise as you have shown and see what progresss I can make – Many thanks – Michael(Ireland)

    • Avatar Deija says:

      I have been experiencing the same thing…First time was about 6 months ago and now the cramping is more frequently. Sudden moves to raising my leg..It’s annoying and sometimes I can’t walk at all.i just have to let it pass..What is the reasoning..I drink a ton of water and eat bananas daily so it’s definitely not dehydration for me..

  2. Thank you, Michael–cramps can come about for a number of reasons. Check the ‘Cramps’ post below, and definitely do light stretching, warm up before exercising (even wine-marathon-ing ;)Thank you for reading and commenting: Cramps

  3. Avatar Anonymous says:

    Hi there i have done martial arts on and off for the past 7 years and free running.
    And i am constantly getting this injury over and over again in my left legg.
    It’s really painful but only when i am doing high kicks or round house kicks wich i do within my known limits of my flexibility.
    But this injury is really thrustrating to say the least as it stops my progress literally all together.
    I actualy just pulled the muscle again yesterday in my free running gym and i thought i would do some research and came across this post here.
    And not did that frogg stretch feel great it has taken away the pain almost completely with a 2 minute stretch.
    And now when i do my other stretchs i don’t get extreme pain that makes me give up.
    So i might even be able to progress now finally after 5 years of getting nowere. Thanks kind regards George 🙂

  4. Avatar Lacie says:

    You mentioned that you would post a separate video for the long adductors, but I can’t find it on your website. Could you please direct me to the video you made for those stretches? Thank you.

  5. Avatar Tez says:

    Hi Dr Campos,
    When I’m performing the frog stretch I don’t feel any stretch in my adductors. I feel the stretch in some deep muscle around my hips, and it’s quite an uncomfortable feeling. What muscle am I actually stretching and should I discontinue performing this stretch? I’m trying to stretch for martial arts and to get a higher kick.

  6. Avatar Gordon says:

    Sat Nam
    I do Kundalini Yoga stretching is my life.
    Your information is awesome awesome.
    Thanks Dr. Campos

  7. Avatar steve says:

    Had a question..last night I got a cramp in my inner thigh for thew first time that I can remember, tried to walk it out for a minute then started sweating, feeling sick and feeling faint then just passed out for a second and hit the floor, got up made it a few more steps towards the bedroom cramp was still going on and then I passed out again in the hallway then got up and made it to the bed felt like I was dying and then I noticed I sprained my ankle really bad…question is, why?…I get foot and leg cramps sometimes during sleep and stand up on them and they go away..this was the first time for the inner left thigh cramp….never passed out over any cramp before.
    can you list any remedies please?
    Thanks Steve

  8. Avatar Kathy says:

    Last night I was awaken twice with an inner thigh cramp. Started to sweat and feel sick. I almost passed out but luckily was able to get a cold wet washcloth quickly with the help of my roommate. I take Potassium nightly before bed. What else do you recommend? When I get this cramp (which I get several times a year), it is in my inner thigh and only occurs while asleep where you have referred to as the long adductor. Should I be doing the long adductor stretch?
    Today the area is very sore.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    • Dr. Nick Campos Dr. Nick Campos says:

      Ok I saw the other comment about passing out. You need to see a doctor ASAP. That’s my only advice.

      • Avatar chris says:

        I have inner thigh cramps at night and they are excruciating. I have inflamed facet joints at L4/5 and L5/S1 and the sensory nerves have been ablated. My specialist says its a nerve firing off. It certainly isn’t diet related as I drink a litre of water at night and take calcium and Magnesium and Potassium supplements. The cramps can least 10 -20 minutes at times and last week I had 1 night and 6 cramps in the left inner thigh and unusually, I in the right inner thigh in the space of 8 hours. Can you tell me how to get the cramp to stop – the muscle is fairly hard and needs a hot wheat bag on it for 10 mins. I am going on holiday where I won’t have access to a microwave, so if I can’t stop it some other way, I am in for a terrible time

  9. Avatar Chris Rochester says:

    Yes I’ve had this problem for quite a number of years. And always after golf games or long vigorous walks. My thought is that, yes possibly, in part be an electrolyte problem. Could additionally be nerve clamping/external pressure from the repetition in-and-around my hip/lower back. Every time it happens I also have much stiffness in that area from the sport/exercise.
    Finally I found my solution. Stand up, and do slow down intentional breathing. When a spasm is about to start, exert slow & big expiration. Do this about 6-7 times to keep spasm at bay. It then seems to settle. Can additionally slowly unfold your arms downwards during an expiration to gain more mental control. Yes its true. And stay standing. You do need to believe it will fix the problem. When I started doing this…I wasn’t sure, and it started to re-occur. Now after several years I am the boss. yes ‘boss’ lol. Its almost a battle of will between your mind/deep breathing versus each spasm. Once somewhat under control I don’t sit down for a while. Just remain standing with intentional/slow breathing. The first spasm (yes still get them) is now the only one.
    It is truly one of the most scary ‘pains’ I’ve ever had. I truly hope this helps. Chris Rochester, Australia

  10. Avatar Ash says:

    Very happy to have found this site! Thanks. I thought my adductor cramps were unique to me (not sure why I thought that!) so it is great to read about others experiences and remedies. The cramping pain can be pretty intense at times and seems to be set off by different circumstances. I am just getting past an intense event that started around 2am. Went to use the bathroom and as I got out of bed my left adductor so went off. First time in a while that I have had such an episode and while the muscle continues to spasm, the intense cramping has subsided. Will be trying your stretches! Thanks

  11. Avatar Em says:

    This makes interesting reading, thanks all. I run and cycle, training most days. I’m in my late 40’s and have just started waking perhaps once a week to cramp in the inner left thigh. I notice a few people have said it occurs in the left thigh. I am always on my right side when the cramp starts. I wonder if position might effect it, perhaps restricted blood flow? I’ll try the stretching. Thank you.

  12. Avatar Joe says:

    My inter thigh on the right side is where I experience some intense muscle cramps . I’m sure it has to be related to when I play tennis for a couple of hours and I drop about two pounds from sweating.
    I drink water and Gatorade after each game, but I think I lose more water than I take in.
    I will try the stretching exercises and see if that helps and please let me know if there some preventive measures I can take to prevent the awful inter thigh cramps.

  13. Avatar Rita says:

    Both inner thighs are so tight I can’t even get my legs spread that far (like the video) in the frog stretch. I have RA in my left hip and even sitting crossed leg is impossible. Sometimes putting my socks and shoes on are even an issue. If I start the frog stretch today, if over time will the stretch get easier and wider?

  14. Avatar Nancy says:

    I am 80 years old…had my 1st inner left thigh cramp,(very painful…walked it off finally) but cannot do the frog stretch because of arthritic knees. Any other exercise where one does not have to kneel down? Thank you.

  15. Avatar Hilary says:

    Like Nancy I have arthritis in my left knee and can’t get down to do the frog exercise so would appreciate advice on another way to stretch my inside left thigh muscle. I had my first inner thigh cramp tonight and seriously thought I might die. I also went sweaty and was about to be sick when it faded away. Terrified. Please help.

  16. Avatar Duane Ruff says:

    I am 56 years old. On the inside of my right upper thigh I get crippling cramps that only vinegar gets rid of. I have tried every thing and the only thing that knocks them out quick is quinine that I can no longer get. It happens the most when I am using the tiller on my garden or when I work outside an get hot. I sweat very bad. I drink gatorade a lot. I also take yi guan jian that I got from my accupunturist. I have had relief for last 2 years from his treatments and these herbs. They now seem as though they are not working as good. Can you offer any help. thanks

  17. Avatar Celeste Ligmal says:

    I have been getting these severe inner thigh cramps for years and they are becoming much more frequent now. I can’t stand, lay down or sit up straight when it happens. I massage the muscle until it stops sometimes for 5-10 minutes. It usually happens when I am changing sleep positions. I am so afraid to use the inner thigh muscle for fear of getting another cramp. Most doctors don’t have a clue as to what causes these cramps. I walk almost every day, drink plenty of water, take potassium pills but nothing seems to help. I am wondering if the stain drug I take and the fact that I have disk problems in my lower back could be causing the cramps. Help!

    • Dr. Nick Campos Dr. Nick Campos says:

      You have to get it checked by doctor – impossible to diagnose you on the Web, no matter how much info you give. I am happy to help if you are in or can get to CA. Outside of that, there is not much more I can advise you on.

    • Avatar CHeryl Rothenberg says:

      Celeste, OMG my situation is the same! I thought I was alone!! I get the inner thigh cramp when I change sleep positions or go to get up from the bed. Times I have felt like I am going to die or pass out from the pain. I even had to go to the bathroom so bad, I couldn’t sit on the toilet and ended up having an accident. I have a herniated disk L-5, S-1 and my doc told me the situation was related. He prescribed muscle relaxers and they help, but I don’t want to take them every night.

  18. Avatar Libby Wong says:

    I’m so grateful to you and Dr Goggle. I have been learning Salsa for the last six months , dancing 6 hours a week as I love it. I’m on the kind side of sixty and had my first awakening in the middle of the night with massive cramp pain in both inner thighs, I thought what new fresh hell is this and goggled painful inner thighs – viola – I picked your website and am eternally grateful to you for showing me this ailment is a “thing” and how to stretch to solve the pain. Your stretches gave me instant relief, Thankyou Dr Nick – I am bowing to you as I write this from all the way Down under ( Australia) .. must go I have to boogie

  19. Avatar E says:

    It worked!!!! I think I pulled mine and have been suffering for almost six weeks…and had to travel quite a bit in that time period, so I kept thinking it was the traveling that caused the pain. Nothing I did was working. Finally googled, fond your site, did the stretch and pain is gone :)!!!!!

  20. Avatar Charles Murphy says:

    For 2 months when first pulling a sock on I experience a terrible sickly pain over the top of my ankle and at the same time the outside of the calf is painful to touch. Once up and about they clear but the large inner thigh muscle is very very sore to touch. I thought at first the pain was closer to my groin. I am an active pensioner and play golf once a week. I have researched the internet and read your excellent website. Could I have injured the Pectineous muscle, and would your stretching exercises help. Thanks

    • Dr. Nick Campos Dr. Nick Campos says:

      I would get your back checked out by a chiropractor or orthopedist. What you describe sounds like it could potentially be more than a muscle injury.

  21. Avatar Ginny says:

    I am 57 and have severe scoliosis, deg. disc disease, lumbar stenosis, nerve root abutment, etc….. I have the most painful “inner thigh spasms” occassionally that are so very painful, I cannot describe!!! Unbelievable pain!!! I have not had any Dr. give me any answers to what is causing this. What is your opinion please?

  22. Avatar sifter says:

    I want to be able to do this, as well as Egoscue’s ‘Frog’ stretch on my back, but it seems to aggravate my SI joint, makes it hurt later in the day..

  23. Avatar Yvonne says:

    Right before falling asleep my left inner thigh started hurting. I’ve not done anything out of norm today I thought for the first 90 mins of dozing in and out of very little painful sleep it was a pulled muscle. Just like I’ve done yrs past on stationary bike. So as I would back then I thought of how when stiff and spleenectony morning from bike just hop back on and grin and bear it and it will be gone very shortly…..i have never been so wrong. Finally after three hrs I made myself pace the floor for about 10 mins when I googled symptoms and found your frog video. I have done this one for several mins and yes could feel the pain as I started but pain became less longer into stretch. I also watch other video for standing bending one knee rotating straight leg on heel. This one hurt quite a bit so I did the frog stretch again. 20 mins from first seeing your video and doing stretches pain is less….. Until I sit down or try to lay back down. It’s 315am is there anything else I can try in hopes to get a few hrs sleep in tonight.

  24. Avatar debby says:

    i have been getting left inner thigh spazm/ cramping when i sleep on my left side with left leg bent up a little or 90 degrees.its onset is sudden and when i straighten it eases up a bit but can last 5 mins. usually its after my bar method class( yoga like pilates lots of stretching)i was wondering are we supposed to try this stretch when we have the spazm to relieve it or will that aggrivate it? my leg is so sore the next day im afraid to return to my stretch/ exercise class as wont it come back? how long after it subsides should i stretch it?

    • Dr. Nick Campos Dr. Nick Campos says:

      Your question, like so many I receive here, is difficult to answer, because people are different, and conditions that appear the same can also be different. So I would not be able to give you any useful advice on the questions you ask without examining you. Some people need stretching, some strengthening. Some muscles are the primary problem, some secondary…even if they are the ones which are experiencing the symptoms. The best advice I can give you is go get checked out by a doctor. Hope that helps.

  25. Avatar Kirby Hallenbeck says:

    Dr. Campos, You long and short adductor stretch videos are quite helpful. I have had extremely painful adductor cramps after lying down for night after a day of intense classic cross country skiing in a mountainous area, requiring a lot of heiringbone climbing up steep trails. Your stretches added another key item in a list. My doctor, an avid snowshoe camper, has recommended hydration salts both before and after intense exercise. I use patents of Gatorade Gaytorlytes, in gaterade. Per doctor, some folks like me release a lot of salts with perspiration. If you baseball cap has salt stains, you are one of them.

    I also carry 3 liters hydration bladder while XC skiing and use most of it.
    I tried the stretches after returning last two day, alternated hot shower and ice and massage of the rather sore muscle fibers at right angles to the whole fiber, plus cut back on the post trek beer, due to it inhibition of anti diuretic hormone, which impacts the fast calcium pumps which are needed to stop contraction.

    Voila, no cramps two days in a row

    Done a lot of reading on this, and your stretches were a major help.

    Thanks you.

    Ageing XC Skier 64 YRS OLD

  26. Avatar Nancy Moore says:

    Inner thigh cramps are really painful. My right leg is usually the one that goes at night. I am 68 and don’t move as much as I should. Have bursitis in that hip and I wonder if that’s the reason? I recently got a cortisone shot in that hip (2 days ago). Heat on the muscle usually stops it. Awful pain – I get dizzy and nauseous. Thanks for this exercise. I’ll try it!!

  27. Avatar andrew goldstein says:

    I get debilitating pain in my groin sometimes when I am walking up stairs. I can barely take another step. My remedy is to sit down for thirty seconds. The pain goes away and I am fine as if nothing had happened. Any idea what might be going on and how to avoid this pain (besides not walking up stairs).

    • Dr. Nick Campos Dr. Nick Campos says:

      It is possible that you have a hip flexor related problem. You could do a search on this site for “psoas pain,” and you will find some articles and videos demonstrating stretches that may help. But, as always, I encourage readers to visit a practitioner – MD or chiropractor – to be certain.

      • Avatar andrew goldstein says:

        thanks for the reply. Right now I am pursuing the idea that it is the adductor brevis muscle that is the main culprit and it is possible that my right hip has issues that is the underlying cause of the muscle problems.

  28. Avatar Kathy says:

    I have had the same debilitating inner left thigh cramps for the past 12 years. I am 69 now. Mine at times expands to include all anterior thigh muscles, and even reaches into my knee feeling as though the knee will explode. I have tried all of the usual remedies of potassium, magnesium (usually in combination with something else, like malate), and calcium. I have also tried folk remedies like pickle juice, yellow mustard, soap in the bed, etc. I find warmed herb packs, warm washcloths and baths, along with massage, eventually helpful, but can’t always get to them due to debilitating pain.

    I am a retired massage therapist and know the muscles, strengthening and relaxing techniques for individual muscles, and stretching, but have not found a stretch that helps to release this situation during the spasm.

    I am surprised that there is not much research in this area. I had many clients (mostly clients over 50) who suffered from night cramps. No real answers that I can find out there.

    I will add that magnesium in combination with malate tends to make the spasms less frequent and generally less in intensity.

    Right now I am starting a regimen of electrolytes added to water and stretching routines to see if this helps. Will let you know.

  29. Avatar Kathy says:

    I also just heard about taking calcium channel blockers. Anyone had any experience with this?

  30. Avatar Jeffrey Patten says:

    Here’s a tough one for you. I get sartorius cramps. It’s the most painful experience I’ve had. Often both sides at once.
    Now, this is a complex muscle, operating over two joints – flexing the knee and rotating the thigh outward at the hip as well as assisting in lifting the thigh. It seems that it’s various functions only work with the modifying actions of several associated muscles – and vice versa.

    How on earth do you isolate that? How do you stretch that??

    How on earth can you get relief when it’s seizing up??

  31. Avatar charles flancher says:

    I am morbidly obese, and have lymphedema / CVI in both legs. On the inner part of thigh it looks like I carry 2 bowling balls (1 on each side). I take blood pressure meds, but also potassium, magnesium, and calcium with Vit D daily. I get cramps that start usually by the knee area on inside and then goes up the leg to what feels like my groin/ pelvic area. My doctor has me on a muscle relaxer. The cramps usually come when I am moving the leg or putting pressure by standing up. I also get those cramps if I have a wrap around to help move some of the fluids that has built up. My doc tells me because I keep my lower legs compressed 24 hours either with wraps or compression stockings, it pushes the fluids upward, but then my overly big abdomen area puts pressure on the lymph/ vein system so it keeps trapped in the thighs. Now the question: will cramps occur because of fluids moving back into the area when I stand up? Also, I noticed that if I eat sweets/ breads/ candy the night before, the next morning I am assured a thigh cramp. I am afraid to exercise / walk because when I do either I get a thigh cramp immediately or within a few hours when I get back up. I can feel one coming on, because it feels as if the thigh area starts tightening, then goes into a cramp. Will stretching help with these issues in the thigh? Am I most likely need to just work through the cramp pain until I lose some of the weight and get properly conditioned? I know it is hard to diagnose/ make suggestions unless you have examined physically. My doctor just always say “Take the muscle relaxer, and just work through it until you lose some weight.”

    • Dr. Nick Campos Dr. Nick Campos says:

      These are all good questions, Charles, and I would like to start by first saying: Keep working at it. It takes time and steadfast dedication. And it is worth it.

      I think stretching is always worthwhile, because it is an eccentric contraction, so while there will be a muscle-lengthening aspect to stretching, you also go through muscle strengthening. I would follow the advice of your doctor, he/she are in the best position to advise you. Saying that I agree you should “work through” the cramps as best you can because the alternative (inactivity) is unreasonable in effecting the desired outcome, as well counter-productive. In other words, nothing else that we know of will work and being inactive will make the problems worse.

      As I said, I send you the greatest encouragement. I know that, despite the difficulty, it can be done, and your life will improve dramatically. But equally important is the people you can help as you do so and afterwards. So wishing you the greatest success, Charles.

  32. Avatar Tim says:

    Where do I find your video on stretching the long abductors?

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