Spider Guard Groin

Recently in the physio clinic at ESP we have seen a lot of clients present with pain at the front of their hip joint. This type of pain is located specifically to the upper front of the thigh (specifically at the lesser trochanter), and is common in athletes.

Anterior hip musculature

The problem itself generally  arises from overuse to the hip flexor muscles:  psoas major; tensor fasciae late; rectus femoris and sartorious. The pain is often made worse with squatting, kicking movements, and in BJJ, specifically when doing spider sweeps. So we thought we would do a small insight into the problem, and what you can do to help it.

Spider sweeps in BJJ put a lot of force through this musculature
To start with you must accurately diagnose the problem. Doing this on your own can be difficult so it is usually best to see an expert! However generally speaking the pain will be worse at the bottom of a squat, so check that out first. Next check your hip flexor for pain, and weakness. Do this in standing facing close to a wall, slowly forcing the knee straight into the wall, and seeing if it reproduces you’re pain. Next check the flexibility to see if it is tight, or not. This can be done by a Thomas test. Lastly have a good old prod about the front of the hip, and specifically to the inside and below the boney bump at the front of the pelvis (anterior iliac crest). If it’s painful, and firm then chances are you’re on the money.

Once you have confirmed that it’s definitely these structures that are involved then you can go about trying to fix it. 

The following are top tips to sort out this troublesome issue.
  1. Don’t sit so much! Compressing, and impinging these structures will irritate the hell out of them, so keep sitting to a minimum, and when you do sit, do so with good posture.
  2. Stretch the hip flexor’s on a regular basis, several times a day. Hold each stretch for up to 2-3 minutes at a time to really give the tissues a chance to lengthen.
  3. Grab a tennis ball, or lacrosse ball and do some gentle trigger point release on the front of the hip/upper thigh area, and lower abdominal wall.
Releasing psoas at the lumbar origin
Once the pain has settled, and the range of motion is normal the client can then go about strengthening the hip flexor muscles so that the problem doesn’t re-occur. 

So spend 5 minutes checking for this issue,  if you find it then give this advice a bash, and let us know how you got on! 

We hope that you find this blog helpful, please share among your friends on social media.


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