Groiners (Step-by-Step Instructions)

Groiners are a great warm-up exercise for warming up the groin, hip flexors, quads and hamstrings. Holding the push-up position also engages the shoulders and core, making Groiners almost a total body warm-up movement.

In this guide, I’m going to teach you how to properly do Groiners, what muscles they work and a few alternatives as well.

How To Do Groiners

Equipment Needed

  • None

Step-by-Step Instructions

  • Begin the movement in a pushup position.
  • Keep both hands on the floor and step one foot up, placing it flat on the ground just outside the pinky finger.
  • Sink the backside hip toward the ground to maximize the stretch on the hip flexor.
  • After a 1 to 3-second hold, replace that foot back to the starting position.
  • Now repeat with the opposite leg.
  • Continue to alternate back and forth until all reps are completed.

Coaching Points

The biggest mistake I see athletes make with Groiners is not bringing the foot up high enough toward the hands. Depending upon your flexibility, bringing the foot up towards the hands may be relatively easy or seem totally impossible. Challenge yourself to place your foot as close to just outside your hand as possible.

The other issue I see is rushing through them too fast. Take your time with Groiners. Sink into each stretch and use them as for what they’re intended to be – not just checking off a box on your workout sheet.

Muscles Worked

Groiners heavily emphasize the groin, glutes, hip flexors, quads and hamstrings. To a lesser degree, they also work the core muscles and shoulders.

Groiners Alternatives

If you want to mix up your routine a bit, here are a few alternatives to groiners that you can try out.

Catcher Squat

The Catcher Squat is another great lower-body warmup exercise that targets the groin.

To perform a Catcher Squat, drop down into a full squat (like a baseball catcher). The main difference to an actual catcher is that you want your feet flat on the ground with your torso as tall as possible. From this position, you can use your elbows to push your knees out and deepen the stretch.

Mountain Climbers

Another dynamic lower-body warmup movement is Mountain Climbers. They are very similar to Groiners in the starting position and the actual movement itself. However, Mountain Climbers only require lifting the knee up toward the chest. This makes them a good substitution if you want something that is less challenging mobility-wise.

Spiderman Pushups

If you want to sub in a movement for Groiners that is a little more complex (and looks really cool if we’re being honest), then incorporate some Spiderman Pushups into your warmup.

Spiderman Pushups will also start in a pushup position but will involve you doing an actual pushup. As you go down into your pushup, raise one knee up and touch your elbow. Push yourself back up and return your foot to its starting position. Alternate legs back and forth as you do your pushups.

More Links and Info

Looking for more Warm-Up Exercises? Head over to our Exercise Library where you’ll find plenty of warm-up movements for both lifts and runs.


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