This is a question we get a lot, often from people returning to training after some time away or with new trainees.
Before we dive too deep into this answer it’s important to understand the difference between delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and more serious injuries.
DOMS is the general muscle stiffness or soreness experienced after unfamiliar or strenuous exercise and generally is most present 24-72 hours post exercise. More serious injuries of the hip and groin can have a variety of symptoms and causes and can often require more advanced treatment.
This groin pain that follows squatting is more often than not DOMS and nothing to be concerned about. The adductor group of muscles runs down the inside and back of the upper leg and contributes to several movements of the hip.
One often overlooked movement that the adductors contribute to is hip extension, hip extension is one of the major movements of the squat. Because of this hip extension focus, certain musculature of the adductors is recruited and utilised to perform the movement.
This is one of the causes of the generalised groin pain that people often feel after squatting.
If you experience this DOMS after squatting, don’t panic, with regular training it will improve and as your mobility and movement patterns improve it will likely subside largely.