Hip Adductor Strengthening Exercises
Your hip adductors are responsible for moving your leg in toward the midline of your body--a movement called adduction. Located on the inside of your thigh, your adductors stretch from the inside of your knee to the bottom of your pelvis. Strong adductors are important in knee and hip stability, and if they become weakened, you may find your knees are prone to dropping outward. Additionally, performing exercises for your adductors will tone the area of your inner thigh. There are a variety of exercises you can perform for this important muscle group.
Medicine Ball Squats
Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Place a light medicine ball or soccer ball between your knees. Keeping the ball in place by squeezing your knees together, squat until your knees are bent to 90 degrees and your thighs are parallel to the floor. Push your hips forward and straighten your knees to stand up. Make sure that you concentrate on pushing your knees in against the ball throughout this exercise.
Lying Side Inner Thigh Lift
Lie on the floor on your left side with your body straight and your head resting on your outstretched left arm. Cross your right leg over your left and place your right foot on the floor, creating a figure-4 shape and allowing space to lift your lower leg. Raise your left leg by using your adductor muscles. Lift your foot 8 to 12 inches off the ground. Slowly lower your foot back to the floor and repeat before rolling over and changing sides. Make this exercise harder by wearing ankle weights.
Hip Adductor Machine
Sit on the machine with the leg pads against the inside of your knees and your legs as far apart as comfortable. Press against the pads and push your legs together until the machine arms touch. Pause for one to two seconds before slowly returning to the starting position and repeating.
Secure a cuff around your left ankle and attach it to a low pulley. Stand with your left side facing pulley with your left leg out to your left side. Keeping your leg straight, draw your left leg inward until it touches your right. Pause in this position for a second before slowly returning to the starting position and repeating. On completion, change legs and perform the same number of repetitions using your right leg.
Lying Cushion Squeeze
Lie on your back with your legs bent and your feet flat on the floor. Place a large cushion between your knees. Keeping your head on the floor and your arms by your side, press your knees together and squeeze the cushion as hard as you can for five seconds. Relax slightly, but keep the cushion in place. Push your knees together again and continue repeating for the desired number of repetitions. To make this exercise more challenging, increase the duration of the contractions.
- "Stronger Legs and Lower Body"; Keli Roberts and Linda Shelton; 2002
- "The Complete Book of Butt and Legs"; Kurt Brungardt, Mike Brungardt, and Brett Brungardt; 1995
Patrick Dale is an experienced writer who has written for a plethora of international publications. A lecturer and trainer of trainers, he is a contributor to "Ultra-FIT" magazine and has been involved in fitness for more than 22 years. He authored the books "Military Fitness", "Live Long, Live Strong" and "No Gym? No Problem!" and served in the Royal Marines for five years.