Exercises for the Adductors and Pectineus Muscles

Woman stretching

The pectineus is one of several muscles located on the inside of your thigh that’s responsible for adducting your hip joints, meaning they bring your leg in toward the centerline of your body. The pectineus, while primarily assisting with hip adduction, also performs hip flexion, lifting your leg out in front of you. To effectively strengthen the pectineus and adductors, you can compile a collection of exercises to feature both hip adduction and flexion movements in your workout.

Lateral Lunge

You can perform a lateral lunge while using just your own body weight as resistance, but you can kick up the intensity a notch by adding a weighted barbell on the back of your upper shoulders. Start with your feet shoulder-width apart, and then take a large step to the side with your right leg. Keep your right heel down as you push your hips back, and bend your right knee so you lower your butt toward the floor. Once your right thigh is parallel to the ground, extend your knee and bring your leg back to the starting position. Repeat the motion with your left leg.

Side Lying Hip Adduction

All you need for side lying hip adduction is an exercise mat or padded floor surface. Lie on your side with your legs straight and stacked up on top of each other. Slide your top leg slightly backward so your bottom leg is free, and then raise your bottom leg a couple of inches off the floor, lifting up from the hip. Slowly return it to the floor and then repeat to complete your repetitions on that leg. Then, flip over and perform a set with the other leg.

Lying Hip Flexion

Once you’re finished with the side lying hip adduction, flip over onto your back for hip flexion. Extend both legs, and keep your arms down by your sides. Raise one leg off the floor, lifting it from the hip, until it’s pointed straight up. Slowly lower it back down, stopping just short of your heel touching the floor, and then go right into the next repetition. Perform all of the repetitions on the one leg, and then work the other leg.

Cable Hip Adduction

Most fitness gyms feature a cable pulley unit you can use for hip adduction. Set the pulley so it’s at a low position and attach the cuff to one of your ankles. Stand sideways to the unit with the cuffed ankle closest to the pulley. Move away from the unit slightly so you feel resistance on your leg. Put all of your weight onto your free leg, and then swing your cuffed leg across and in front of your body. Slowly control it back toward the pulley. Finish the repetitions, and then put the cuff on your opposite leg to work the other hip adductors.