What Muscles Does the Adductor Exercise Machine Work?

Woman stretching outdoors before exercise

Adductor exercise machines target the muscles in your inner thighs. By forcing you to bring your legs together against a weighted resistance, these machines provide an isolation workout for the adductors as well as the pectineus and gracilis muscles. Exercising these muscles can increase your flexibility and lower your risk of an injury such as a groin pull or tear.

Adductor Machines

Adductor exercise machines target the five muscles in your inner thigh: The three adductor muscles, the pectineus and the gracilis. These muscles are responsibile for bringing your legs together. When using an adduction machines, you begin in a seated or standing position with your legs spread apart by pads in the center. Your back should be straight and your hands should be holding the handles at either side of the bench. Select a weighted resistance, then press your inner thighs against the foam pads to contract the adductor muscles. Some machines allow you to adjust the width of your legs, while others provide a workout for your outer thighs as well.

The Adductors

The three primary adductor muscles are the adductor brevis, which runs from the upper femur down to the pelvis; the adductor longus, which stretches from the pelvis to the middle of the femur; and the adductor magnus, which also begins at the pelvis and runs down to the lower part of the femur. Together, these muscles are responsible for hip adduction, hip extension, hip flexion and external hip rotation.

The Pectineus

The pectineus stretches from the anterior portion of the pelvis to the upper femur. While the pectineus also assists in leg adduction and rotation, it's primary function is in hip flexion, pulling the thigh forward.


The gracilis is the most innermost, and longest, of the muscles of the inner thigh. It runs from the upper portion of your shinbone up to your pubic bone, and has a significant role in hip and knee motion. The gracilis is responsible for both hip adduction and knee flexion.


While adductor machines give the adductors a workout, they do not eliminate fat in the inner thigh. No exercise can reduce fat in a specific area; however, combined with cardio exercise and a healthy diet, the exercise can help lower the overall fat content in your body. Always warm up and cool down before and after using these machines. Working out a "cold" thigh muscle can result in a groin strain or pull. Warm up with five minutes of walking or light jogging to prepare the adductors for the exercise.