Abductors and adductors work in opposition to separate your thighs and put them together, respectively. They also serve an important function as hip stabilizers during common movements such as walking and running. The strengthening of the abductors and adductors can help keep the pelvis in the correct position and avoid stress on the knees and lower back.
Abductors and adductors
The main hip abductors include the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus muscles, which are located on the outside of the hip. Both muscles adhere to the side of the pelvis, or ilium, and are inserted into the outer thighbone, or femur. When they contract, they abduct the hip, lifting the thigh to the side. They also stabilize the pelvis when walking, running and standing on one leg. Hip adductors are a group of five muscles on the inner side of the thigh. They arise from various points in the pelvis and attach to the back of the thigh and shin bones. When the adductors contract, they adduce the hip, pulling the thighs to join them.
Hip abduction exercises
Hip abductions, regardless of whether they are performed from a standing position or lateral decubitus position, work the abductors. For foot variation, you may want to hold a bar or other support with one hand to maintain balance. Lift the opposite leg to one side and then lower the leg to join the thighs. To add resistance, use ankle weights or a low pulley machine. To perform hip abductions on the floor, lie down next to a mat. Rest your head on your lower forearm, and place your upper hand on the floor in front of you to maintain balance. Lift the top leg towards the ceiling and then lower it back to the starting position. Use ankle weights to increase the difficulty. Turn around and repeat with the other leg.
Hip adduction exercises
To work the adductors on the floor, lie on your side on a mat. Lean on your lower forearm and place your upper hand on the ground in front of you. Place your foot up on the floor in front of your lower thigh. Lift the lower leg towards the ceiling and then lower it to the ground. To add resistance, add ankle weights. You can also perform standing hip adductions with a low pulley machine or seated using an adductor machine.
Before starting the strength training session, warm up the muscles with dynamic movements of the hips and legs. To increase strength, aim for a resistance that allows you to perform two or four sets of 8 to 12 repetitions. The series of 10 to 15 repetitions develop muscular resistance.Rest for two to three minutes between sets. Perform strength training leaving at least 48 hours apart between consecutive sessions. To stretch the adductors, sit with the soles of the feet together and the knees separated. Hold your feet and use your elbows to gently press your thighs to the floor. Hold the position for 10 to 30 seconds.