Top 5 Ways to Increase your Adductor Strength

When it comes to strength training, the adductor muscles are often overlooked. The adductors are a group of five muscles located on the inner thigh and are responsible for stabilising the hip and allowing for inward movement of the leg. A lot of ladies like to focus on adductor strengthening to improve tone in their legs. A strong adductor group is useful for optimal performance in many sports, but less a requirement for every day activities.

In reality, the adductors are fairly small muscles. Hip adduction is not a hugely common prime movement of the hip, especially compared to flexion and extension. But there is some thought among top-level physios that increasing adductor strength can prevent hamstring injuries, thus making it important to incorporate adductor exercises into your strength training routine.

The adductor muscles are made up of five muscles: the adductor longus, adductor brevis, adductor magnus, gracilis, and pectineus. The adductor longus and adductor brevis originate from the pubic bone, while the adductor magnus originates from the ischium. The gracilis and pectineus originate from the pubic bone and the ischial tuberosity, respectively.

Injury to the adductor muscles is reasonably common, especially in athletes who participate in sports such as football, rugby, hockey, and basketball. Symptoms of an adductor muscle strain or tear include pain in the inner thigh, but rarely will cause any swelling or bruising. It can cause some pain when lifting the leg too. Treatment of an adductor injury typically involves physiotherapy, electrotherapy (LASER, ultrasound), and exercise rehabilitation.

Adductor tendinopathy and osteitis pubis are two complicated and chronic injuries that need a lot of therapy. We see these occasionally coming into the clinic, especially in athletes.

Here are the five best exercises to increase adductor strength:

1. Banded Adduction:

Banded adduction is an excellent exercise to target the adductor muscles. With an exercise band secured around your ankle, and the other end anchored to a fixed object to your side, move your straight leg (adduct) across your body to create resistance in the band. Use this exercise to strengthen the adductor muscles on the inside of your thigh, but it will also strengthen other muscles in the leg, as well as improve your balance.

2. Lateral Lunges:

Lateral lunges are a great exercise to target both the abductor and adductor muscles. To perform this exercise, stand with your feet together, step to your side twice shoulder width and bend your knee. Your leg that stayed behind should straighten. Return to the start position.

3. Copenhagen Adductor Strengthening: Rest on your side, with your bottom leg and elbow bent to 90 degrees. Place your top leg on a chair or high step. Lift your pelvis from the floor. Elevate your bottom leg so your knees touch. Move your bottom leg down. Repeat as required. This is a strengthening exercise for your adductor or inner thigh muscle.

4. Side-Lying Leg Lifts: Side-lying leg lifts are a great exercise to target the adductor muscles. Lie on your side, and place your top leg and foot flat on the floor in front of you. Lift your bottom leg upwards towards the ceiling to feel a pull on the inside and outside of your thigh. You can repeat the movement up and down, or just hold the position. This will strengthen your adductor muscle group.

5. Magic Circle: Lie down, and bend your knees so your feet are flat on the ground. Squeeze a magic circle between your thighs. You will feel the pressure on the insides of your thighs. This exercise is a strengthening exercise for the adductor muscle group.

Incorporating these exercises into your strength training routine is a great way to increase adductor strength. As with any exercise program, it is important to listen to your body and make sure you are using proper form to avoid any injuries.

(Physios and Therapists: these videos are provided by Rehab My Patient – the best exercise prescription software for therapists to prescribe exercises Patients: if you are a patient needing advice, call Surrey Physio to book a telephone/video consultation with one of our expert physios or osteopaths, or book in face-to-face for an appointment. You can call us on 0208 685 6930 or book online by clicking the link at the top of the page).