How to Work Your Inner Thigh Muscles to Build a Better Body

Trevor Thieme C.S.C.S.
Photo credit: LeoPatrizi - Getty Images

From Men's Health

This is Your Quick Training Tip, a chance to learn how to work smarter in just a few moments so you can get right to your workout.

There are more than 650 muscles in the human body, but only a handful of them are targeted in most guys’ workouts. Pecs, biceps, triceps, delts, lats, traps, abs, quads, gluts, hams, calves – these muscles hog the spotlight while hundreds of others are given short shrift. That’s a problem if your goal is to build functional strength and optimise athletic performance – especially when it comes to the hip adductors.

Located on your inner thighs, the hip adductors are a group of five muscles – adductor brevis, adductor longus, adductor magnus, pectineus, and gracilis. Their primary function is to “adduct” your thighs at your hip joints (or, more simply, to bring your legs inward), but that’s not all they do – they also help stabilise your pelvis and extend and rotate (both internally and externally) your hips.

That makes your hip adductors incredibly important for squatting, running, sprinting, multi-directional movement, and generally just being more powerful and athletic. But not everyone is exactly sure about how to build them, especially outside of a big box fitness club full of machines.

Good news: You don’t have to resign yourself to your gym’s awkward hip adductor machine/glorified Thigh Master to build them. Adding just a few adductor-focused bodyweight and free-weight exercises to your weekly regimen will give these oft-neglected muscles the attention they deserve – and the performance you demand.

Your move: Focus on exercises that force your adductors to perform their primary job: Pulling your thighs toward the midline of your body. Squeezing a medicine ball between your knees during the wall sit is an ideal adductor exercise. Others include the sumo squat, lateral squat, and adductor side plank.

Your adductors will be worked in just about any movement that involves extension, rotation, or adduction of your hips and thighs, but the above exercises hit them particularly well –and the payoff will be greater strength and power in just about everything else you do.

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