Squat. Deadlift. Clean. Repeat?

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Written By: James Bae, PTA

Physical Therapy Assistant

Our larger, more visible muscle groups tend to take focus during our workouts. We always find time to work in a set of squats or some deadlifts to help strengthen our glutes and quads or even just for that photo opportunity for social media. But how often do we ensure we are working other muscles like our adductors? Or the better question, how many of us know what adductors are or how they play an integral part in injury prevention?

What are your adductors and what do they do?

Your adductors are a muscle group located on the inner part of your upper leg. They function primarily to bring your leg inward toward the center of your body. Secondarily they work to stabilize your pelvis.

How does this impact my daily life?

We are bipedal creatures meaning we walk on two legs. Each time we take one foot off the ground to take a step forward, our adductors work in conjunction with other muscle groups to stabilize our hips to allow the motion to occur. Our bodies rely on these reciprocal movements for locomotion.

What can happen if I have weak adductors?

Weak or inappropriately proportioned adductors can cause a change in the mechanics of motion. This can lead to poor overall performance and increase in injuries. Take a runner for example, if someone is running in their local 5k, but their adductors do not continue to fire throughout the race, this causes a chain reaction. Their hip stability suffers, causing other muscle groups and joints to be placed under undue stress and load, leading to both acute and overuse injuries.

What exercises can I incorporate into my workout to train my adductors?

For video directions of the exercises, follow our Instagram page @ComprehensiveMedicalCare

Glute Bridges with a Ball Squeeze

  • Lay on your back with your knees bent and feet planted on the floor (think traditional ‘sit-up’ start position
  • Place a ball between your knees and squeeze your legs inward to hold the ball in place
  • Ensure your back is flat on the ground and not rounded
  • Drive your heels into the ground, lifting your hips up in the air and then bring them back down
  • Do not drop the ball! – work those adductors to keep it in place
  • Repeat this for 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions

Side lunges

  • Start standing with your feet together
  • Take your right foot and step directly out to the side
  • When your foot lands, your toes should be in alignment with your left, stationary foot, and both feet should be parallel and facing front
  • Drive your hips back and down, performing a single squat motion while your left knee is extended and your foot remains in contact with the floor
  • Drive through your right foot to stand back up and bring your leg back together to the original standing position.
  • Repeat this for 3 sets of 8-12 repetitions on each leg

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