What are the Adductors? 

The adductors are a group of muscles of your inner thigh and are the muscles that we commonly refer to as the groin. The adductors often get overlooked when concerning warm ups and improving your hip mobility. This is often the reason we run into groin strains or pain in the inside of the hip as we work out or play our sports. This group of muscles may also be the key to unlocking your hip mobility if your current stretching isn’t giving you any improvements. 

The main functions of this group of muscles is to pull the leg inward, but they can also contribute to hip flexion, hip rotation and hip extension depending on the position of the hip. This tells us that the adductors have a significant role in the movement of the hip.

In Lifting Weights:

For instance, the Adductor Magnus acts as a hip extender. The Adductor Magnus can act as a larger hip extensor than the hamstrings or the glutes when the hip is flexed. If you like to squat and like to do full depth squats, you will effectively engage the Adductor Magnus.  This is also why if you squat heavy and deep you can get groin strains, or inner thigh strains coming out of the bottom of difficult squats.

If you are new to squatting, or have been squatting for years, mobility at this muscle and inside of the hip is extremely important to maintain or improve your hip mobility. If you’re not including the adductors in your mobility or accessory work, there may be a key component missing. 

In Sports:

If you are in a sport where you are required to constantly change direction your hip is put into numerous different positions before you push off to change direction. Because of the different positions of hip flexion you could be in while performing, the adductor group is asked to contribute to a variety of different movements quickly and forcefully.  If the adductors aren’t being trained, let alone not being trained to accept these type of forces, we run into groin strains and hip pain. 

How to start training the Adductors:

There are numerous ways to begin training the adductors. Some exercises are more simple and some more challenging. Below are just a few different ways you can begin to actively engage and mobilize through the adductors and inside of the thigh to help with mobility, groin pain/strains and inner or front side pain in the hip.

Copenhagen Exercises: This progression is a basic adductor group strengthening exercise. These exercises alone have been shown to reduce rates of adductor injuries in soccer players by over 40%.

Single Leg Rocking without weight and with Kettlebell: Start in a half-kneeling position with one leg straight out to the side. Place your hands on the floor in front of you and rock your hips back so your glute hits your heels and hold. When adding the weight keep your torso upright as you hold the weight close to the chest. 

Goblet Squat: Start with the feet slightly wider than the shoulders with the feet slightly turned out. Hold an upright dumbbell or a kettlebell (Light to Medium weight) at the chest with the elbows tucked in. Squat as low as you can comfortably and hold at the bottom for 3 seconds.

*Remember always consult with your clinician on whether these exercises are appropriate for you to perform.