Cable Hip Adduction

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Cable Hip Adduction

The hip adductors not only perform adduction but are also important synergists for hip extension and hip flexion. As such, these versatile muscles are also worked during any squatting or leg pressing movement as well as on certain hip flexion exercises. Therefore, the need for prior or additional isolated strengthening exercises for the hip adductors is not as great as for the hip abductors. However, this exercise (cable hip adduction) may be valuable for specific rehabilitation or performance-related goals. The low pulley can also be used to work the adductors of the inner thigh, especially if you do not have access to a machine.

Exercise Instruction

STARTING POSITION (SETUP): Stand with your left side to the weight stack and select the appropriate weight. Attach an ankle strap to the low pulley then to your left ankle. In other words, stand so that the leg being trained first, the one attached to the cable, is closest to the machine. Step out from the machine until the training leg is held out to approximately a 45-degree angle. Transfer the body weight to the leg farthest away from the machine. Hold on to the machine with one hand for support, and place the other hand on your hip.

Cable Hip Adduction

Cable Hip Adduction

MOVEMENT (ACTION): Keep the body upright and the training leg straight while pulling the leg across and in front of the body as far as possible. Just lift your left foot slightly, and sweep it to the right in front of your right foot. Your left foot will end up several inches to the right of your right foot; only move as far as is comfortable. Slowly let the leg return to the starting position and complete all the repetitions. When you’re finished, remove the cuff, face the other way, and repeat with the cuff on the right foot.

Cable Hip Adduction Additional Tips & Key points

  • Use a low weight and focus on contracting from the gluteus medius and minimus.
  • Keep your hips centred over the vertical centre – line of your body: engage the abdominal muscles.
  • Work slowly and avoid momentum.
  • Avoid over-adducting your hips.
  • Maintain a neutral spine position.

Target Muscles / Joint Motions

Joint Motions: Hip Adduction
Target Muscles: Hip adductors (adductor magnus, adductor longus, adductor brevis, pectineus, gracilis), core, anterior oblique subsystem

Exercise Variations (Replacement Exercises)

All of the hip adduction variations are relatively similar. Their main differences relate only to the degree of resistance placed on adductor muscles and to the range of motion of the movement.

  • Seated Hip Adduction
  • Standing Machine Hip Adduction
  • Resistance Tubing Hip Adductions
  • Cable Lying Hip Adduction. Lie face up on your back with your side to the cable. Put your leg straight up in the air. Lower it sideways toward the pulley and then bring it back to the vertical. Extend your arms straight out to the sides to stabilize your body. Breathe in as you lower your leg and out as you complete the lift. The seated machine variant is preferable because the position in this exercise is uncomfortable and more difficult.
Lying Cable Hip Adduction

Lying Cable Hip Adduction

Closing Thoughts

Cable hip adduction (thigh adduction) belongs to the isolated, single-joint exercise category because only the hip joints are mobilized. As a consequence, the thigh adduction does not recruit much of the muscle groups surrounding the adductors. This is considered a good finishing exercise for the legs because it is relatively easy to perform even when tired as a result of previous thigh movements.

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