What is a Hip Adduction?

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  • Written By: K.C. Bruning
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 20 December 2019
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Hip adduction is an exercise that works the thigh muscles. It is used to increase strength and flexibility in the hip. A basic hip adduction exercise can be done with or without a machine. Though there are standard suggestions for the number of repetitions and sets necessary to adequately perform the exercise, it can be helpful to consult a professional trainer or a physical therapist for the best individual plan.

To perform a hip adduction without an exercise machine, one option is for the individual to lie sideways on the ground. Then the lower leg is lifted slightly. This position should be held for a few seconds. A typical routine consists of eight to 12 repetitions a set, with three total sets.

A hip adduction can also be performed in a standing position, with the help of an exercise band or stretch tubing. The individual would start by standing next to a table. One end of the band or tubing is attached to the ankle next to the table, while the other would be secured to the table. Then to perform a repetition, the secured leg would be moved across the other leg and away from the table. The same number of repetitions and sets can be used as with the floor exercise.


When done with exercise equipment, a hip adduction is typically performed in a machine that has a seat which positions the individual sitting up with a slight backward recline. The feet sit on a footrest at a 90-degree angle, while the hands are positioned on handles directly to the sides of the upper thighs. The legs are positioned outside of two paddle-shaped pieces that are attached to weights that sit towards the front of the machine. A repetition is performed by moving the paddles inwards and then outwards with the upper thighs. The same number of repetitions and sets can be used as with the exercises performed without the machine.

A hip abduction is the opposite movement to a hip adduction. This exercise involves repetitions in which the legs are spread outwards, one at a time without equipment, and usually both legs at the same time on an exercise machine. As with adduction exercises, the goal of a hip abduction is to improve the strength and flexibility of the hip.

Adductor is the name for the group of muscles that work together in the thigh. The muscles stretch from the pubic area to the femur. Their scientific names are minimus, magnus, brevis and longus. The neighboring gracilis and pectineus muscles help the adductors in the process of performing a hip adduction.


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