Hip Adductor Training for Bigger Inner Thighs

Dexter Jackson at the 2008 IFBB Australian Pro Grand Prix. Photo courtesy: www.localfitness.com.au

Whether you're a bodybuilder or a common gym-goer, chances are you have become complacent with your workouts at one point or another, not even realizing it. As a result, you may not have been making the gains you'd like. This often is a case in the lower body more so than the upper body, due to a number of factors. It mainly has to do with classic bodybuilding workouts, which many a time are incomplete.

Other reasons include poor execution of leg exercises and poor knowledge of leg muscle anatomy.

Traditionally, bodybuilding leg workouts only include exercises that only focus on the quadriceps and hamstrings muscles. They neglect exercises for the hip adductors, which are located in the inner region of your thighs. Most bodybuilders believe that the quadriceps are the largest muscles of the legs, but this is not the case. The hip adductors are the larger muscles. There are three parts to this muscle group: adductor longus, adductor brevis, and adductor magnus. All three muscles mainly function to adduct your hips, hence their collective name. Hip adduction is when you bring your legs close together towards the midline of your body.

The adductor magnus is by far the largest of those three muscles. In fact, it is further divided into two parts, called the anterior head and the posterior head.

If you lack mass in this muscle, it will be evident when standing onstage and it will appear as if you have a big gap between your thighs. Those bodybuilders that face this issue need to reassess their leg training routine if they want to make the necessary gains to fill in the gap.​

Classic bodybuilding exercises such as squats, lunges and leg presses target the adductor magnus quite well.

This can vary though depending on how you are performing the exercises. If you use a narrow foot position while doing those movements, then adductor magnus involvement will be minimal. The wider your feet are, however, the more the muscle will be worked as a result of increased hip adduction.

In addition to using a wider stance during those exercises, you also need to consider adding in hip adductor-specific movements to target the hip adductors in a more direct manner. The good news is, these exercises are quite simple to perform. If you have access to a cable pulley machine, you can do the standing cable hip adduction exercise. And if your gym has a seated hip adduction machine, then you can do that exercise instead.

Do one or both of these exercises at the end of your thigh training sessions, be it your quadriceps workouts or your hamstrings workouts. By doing one hip adductor exercise per workout, coupled with using a wider stance on classic leg exercises, you will be on your way to increasing the mass of your inner thighs. The following are two sample workouts that should do the trick.

Workout A (Quadriceps-Based Workout)

 

  • Leg extensions (warm-up): four sets of 15 to 25 reps
  • Barbell squats (wide-stance): four sets of eight to 12 reps
  • Seated leg presses (wide-stance): four sets of eight to 12 reps
  • Dumbbell lunges: four sets of eight to 12 reps
  • Standing cable hip adduction: four sets of 10 to 15 reps

Workout B (Hamstrings-Based Workout)

 

  • Seated leg curls (warm-up): three sets of 15 to 25 reps
  • Standing leg curls: four sets of eight to 12 reps
  • Lying leg curls: four sets of eight to 12 reps
  • Seated machine hip adduction: four sets of 10 to 15 reps
  • Standing cable hip adduction: four sets of 10 to 15 reps