THE ADDUCTORS ARE INNER THIGH MUSCLES that allow movements which bring the legs together, toward the median or midline, and assist with stabilizing the knee. The muscle group includes the adductor longus, adductor brevis, and adductor magnus. Some anatomy sources include the gracilis and pectineus muscles in this group. Many commonly performed leg muscle exercises do not target the adductors, and these muscles can be neglected in workout regimens.
Moves that strengthen the opposing muscle group, the hip abductors, which allow leg movement away from the midline, are components of compound exercises often recommended to runners. Over the years many such exercises (clam shells, lateral leg raises, and lateral ankle resistance band walking, for example) have been prescribed for me to remedy knee pain by stabilizing this joint. However, to avoid strength differences that will adversely affect balance and knee stability, equally strong abductors and adductors are needed.
Lauren Mazzo, writing for shape.com and Kevin Rail writing for livestrong.com provide descriptions and demonstrations of the sumo squat, sometimes called the plie squat, exercise, which works the adductors of the inner thigh area. Healthline.com discusses the benefits and effectiveness of hip abductor exercises in an article written by Natasha Freutel and reviewed by Gregory Minnis, DPT. The piece includes a link to exercises.
The plie squat is one move included in the Earned Runs Summer Challenge VI Obstacle Course Adapted Training Plan which substitutes some exercises in a plan designed by Pete Williams. It’s easily performed outdoors at stopping points in a park or on a path, and can incorporate dumbbell weights to increase intensity. The blog post and Adapted Plan can also be found on the RESOURCES page.
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EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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