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16 Best Inner Thigh Exercises For Men

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Strength The Muscles In The Hip Adductors To Prevent Injury

On today’s episode of Live Lean TV, I’m sharing the 16 best inner thigh exercises for men to strengthen the muscles in the hip adductors, and prevent injury.

If you’re looking to: 

You need to strengthen one of the most often neglected muscle groups, especially for guys, the hip adductor muscles.

Anatomy Of Hip Adductor Muscles

The adductor muscles are found on the inner thigh and are comprised of a group of 5 muscles:

  • adductor magnus
  • adductor brevis
  • adductor longus
  • Gracilis
  • Pectineus

These inner thigh adductor muscles are targeted with exercises that bring your legs together.

Benefits Of Strengthening Your Hip Adductor Muscles

Unfortunately, the adductor muscles receive very little strengthening work in everyday movements, such as sitting, walking, and climbing stairs.

Even with a traditional leg workout that targets your quadriceps and hamstrings, your adductor muscles may not be getting the necessary treatment to get stronger.

The Best Leg Workout For Mass and Strength

Unless you are training your quadriceps and hamstrings with a wide stance, or incorporating unilateral side to side exercises, you may be neglecting them.

This is why so many men and women have weak adductor muscles.

To reduce risk of injury, it’s also important to have a balanced hip adductor to hip abductor strength ratio.

Since the primary hip abductor muscles are the powerful glute muscles, the strength ratio is often out of whack. 

When this occurs, it can increase the risk of groin strains.This makes it even more important to strengthen your adductor muscles.

Best Adductor Exercises To Build Hip Muscle Strength And Prevent Injury

The most effective way to target and strengthen your hip adductor muscles, is to incorporate a combination of compound and isolation leg movements that use a wider stance, as well as unilateral exercises with split stances that move side to side.

Here are 7 compound and 9 isolation inner thigh exercises to strengthen hip adduction muscles.

#1. Barbell Sumo Deadlift

The barbell sumo deadlift is a deadlift variation that uses a wider stance.

This wider stance allows you to get your hips lower, which helps target the inner thigh adductor muscles more. 

The positioning also allows you to keep a more upright torso, thus placing less stress on your lower back.

To get started:

  1. With a very wide stance, keeping your chest up, push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your body to grab the barbell with a grip inside the legs.
  2. While maintaining a flat back, drive your feet through the floor and lift the bar by extending your hips and knees.
  3. Reverse the movement to lower the bar back to the floor and repeat.

#2. Wide Stance Barbell Back Squat With Sumo Stance

The barbell back squat with sumo stance is a squat variation that places more emphasis on the glutes and hamstrings.

To get started:

  1. Position the barbell across your upper back while holding it with an overhand grip.
  2. Spread your legs wide like a sumo wrestler with your toes pointing outward.
  3. Contract your core and lower your body into a squat by bending at the hips, pushing your butt back, then bending your knees, until your thighs reach parallel to the ground or deeper depending on your mobility.
  4. Press your feet through the floor to create as much tension in the legs as possible, then rise back up to standing.
  5. Repeat for reps.

#3. Walking Dumbbell Walking Lateral Lunge 

The Walking Dumbbell Lateral Lunge is an excellent lunge variation that targets the muscles in the legs, glutes, and inner thigh adductor muscles.

It’s a great way to train the legs in a lateral plane motion as opposed to the traditional forward and backwards motion.

To get started:

  1. While standing, place a barbell on the back of your shoulders.
  2. Keeping your chest up, take one large step laterally to the side and lunge with your lead leg, then push your glutes back, while ensuring you maintain a strong flat back.
  3. Press your feet through the floor and rise back up and bring your back foot beside your lead foot.
  4. Continue to complete another lateral lunge moving in the same direction on the same leg.
  5. Complete all the reps on one leg, then switch legs and directions as you make your way back to the starting position.

#4. Barbell Bulgarian Split Squat

The Barbell Bulgarian Split Squat is a fantastic unilateral exercise for the legs.

Not only does it target the quads, hamstrings, and glutes, it also requires a lot of core strength to balance the movement.

To get started:

  1. Place a bench or stable step 2-3 feet behind you.
  2. Then position a barbell across your upper back, with your shoulder blades back, and grip it with an overhand grip.
  3. With your core contracted, focus on pressing one of your feet through the floor as you raise and place the opposite foot behind you, resting it on top of the bench. Your front knee should be slightly bent.
  4. Keeping your core contracted, slowly lower your body towards the floor by bending your front knee to about 90 degrees or until your front thigh is parallel to the floor.
  5. Pause for a slight moment at the bottom, then ensuring you maintain an upright torso with the natural arch in your lower back, press your front foot through the floor to push your body back to the starting position.
  6. Finish all the reps with one leg, then switch legs and repeat.

#5. Barbell Jump Lunge

The Barbell Jump Lunge is a great plyometric exercise that primarily targets the quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves.

It also improves balance, coordination, power, and explosiveness.

To get started:

  1. Place a barbell across the back of your shoulders.
  2. Take one step forward with one leg as you make the descent into the lunge. Your front thigh should be parallel to the ground with your back knee at a 90 degree angle hovering just above the floor.
  3. Ensure your upper body is upright and perpendicular to the ground throughout the movement without allowing your front knee to go past your toes in the lunge position.
  4. Now explode up into a jump by pressing both of your feet through the ground, bringing your back foot forward and your forward foot back.
  5. Cushion your joints by landing softly directly into the lunge position.
  6. Continue alternating sides for reps.

#6. Dumbbell Lateral Step Up

The Dumbbell Lateral Step Up is an excellent leg exercise that targets the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and adductor muscles.

To get started:

  1. While holding a pair of dumbbells, with a palms facing in grip by your sides, stand to the side of a sturdy step, bench, or box that is approximately knee height.
  2. With your core tight and chest up, place the foot closest to the step up on top of the step.
  3. While looking straight ahead, press your foot through the step to extend your leg and rise up.
  4. To make it extra challenging, rather than letting the opposite foot balance on the step, keep it off the side to increase the pressure on the working leg.
  5. Under control, lower your hovering leg back to the floor, while keeping the other leg planted into the step.
  6. Complete all the reps on one leg, then switch legs and repeat.

#7. Lateral Sled Pull With Shuffle And Crossover Steps

The Lateral Sled Pull With Shuffle And Crossover Steps is an excellent exercise that targets the muscles in the legs, including the inner thigh adductor muscles and outer glute abductor muscles.

You can use shuffle steps or the more advanced crossover steps to pull the sled sideways.

To get started:

  1. Attach straps to a sled, then hold the handles with one hand.
  2. Step away until the straps are tight, while extending the other arm out to the side.
  3. The first variation is the shuffle step. Get into a wide and low athletic stance to load the hips, contract your core to stabilize your torso, then pull the sled by shuffling your feet to bring the foot closest to the sled beside your opposite foot.
  4. Continue to stay low as you laterally shuffle your feet sideways.
  5. The second variation is the crossover step. Get into the same starting position with a strong core and a wide and low athletic stance to load the hips. This time cross the back leg over and in front of the lead leg.
  6. Continue to stay low as you laterally crossover your feet sideways.
  7. Complete for reps or time.

#8. Seated Hip Adduction Machine

The Seated Hip Adduction Machine can be used to isolate and strengthen the adductor muscles found on the inside of the thighs.

Since this exercise starts with your legs in a stretched position, just be careful as you are at a higher risk of pulling your inner thigh muscles and groin.

 To get started:

  1. Sit down on the seat and spread your legs so the pads are pressed against the inside of your thighs.
  2. Depending on your body type, you may want to keep your back pressed into the bench or lean slightly forward.
  3. Give both ways a try to see which feels best for your body.
  4. While keeping your spine neutral pull your legs together until the pads touch.
  5. Hold this position for a second to feel a good squeeze in your inner thighs, then slowly release back to the starting position.
  6. Repeat for reps.

#9. Standing Resistance Band Hip Adduction

The Standing Resistance Band Hip Adduction is an exercise that strengthens the adductor muscles found on the inner thigh.

To get started:

  1. Connect a resistance band to a stable low object, such as a squat rack, then secure it around the ankle closest to the object.
  2. While standing to the side, hold on to the rack with one arm for balance, then take a step away until the resistance band is tight.
  3. Bring your extended leg with the resistance band across the front of your body.
  4. You should feel a good contraction in the inner thigh muscles.
  5. Under control, reverse the movement to bring your leg back to the starting point, without losing the tension on the resistance band.
  6. Repeat all the reps on one leg, then switch legs and repeat.

#10. Standing Cable Hip Adduction

The Standing Cable Hip Adduction is an exercise that strengthens the adductor muscles found on the inner thigh.

To get started:

  1. Connect an ankle attachment to the low pulley on a cable machine, then secure it around the ankle closest to the cable machine.
  2. While standing to the side of the cable machine, hold on to the machine with one arm for balance, then take a step away until the cable is tight.
  3. Bring your extended leg with the weight across the front of your body.
  4. You should feel a good contraction in the inner thigh muscles.
  5. Under control, reverse the movement to bring your leg back to the starting point, without allowing the weight to rest.
  6. Repeat all the reps on one leg, then switch legs and repeat.

#11. Standing Single Leg Hip Adduction Machine

The Standing Single Leg Hip Adduction Machine can be used to isolate and strengthen the adductor muscles found on the inside of the thigh.

To get started:

  1. Set the pad up to a height that allows you to comfortably rest your thigh on it.
  2. While facing the machine, grip the handles with your hands, and lift your leg up to place the inside of your leg close to the knee region, against the pad.
  3. Using your inner thigh muscles, push against the pad to move your leg across and towards the midline of your body.
  4. Hold this position for a brief moment to feel a good inner thigh muscle contraction, then slowly release back to the starting position.
  5. Repeat all the reps on one leg, then switch legs and repeat.

#12. Side Lying Hip Adduction

The Side Lying Hip Adduction is an exercise that strengthens the adductor muscles found on the inner thigh.

To get started:

  1. Lie down on the floor on your side, with your bottom arm extended and pressed into the floor, your top knee bent and your foot pressed into the floor in front of your bottom knee. Grip the ankle of the bent leg with your top hand. This is the starting position.
  2. With your bottom leg extended, raise it off the floor to feel a good contraction in the inner thigh.
  3. Under control, reverse the movement to lower your leg, without allowing it to rest on the floor.
  4. Repeat all the reps on one leg, then switch legs and repeat.

#13. Side Lying Hip Adduction Leg Scissors

The Side Lying Hip Adduction Leg Scissors is an exercise that strengthens the adductor muscles found on the inner thigh.

To get started:

  1. Lie down on the floor on your side, with your bottom arm extended and pressed into the floor.
  2. Press your top hand into the floor in front of your chest, with both legs extended on top of each other.
  3. Raise the top leg and hold it in position as the bottom leg rises up and down in a slow and controlled motion, without resting on the floor between reps.
  4. Repeat all the reps on one leg, then switch legs and repeat.

#14. Copenhagen Hip Adduction

The Copenhagen Hip Adduction is a challenging exercise that targets the adductor muscles on the inner thigh.

To get started:

  1. Lie down on the floor on your side with your feet close to a sturdy bench, box, or step.
  2. Bend your bottom arm and press your forearm into the floor similar to as if you were completing a forearm side plank, with your top hand on your top hip.
  3. Place the inside of your top foot on top of the bench, then at the same time press your foot into the bench and your forearm into the floor to raise your body into a side plank, with your bottom leg raising off the floor just below the bench.
  4. Hold for a brief moment to feel the contraction in your inner thigh, then under control, lower your hips towards the floor without resting.
  5. Immediately raise your hips back to the side plank position.
  6. Repeat for reps.

#15. Adductor Forearm Side Plank

The Adductor Forearm Side Plank is a challenging exercise that targets the adductor muscles on the inner thigh, as well as the obliques in the abs.

To get started:

  1. Lie down on the floor on your side with your feet close to a sturdy bench, box, or step.
  2. Bend your bottom arm and press your forearm into the floor similar to as if you were completing a forearm side plank, with your top hand on your top hip.
  3. Place the inside of your top foot on top of the bench, then at the same time press your foot into the bench and your forearm into the floor to raise your body into a side plank, with your bottom leg raising off the floor just below the bench.
  4. The side of your body should form a straight line as you feel the contraction in your inner thighs.
  5. Hold for time.

#16. Adductor Plate Slide

The Adductor Plate Slide is an exercise that targets the adductor muscles on the inner thigh.

To get started:

  1. Place a weight plate on the floor.
  2. Straddle the weight plate with one inner foot beside the plate, and the other foot placed behind the weight plate.
  3. Contract your abs, then press your inner foot into the plate and swing your leg across your body to slide the plate across the floor.
  4. You should feel a good contraction in the inner thigh.
  5. Walk over to the plate and complete the same process with the other leg to slide the plate back to the starting position.
  6. Continue alternating legs for reps.

Since the inner thigh adductor muscles have a greater proportion of slow twitch muscle fibers, many of these movements should be targeted with higher reps.

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