Hip adductor exercises are a great, simple way to improve your stride and avoid injury. By strengthening your groin muscles, you can become a stronger runner.
You may only be aware of the hip adductor when an injury is reported in sports that involve a lot of lateral movement such as soccer, basketball, and tennis though it can prove problematic for a runner too.
Weak, tight hip adductors could be holding you back as a runner and even cause pain in your hip, knee, and lower back so learn some simple exercises.
In this guide, we will look at a range of adductor exercises that are ideal for runners.
Side-Lying Adduction Leg Lifts
Lie on the ground on your right-hand side with your right hand behind your head and maintain your left leg bent with the foot on the floor with your right foot out and remaining parallel with the ground.
Your right foot will be off the ground and try to rotate it towards the ceiling to involve your hip flexors.
Raise your right foot as high as you can then bring it back slowly in a manner you can control yet keep it off the ground at all times.
Repeat this for 20 reps, switching sides halfway through.
A really simple exercise for your adductors is to stand straight with your hands on the top of your hips. Keep your right foot still while the left foot steps out to the side.
As your left foot hits the ground and bends at the knee, follow that movement across and stretch. Repeat this with the other foot and try around 10 to 20 reps.
The exercise works as the action of stepping out forces our adductors to work to keep the femur in position while also working your quads.
Same-Side Rotational Lunges
If you have a weight you are comfortable holding then hold it in front of your body but if not simply brace your core.
Keep your feet straight as your opening position and then take a rotational lunging step out to one side, leaving the trail leg behind.
This is similar to the movement of stepping out of a car so imagine that. Upon impact, allow your ankle, knee, and lunging hip to bend.
Again, brace your core and take a lunging step forward then allow both knees to enjoy a bend when you hit the floor.
Take a short pause when you reach the bottom position and compose yourself.
Once you are ready, drive into the ground forcefully and return to your original position.
Start with four reps in each direction, making sure to change sides at the halfway point or on each repetition then move up to 10 lunges for each leg in both directions.
Kneeling Adductor Movements
There are several adductor movements you can do kneeling down so make sure it is on a comfortable surface.
Start by kneeling on your right knee then swiveling your left leg to the side, your left foot should be perpendicular to the right, with the right knee directly in line with your right heel.
Try moving your left foot away as this will stretch your groin out but move your foot into a comfortable position if it proves too uncomfortable.
Keep your back straight and tall then glide to the left for around 10 reps though give yourself a pause after each one at the point of feeling your muscles stretch.
Once you have learned this simple movement, you can vary it up by reaching your arms and hands.
Reach your left arm overhead to your right then side-bend to the right while the rest of your lower body glides to the left. Try reaching your hands high overheads or forward then down.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Will Tight And Weak Adductors Prove A Problem?
One of the main contributors to tight muscles is essentially because they are weak.
This is a mechanism that the muscle will use to look after itself so if your adductors feel tight then that can create an imbalance that will harm your running form.
If you cannot move your legs like you should be able to, there is little chance that you will be able to excel as a runner.
How Are Adductors Used While Running?
During your running gait, your adductors will be worked constantly to maintain that movement. They will propel you as you push off then slow down your trail leg once it moves behind you.
Whenever you move up or down a hill, or simply when you move faster, you will be relying on your hip adductors for that change of movement.
You may not realize how important your hip adductors are until you start to stretch them out.
By just doing some simple movements before you run or during the day when you are at home or in the gym, they can make a real difference.
Especially if you feel any resistance when trying to push off or find inclines particularly difficult.