Hip Adductors Anatomy 101
The Inner Thigh Muscles

This hip adductors anatomy lesson is on the inner thigh muscles.

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This page contains an outline of the functional anatomy of the hip adductors; plus a list of the best weight lifting exercises for targeting this muscle group.

Hip Adductors Anatomy

Hip Adductor Muscles. The hip adductors located are located on the inner thigh; hence their alias of "inner thigh muscles." The adductors are a muscle group consisting of 3 individual muscles. The adductor muscles are shown in the picutre below. (Note that the gracilis and pectineus are also shown; they are related muscles, but are not technically part of this adductor muscle group):

Hip Adductors

1. Adductor Brevis

Adductor Brevis Anatomy
  • Origin.
    • Pubis
  • Insertion.
    • Lesser Trochaner of the Medial Femur
    • Linea Aspera of the Medial Femur
  • Function.
    • External Hip Rotation (during hip adduction)
    • Hip Adduction
    • Hip Flexion (during the 1st part of the movement)
    • Transverse Hip Adduction

2. Adductor Longus

Adductor Longus Anatomy
  • Origin.
    • Pubis
  • Insertion.
    • Linea Aspera of the Medial Femur
  • Function.
    • Hip Adduction
    • Transverse Hip Adduction
    • Hip Flexion (during the 1st part of the movement)

3. Adductor Magnus

Adductor Magnus Anatomy
  • Anterior.
    • Origin.
      • Pubis
    • Insertion.
      • Linea Aspera of the Medial Femur
    • Function.
      • External Hip Rotation, during Hip Adduction
      • Hip Adduction
      • Transverse Hip Adduction
  • Posterior.
    • Origin.
      • Ischium
    • Insertion.
      • Medial Condyloid Ridge of the Medial Femur
    • Function.
      • External Hip Rotation (during hip adduction)
      • Hip Adduction
      • Hip Extension
      • Transverse Hip Adduction

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Hip Adductor Exercises

Hip Adductor Exercises. The best leg exercises for working the hip adductor muscles include:

  • Cable Hip Adductions.
  • Lying Hip Adductions (Weighted or Bodyweight).
  • Machine Seated Hip Adductions.
  • Machine Standing Hip Adductions.
  • Hip Flexor Exercises (since the Adductor Longus & Brevis play a role in flexion)

Note that there's rarely a need to perform the above isolation hip adductor exercises if you're doing already using a quality weight lifting routine, since the hip adductors recieve plenty of indirect work from compound leg exercises.

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Hip Adductors Glossary

Use this hip adductors glossary if you have problems understanding any of the terminology within this page. I've divided the glossary into two categories: "Functions" and "Anatomy."

Functions

  • External Hip Rotation. Rotating your upper leg and pelvis away from the center-line of your body. Perform this by standing on one foot with the other leg slightly raised. Then "turn over" the raised leg to the outside.
  • Hip Adduction. Moving your leg toward the center-line of your body, with a straight hip joint. Perform this by clenching your legs together while standing, as if you're squeezing something between your inner thigs.
  • Hip Extension. The movement of straightening the hip joint to increase the angle between your thighs and torso. One way to do this is by moving your leg backward, as exemplified by figures skaters when skating on one blade; The other way to use hip extension is by moving your pelvis forward, as with by an emphatic pelvic thrust motion!
  • Hip Flexion. The movement of bending the hip joint to decrease the angle between your thighs and torso. For example, the knee-to-chest "tucking" motion used when doing a flip or a somersault. The other way to perform flexion is with a chest-to-knee movement, such as when doing a sit-up.
  • Transverse Hip Adduction. Moving your leg toward the center-line of your body, doing so on a horizontal plane and with your hip joint bent (i.e. the body position - not the movement - is similar to that when reclining in a Lay-Z-Boy). The movement is simply to bring the legs together.

Anatomy

  • Condyloid Ridge. The distinct edge that clearly defines the condyle.
    • Condyle. The "knuckles" or rounded bulges on the joint of a bone.
  • Femur. The thigh bones.
  • Ischium. The sitting bones.
  • Lesser Trochanter. A cone-shaped projection on the lower, rear section of the femur neck (i.e. just below where the femur head, which attaches to the hip joint).
  • Linea Aspera. The rough-textured edge on the posterior side of the femur.
  • Medial. On, or extending toward, the inside.
  • Posterior. Rear, or back.
  • Pubis. The pubic bone, on the front of the pelvis.

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