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  • Writer's pictureLuke Nelson

Groin pain? Top exercises for the adductor muscles

Top isolation exercises for the hip adductors

We've previously discussed how the hip adductors function for running (here) & how to test their strength (here). Now we delve into how to strengthen them.

First, isolated exercises to target the adductors. Here we rank them from lowest to highest % of maximal voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC) (in other words, from easiest to hardest).

1️⃣ Side-lying hip adduction: 60-64% MVIC adductor longus (Delmore 2014, Serner 2014)

2️⃣ Isometric ball squeeze legs straight: 86% MVIC (Serner 2014)

3️⃣ Sliding hip abduction: 98% MVIC (Serner 2014)

4️⃣ Standing banded hip adduction (10RM resistance): 103% MVIC (Serner 2014)

5️⃣ Isometric ball squeeze 45 deg: 108% MVIC (Serner 2014)

6️⃣ Copenhagen bridge: 108% MVIC (Serner 2014)

So start with the lowest MVC exercises & progress your way from there!

👋Runners & health professionals, feel free to share & save this post for future reference!


  • Delmore, R., et al. (2014). "Adductor Longus Activation During Common Hip Exercises." Journal of Sport Rehabilitation 23: 79-87.

  • Serner, A., et al. (2014). "EMG evaluation of hip adduction exercises for soccer players: implications for exercise selection in prevention and treatment of groin injuries." British Journal of Sports Medicine 48(14): 1108-1114.

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