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  • Writer's pictureLuke Nelson

Other hip adductor exercises not to be missed

We've previously discussed the best isolation exercises for the hip adductors (here), and now we will talk about some other compound alternatives.

🎯Banded hip flexion

With the hip extended, this replicates the role that the adductor Magnus serves in the early swing phase as a hip flexor.

🎯Split stance exercises

1️⃣Lunge (bodyweight) 23.6% maximum voluntary contraction (MVIC) adductor longus (Boudreau 2009)

2️⃣Lateral lunge (bodyweight): 26.7% MVIC (Delmore 2014)

3️⃣Step up (bodyweight): 27.2% MVIC adductor longus (Boudreau 2009)

4️⃣Bulgarian split squat (unknown MVC): allows for great depth & hip flexion which increases adductor magnus involvement


🎯Ideal to target adductor Magnus which serves as both a hip extensor & hip flexor during gait

🔑Adductor Magnus appears to play a pivotal role in hip extension during the squat, producing, on average, more than 50% of the net hip extension moment. (Vigotsky 2016)

🔑 Full-depth squats elicited greater adductor activation (Kubo 2019)

🔑Greater hip external rotation position, a wide stance of the feet, as well as an increased load will increase hip adduction activation.

So whilst these movements don't achieve the higher activation levels of the isolated exercises, they can be useful to use nonetheless, especially in the longer term to also train other areas (i.e. squats & lunges)

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


  • Boudreau, S., et al. (2009). "Hip-Muscle Activation During the Lunge, Single-Leg Squat, and Step-Up-and-Over Exercises." Journal of Sport Rehabilitation 18: 91-103.

  • Clark, D. R., et al. (2012). "Muscle activation in the loaded free barbell squat: a brief review." J Strength Cond Res 26(4): 1169-1178.

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

  • Kubo, K., et al. (2019). "Effects of squat training with different depths on lower limb muscle volumes." Eur J Appl Physiol 119(9): 1933-1942.

  • Vigotsky, A. and M. Bryanton (2016). Relative Muscle Contributions to Net Joint Moments in the Barbell Back Squat.

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