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  1. #1
    Registered User Lunu's Avatar
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    Talking Adductor/Abductor Alternatives

    Hi Ladies!

    I'm new - mostly been reading, reading and reading! So much information on this forum! While I've been working with weights for years, I've never gotten very serious so I will totally appreciate soaking up the wealth of knowledge in here!

    The adductor and abductor machines were always one of my favs for legs at my old gym.

    My current gym doesn't have them and I'm finding myself missing them for working my inner and outer thighs!

    I know I can use a cable with an ankle strap but it just doesn't feel like it's working the same.

    I was reading before that certain feet positions with hack squats can target specifically the inner and outer thighs (wide for inner, together for outer?!). Do you think this will help me to get similar leg results as the adductor and abductor machines?

    Or are there any alternatives? Should I just harass my gym to get some? lol

    Thanks heaps!
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  2. #2
    achieved bro status discdoggie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Lunu View Post
    Or are there any alternatives? Should I just harass my gym to get some? lol

    Thanks heaps!
    Yes and no. This is just my opinion, of course, but I don't like isolation exercises, especially for a large body part like legs. Women seemed drawn to those machines, "Oh, I have inner thigh jiggle, I need to tone it up."

    Wrong.

    That jiggle is just garden variety fat that gravity has brought to the lowest possible point. Besides, those muscles are smaller assisting muscles. Developing them while neglecting the big ones can lead to imbalances, injuries, and strange looking legs.


    Target your inner and outer thighs by throwing in sumos occasionally.
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  3. #3
    Registered User Lunu's Avatar
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    Thanks! I haven't done sumos before but will incorporate them next legs day!

    I should clarify that I'm already doing a mix of db walking lunges, leg press, hack squats, leg curls and extensions and smith machine... maybe I should just get over it!

    I'll give the sumos a whirl! Thanks again!
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  4. #4
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    I gave up isolation moves when I started New Rules for Women...every single one of them.

    I'd stick with the Sumos, Walking Lunges, Step Ups, Split Squats, One Legged Deadlifts. Any single leg move will make those ad/abductors fire.

    By following that "No Iso" Rule, I've got that sculpted hip/glute look when you turn to the side. It's very cool to see that kind of definition without the use of IsoMoves.

    Same goes for BicepsCurl, TricepsExt, KneeExt, HamCurl...From what I understand they have a place in a program, but only in the ending fine tuning stage.
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  5. #5
    Registered User KaraPhoto's Avatar
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    Yeah, those machines (we used to call them the "dirty girl machines" ) are really useless. Several books I've read (including NROLfW) mentions that they're the most ineffective of all the isolation machines.

    The compound movements you're doing will do far more for those muscles than the machines ever did! Stick with them ... you'll be fine
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  6. #6
    Get back to this ↓ hieronymous's Avatar
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    I enjoy doing monster walks and sidesteps with a dynaband.

    For a while there I was doing side hops inner leg leading and outerleg leading holding a dumbbell. Those helped me a lot with balance too.
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  7. #7
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    Don't toss aside that adductor/adductor machine so quickly ladies. Squats, no matter where you put your feet, don't fire the adductors nearly as much as we've been led to believe. Foot position will effect glute and hamstring involvement, but the adductors? Apparently not. That's not to say they won't get stronger doing squats. What the studies have shown is squats are not optimal. By a long shot.

    http://www.ergo-log.com/squatsadductors.html

    Adductor exercises: http://www.exrx.net/Lists/ExList/Thi...#anchor1943047
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  8. #8
    Registered User thedogdidit's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by freebirdmac View Post
    Don't toss aside that adductor/adductor machine so quickly ladies. Squats, no matter where you put your feet, don't fire the adductors nearly as much as we've been led to believe. Foot position will effect glute and hamstring involvement, but the adductors? Apparently not. That's not to say they won't get stronger doing squats. What the studies have shown is squats are not optimal. By a long shot.

    http://www.ergo-log.com/squatsadductors.html

    Adductor exercises: http://www.exrx.net/Lists/ExList/Thi...#anchor1943047
    I thought it was interesting that having feet shoulder width apart seems to fire glutes better than having them greater than shoulder width apart. Or perhaps that's already a known concept?
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  9. #9
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    Originally Posted by thedogdidit View Post
    I thought it was interesting that having feet shoulder width apart seems to fire glutes better than having them greater than shoulder width apart. Or perhaps that's already a known concept?
    There were a few commonly held beliefs that didn't hold up. In the study I linked it only looked at quads and adductors. It did reference another study that looked at hams and glutes http://www.ergo-log.com/squatfeetapart.html. This study, combined with the one I linked showed wider is better all around. It fires your glutes and hams more while stance had really no effect on the quads or adductors. Even the medialis.

    Optimal, according to these studies, are wide stance, heavy, and going at least to parallel. (they did not look at atg)

    Oh, and for the OP, finding a replacement for the missing adductor machine
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  10. #10
    Registered User thedogdidit's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by freebirdmac View Post
    There were a few commonly held beliefs that didn't hold up. In the study I linked it only looked at quads and adductors. It did reference another study that looked at hams and glutes http://www.ergo-log.com/squatfeetapart.html. This study, combined with the one I linked showed wider is better all around. It fires your glutes and hams more while stance had really no effect on the quads or adductors. Even the medialis.

    Optimal, according to these studies, are wide stance, heavy, and going at least to parallel. (they did not look at atg)

    Oh, and for the OP, finding a replacement for the missing adductor machine
    Oh, geez!, I was thinking *glutes* when they were talking *quads*. Whoops. It seemed odd as it really does feel like glutes are more active with wider stance ...

    Got it now, thanks!
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  11. #11
    achieved bro status discdoggie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by freebirdmac View Post
    Don't toss aside that adductor/adductor machine so quickly ladies. Squats, no matter where you put your feet, don't fire the adductors nearly as much as we've been led to believe. Foot position will effect glute and hamstring involvement, but the adductors? Apparently not. That's not to say they won't get stronger doing squats. What the studies have shown is squats are not optimal. By a long shot.

    http://www.ergo-log.com/squatsadductors.html

    Adductor exercises: http://www.exrx.net/Lists/ExList/Thi...#anchor1943047
    Then why do my inner thighs get so sore doing sumos?
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  12. #12
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    Originally Posted by discdoggie View Post
    Then why do my inner thighs get so sore doing sumos?
    Hehe, I wondered the same thing and got a bit twisted up trying to reason it out. I have had 3 adductor strains so I was very interested in figuring this out. Which I haven't for me quite yet

    First, do you get the same soreness when you open up the adductor machine and try to lift the same amount of weight?

    I have however found evidence that sometimes the real problem may actually lie with the glutes or hams. That the adductors are straining to make up for what the glutes and/or hams should be doing. Since they are only going to fire to a certain point, something will give. Flexibility can also be a problem as the adductors serve to stabilize the body, especially during wider squats. Torque at a wider stance is also different. None of which necessarily equates to the adductors firing at a greater level.

    I've gotten really twisted around hashing this through my brain. I simply decided, for me, stronger adductors were needed so the adductor machine (according to the studies, and really common sense) should be utilized. I also added in glute ham raises for the posterior chain. I'd have thought RDL's were sufficient. But given how much I suck at GHR, apparently not
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    Bret Contreras did a bunch of EMG measurements on various leg exercises here:
    http://www.t-nation.com/testosterone...de-the-muscles

    He was only able to take measurements on 4 muscles, so only included adductor longis from the adductor group.

    Adductor longis fires most with:
    mean EMG: Single Leg Gliding Leg Curl, Hack Lift, Russian Leg Curl
    peak EMG: Romanian Deadlift, Single Leg Gliding Leg Curl, High Step Up

    Read article for further clarifications!

    I'm off to YouTube those exercises ...

    edit: link takes you to main page. From there, click on "Inside the Muscles" to get to Contreras' article.
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  14. #14
    achieved bro status discdoggie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by freebirdmac View Post
    First, do you get the same soreness when you open up the adductor machine and try to lift the same amount of weight?
    You know what? I don't know. But I'll find out.
    Originally Posted by freebirdmac View Post
    ?

    I have however found evidence that sometimes the real problem may actually lie with the glutes or hams. That the adductors are straining to make up for what the glutes and/or hams should be doing. Since they are only going to fire to a certain point, something will give. Flexibility can also be a problem as the adductors serve to stabilize the body, especially during wider squats. Torque at a wider stance is also different. None of which necessarily equates to the adductors firing at a greater level.

    p
    This all makes sense.
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    Well, all I know is that horseback riding hits my adductors (also glutes pretty well) more than any leg workout I do in the gym! However, the "bad girl" machine actually feels like it comes the closest, I found out a few months ago when I had to take a break from squats/DLs (shoulder problem).
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  16. #16
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    Thanks everyone for the feedback and info!

    I definitely feel it more in my inner thighs with the 'bad girl' (lol) machine more than just with my usual leg sessions. I like the stretch too - I have ITB from my running and I'm pretty sure it somehow helps with that.

    I'll throw sumos into my routine and if my gym gets the machine in, I'll definitely keep using it! If not, I won't stress though
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  17. #17
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    To OP... My question is WHY specifically do you feel the need to work these muscles?
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  18. #18
    Registered User Lunu's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by kfisherx View Post
    To OP... My question is WHY specifically do you feel the need to work these muscles?
    I suppose the main driving force is that when I was using it in conjunction with my other mentioned leg weights, I seemed to have more definition (particularly high inner thighs) than I have now without. I haven't used it for about a year but have continued with my other leg exercises and my inner thighs don't have the same appearance, and I certainly don't feel any DOMS in the same region as I used to...I would used to find myself walking like I'd just got off a long trail ride on a horse (so Birdiefu is on the right track!) heh

    With all that said, I have gained a couple of kilos of extra fat over the past year, so perhaps that is the reason and not the absense of the machine at all...
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    I Train to Bring You Pain kfisherx's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Lunu View Post
    ....

    With all that said, I have gained a couple of kilos of extra fat over the past year, so perhaps that is the reason and not the absense of the machine at all...
    Ding... ding... ding... The lady wins the prize. Guaranteed it is the fat versus the benefit of those machines.
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    Originally Posted by kfisherx View Post
    Ding... ding... ding... The lady wins the prize. Guaranteed it is the fat versus the benefit of those machines.
    This!^^

    I have never done adductor or abductor machines ever...and my legs are one of my strongest body parts...
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    haha doh that means I have to take ownership!!!

    Right, well once I get the fat off, I'll report back
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    I also agree that the adductor/abductor machine thingies are not necessary at all - yet when I went to a public gym, the women literally were lined up for them. Most of the women did not make it to the weights during their gym time, but most would make a special trip over for those machines. So you are definitely not alone in feeling like those machines really do something special.

    My inner thigh muscles are fairly satisfactorily developed and extremely strong (I have like 3 visible muscles so please let me brag about what I've got haha) and it seemed to be a combo of sprints and heavy sumo squats that got them that way, in that order, and in conjunction. I had an ab injury for over a year which made it hard to do regular squats, so I switched to sumo. I did notice quite a bit more firmness and that visible line coming back to that area once incorporating sumo squats. Once I got the ok to sprint again, the area really popped. I know that sprinting does the bulk of it because that area swells after every session and looks even more pronounced than normal, and over time really started to develop (and have pulled that muscle several times during sprint sessions so I know it gets hit hard).

    There is something about doing the heavy training in CONJUNCTION with the sprints that really develops that area nicely, so if you are looking for an adductor/ abductor alternative, that would be my suggestion to try. I think you'll be pleased, not to mention that the sprints will tear up the sides of your abs as well so you can skip crunches too

    But sprints on the field/ track though - not treadmill, I never find I can get the same thing on a treadmill.
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    Just wanted to say thanks again for the advice! I've thrown Sumo Squats into the mix and I'm enjoying them


    Originally Posted by ilovethe80s View Post
    IBut sprints on the field/ track though - not treadmill, I never find I can get the same thing on a treadmill.
    Going to give some sprints outside a go now too! Thanks
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