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What Are Adductor & Abductor Machines? Benefits, Efficacy And How To Use Them

Do The Abductor And Adductor Machines Really Work? An Unbiased Review

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to this, but whether or not adductor and abductor machines are appropriate for you is determined by your objectives. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to spot reduce them with this equipment if your major complaint is that your thighs have too much body fat.

In this article, we will take a closer look at both these machines individually to figure their positive and negative points, how to use these machines, and tips to maximize results.

Hip Abduction Machine Overview And Benefits

The hip abduction machine exercise is designed to strengthen the abductors.

The movement of the leg away from the mid-body, backward, forward, or to one side is known as hip abduction. This is the motion when you take a side step or step out of a car. The hip abductors, a minor muscle group found in the outer thighs and around the glutes, are responsible for this movement. The abductor muscles, also referred to as stabilizers, assist in the spreading of your legs and pushing out of your hips. These muscles are frequently neglected, which is why the Hip Abductor Machine was created.

Hip abduction exercises can reduce or even eliminate hip pain and discomfort, as well as strengthen and tone your hips.

Hip abduction workouts might help athletes as well as men and women of all ages.

Performing hip abduction isolation exercises helps to develop a full pair of glutes and hips from an aesthetic standpoint.

Target Muscle GroupAbductors
Exercise TypeStrength
Equipment RequiredMachine
Force TypePush (Bilateral)Push (Bilateral)
Experience LevelBeginner
Secondary MusclesAbs, Glutes, Hamstrings

Target Muscle Group


image showing abductor muscles worked by abductor machine

Hip Abduction Machine Instructions

  1. With your back against the pad and your spine neutral, get ready to go.
  2. Exhale and push the legs apart as you open the pads.
  3. Return to the start position gradually once your hips have fully externally rotated.
  4. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Hip Abduction Machine Tips

  1. Experiment with foot and pelvis placement. Depending on the form of your hip, you may require a somewhat deeper or shallower start position to achieve the greatest contraction.
  • Be careful of your pelvic position as well; don’t let the back arch since this will push the hips forward and put the adductors under too much strain before the contraction, affecting force output.
  • Experiment with moving your torso (e.g., lean forward or push your back into the pad) if you can’t seem to figure out how to manipulate your pelvis while sitting.

Hip Adduction Machine Overview And Benefits

The hip adduction machine exercise is an exercise used to strengthen the muscles of the adductors.

From an aesthetic standpoint, using the hip adduction machine can help in building shapely inner thighs.

The adductors or inner thigh muscles (adductor longus, adductor brevis & adductor magnus, pectineus, gracilis) are responsible for stabilizing the outward rotation of your knee and help in pulling the legs toward the center line of your body. All these muscles attach to the pelvis & play a key role in hip extension and flexion. The adductors are also essential in maintaining the core’s stability. The adductors work together to provide stability and prevent harm to the knees, hips, and lower back.

Yes, the seated inner thigh machines do provide a good workout; however, not for the reasons that most people believe. The inner thigh machines are popular among people who want to target hip adductor muscles in order to lose fat around the inner thigh however, this is a myth known as “spot-reduction” which is centered around the idea that performing exercises for specific muscles will burn body fat in that specific area only. The inner thigh muscles are overactive in most individuals and are responsible for a number of movement compensations and injuries in the lower extremities, such as anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears and knee pain, and have also been shown to decrease activity in the gluteal (butt) muscles, which is an area where most people want to see results. In essence, while inner thigh muscle exercises may aid in their development, they will not help to make someone thinner in that region. To get rid of the fat from the inner thighs, focus on proper nutrition and participate in a structured exercise program consisting of resistance and cardiorespiratory training. Doing so will decrease fat stores throughout the entire body, including the problem areas.   

Target Muscle GroupAdductors
Exercise TypeStrength
Equipment RequiredMachineMachine
Force TypePush (Bilateral)
Experience LevelBeginner
Secondary MusclesGlutes, Hamstrings

Target Muscle Group


Image showing muscles worked during adduction machines workout

Hip Adduction Machine Instructions

  1. Put your back against the pad and your spine neutral in an upright position.
  2. Exhale and press the pads in by pulling the legs inward.
  3. After the pads touch, carefully move back to the starting position.
  4. Repeat the movement for the desired number of repetitions.

Hip Adduction Machine Tips

  • Experiment with foot and pelvic positioning. To fully maximize the contraction, you may need a somewhat more internal or external starting position based on the form of your hip.
  • Similarly, be careful about your pelvic position – don’t let the back arch as this will cause the hips to lean forward and put the adductors under too much strain before the contraction, affecting force production.
  • If you can’t seem to figure out how to alter the position of your pelvis while seated, give changing the posture of the body a try (e.g., lean forward or lean back into the pad).

Bottom Line

Most gyms have these machines and are quite popular with females. They necessitate sitting with your knees bent in front of you. The adduction machine is designed to target the inner thigh muscles, while the abduction machine targets the outer thigh muscles.

These machines may not be ideal for you if you want to develop a fitter lower body. It’s all too easy to put the weight on the abductor or adductor machine and believe you’re improving your leg strength and stability, but this may not be the case. However, if you have sport-specific goals, these movements may benefit you one way or the other.

Focus on good nutrition and engage in a structured exercise program that incorporates resistance and cardio-respiratory training to get rid of fat from the inner thighs. Actually doing so will help reduce fat stores across the body, including the problematic regions.


Rahul is a sports and performance consultant. Over the course of his 15-year career in the fitness sector, he has held positions as a strength and conditioning instructor, gym owner, and consultant. He is deeply committed to assisting people in finding happiness and feeling good about themselves. Rahul has a master's degree in exercise science and is a certified NSCA CSCS and CISSN.

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