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Hey, guys, work those thighs; machines aren’t ‘girly’

Most men don’t do certain exercises because they think they look too “girly.” 

They tend to avoid the abduction (outer thigh) and adduction (inner thigh) machines, apparently thinking they’re only for women. I hope that after reading today’s column, many men will leave their machismo at home the next time they work their legs. 

These leg machines can isolate the adductors and hips without placing strain on the knees. The inner and outer thigh also give the legs stability. Men should train the adductor to help give them a stronger squat. Adding these machines to your leg routine will help supplement existing exercises to achieve your overall fitness goals. Women find that the abduction machine helps sculpt the buttocks. In sports, strong inner and outer thighs will aid in stability and improve performance in football, tennis, racquetball, skiing and snowboarding.  

It’s easy to mix up these two terms.

Adductors are the inner thigh and abductors are the outer thigh.

Think, abduct is to take away and the outer thighs (abductors) take the knees away from each other. The gluteus maximus, meduis and minimus as well as the tensor fascia latae make up the abductors. The TFL runs from the hip down the side of the leg and attaches below the knee. These muscles contribute to hip abduction and extension as well as internal and external rotation of the leg. 

Adductors bring the hips together. The inner thigh muscles start at the pubis and connect at different points along the inner thigh bone. Starting from high in the inner thigh, the muscles are the pectineus, adductor longus, adductor magnus and the gracilis. The adductor complex assists in raising the body from a squat position, rotating the leg inward and outward as well as stabilizing the hips. 

Women tend to gravitate toward these machines because they like the tone the inner-thigh machine gives to their legs and the muscle added to the outer thigh and glutes. 

When working out on these machines it is important to concentrate when contracting and releasing. Be careful not to do these exercises too fast. Control is key to the effective conditioning of these muscles. 

Depending on the gym, this machine will have different appearances. Some gyms have two machines, one for abductors and one for adductors. Others have a two-in-one machine that transforms from an inner thigh machine to an outer thigh machine with a quick flip of the knee pads. Other gyms have versions with a tilting backrest or a standing version that exercises one leg at a time.  

Chris Huth is a Las Vegas trainer. You can contact him at 702trainer@gmail.com. Before beginning any exercise program, consult your physician.

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