Hip Adductor Exercises: 10 Must-Do Exercises

Hip adductor exercises 10 must-do exercises

While the importance of hip abductions are often talked about, our hip adductors can be overlooked. Doing so though means you can really miss out on great benefits such as injury prevention and a stronger hip extension and rotational power.

Hip adductors are muscles that play an important role in the rotational movement of your body, specifically the hips and thighs. With our favorite must-do hip adductor exercises, like the cossack squat and Copenhagen side plank, you’ll strengthen your hip adductors to generate more power than before.

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What Are Your Hip Adductors?

What Are Your Hip Adductors.jpg

Your hip adductors are located in the inner thigh. Five muscles make up the adductors: these muscles are the:

  • Adductor longus

  • Adductor brevis

  • Adductor magnus

  • Gracilis

  • Pectineus

Their purpose is to stabilize the body and adduct the hips and thighs. Basically, they assist in moving your hips and thighs inwards, towards the center of your body.

Why Hip Adductors Are So Important


An adductor strain is a common cause of groin strain.

It is an injury that is especially common amongst athletes. By straining your adductor and stretching it too far, you are not only injuring yourself but also leaving yourself more susceptible to future injuries.

So it’s best to prevent it from happening by strengthening and exercising our adductors.


Your hip adductors contribute to any rotating movements that you make with your body.

As you often rotate in sports, such as baseball and football, and in everyday life as well, exercising your adductors will enable you to move easier and give you better swinging motion.

Not to mention, it’ll allow you to generate a lot more power behind your movement by internally rotating the hips and giving you additional strength and power from the lower body.


The hip extension is when you open your hip joint. It’s used commonly when lifting such as in the squat or deadlift, Olympic weightlifting, and in everyday movements as well.

So a powerful hip extension can really make a difference in your sporting ability, sprinting and in your day-to-day life.

One way to improve your hip extension is by working on your hip adductors, which is why it’s so important to train them and do hip adductor exercises in your workout routine.

10 Must-Do Hip Adductor Exercises

Not sure where to start? The following 10 exercises are our favorite hip adductor movements. Try giving them a go, or visit the FitBod app for some more ideas!


Standing Hip Adduction.jpg

Equipment: Resistance band

  1. Stand beside a vertical pole, wrapping the resistance band around it. It should be around your thigh height.

  2. Place your inner leg inside the band—the one closest to the pole— with the other still outside of it.  The band should be above the knee and around the thigh.

  3. Holding the pole for balance, place your weight on the outside leg. Pull the banded leg away from the pole, across the other leg.

  4. Slowly, return it back to the starting position.

Notes: Ensure that your torso remains as upright as possible. Don’t let your body tilt or turn to try and get the leg to move. Engaging your core will help with this. If you still find this challenging, then find a lighter band to start with.


Single-Leg Glute Bridge With Squeeze.jpg

Equipment needed: Foam roller or small swiss ball

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground.

  2. Put the foam roller or small swiss ball between your thighs. Your arms should be by your side.

  3. Lift one left up into the air, leaving the other remaining on the ground.

  4. Push your hips up towards the sky, squeezing your glutes in the top position. Simultaneously, squeeze the foam roller or ball between your thighs.

  5. Lower your hips back to the ground.

  6. Repeat.


Copenhagen Side Plank.jpg

Equipment: Bench, foam mat

  1. Lie on your side, propped up on your right elbow with the bench at your feet. Rest your elbow on the foam mat so that it doesn’t hurt against the floor.

  2. Now, put your left leg, the top leg, on top of the bench. Push your hips off the floor so you’re in a side plank. Your right leg should also be lifted but keep it beneath the bench so that it’s between your legs. Your legs can be bent or straight, whichever you prefer.

  3. Hold the position for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

  4. Change sides. This time, you should be supported on your left elbow with your right leg on top of the bench and the left leg beneath it.

Notes: Just like any normal plank or side plank, make sure that your body is in a straight line. Your hips shouldn’t be sagging and touching the floor, nor should it be overly extended. If this version of the Copenhagen side plank is too easy, then try to do it with your supporting arm completely extended so you’re just leaning on your hand. Keep the other hand straight up in the air while you’re doing so, so that your body makes a T shape.


Side-Leg Raises.jpg

Equipment: Floor mat, resistance band

  1. Loop the resistance band around your thighs. Lie on the floor, leaning on one side. You can rest your head in your hand, bending at the elbows for support.

  2. Lift the top leg up in the air as far as you can get it while keeping your leg straight.

  3. Lower it back down.

  4. Repeat.

  5. Switch sides when you’re done.

Notes: This can also be done without the resistance band if you’re new to this exercise. Just omit it and add it back in when you’re ready for extra resistance.


Side-Leg Scissors.jpg

Equipment: Floor mat

This must-do hip adductor exercise is similar to the side-leg raises.

  1. Lie on your floor mat, resting on your side. You can prop your head on your elbow for support or rest it on an extended arm.

  2. Lift the top leg up in the air. Keep it as straight as possible.

  3. Now, keeping the top leg suspended mid-air, bring the other leg up to meet it.

  4. Once your legs touch in the air, lower the bottom leg down to the ground. The top leg remains where it is.

  5. Once the bottom leg touches the ground, raise it again to meet the other.

  6. Repeat your reps on the one side before changing to the other.

Notes: The height of the suspended top leg depends on your fitness level. The higher it is, the harder it’ll be to keep it mid-air while raising the bottom one. The lower it is, the easier it’ll be to control.

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Equipment: Resistance band

  1. Lie on your side on the ground with your legs stacked on top of each other. Your knees are bent and your feet are touching. Loop the resistance band around your thighs.

  2. Lift the top leg up, opening your legs but keep both feet touching. Your bottom leg should remain on the ground.

  3. Bring your top leg back to the starting position.

  4. Repeat all your reps on this side before swapping over to the other.


Slider Side Lunge.jpg

Equipment: Sliders

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. One foot should be on the ground and the other should be standing on one slider.

  2. Engage your core and do a side lunge, with the foot on the slider sliding out instead of stepping out.

  3. Go as low as you can before contracting your abdominal muscles tightly and sliding your leg back to the middle, standing up whilst doing so.

  4. Complete the reps on one side before switching to the other.

Notes: If you don’t have sliders available, then using a plastic bag or towel on a hard, smooth surface will suffice.


Cossack Squat.jpg

Equipment: N/A

  1. Stand with your feet in a wide stance with your feet turn slightly outwards. It should be wider than your shoulder-width. Try setting up your feet as if you were doing a sumo squat.

  2. Engage your core and brace. Slowly, bend into a squat, leaning to one side. Squat all the way down, moving your weight and body to the one leg. The other leg should straighten and be kept to the side. Try and get the straight leg as close to the ground as possible.

  3. Stand back up, moving back to the starting position in a wide stance.

  4. Then, squat down again, shifting your weight to the other side, straightening the other leg.

  5. Stand back up to the starting position and repeat.

Notes: When doing the cossack squat, try and prevent your lower back from rounding. If you can’t go all the way down as well, then just go as low as you can while you work on your squat depth and flexibility.


Slider Plank Jacks.jpg

Equipment: Slides

  1. Get into a plank position, with your wrists directly beneath your shoulders and arms straight. Your legs should also be straight behind you. Make sure that you’re also on your toes, but standing on one slider for each foot. Your feet are close together.

  2. In one smooth and controlled motion, spread your legs, using the sliders to slide them out wide. Ensure that you’re engaging your abdominal muscles to maintain a straight body. The wider your legs go, the harder the exercise is.

  3. Slide your feet back close together again.

  4. Repeat.

Notes: Just like with the plank, you need to make sure that your back is straight and your pelvis is tucked in. Don’t let your hips sag to the floor with your back arching or push your hips up too far in the air. Maintain a straight line.


Kneeling Slider Adduction.jpg

Equipment: Sliders

  1. Kneel on the ground with one slider beneath each knee but make sure you’re sitting up. You should have a straight line from your knees to your head.

  2. Slowly slide your knees apart as far as you can go. Engage your core so that you remain upright. Your feet should remain close together behind you.

  3. Bring yourself back to the starting position by closing the knees.

  4. Repeat.

Stretches For Tight Hip Adductors

Feeling a little tight in your hip adductors, especially after doing some (or all) of our favourite hip adductor exercises? Here are 2 stretches to help you cool down and loosen up.


Frog Stretch.jpg

Equipment: Sliders or floor mat, yoga blocks or book

  1. Begin your warm-up in a tabletop position. This means, ensuring your wrists are directly below your shoulders and your knees beneath your hips. If you have sliders, you can place one slider under each knee. If not, that’s fine but you might want to do this stretch on a floor mat or soft surface to cushion your knees.

  2. Lower yourself to your forearms and slowly slide your knees away from each other, opening the hips. Move slowly and in a controlled motion.

  3. Keep your core strong to prevent your back from arching or dipping. Turn your feet outward so that your inner feet and knees are touching the floor (if you have the flexibility to do so) or at least facing the ground.

  4. Slowly, rock back and forth in this position.

  5. Bring your knees back together and repeat.

Notes: If you’re not able to reach the floor with your forearms, then keep supporting yourself using your wrists and extended arms. Another option is to use yoga blocks or books for a higher ground level.


Lying Side-Leg Stretch.jpg

Equipment: Floor mat, resistance band or towel

  1. Lie on your back on your floor mat. Face the ceiling with your legs straight.

  2. With your right arm, grab your right leg. Where you hold your leg depends on your flexibility. Some may be able to grab the right foot while others can hold onto the shin. If you need assistance, then loop a resistance band or towel around your leg and hold onto the ends of the band or towel to do this stretch.

  3. Pull your right leg out to the side as far as you can do. Your left leg should remain straight on the ground.

  4. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds to 1-minute.

  5. Change sides.

Final Notes

Don’t neglect your hip adductors. They play an important role in your fitness and sporting skills. Improving the strength and power of your hip adductors can also translate to other areas of the body so make sure you try these exercises and stretches.

About The Author

Emily Trinh

Emily Trinh

As a health and fitness writer, Emily combines her two passions—powerlifting and writing. With a creative writing degree under her belt, she spends her mornings lifting weights, her nights putting pen to paper, and eating too many snacks in between.