There's a better way to target the inner thighs, a.k.a. the adductors... and it's NOT that machine that always seems to be facing the front door of the gym...
It's a free weight exercise that uses the adductors as they're meant to be used... in a compound movement where you're actually MOVING (unlike that machine).
Model: Sumi Singh
The inner thighs are composed of the adductor muscles. The function of the adductor muscles is the bring the leg in towards the mid-line of the body. I'll be using the term "adductors" instead of inner thighs from here on out so this doesn't read like a "Shape" magazine article.
Adductor training is important for MEN, too.
This is ESPECIALLY true if you want to improve your squat strength. In fact, by increasing adductor strength, you could easily see a jump of 20+ pounds in your max squat in a very short period of time.
Adductor strength is CRITICAL for stabilizing the hips during a squat and most guys NEVER work the adductors specifically (because of the flawed perception that adductor work is for women), so there's a lot of room for very fast improvement.
How to Do Rolling Dumbbell Lunges:
The exercise I've got for you for your adductors is one I call the Rolling Dumbbell Lunge.
To do this one, you'll need two things...a dumbbell with round plates (for rolling...doesn't matter what weight it is) and something solid to hold onto.
Now, I'll tell you up front, this one is NOT a circus act movement that requires crazy balance, even though you'll be performing this exercise on a rolling dumbbell. The goal here is not to challenge your balance and end up on a YouTube "fail" video, but to force the adductors and hamstrings to bring the legs back together under extreme tension.
Here's what it looks like...
Set the dumbbell on the floor and set the balls of your foot on top of the handle. You won't be holding onto that solid object at the top...you'll be holding onto it as you roll the dumbbell forward and come to the bottom.
Roll forward on the dumbbell and as you come down towards the bottom, grab onto your solid object (like a pole or machine or something).
The KEY to this exercise is what happens as you come up.
You'll get a nice stretch on the hamstrings, glutes and adductors at the bottom...when you come up, you're going to use your adductors and hamstrings to PULL your front leg back towards the other, which will move your body back up to the standing position, almost like a pair of scissors.
And you'll be using the adductors of BOTH legs to do this...
As you come up, the moment you feel comfortable releasing your grip on the solid object, do so. THAT is when you'll really feel the tension ramp up as you'll be receiving no help from your arm.
Come all the way back up to the full standing position and repeat.
Here's what it looks like from the back. The second picture shows just how big of a stretch forward you want to get with this one.
Then do the same thing...use your adductors and hamstrings to pull your forward leg back, which brings you back up the standing position.
And let me just tell you this...if you've never done movement-based adductor work before (even if you've done isolation stuff on that machine), you're going to feel this on the FIRST rep.
It's a closed-chain exercise, which simply-defined means that you're moving your body rather than the resistance (the opposite would be open-chain, which is what the adductor machine is where your limbs are moving the resistance).
Closed-chain exercises are MUCH more effective for working the muscles. You'll get more out of your training for the time and effort you're putting in.
Bottom line is this...whether you're male or female, if you're looking for improvements in your adductors/inner thighs, THIS exercise should be on your to-do list, even it's just something as simple as finishing each workout with a single set of it.
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