Abductors: What are they and Exercises to Strengthen them?

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For the body to be able to perform any movement, it is necessary for the muscles to intervene. Therefore, when they are in good physical condition, the functioning of the body improves considerably. For example, in the legs we find the abductors.

what are the abductors and what are the benefits of exercising them? Let’s take a look at the answers below.

what are the abductors?

The first thing to clarify is that there are abductors and adductors. The difference between them is in their location. Both are located in the leg, but the adductors on the inside of the thigh and the abductors on the outside

Within the abductors, we find the gluteus medius, the piriformis and the gluteus medius minimus. Thanks to these, it is possible to make outward movements with the leg. In other words, when the legs are opened, each of these muscles is involved.

Benefits of exercising the abductors

In addition to being able to perform movements with the legs, the abductors offer other benefits. Marta Rosado, personal trainer, explains what are the points to keep in mind when exercising this part of the body.

Improves coordination

Exercises performed to strengthen the abductors require great concentration, as well as athletic ability in some cases. Therefore, as they are developed and strengthened, the coordination of the whole body is improved

Strengthens the muscle

The more worked and stronger the muscle is, the easier it is to perform different movements. In addition, thanks to the elasticity it gains, it is more difficult to suffer any injury. It also influences the pelvic area, reducing its load and protecting it from damage.

Contributes to good posture

The legs play a very important role in the stability of the body. For that reason, exercises to strengthen the abductors, contribute to improving the functioning of the whole body. This includes the natural position of the torso, hips and legs. And proper posture decreases the risk of injury.

Increases the capacity of other parts of the body

The knees, the ankles, the feet. All of these are influenced by the condition of the legs. If the legs are not in good physical condition, then the abductors must work harder. This is the only way to achieve the necessary balance for the body. But, when they are in good shape, the loads are shared and the risk of injury is lower.

Best exercises to strengthen the abductors

The key is to strengthen the abductors. David Sotelino, personal trainer, mentions the different exercises that can strengthen this part of the body. Let’s see what they are.


The name of this exercise has a lot to do with the initial and final position that is adopted. It is one of the most complete. It is performed as follows

  1. Starting position. Standing, legs together. The feet are spread as wide as possible, so that the toes of one foot point in the opposite direction to the other
  2. Execution. Keep your back straight, begin to bend your knees until your thighs and calves form a 90° angle. Then the heels are raised and the weight of the whole body should rest on the toes
  3. Repetitions. Return to the starting position and repeat the exercise at least 5 times per set. After a short rest, repeat until 4 sets are completed.

At the beginning, more concentration is required on correct technique than on speed. There is a variation that demands more from the performer. In this variation, an object is added to the hands, such as dumbbells, which increases the energy required.


The openings are one of the most used exercises for the abductors. Basically they focus on the movement they allow. The way to perform them is as follows.

  1. Starting position. Lying on the floor, on your side. Both legs straight and one on top of the other. For greater comfort, the head can rest on one of the arms.
  2. Execution. The leg that is on top is lifted laterally. The limit is the range that the leg allows without generating pain.
  3. Repetition. The goal is to reach 15 repetitions, i.e. elevation and descent of the leg. After resting, 3 sets are performed. Then change legs.

For the exercise to work, it is necessary to keep the leg straight all the time. If you bend your knee, you will lose intensity in the execution.


Squats are one of the most popular exercises. But, for the abductors, the most recommended is the variant known as sumo. Let’s see how to perform it.

  1. Starting position. Standing, hands stretched out in front of you. Feet side by side, but with a separation between them, it can be from 80 to 100 centimeters.
  2. Performing. It should be lowered to adopt the squat position. The movement is slow and, during the movement, the back is not bent
  3. Repetitions. Ten repetitions are performed for a total of 4 sets.

You can add even more intensity to the exercise by grasping something heavy in your hands. Dumbbells can be used.

Ball press

A small ball, about the size of a soccer ball, is required for this exercise. Here is how to perform it.

  1. Start. Lying on your back. Arms at your sides and resting on the floor. Legs are raised and knees are bent. Thighs and calves form a 90° angle.
  2. Execution. The ball should be placed between the knees. Now it is pressed hard for a certain time
  3. Series. After the time is over, a short rest is taken and then the activity is resumed. You must complete 3 series. The position must always be maintained

The abductors have a great influence on the legs, so it is worth strengthening them. And if they are combined with exercises for the rest of the leg, so much the better.

German Fuertes Otero
German Fuertes Oterohttps://www.google.com/search?kgmid=/g/11p5t5jsss
CEO at PharmaSalud.net. M.D. from Stanford Medicine: Stanford, California, US, M.Sc. from University of Cambridge: Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, UK and University of Oxford: Oxford, Oxfordshire, UK. PhD at Harvard University Harvard Catalyst: Cambridge, MA, US.

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