Updated: Nov 10, 2020
There is a lot that can be said about the hips but in this post, I will focus primarily on the inner thighs also known as hip (femur) adductors. Adductors do adduct or draw in towards the center.
Have a pubic symphysis pain?
Have a lower back discomfort?
Leaning to one side more when you walk?
Experience pelvic floor pain?
Lack hip internal rotation?
Feeling pain in front of the hip?
If you answered "YES" one of all of the questions above, then keep reading. This post is for you. Inner thighs are like an anchor for the pelvic stability. What happens when one side is stronger, the stability is lost and you may experience a slight shift to the other side of the pelvis, which could potentially make one side of your pelvic floor muscles tighter causing imbalances. It could also mess up your waking gait pulling your over to one side with every footstep. Not to confuse you but inform you, if your pelvis is shifted more to one side, the thoracic spine (upper back) has to shift the opposite side to adapt to a new sense of center.
Do you want this to happen to your pelvis and truck? I might be dramatizing the situation but I see a lot of people with a pelvic floor dysfunction, foot and SI joint pain. Assessing adductors for the equal strength is pretty high on my list. I do not just create reps and sets of the random exercises, I intentionally plan the workouts based on the movement, posture and breathing assessment as well as the goals. One size fits all is not how I coach my clients. Testing for functional strength especially side to side is essential.
Side note: it is not about creating a perfect symmetry. We are designed asymmetrical but discovering possibilities for creating a change to minimize the existing discomfort. I, myself, was experiencing a hip shift and strengthening my right adductor was a very important of my puzzle.
Let's think about adductors and pelvic floor. How many tasks do we do standing on one leg: walking, running, walking up the stairs, holding a baby on one hip, stepping up on a curb and many exercises at the gym. One of my favorite gym moves is a single leg deadlift. When you stand on one foot in a deadlift, do you have a tendency to lose your big toe on one side but not the other? Yes, you got that right? It is your inner thigh connection to the big toe. Test it out - next time you are at the gym.
What is the best way to test your adductor strength on each side:
1. Lie down on your right side with your back against the wall so you feel your pelvis and upper back touching the wall
2. Bend your knees up so they are in line with the hips
3. Place a ball, block or folded blanket between your legs
4. Squeeze with your top inner thigh
5. Can you hold for 30-45 seconds
Cheats: pelvis rolling back that is why you are against the wall; left rib cage pulls towards the pelvis so you are using lower back; pressing down with a bottom leg.
How did you feel?
Did your weaker side confirm your assumption?
What is next?
Start using this awareness for your daily movements. How can you start bringing the other side into the "working" mode?
In the video below, I will go one of my favorite exercises for the adductor strength.
Ready to create some change in your adductors? Side note: I am demonstrating it on my left side because my right side is pretty weak. Work in progress! Let's do it together
Do this move progressing from one set of 5 to 3 sets of 10-12 and holding at each set for 30-45 seconds for one month. Then, notice if you pelvic floor muscles contracting in a more balanced way and your other symptoms minimize.
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