When you walk into just about any health club, you see a lot of the same machines. Typically these machines require you to sit down, and more often than not, a workout turns into simply making the rounds on each machine. The good news is you made the effort to get to the gym and work towards your goal. The bad news? Some of those machines are not only a waste of time, but those unnatural movements can actually make existing injuries worse. A few years back when one of our owners was a Physical Therapist, we removed the abductor and adductor machines based on the extensive knowledge our then-owner carried from his profession. We pride ourselves on giving our members the very best opportunity to reach goals through personal training, small group training, functional equipment and much more and so when we remove a machine it’s done purposefully. By doing functional exercises for abductors and adductors, you gain more strength, tighten your core and lower your risk for injury.
The focus on functional training is important for many reasons. In our everyday life, we are constantly recruiting multiple muscle groups at once. Every time you get in or out of your car, kneel to pick something up, or walk up a flight of stairs, you are using your abductors, adductors, glutes and hamstrings. By sitting in a machine and squeezing your legs in or out, you are no longer engaging the muscles as you normally would in real life. Those muscles need to learn how to work together so they automatically do it during your day to day activities. This increases your overall lower body strength and lowers your risk for injury.
When you are in a supported seated position, you are also no longer engaging your core. By doing standing exercises with free weights, cables and bodyweight, the abductors and adductors are fully engaged, as well as your core.
No one wants to make an existing injury worse, or risk a new injury occurring. Tight hips and Iliotibial bands are very common, and sitting in the abductor machine, forcing your legs outward your hips and IT bands can become even tighter. For many, the hope is to spot tone those pesky inner thighs on an adductor machine.
Unfortunately, spot toning is not something that is effective and a repetitive, unnatural motion can put a lot of pressure on the knees.
So what can you do to work on your inner and outer thighs? Squats, lunges, lateral lunges, single leg deadlifts, lateral cable lifts with the heel cup and ankle band walking – just to name a few. Talk to one of our certified fitness professionals and find out what the best exercises are to accomplish your unique goals. Instead of repeating the same exercises you always do and hoping for different results, shake up your routine and get the results you want.