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How to Strengthen Your Pectineus Muscles

author image Paula Quinene
Paula Quinene is an Expert/Talent, Writer and Content Evaluator for Demand Media, with more than 1,500 articles published primarily in health, fitness and nutrition. She has been an avid weight trainer and runner since 1988. She has worked in the fitness industry since 1990. She graduated with a Bachelor's in exercise science from the University of Oregon and continues to train clients as an ACSM-Certified Health Fitness Specialist.
How to Strengthen Your Pectineus Muscles
A woman is wearing ankle weights and lifting her leg up. Photo Credit kicsiicsi/iStock/Getty Images

Strengthening your pectineus muscles helps you become a faster walker, runner and sprinter. Though it is a small muscle, the pectineus flexes your hip to bring your thighs forward as you walk, run or sprint. Training this muscle to bend your hip against resistance as fast as you can increases its endurance, strength and power, improving your run and sprint performance. This muscle also helps in drawing your thigh toward the midline of your body when your leg is out to the side, or adduction. Including hip flexion, hip adduction and a combination of such movements strengthens your pectineus muscle.

Standing Hip Flexion

Step 1

Secure a thigh attachment for the cable pulley machine around each thigh, a few inches above your knee; ensure the attachment buckle is on the posterior side of your thigh.

Step 2

Place a chair or a step stool about 2 feet directly behind and in line with the cable pulley. Lower the pulley toward the floor then attach the hook to the thigh strap around your right thigh; insert the weight pin to the 20-lb. plate. Turn your back toward the pulley then step a few inches forward lifting the 20 lb. off of the weight stack.

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Step 3

Hold on to the chair, keeping a slight bend in your left knee while bending your right knee to 90 degrees. Contract your hip flexor muscles including your pectinues, bending your right hip to draw your thighs forward until it is nearly parallel to the floor. Slowly straighten your hip and repeat for one set of 15 repetitions, then switch legs.

Step 4

Continue to alternate legs for three more sets. Gradually increase the resistance by 5 lb. with each subsequent set, completing six to 15 repetitions per set.

Lateral Lunges

Step 1

Stand with your feet close together and a slight bend in both knees. Hold your palms in front of you with your elbows bent so your arms are in a boxer’s pose. Suck your navel toward your spine to contract the abdominal muscles, maintaining a stable core.

Step 2

Simultaneously step your right leg out to your right side as you stick your buttocks out behind you, bending your right leg into a squat position until your right thigh is nearly parallel to the floor. Keep your eyes forward so your trunk does not round as you lunge sideways.

Step 3

Push through your right foot to stand back up, contracting the adductor muscles on both thighs to return to the start position, working your left and right pectinues muscles. Repeat for 10 to 15 repetitions then switch sides.

Step 4

Complete three more sets. Increase the intensity of the exercise by holding a 5-lb. medicine ball in front of you.

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  • Anatomy & Physiology; Gary Thibodeau, Ph.D., et al.
  • Equal But Not The Same, Considerations for Training Females; C.H.E.K. Institute
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