Hip abductor and adductor exercises with bands can help strengthen muscles needed to perform daily activities, and abduction helps build the muscles of your glutes. Strengthening these muscles can improve athletic performance and help mitigate strength declines in older people.
The hip joint, like the shoulder joint, is a ball-and-socket that can act in a number of ways. In hip abduction, the gluteus medius and minimus working as primary movers help you lift your leg out to the side or to form a squatting position. In hip adduction, your hip adductors help you return your thigh to its normal position after abduction. Your hip adductors also help move your legs through both flexion and extension while walking.
A March 2019 article published in PLOS One explains that strength training in the lower extremity stabilizer muscles during the aging process is essential for improving daily functions in the elderly. Strength declines in the hip abductors and hip adductors occur as people age. Using resistance bands for abductors and adductors can help mitigate this decline.
Additionally, a May 2014 article published in the Journal of Sport Rehabilitation says that hip adductor strains are among the most common lower extremity injuries in people involved in sports. Keeping these muscles strong can help prevent injury.
Read more: The Best and Worst Exercises for Bad Hips
Exercising with Resistance Bands
Resistance bands are a convenient exercise tool since they are portable and inexpensive. There are a variety of resistance bands to choose from, including:
- Single strips of material that you grasp with your hands at each end.
- Thin tubes with handles at each end.
- Loop bands with no ends.
Whichever type you choose, these bands offer a large number of exercises with varying weight resistance. Choose a weight that's challenging for you so that you are fatiguing by the last couple of repetitions. For added resistance, you can double up your band.
The University of California, Davis (UC Davis) provides a list of benefits of using resistance bands, including improved balance, increased bone strength and health, enhancing your ability to perform daily activities and increasing physical strength and lean mass.
UC Davis explains that while using exercise bands, there should always be tension on the band so your muscles are constantly activated. The correct form is imperative, so make sure to move in a slow and controlled manner. And as always, listening to your body is vital.
Although using resistance bands isn't dangerous, it is essential to make sure that your bands are not damaged, cracked or torn. Be sure that if your band has handles, that they are correctly connected and do not risk coming apart. Be conscious of the floor surface you are using to make sure it won't tear your band while in use. If you are anchoring your band, make sure it is done so correctly.
Read more: The Top 15 Moves to Tone Your Glutes
Band Abductor and Adductor Exercises
Move 1: Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift
The single-leg Romanian deadlift uses your abductors as stabilizers for functional movement.
- Anchor a resistance band near knee height. Stand facing the band, balancing your body weight on your right leg, and holding the end of the resistance band in your left hand, keeping your arm straight.
- With a slight bend in your right knee, hinge forward on your right hip while keeping your back straight and your left arm extended straight toward the resistance band anchor.
- Push your right foot into the ground and lower your left leg to move to standing position, while pulling the left hand down to the hip, keeping your core tight.
- While balancing, pause for a count. Hold the band close to your body before moving on to the next repetition.
- Perform the desired number of repetitions and repeat with the opposite leg.
Move 2: Standing Hip Abduction
- Anchor a resistance band at ankle height and attach an ankle cuff or handle to your far ankle when standing side-on.
- Standing on your near foot, move your far leg out to the side, with the band running in front of your near standing leg. Return far leg to center.
- Perform desired repetitions. Turn around and repeat with the opposite leg.
Move 3: Standing Hip Adduction
- Attach a resistance band at ankle height with cuff attachment on your near foot while standing side-on.
- Take a few steps away stand on your far leg, keeping your knee slightly bent. Move your near leg toward the center of your body, crossing your near foot directly in front of your far foot. Pause before slowly returning to the starting position, allowing the resistance to pull your near leg away from your body, with control.
- Repeat for the desired number of repetitions and switch legs to perform on the opposite side.
- PLOS One: "Different Strength Declines in Leg Primary Movers Versus Stabilizers Across Age—Implications for the Risk of Falls in Older Adults?"
- Journal of Sport Rehabilitation: "Adductor Longus Activation During Common Hip Exercises"
- University of California, Davis: "How to Get Started - Resistance Bands"
- American Council on Exercise: "Exercise Library: Resistance Bands/Cables"
- American Council on Exercise: "Single Leg Romanian Dead Lift"
- American Council on Exercise: "Standing Hip Abduction"
- American Council on Exercise: "Standing Hip Adduction"