The hip abductors are located on the outer portion of the hips and they lift your legs away from your mid-line. The abductors, in conjunction with the glutes, support the pelvis. If they are weak, one or both sides of the pelvis may drop when you walk or run, affecting your form and possibly causing lower back or hip pain. Strengthen your hip abductors by doing resistance exercises two or three times a week.
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Take it to the Floor
Side lifts strengthen the abductors. Lie on your right side, lift onto your right elbow and position it under your right shoulder. Rest your left arm on your left side. Stack your shoulders, hips, knees and feet. Point your toes forward. Lift your left leg off the floor, as high as possible. Lower your leg, stopping before your feet touch. Complete 12 to 15 repetitions. Roll onto your left side and do 12 to 15 reps with your right leg.
Use a Band
Banded walking tones the abductors. You will need a small resistance band loop for this exercise. Step into the loop and position your feet six inches apart. Lift the loop around the middle of your calves. Point both feet forward, stand up straight and bend your knees slightly. Step your right foot six inches to your right, then follow six inches with your left. Take 15 steps, then reverse your direction. Increase the gap between your feet to make the exercise harder.