Whenever you’re looking at increasing strength . . we always want to look at the muscles in the centre of the body – hips . . glutes . . upper legs . .
Because this is where everything happens . . that’s where the force is coming from . . just like a house has a base, our middle is our base.
Yet our Adductors tend to be left out of training programs . .
And as a result . . they get weak . . and our numbers in the lifts aren’t going up AT ALL.
The higher those numbers get in your squat . . the WEAKER those adductors are going to be . . IF you don’t pay attention to them.
Those hammies & quads are going to continue to be overworked . . and those adductors are going to be left behind.
NOW . . i won’t take long with the science shit but you DO need to know where these muscles are . .
Adductor Brevis, Adductor Longus, Adductor Magnus, Gracilis.
They originate close together in the groin area on the pubic bone, and they attach to parts of the femur (quad), running from the top to the bottom of the quad.
STRONG ADDUCTORS ARE ESSENTIAL TO KEEP THAT KNEE JOINT STABLE. They exist to pull the upper leg inward.
So when you’re squatting with weak adductors, they’re not strong enough to hold the knees in the right position . . and eventually . . something is going to give.
Signs of Weak Adductors . .
Your knees will turn slightly inward when you squat or pull heavy.
Good news ?? Those babies respond pa-retty quickly.
Why so weak ??
You may just not be giving it the attention it needs . . the quads & hammies are having all the fun . .
The MAIN reason is you don’t go low enough in the squat . . whether you’ve been taught that way by a trainer . . or it “damages your knees” . . bullshit . . those partial squats damage your knees a HELL of a lot more . . why ?? because the only muscle working is the quads . . and that downward movement places a LOT of stress on the knees . .
when you squat below parallel . . all the muscles & attachments surrounding the knee come in to play and have to work together . . and those muscles get stronger as a result.
PLUS in a full squat, the oh so powerful hips handle the eccentric phase . . (bar is moving down), taking the stress away from the knees.
Let’s get them strong shall we . .
1. GET THAT LAZY ASS KISSING THE GROUND . . WIDE SQUATS.
How wide ? The wider, the better . . your depth will increase as flexibility increases . . right now just make sure your depth is happening.
The adductors really start to join the party when you reach that parallel . . deeper you go . . the more they’re activated.
- Go light . . concentrate on form.
- Feet need to be pointing straight
- Pressure should be on the OUTSIDE of your feet, not on toes or heels.
- Torso must stay peeeerfectly upright when you go up and down.
- 3 x 15-20 reps should be plenty . . but you want to make sure you’re pushing it on those last few reps.
Depending on how bad your adductors are you may want to stick with wide stance squats for all leg workouts . . until you begin to see some improvement.
THEN, get on the wide stance squats twice a week, after your squat session.
2. SUMO DEADLIFTS
A beautiful exercise that skyrockets those adductors from weak to sleek.
- Grip bar with hands inside your thighs, but don’t place your feet so wide that you can’t lower your hips deep enough to be in the right position.
- Grip, over/under or you can use straps.
- Feet pointed straight ahead, pressure on outside of feet.
- Make sure that bar doesn’t drift forward, keep it against the shins.
- Think of pushing your feet down THROUGH the floor, rather than pulling that weight up.
- Nice and slow on the negative . . don’t let the bar crash down.
- Hips low as possible so they force the adductors to work harder.
- 3 x 15-20 reps
Once it starts getting easy, peezy, go for 5 x 5 . . pure strength routine.
Or you can go 6 . . 7 reps . . whatever your strength method is . . everyone works differently.
3. ADVANCED ISOTONIC-ISOMETRIC EXERCISE
This is for those whose adductors are pretty strong . . but want those numbers to go up in the squats . .
- Set the bar across the lowest pins inside the rack, where you would be at the deepest part of your squat.
- Put 2 more pins just ABOVE the lower ones. Closer they are together, the better.
- Start off with light weights . . trust me.
- Squeeze under the loaded bar
- Feet wide as you can
- Upper body stiff
- Take a deep breath
- Move the bar up to the top pins, lightly tapping in, then tap the bottom, on the 4th rep, lock the bar against the top pins and HOLD it there for about 10 seconds.
Haha . . you’ll know what i’m talking about when you do it.
Don’t go past 12 counts . . up the weight.
Can do this after a squat session 2-3 times a week.
OVERALL . . keep an eye on those knees when you squat . . it may only be a slight shift now . . but those knees will keep coming further in.
Leave your ego at the door and don’t let those adductors fall behind . . EVERY SINGLE back and leg exercise you do is going to fall short if you do. . that’s a LOT of exercises.
Weak adductors mean poor foot speed . . leaping ability . . endurance.