Here at Precision Training we’re all about efficient, effective workouts. As Pete always says, “Train with your brain.” Why is it then that so many people never actually think about the workout they’re doing? Every day I go to the gym I see people doing workouts that make me cringe. Just what exactly are they trying to accomplish with that workout there? What I’ve decided to do is include a weekly post on a specific exercise or piece of fitness equipment that I feel is just an absolute waste of your time! I’m going to call this series “Training Smart.” Hopefully I can provide you with some insight into what that exercise or equipment claims to do and what it is actually doing. I will then explain what other alternative exercises there are that are a more effective use of your time. Sounds good? Then let’s get started with the first piece of equipment that I hope disappears from the gym soon…
THE HIP ADDUCTOR/ABDUCTOR MACHINE
You’ve all seen it. It usually hides somewhere in the rows of selectorized machines; the hip adductor/abductor machine. For those that don’t know this machine it’s the one that ladies use to try and get their legs looking nice and lean by working the inside and the outside of the thighs. I’ve even seen guys working the machine trying to do the same. The thinking is that if you work the inside and the outside of the thighs, they will work the fat off and become nice and shapely. Right.
The adductor machine works the muscles on the inside of the thighs, particularly the adductor muscles. Their job is to bring the legs in, or adduct them, and to laterally rotate the thigh. The abductor machine works the gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, and gracilis. These muscles are responsible for abducting, or moving the thigh out, and for medially rotating the thigh. Sometimes the same machine, with a quick adjustment, can perform both exercises. But why would we want to do these exercises? Well, if you are involved with any activity which requires your legs to move in and out, this might benefit you. However, off the top of my head, I can’t think of any real reason why people would need this exercise to strengthen those muscles versus using other, more effective leg exercises.
In reality, the reason people use this machine is because of the false belief that if they work the inside and outside of the thighs, they’ll be able to melt the fat off those areas. If you’re one of those people, I’m sorry to burst your bubble but that will NEVER happen! It’s called spot reduction and it doesn’t work. You cannot force your body to lose fat in a particular area by working that area vigorously. If your body wants to lose body fat, it will lose it in an area that it wants. And it’s usually not the area that you want unfortunately. This also goes for all those people crunching their way to a six pack, but I’ll save that for another post.
My suggestion for getting those lean, shapely legs is to eat a proper diet, do cardio exercises to burn fat off and instead of wasting time on the adductor/abductor machine, use the leg press machine. The leg press machine provides a complete lower body workout to strengthen the muscles in the thighs so that when the fat that is on top of them eventually melts off, there is a sexy muscle under there to show off. Usually the people trying to get those lean legs are the ones genetically programmed to keep more fat in their lower body than their upper body. I always say, the place you want to lose fat the most is usually the last place you will lose it. Such is life. But the good news is, it can be done!
Static contraction training provides you with the most effective and efficient way to strengthen your muscles so stick with the exercises that are in our routine and you won’t go wrong. Train smart!