Changing your stance in exercises can often work different muscles. Discover how to do adductor side planks and their benefits.
Adductor side planks are a side plank variation where you lift your lower leg off the ground so your body weight rests on the upper leg.
By doing this you shift the focus from obliques and outer thighs, like with regular side planks, to your inner thigh muscles (hip adductors) and obliques.
With adductor side planks that are long and challenging enough, you can grow and strengthen these muscles.
One thing to keep in mind is that adductor side planks work your muscles in an isometric (static) way. This is generally less optimal than more dynamic exercises.
How to do an adductor side plank
If you find adductor side planks uncomfortable on your forearms, putting something like a yoga mat under them can be a good idea.
With that in mind, take the following steps to do an adductor side plank:
- Sit sideways on the ground and lean on the forearm closest to the ground. Keep your upper arm about vertically.
- Step away from your upper body with your feet until you can stand in a straight line from your heels to your shoulders.
- Put your upper foot right next to your other foot.
- Raise your lowest leg so that all of your body weight rests on the upper leg.
- Hold this position for a certain amount of time.
- Repeat the same duration on the other side.
You preferably want to time your adductor side planks so that you can work the muscles on each side to about the same extent. This will help you avoid muscle imbalances.
Next, some people will find adductor side planks too hard to hold for reasonable amounts of time.
Some regression exercises you can consider in a situation like that are knee adductor side planks, lying leg adductions, or standing leg adductions with good resistance bands.
Adductor side planks muscles worked
As the name implies, adductor side planks mainly work your inner thigh muscles (adductors) and oblique muscles.
Your ab, erector spinae (lower back) shoulder, trapezius (upper back), and chest muscles have to work to a certain extent to keep your body balanced and in a straight line.
If you use enough resistance and do the adductor side planks for long enough you can grow and strengthen your inner thigh and potentially oblique muscles.
Very advanced individuals can consider adductor side plank progressions like the Copenhagen side plank where you put your leg on a bench.
Another option is holding some type of weight on your hips.
That being said, you do first want to know that adductor side planks are an isometric exercise. In simpler words, your muscles don’t have to lengthen or shorten.
This is relevant because more dynamic exercises tend to be more effective for muscle growth and strength progress.
Adductor side planks benefits
Even if they are not the number one exercise in terms of effectiveness, adductor side planks do still offer benefits. A few of these are:
- Stronger muscles: Doing adductor side planks with good duration and resistance ranges can help you grow and strengthen your adductors and obliques.
- Could benefit athletic performance: Making these muscles stronger and more powerful with adductor side planks can improve your performance in movements like short turns. This can sometimes improve athletic performance.
- Helps you avoid muscle asymmetries: Adductor side planks mainly work the muscles on one side at a time. This does increase the duration of your workouts but can help you avoid muscle imbalances. You do want to time your adductor side planks for this benefit.
- Balance and coordination: While they are not the hardest in these areas, adductor side planks do challenge your balance and coordination to some extent. This can help you improve in these areas.
- Can reduce injury risk: Growing and strengthening your hip adductors and obliques can reduce your injury risk in these areas.
- No equipment or location requirements: You don’t need to invest in fitness equipment or spend time going to different locations to be able to do adductor side planks.
You don’t necessarily have to stick to adductor side planks to get these benefits but they do help.
If these effects align with your training goals you can definitely consider adductor side planks for your exercise routine.
Adductor side plank alternatives
You may also wonder what some of these more effective alternatives are. Additionally, you could be interested in working only a few of the muscles involved in adductor side planks.
In these cases, some of the adductor side plank alternatives below could be better options.
- Weighted standing leg adductions
- Side bends
- Lying leg adductions
- Ab wheel V roll-outs
- Other side plank variations
What muscles you want to work and in what ways will influence your decision between these adductor side plank substitutes.
Are adductor side planks a good exercise?
Adductor side planks can be a good exercise for working your hip adductors (inner thigh muscles) and to some extent your obliques.
Keep in mind that the optimal plank sets and reps with what resistance can vary depending on what your training goals are. Some people will have to start with easier exercises.
That being said, it is also worth mentioning that adductor side planks are an isometric (static) exercise.
This type of resistance training is generally less effective than the more dynamic exercise alternatives listed above.