Using a hip adduction machine can offer benefits but it is not for everyone. Luckily, there are also hip adduction machine alternatives with similar effects.
Hip adduction machines work hip adductor muscles like the pectineus, gracilis, adductor longus, adductor brevis, and adductor magnus.
In turn, that means that hip adduction machines can help you build muscle mass, burn calories, and offer other typical exercise benefits.
Whether you don’t enjoy using the hip adduction machines, you don’t have this machine available, or you want an alternative for any other reason, these hip adduction machine substitutes can offer you some or all of the same benefits.
1. Standing leg adductions
This first exercise example is relatively easy to do at home. Take the following steps to do standing leg adductions:
- Stand up straight with your feet right next to each other.
- Shift your weight to one leg so the other one hovers in the air. Move the leg in the air slightly forward so it has room for the next step.
- Slowly move the foot in the air sideways toward the other side as far as comfortable. So if your right leg is in the air, move it to the left. Make sure you move your leg, not your hips.
- Move the foot back into the position of step 2 in a controlled motion.
- Repeat the same number of repetitions with the other leg.
You can do this exercise with just your body weight but most people preferably want to add some kind of resistance. This is because gravity does not work as hard on your hip adductors at this angle.
Some of the best ways to do this are resistance bands, ankle weights, or a cable machine with an ankle attachment. You can also hold some type of weight against your inner thighs but this is not as convenient.
The cable machine is especially great since you can precisely adjust the resistance. At home where you don’t have these types of thigh gym machines, resistance bands can work great too if you have a good place to anchor it.
2. Copenhagen side planks
For Copenhagen side planks you need a sturdy elevated surface. Some examples include a chair at home or a weight bench in the gym.
Additionally, a soft surface to put below your elbow can make the exercise more comfortable. Once you have these, take the following steps to do a Copenhagen side plank:
- Sit sideways on the ground in front of the elevated object while leaning on one of your lower arms with the upper arm of that arm vertical to support your upper body.
- Put your upper foot/leg on the elevated object.
- Move up your hips in a controlled motion until your body is in a straight line from the ankle of your upper foot to your shoulders.
- Slowly return your body to the position of step 2.
- Repeat the same duration or number of repetitions while leaning on your other arm.
You can do both a hold at the top of the Copenhagen side plank or do up-and-down repetitions. In most situations doing more dynamic repetitions will offer the most adductor strengthening for the least amount of time.
Don’t forget to do the same duration or number of repetitions with the other side to avoid muscle imbalances when doing this hip adductor machine alternative.
Keep in mind that Copenhagen side planks are a relatively challenging exercise.
Resistance training beginners and possibly even intermediates may need to start with Copenhagen side planks where they put their knee on the object instead of their foot.
3. Lying leg adductions
This next hip adduction machine alternative is easy to do at home without a machine. That being said, a soft surface like a yoga mat can make the exercise more comfortable.
Additionally, individuals more experienced with resistance training may need good resistance bands or ankle weights to make the exercise more challenging.
Take the following steps to do a bodyweight side leg raise:
- Lie down on your side with your body in more or less one straight line and adjust for stability. Move the upper leg forward or backward a bit so the lower leg has room for the next step.
- Raise your lower leg upward as far as comfortable. Make sure the movement comes from your thighs, not your hips or the rest of your body.
- Lower this leg back into the position of step 1 in a controlled motion.
- Repeat the same number of repetitions with the other leg while lying on your other side.
Keep your movements slow and controlled to make your hip adductors really work hard. Also remember to keep your hips still. Your legs should do the moving.
To use ankle weights in this exercise you simply strap them on the upper leg. In the case of resistance bands, you loop them around your ankles.
Try to choose a resistance band where you can still go through the full range of motion of the exercise.
These equipment options can offer more muscle growth and strengthening but even the bodyweight version of lying leg adductions is a great way to work out your adductors because of gravity.
4. Sumo squats
The previous options were mostly focused on the hip adductors alone.
Sumo squats are more of a compound exercise that works your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves, and engages your hip adductors a nice amount.
Take the following steps to do a sumo squat:
- Stand up straight with your feet wider than shoulder width and pointing outward at about 45-degree angles.
- Slowly lower your hips by bending your knees. How far depends on different factors like knee health but at your lowest point you ideally want your hips to be at or lower than your knee height. Keep your back straight and knees/upper legs in line with your feet.
- Push yourself up again into starting position by stretching your legs.
The main attention points for the sumo squat are keeping your back straight, keeping your knees/upper legs in line with your feet, and pointing your feet outward.
Even if you are more of a beginner when it comes to resistance training, you likely need to do weighted sumo squats to see muscle growth and strength progress in the muscles mentioned, including your hip adductors.
That being said, one of the benefits of sumo squats over hip adductor machines is that you don’t have any strict equipment or machine requirements.
5. Adductor side planks
Most people don’t need any equipment for this next hip adductor machine alternative. More experienced individuals may need some type of extra weight.
Take the following steps to do an adductor side plank:
- Sit sideways on the ground leaning on one of your lower arms with the upper arm of that arm vertical to support your upper body.
- Walk away from your upper body with your feet until you can put your body in a straight side plank.
- Position your upper leg so you can lift your lower leg off the ground.
- Hold for a certain amount of time or do a certain amount of up-down repetitions.
- Repeat the same number of repetitions or time while leaning on your other arm.
Adductor side planks are basically Copenhagen side planks but without any equipment requirements at all. This makes them easier to do at home or anywhere else.
To make this alternative work the hip adductors of both of your legs at the same time you can also move the bottom floor up and down. Potentially while wearing ankle weights if you have these available.