Be More Hip – Working Your Hip Adductors

side lunge

So my friend Beccie made a post saying that she hates this exercise machine (aka the hip adductor machine aka the coochie popper aka the reason women don’t want to join a coed gym):

Are you in the gym or at the gyno?

It works the muscles in your inner thighs (hip adductors.) For those of you who have gym memberships and use this machine–GET OFF IT! I am generally not a fan of exercise machines, although they have their place for reasons I won’t get into now. But if you’re an able-bodied adult with no injuries you should really do your best to avoid weight machines. Training with free-weights is just so, so much better.

A quick lesson on why free weights are better than machines:

Machines move on a fixed track. Because of this, they isolate your muscle and limit your range of motion. With free weights, it’s all you. So when you use free weights, you recruit more muscle fibers (like stabilizers, which keep you steady by supporting your joints and body while you move.) Free weights also require more balance and coordination. Because of this, the strength you develop is more functional. You use your muscles in different ways and in a wider ranger of motion than you would by using a machine.

The next time you get the urge to use the hip adductor, do a side lunge instead. It works the same muscles and is a superior exercise in my opinion. If you’re a beginner, start off by just using your body weight.

Here’s a video explaining how to do it.

I also included a photo break down:

Start like this. If you're new to working out, skip the dumbbells.

side lunge

Take a wide step out with the right leg.

side lunge

Now bend your right knee, making sure to stick your butt back so your knee is more or less aligned with your ankle. Your knee should NOT pass your toes. If it does, cease and desist! Or...try again.

side lunge

It's crucial to keep your back straight. Please be conscious of this when performing this exercise. You do not want to round your back. If you're not flexible enough to reach your toes, that's fine. Just go as low as you can.

side lunge

When you're done, push yourself back up to the starting position by driving through your right heel. Repeat with your left leg.

Now go work those thighs!

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  1. Amanda

    Ha! I’ve been trying to do these at my desk, discreetly… lol

    1. allieq (Post author)

      lol. that’s awesome.

  2. shannon

    awww, i just found this machine and i really like it. I have issues with lunges because i can’t put much weight on my big toe on my right foot due to a bone issue. I’m working with trainers at the gym and they all want lunges and mountain climbers and everything that requires all weight on your toes but I don’t want to screw up my toe even more, gotta be able to walk (which also hurts to a point). I need alternatives :/

    1. allieq (Post author)

      you know when i first started working out i liked it too, heh. i always found it easy to do. but anyway,i didn’t get into it here but machines are actually a good option for people who have injuries and issues with joints and bones. you’re right, you don’t want to make your toe issue worse.

      do you have the same issue with squatting? that’s another good lower body exercise, and you’re in a fixed position where you’re driving mostly through your heels.

      but since lunges are out of the question, and i’m not sure about squats, i’d stay stick to the machines for now. and in addition to that, you might want to try some lower body mobility exercises. they’re light, warm-up type of exercises that are often used to help people with injuries rehab, but they’re helpful for just about anyone. here’s a link:
      obviously you won’t be able to do the lunge ones, but i think the others should be safe.

      also, here’s another link about why mobility is important:

      and a list of other mobility exercises:

      they’re great for helping to prevent injuries. if you use them with machines you should be good to go. good luck!

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