Two fave functional strength exercises for legs

Adductors and abductors are important for balance and to help with your lateral motion.  Machines such as the one below were invented to help you isolate and work these muscles.


adductor machine

yes, this is as silly as it looks


I’m a huge fan of lateral movement conditioning but isolating your adductors/abductors with these machines is not the way to get the results you want.  The adductors and abductors are primarily for stability.  You need to train them in the way they will function on the field.

I highly recommend single leg training which makes the adductors and abductors work the way they are intended to work: as guiders of the prime movers, not as movers themselves.  If you really want to “feel the burn” and know that you’re activating your stabilizers, try these two movements:


1.  For the adductors: the plie squat



2.  For the abductors: single leg lunge and SLDL


Strengthening your adductors and abductors is good for injury prevention.  However, strengthening them with articifical movements (movements you would never use in real life) may actually cause strength imbalances. Working the adductors/abductors as part of single leg strength training ensures that all the stabilizing muscles are strengthened in proportion to the demands they will be subject to on the playing field.  Proportional strength gained by training movements instead of isolating muscles is the key to decreasing your injury risk.


Good luck in your training this week.  If you try these exercises, let me know what you think!


Related Posts:

Leg strength: pistols and SLDLs

Strength Training: leg workout

One legged strength endurance

From the Ultimate Results Archives:

Begin at the beginning:  single leg strength


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