Muscle group:   The leg muscles, the butt muscles

Trained muscle:   Abductors, butt muscles

Focused muscle:   Abductors

Fitness level:   Beginner, advanced, experienced

Type of training:   Own body weight exercises


Abductor side leg raises represent an easy but very effective exercise for the outside of the upper thigh.

Abductor side leg raises

Abductor side leg raises can be performed in lying, sitting, or standing position. Standing, the exercise is most effective followed by the seated side leg raise and with least intensity the lying version. It is important to keep the body stabilized at any time during the exercise. The body remains steady and just the hip joint performs the movement. The body can be supported by a handle, back- or armrest, or similar.

Abductor side leg raises – standing

Standing abductor side leg raises are not recommended for beginners. Here, it is very important to actively keep the body stable by tensing the muscles of the pelvis and trunk. Also hold on to a machine or handle to support your body. Now abduct one leg to the side. Holding the leg abducted performing small up and down movements intensifies this exercise.

Abductor side leg raises standing

Abductor side leg raises standing

Abductor side leg raises on the cable machine

Most effectively you work out abductor side leg raises with extra weights on the cable machine using a foot loop. Please note that the outer knee ligament is stressed significantly in this version. If you have knee problems please fix the foot loop around your thigh above the knee.

Abductor side leg raises on the cable machine

Abductor side leg raises on the cable machine

Abductor side leg raises on the floor

Seated or lying abductor side leg raises represent less intense variations. But the longer the lever (stretched legs) the more intense the exercise becomes. Small up and down movements in the area of highest muscle contraction and/or the usage of extra weights (foot cuffs) further intensify the abductor side leg raises.

Abductor leg raise variations

Abductor side leg raises variations

Abductor side leg raises lying and sitting

Abductor side leg raises lying and sitting


Antagonist: Adductors

Stretching: Glute stretches

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