Abductor exercises on the machine

Abductor exercises on the machine


Muscle group:   The leg muscles, the butt muscles

Trained muscle:   Abductors, butt muscles

Focused muscle:   Abductors

Fitness level:   Beginner, advanced, experienced

Type of training:   Machine exercises


 

Abductor exercises on the machine are very intense. We can choose between the workout on the abductor machine, the hip pendulum, and the cable machine. All versions represent an effective training. The version on the cable machine is explained in the article abductor side leg raises. The other two exercises will be described below.

Abductor exercises on the hip pendulum

Abductor exercises on the hip pendulum are recommended for advanced and experienced athletes. We adjust the machine to have the hip joint in line with the rotating axis of the pendulum. The cushion of the pendulum should sit right above the knee of the training leg. It is recommended to bend the training leg. The standing leg bends slightly. From that position the training leg abducts maximally in a controlled movement. Bring the leg back down to complete one repetition. Keep the abdominal muscles tensed during the entire set.

Small impulses in the area of highest muscle tension (leg abducted maximally) intensify this abductor exercise significantly. The exercise trains the abductors of both legs to the same time. The standing leg has to perform a lot of stabilization work what is very intense.

Abductor exercises on the hip pendulum

Abductor exercises on the hip pendulum

 

Abductor exercises on the abductor machine

Abductor exercises on the abductor machine can be performed by all training levels. We begin with closed legs. Sit in the machine with bent hip joints and tensed abdominal muscles. In a controlled movement we abduct both legs maximally. Close your legs again in a controlled movement to complete one repetition. The workout can be intensified with small impulses in the area of highest muscle tension (opened legs).

Abductor exercises on the abductor machine

Abductor exercises on the abductor machine


Antagonist: Adductors

Stretching: Glute stretches

 

 


Side leg raises

Side leg raises


Muscle group:   The abdominal muscles, the leg muscles, the butt muscles, complex exercises

Trained muscle:   All parts of the abdominal muscles, Adductors, Abductors, butt muscles

Focused muscle:   Oblique abdominals

Fitness level:   Advanced, experienced

Type of training:   Own body weight exercises


 

Side leg raises are a very intense and effective exercise for the oblique abdominal muscles that combines the lying versions of the abductor side leg raises and the adductor side leg raises. In accordance, significant training effects can also be achieved for the abductors and adductors of the leg. In its basic version the exercise also represents a variation of the side raises.

Side leg raises

Side leg raises are performed in lying position. We get in lateral position with our hips and knees stretched. Feel free to have your arms support on the ground. Tense the abdominal muscles and stabilize the rest of your body. Raise your legs from the ground and remain in that position (isometric execution). Please avoid press breathing (exhalation against closed airways) at any time.

Side leg raises variations

Side leg raises variations

 

Side leg raises variations

The isometric version of the side leg raises already is quite intense. You can increase the intensity by performing small upward impulses with your legs (end contraction). It is also possible to work out dynamically. You could bend and stretch your legs alternately or open and close your legs like scissors. The dynamic versions are less intense than the isometric ones.

Side leg raises with bent knees

Side leg raises with bent knees


Antagonist: Lower back muscles

Stretching: Abdominal stretches

 

 


Abductor side leg raises

Abductor side leg raises


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

 

 


Side raises

Side raises


Muscle group:   The abdominal muscles, the leg muscles, the butt muscles, complex exercises

Trained muscle:   All parts of the abdominal muscles, Adductors, Abductors, butt muscles

Focused muscle:   Oblique abdominals

Fitness level:   Advanced, experienced

Type of training:   Own body weight exercises


 

Side raises represent a highly effective exercise for the oblique abdominal muscles. We could either work out freely or with fixated legs. In some variations the adductors and abductors can be trained as well.

Side raises

Side raises start in lateral position. With stretched hips and knees we lift our legs from the ground. Keep the entire body stable and your abdominals tensed. To intensify this exercise you could lift the upper body from the ground as well. With lifted legs and upper body it is hard to stabilize the body. Feel free to lean against a wall or similar, if necessary. Performing side raises isometrically already is very effective. To intensify the exercise stretch your arms above your head. Small up and down movements further intensify the workout.

Side raises free

Side raises free

 

The variation with raised legs and upper body combines the exercises adductor side leg raises, abductor side leg raises, and side leg raises.

Side raises variations

Side raises with fixated legs are the most effective variation of this exercise for the oblique abdominal muscles. Here, you could have your legs fixated by a partner, the wall bars, a suitable machine, bench, or chair at the gym, or similar. The hips should be stretched. Either hold the upper body on the horizontal line or move it smoothly up and down by a few centimeters. Intensify this variation by stretching your arms above your head.

Side raises fixated legs

Side raises fixated legs

 

In both versions, with free and fixated legs, the obliques as well as the abductors of the upper leg and the adductors of the lower leg are being activated. Please note that working out with high levers (entire body in a horizontal line) is the most intense way to perform side raises. Especially these versions bear the risk of press breathing (exhalation against closed airways) what should always be avoided. There are also less intense variations with the upper body on the floor. Here, we can work out with bent knees or bend and stretch the knees alternatingly. It is also possible to open and close the legs like scissors.


Antagonist: Lower back muscle

Stretching: Abdominal stretches

 

 


The side plank

The side plank


Muscle group:   The abdominal muscles, the leg muscles, the butt muscles, Complex exercises

Trained muscle:   All parts of the abdominal muscles, Abductors, butt muscles

Focused muscle:   Oblique abdominals

Fitness level:   Advanced, experienced

Type of training:   Own body weight exercises


 

The side plank is a version of the front plank that is very effective for the oblique abdominal muscles. But also the abductors of both legs receive a very good workout with this exercise.

The side plank

We start in lateral position supported by our lower forearm. Either lay your feet one above or one in front of each other depending on what’s more comfortable for you. Keep your head in extension to your spine looking sideways like the rest of your body. Before we go in side plank position make sure all muscles are tensed to give your body a solid base. From that position lift your body from the ground so that just your lower forearm and your feet remain in contact with the floor.

The side plank – variations

The side plank becomes more intense by lifting up the upper leg or/and stretching the upper arm above the head. The side plank becomes easier by supporting your body with the upper arm to the front or/and by performing the exercise on your lower legs.

It is also possible to transform the static side plank to a dynamic exercise by moving the hips up and down or, just when we are on our lower leg, by moving the upper elbow and knee towards each other.

Never go in side plank position in fast or sudden movements but controlled and smoothly. Avoid press breathing (exhalation against closed airways). Please notice that the knee of the lower leg gets a lot of pressure in side plank position. Especially the outer knee ligament is stressed a lot. If you have knee problems solely perform this exercise on your lower leg.


Antagonist: Lower back muscles

Stretching: Abdominal stretches

 

Side plank

Side plank

 

Side plank lower intensity

Side plank lower intensity

 

Side plank dynamic versions

Side plank dynamic versions