The answer to the question is it depends on why you used the machine in the first place. If your main gripe with your thighs is that you feel they carry excess body fat, sadly you won’t be able to spot reduce them with this machine.
Additionally, if you are hoping to build a fitter lower body, these machines may not be right for you. It’s all too easy to load up the weight on the abductor or adductor machine and think you’re improving your leg strength and stability, but this might not be the case. On the other hand, if you have sport-specific goals, the movement may benefit you one way or the other.
What Muscles Do They Work?
The adductor machine
This trains the muscles inside of the thighs, known as the adductor muscles including: the longus magnus and brevis.
The abductor machine
This trains the muscles for turning the thigh outwards, including the Sartorius, gluteus medius and tensor fascia latae.
If your goal is to have more aesthetically pleasing thighs, you will want to lower your body fat levels and have some lean muscle built underneath to provide a shapely look.
Abductor & Adductor Machines
Ideally when an person exercises, the movements performed should be geared towards movements you will carry out in everyday life. This is why when we train for a sport, we tend to focus on movements similar to those used in the sport that will help us strengthen and improve our performance.
Even if you are not an athlete, you may simply be training to improve your quality of life, for example, a strong back means you are less likely to be injured if you have to pick up a heavy box at work or carry groceries in from the boot of your car.
There are very few movements in real life where you need to open and close your legs against resistance, meaning that, although you may get better at using these machines, they may not have benefits that you can carry over into the real world in the same way that a deadlift for example may, which is why it may be useful to pair these exercises up alongside other exercises.
When would we use them?
Some sports drills may have you perform these his movement standing – but is an important difference.
The Abductor and Adductor machines train very small muscle groups, therefore they are only accustomed and designed to lift or displace a small amount of weight. Unfortunately, if individuals aren’t away of the technacalities of these machines, a lot of weight could be added which may cause damage to your spine.
Any unnecessary amount of pressure on your spine may be detrimental long term – this goes for any exercise – which is why it is important to full understand how to use any piece of gym. Doing so may prevent future injuries.
Lower Body Exercises?
These are a few great moves that come to mind when you are seeking to shape up your lower body.
If body fat is the issue, that can only be reduced with a great nutrition plan and training combined. This is the blue print to those lower body goals you are hoping to achieve!
If you want to train the adductors and abductors specifically, especially after injuries, consider some band work. These types of exercises will work the muscles effectively and safely without unnecessary stress on the spine, and the movements are much more applicable to real life.
Take Home Message
As these machines target very small muscle groups, it may be best for individuals to stick to larger compound moves for improving lower body fitness, unless necessary for a sport.