Abductors and Adductors

Well Defined HamstringsAdductors And Abductors

Description. These muscles are named for their function at the hip joint. The adductors cause adduction (movement of the leg toward the body's center line), and consist of the adductor magnus, brevis, and longus, as well as the pectinius and gracilis. Also, the medial portion of the hamstrings as well as the sartorius may assist in adduction. The primary hip abductor (abduction is defined as movement of a limb away from the body's center line) is the gluteus medius, a small muscle which receives far too much attention from women trying to lose fat from their hips. The abductors and adductors are antagonistic to each other.

Martial Arts Applications. Strong adductors arc quite important for traditional practitioners and kata competitors who seek strong stances. Superior abductor length is important for the ability to perform strong and high kicks as well. The adductors strongly contribute to maintaining the mount position in jujitsu.

Unique Characteristics. Adductor strength (or lack of it) may be a primary limiting factor in attaining a split.

Interestingly, three of the five adductors are thought to contribute to internal and external rotation of the lower leg, but a recent analysis of several leading anatomy texts showed conflicting information on the role of the adductor longus, brevis, and pectin-ious in rotation of the femur. Clearly, more research is needed.

Length Assessment, laying face up on the floor, the athlete should be able to abduct each leg to a 45-degree angle from the midline, as shown.

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