Not the hamstrings, but the other tight leg muscles!
What are your inner thighs doing for you? Helping you stay strong, healthy, and on balance? Or are you feeling difficulty standing completely upright with good posture, finding it difficult to balance easily on one leg, or struggling with foot, knee, hip, or back pain?
Whether you do Pilates, Yoga, exercise, walk, run, play sports, lift weights or just want to stay safe and healthy for your daily life activities, here are four reasons to find, feel, and focus on stretching and strengthening the inner thigh muscles (Adductor Muscles).
IMPROVE BALANCE – The inner thighs are an important part of the leg to help maintain balance when standing and walking. As we age, there is a tendency to stand and walk with a wider stride thinking that this is helping our balance. But this “wider” stance only further weakens the inner thighs, and makes us less stable. Maintaining strong inner things so it’s easy to stand and walk with your legs closer together will help keep you more on-center to feel better balance.
HEALTHY HIP MECHANICS – The inner thighs stabilize the leg as it swings forward and backward for a healthy stride to walk and run. They also are critical for support and movement for lateral (side-to-side) movement. Sports like basketball, tennis, racquetball and for sure horseback riding would be impossible without strong inner thighs.
PAIN-FREE KNEES – The balance of support between the inner thighs and outer hip muscles is what stabilizes the leg for healthy, pain-free movement at the knee. The knee joint can only flex and extend, but the leg can move in all directions from the hip. Without adequate support on the inside and outside of the thigh, the risk of a medial or lateral knee injury (pain) may increase.
BETTER ANKLE MOBILITY – Do you have stiff ankles, tight calves, or heel pain… a contributing factor can be what’s happening above. Your inner thighs are every bit as important as what is happening at your feet. The inner thigh muscles contribute to how you stand – rolling in or out at the ankle. With the right amount of both support and flexibility at the hip-end of the leg with the inner thighs, you can help improve posture, reduce foot pain and keep your ankles healthy with better mobility to avoid sprains & strains, Achilles tendonitis, and other debilitating foot, knee and hip problems.
There are specific exercises and stretches that target the leg adductors, but just knowing that your inner thighs should be working won’t make them turn on and start working correctly… It takes intentional focus to improve your mind-body connection. That just means having deliberate muscle engagement, and purposeful fine-tuning of your movement habits during exercise and daily life activities to activate the inner thighs for proper support.
Is it time for you to find, feel, and focus on your inner thighs? Join me in my Facebook Group, Live every weekday M-F for a well-programmed exercise class.
Here's the link to the group, ask to join if you are not a member already!
Inner Thigh Exercise