Hip adductors are the muscles in your inner thigh that support balance and alignment. These stabilizing muscles are used to adduct the hips and thighs, or move them toward the midline of your body.

To improve athletic performance and prevent injury, it’s important that you tone, strengthen, and stretch all your hip muscles, including your hip adductors.

Here are 12 hip exercises you can do at home to increase flexibility, build strength, and prevent injury.

1. Lateral jumps

This exercise requires balance and works your adductors in addition to your core, hamstrings, and glutes. You can make this exercise more challenging by using taller or varying heights to jump over. Focus on engaging your adductor muscles as you jump.

Instructions:

  1. Place a few cones or objects of similar height in a row.
  2. Stand to the right of the cones and then jump to the left, landing softly before hopping over the next cone.
  3. Once you’ve reached the end, hop back to the starting position.
  4. Do 2–4 sets of 10–16 repetitions.
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2. Side leg raises

This exercise is suitable for all levels. It works your hips, glutes, and legs.

Instructions:

  1. Lie on your right side with your legs extended out straight.
  2. Use your right hand or a cushion to support your head.
  3. Slowly raise your left leg as high as you can.
  4. Hold this position for a few seconds before lowering your leg back down.
  5. Do 2–3 sets of 8–16 repetitions on each side.
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3. Clamshells

You’ll need a resistance band for this inner thigh exercise. You can also do this pose while sitting in a chair.

Instructions:

  1. Place a resistance band around your lower thighs.
  2. Lie on your right side with bent knees.
  3. Slowly open your left leg as far as you can.
  4. Hold this position for a few seconds and then lower back down to the starting position.
  5. Do 2–3 sets of 8–16 repetitions on each side.
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4. Standing lateral leg raises

This exercise builds strength and flexibility in your glutes, adductors, and hamstrings. Increase the difficulty by using ankle weights or a resistance band.

Instructions:

  1. Stand on your right foot with your left foot slightly raised.
  2. Place your hands on a wall or chair for support and engage your core.
  3. Keep your hips square as you engage your inner thighs to lift your left leg as high as you can.
  4. Pause here for a few moments before slowly returning your leg back down.
  5. Do 2–3 sets of 8–14 repetitions on each side.
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5. Extended side angle pose

This standing pose boosts energy levels. It builds strength and improves flexibility in your thighs, glutes, and back.

Instructions:

  1. Come into a wide stance with your right toes facing forward and your left toes out at an angle.
  2. Bend your right knee so it’s directly over your ankle.
  3. Hinge at your hips and bring your right elbow to the base of your thigh with your palm facing downward.
  4. Raise your left arm up and forward.
  5. Hold this pose for up to 1 minute.
  6. Then do the opposite side.
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6. Wide leg squat

These squats target your adductors, quadriceps, and glutes. Use a resistance band around your thighs to increase the resistance and keep your body in alignment.

Instructions:

  1. Stand with your feet wider than your hips.
  2. Slowly lower your hips down as far as you can.
  3. Pause in this position, engaging your inner thighs.
  4. Return to the starting position.
  5. Do 2–3 sets of 8–12 repetitions.
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7. Prayer squat

This pose stretches your inner thighs and upper legs. Place a cushion or block under your buttocks if you can’t reach all the way down.

Instructions:

  1. From standing, walk your feet a little wider than hip-distance with your toes turned out to the sides slightly.
  2. Lower your hips to squat down.
  3. Press your hands together in front of your chest and use your elbows to press your knees apart.
  4. Hold this position for up to 1 minute.
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8. Adductor squeezes

For this exercise, you’ll need a block or exercise ball. You can also use a resistance band around your calves. This pose works your core, quadriceps, and adductors.

Instructions:

  1. Lie on your back with your arms alongside your body and your palms pressing down on the floor for support.
  2. Draw your heels in toward your hips with your knees pointing up toward the ceiling.
  3. Place the object between your knees (or a resistance band around your calves).
  4. Engage your adductor muscles as you squeeze the object for a few seconds.
  5. Do 2–3 sets of 8–12 repetitions.
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9. Low lunge

This pose targets your glutes, adductors, and legs. Focus on lengthening your spine while sinking down into your hips.

Instructions:

  1. From tabletop position, step your right foot forward and position your ankle under your knee.
  2. Extend your left knee back slightly and press evenly into both hands.
  3. Hold this position for up to 1 minute.
  4. Then do the opposite side.
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10. Fire hydrants

Reduce back pain and work your core, hip flexors, and glutes with this exercise.

Instructions:

  1. From tabletop position, yield your weight evenly onto your hands and right knee.
  2. Slowly lift your left leg away from your body, keeping your knee bent.
  3. Pause here before returning to the starting position.
  4. Do 2–3 sets of 8–12 repetitions on each side.
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Adductor strains usually occur during physical activity. They’re common in athletes that play soccer, hockey, and football. Other common sports include basketball, tennis, and baseball.

People who’ve had a previous hip or groin injury have the highest risk of experiencing adductor strain. Other risk factors include:

  • muscle fatigue or weakness
  • poor range of motion
  • age

People who have flat feet or one leg longer than the other are also at risk.

To heal an adductor strain, you can do stretches that will loosen and exercise these muscles. Make sure you wait at least a few days after a strain before doing any type of stretching. You shouldn’t feel pain while doing these exercises.

11. Bound angle pose

You’ll feel a stretch in your inner thighs, groin, and knees. To make this pose more intense, move your hips closer in toward your body. If your hips are very tight, place cushions or blocks under your knees. You can do this pose while lying on your back.

Instructions:

  1. Sit on the floor, or the edge of a cushion or block to tilt your pelvis forward and lengthen your spine.
  2. Place the soles of your feet together.
  3. Keep a straight spine as you walk your hands out in front of you to come into a forward fold.
  4. Hold this pose for up to 1 minute.
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12. Frog stretch

This is a deep stretch that releases tension in your inner thighs.

Instructions:

  1. From tabletop position, walk your knees over to the sides.
  2. Form a right angle with your ankles and turn your toes outwards.
  3. Sink your weight back onto your hips, keeping your hands on the floor for support.
  4. Hold this pose for up to 1 minute.
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Exercising with tight adductors that have not been properly warmed up is a common cause of injury in athletes.

To prevent an adductor strain, warm up for 5 to 10 minutes before you begin your workout. Include gentle stretches, jumping jacks, and brisk walking. Build up slowly when you begin a new exercise program and stop doing any activity that causes pain.

Immediately ice the affected area if you experience any pain. You can also self-massage using muscle rubs, essential oils, or a foam roller. Of course, making an appointment with a sports massage professional or acupuncturist is also beneficial.

Take care of your body, especially in this sensitive area. You can perform these exercises to build strength, improve flexibility, and prevent injury.

It’s especially important to do these exercises if you’re at risk of adductor strain due to a previous injury, alignment concerns, or athletic participation.

Gradually increase the intensity of any new physical activity and listen to your body to avoid pushing yourself beyond limits. Speak to your doctor if you have any medical concerns that warrant caution in doing these exercises.