Welcome back to this week’s edition of 2-MInute Tuesdays where we are talking about one exercise topic for two minutes and giving you three reasons why you should follow our advice. Now this week, we are talking about a specific machine. In fact, this machine is usually just thought of as “the ladies’ machine”. But, we need to explain to the fellas why you need to be using it as well.
The machine we are talking about is the hip abduction and adduction machine. That is the machine where you sit down and you push your legs out or you sit down and you push your legs together.
1) If You Don’t Use It, You Will Lose It
Here’s the first thing you need to understand about working and improving your muscular system – if you don’t use it, you will lose it. Two of the very important muscle groups that help you control your hips and help your hips be strong are your hip abductors and your hip adductors. It is very important that you are training them, even if you are a man, so these muscles stay strong and maintain their function.
Action Step: The hip ab/adduction machine directly targets both of these muscle groups. While your hip abductors and adductors will be challenged performing exercises like squats, lunges, deadlifts, and leg presses, they will receive a more direct challenge when using the hip ab/adductor machine. And, as we have discussed before in multiple blog posts, directly challenging tissue is a requirement in order for the tissue to get stronger and grow.
2) Hip Ab/Adduction Can Help Improve Balance
Second, strengthening the hip abductor and adductor muscle groups that are trained by this machine can help tremendously with improving your balance. There are many factors and many components to the skill of balancing, but the strength and coordination of your muscular system are highly influential when it comes to your ability to balance.
Action Step: When you consider the ways to help reduce the risk of falling or losing balance, especially as you age, you have to consider the strength of your muscular system. Because you are more likely to lose your balance falling side to side while standing on one leg, such as when you are trying to walk, strengthening the muscles that would control your hips moving side to side is vital to helping you keep your balance as you age.
Related: What does muscle have to do with it?
3) Hip Ab/Adduction Can Improve Your Hip Joint Health
Our third point is that the hip ab and adduction machine will make sure that you are fully using your hip joint through the frontal plane (side to side). This is really important because the more we are able to move our hips in different ways and through its fullest ranges, the healthier your hip joint will stay. So, it is really important that we explore those joint ranges so your hips can stay has healthy as possible.
Action Step: Consider all of the other exercises we do for our lower body – running, biking, squats, deadlifts, lunges, etc. Almost all of the exercises we do for our lower body require front to back motion of our hips. And, while exercising by doing yoga or pilates may cause you move your hips side to side, none of these activities are heavily loading your muscular system in more extreme positions of abduction and adduction. So, in order for your hips to stay as healthy as they can be, you will need to make sure you are loading your hip muscles as you move your legs side to side. Not only will this keep your hip muscles strong, but it will also keep your joint surfaces healthy.
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