Photographed By Amelia Alpaugh.
Resistance bands are having a moment. The simple, rubber exercise equipment is portable (making it great for sneaking in a workout when traveling), and effective — particularly at strengthening the hard-to-target muscles of your hip adductors (inner thighs).
A recent study of soccer players found that after eight weeks of strength training using elastic bands, the athletes improved eccentric hip-adduction strength by 30%. (Eccentric training is activity that occurs when the muscle is lengthened.) The study, which was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, analyzed the athletes through two training sessions per week and gradually increased the resistance, difficulty, and frequency of their exercise.
The researchers targeted hip-adductor muscles, since weakness in this area is associated with increased risk of groin injuries among soccer players. But, the implications of inner-thigh strength go beyond action on the field. Strong inner-thigh muscles help pull the leg towards the center of the body, which helps improve overall stability and encourage correct lower-body alignment. It also helps promote proper squat form and improves arm balances.
Ultimately, you want to achieve balance — so that your butt, hips, thighs, and core all work together, instead of one muscle taking the lead. Here are a few resistance-band exercises to start with — just another way to become a thigh master.
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