This blog is part of a series about the hips.
The final two movements of the hips to discuss are abduction and adduction. Like internal and external rotation, these are less powerful movements of the hip than flexion and extension.
Abduction and adduction do not need to be developed to any great extent on their own. The muscles that make these movements possible are often accessed through other movements. For example, the muscles of abduction are used for stability and balance. Standing on one leg (or even walking) requires the muscles of abduction.
While we don't need to focus on developing these movements to a significant extent, let's look at them in more detail so we know what the actions are and which muscles make the movement possible.
Adduction refers to movement toward the midline of the body (or toward something). In the case of the hips, adduction is the movement of the leg toward the midline. Not surprisingly, this movement is achieved by engaging the adductors. These can be thought of as the muscles on the inner thigh. They include muscles like the adductor magnus, adductor brevis, adductor longis. All of these muscles connect from the pubis, or bottom and inner part of the pubic bone, to the femur (leg bone).
Throughout this series we've discussed six movements of the hip joint: flexion, extension, internal & external rotation, adduction and abduction. Considering this, anytime we are talking about the hips we have to consider what position the hip joint is in. Remember the hips can be in any one of these six positions or in a combination!
Any time you think "I have tight hips" or "this pose is a hip opener", think about what position the hips are in. Knowing these six options (and that it may be more than one), you can figure out with more specificity what is happening in the hips.
Scott & Ida are Yoga Acharyas (Masters of Yoga). They are scholars as well as expert practitioners of yogic postures, breath control and meditation. They are the head teachers of Ghosh Yoga.
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