The External Hip Exercises are performed by the female audience in the gym in order to slim the thigh area.
The exercises for the outer thigh have always been performed in search of an aesthetic improvement of this specific anatomical region.
In this regard, the most famous of all is certainly represented by the Abductor Machine.
This machine is proposed for the activation and stimulation of the so-called external thigh which in anatomical jargon is represented by the abductor muscles of the hip.
How to train these muscle groups effectively? Is the abductor machine really the best choice? Which are the most effective exercises? Let’s find out as always by applying science to training.
Slimming The Inside And Outside Of The Thigh?
Do the exercises in question serve to slim the inner and outer thighs? The answer is no.
The physiological dynamics related to weight loss cannot be reduced to the mere activation of a muscle group near the area to “slim”, even more so in an area “protected” by specific and indisputable genetic orders.
The “slimming” goal passes from a global balance of the whole organism at several levels and from a healthy lifestyle perpetrated over time.
It certainly cannot be achieved through short sporadic muscle contractions, pre-summer, and absolutely not very functional from a biomechanical point of view.
Inner and outer thigh exercises will not lead to inner thigh or outer thigh weight loss.
External Thigh: Biomechanical Analysis
The muscles in question were created specifically to keep the pelvis in balance during movements and in particular in those movements in which monopodial support is required (walking, climbing stairs).
Transverse stability of the pelvis is guaranteed exclusively by the abductor’s muscles in particular by the middle and gluteus minimus, assisted by the tensor fascia lata. The gluteus medius is the most important muscle in this sense in size and position.
When standing on one-foot gravity causes a force that would tend to tilt the lower leg of the limb raised off the ground downwards a force counteracted by the contraction of the gluteus medius of the side in support that opposes this inclination keeping them at the same height.
This explains the main reason why many struggling with the Gluteus Machine report muscle fatigue to the limb in support and not to the one detached from the ground, which in theory should be the recipient of the training stimulus.
Exercises For The Outer Thigh
The stabilizing function of the pelvis by the hip abductor muscles cannot and must not be overlooked or ignored.
On a healthy subject who goes to the gym, programs for stimulating the muscles analyzed must take these dynamics into consideration making the consequent changes to the training schedules.
Having established how localized weight loss is entirely a lie we must propose exercises that stimulate the abductor muscles of the hip in a more functional way, proposing movements that destabilize the balance of the pelvis.
In this regard, a Lunge and a Step-up propose movements that recall physiological motor patterns and in addition cause, a destabilization of the whole pelvic girdle in monopodial support stimulating the muscles analyzed above in an effective and functional way.
It is also important to underline how performing hip abductions with the hip flexed maximally shortens the tensor fascia lata a muscle that is already often retracted in many subjects due to daily postures.
It activates the posterior bundles of the gluteus medius which is often a long and weak muscle especially in women with a large pelvis.
The rehabilitation clinic reminds us that the consolidation of this imbalance predisposes us to dysfunctional hip syndromes that can trigger pain.
By virtue of this and of what has been seen previously if you really cannot give up some exercises for the “outer thigh”, learn to avoid abductions/flexions.
Instead perform abduction associated with hip extensions and external rotations, or pelvic tilt exercises against gravity with a limb (the one to be trained) on a step.
With these exercises for the outer thigh, you will not “slim” anything but at least you will train some muscles that on average are weak, thus positively influencing the balance of the hip and preventing possible dysfunctional syndromes.