The gym is a workout junkie’s paradise, full of machines that can keep out bodies in tip top shape. But not all workout machines are created equal.

Two machines found in the gym that seems to be pretty popular, especially with the ladies, are the hip abductor/adductor machines.

These machines, in theory, are supposed to help you tone muscles like your quads and glutes, but in reality it is definitely a machine worth skipping.

Why should you skip it you ask?

Well first off using these machines doesn’t replicate any real life “functional” movement, meaning it’s not a movement that replicates anything you do outside the weight room.

Second, and probably most important, lifting a heavy load on this machine can strain the spine and can make the IT band so tight it throws the knee cap out of place. Ouch!

So what workout can you do instead?

Try doing more bodyweight exercises instead. To work the same muscle groups the hip abductor/adductor pretends to work, you can do more effective workouts like lunges, bridges and planks.

These moves don’t take a lot of weight, won’t put too much pressure on your knees and back, and will work the same muscles (quads, hamstrings and glutes), including your abs.

What machines do you skip in the gym? What workouts do you do to replace them?

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  1. I completely disagree with this article. Any workout can cause injury if done incorrectly, and there are so many beneficial machines/exercises that don’t mimic a “real life function.” If you are a women, I say GO FOR IT! This exercise works the muscles near your lady bits and helps blood flow. I noticed a huge change during intimacy after starting these machines!

  2. I disagree with this article also but don’t think it will impact intimacy… I’m maxed out on both of these machines as a guy and my knees are perfectly healthy and my IT band is fine. You use these muscles when moving laterally, such as in any sport that requires side to side movement. You also recruit these muscles when squatting, which is a completely natural movement that everyone does every time they sit down or stand up. Maybe you should go stretch your IT band if it gets tight and quit making up pseudoscience?

  3. agree with both these comments
    lunges, bridges and planks are not something I have ever seen anyone do outside of the gym either, pretty much everything in the gym aside from running on the treadmill or stationary cycling are never done outside the gym

    • First off…to Mark…as a runner I do 360 lunges, squats, and several other core/leg warm up moves in the starting corral. Last time I checked that was outside of a gym. I also do planks, push ups, and dips on any accommodating surface prior to my regular run….also not not a gym. And if I’m running on the streets I even do some calf raises while I wait for a light. Not all of us rely on a gym to exercise but gyms do offer an alternative when the weather is less than accommodating.

      Regarding the article….I have had a hip injury from the adductor/abductor machine even though I used proper form and weight. The set up on those things is way too generic and for me it over extended the hip flexors plus put too much stress on the specified muscles causing an imbalance and super tight IT band. It took nearly a month to correct the damage from a week long routine with that stupid machine. Best bet is to stick with side lunges, sumo squats, or clam shells which use other muscles in unison with the hips.

      • Lori – you are taking “outside of a gym” literally. It really means “outside of your sports activities”. You don’t go shopping or to a movie or to a doctor squatting or lunging. You are just walking or driving. Don’t you?

  4. Also disagree. If you are an athlete, this machine is essential as it gives strength for side to side motions that are the majority of movements for tennis players and also very important for soccer, football and basketball. The abductor/adductor machine also helps prevent groin and hip injuries which are very common. Lunges, bridges and planks do nothing for these muscles. The author clearly knows very little of anatomy and exercise science.

  5. Terrible article without any real knowledge behind it. First off to the guy saying they strengthen the hip flexors, the hip flexors are not doing much of anything in this movement as you are not actively flexing them . These
    Machines are great for strengthening the glutes , working on adductor muscle flexibility and for me strengthening a very weak inner thigh imbalance

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