So why do women love the hip abductor machine, and men don’t care for it so much?

The hip abduction machine targets two buttocks muscles: the gluteus medius and the gluteus minimus.

However, if you’ve ever used the hip abduction machine, it feels as though the outer thighs are being worked more than the butt.

The diagram on the hip abduction machine shows the area of the lower body that gets worked, and the outer sides of the thighs are highlighted.

Women see this and believe that hip abduction exercise will shave inches off their outer thighs.

Women, so much more than men, are concerned about excess fat in the thighs, particularly the outer thighs.

This is a hot button for throngs of women, and that’s why they gravitate towards the hip abduction machine.

However, another group of women uses the hip abduction machine to tone the buttocks.

Remember, this equipment targets the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus, which are buttocks muscles.

These muscles, though, are responsible for the joint action of hip abduction.

This joint action, against resistance, either with equipment, tension tubing, calisthenics or inline skating (especially up hill), will tone and strengthen these buttocks muscles.

But working these muscles will not – absolutely will not – take inches off the outer thighs!

These are small, relatively weak muscles. They do very little to power the legs during running, strenuous walking, hiking, and exercises like squats, deadlifts and leg presses.

To shave inches off the outer thighs, a woman must increase her body’s energy demands.

There is no better way to do this than to do exercises that target large muscle groups:

  • the quadriceps (front thigh muscles
  • hamstrings (back thigh muscles)
  • gluteus maximus (main buttocks muscle; it’s bigger than you think)
  • and large upper body muscles (back and chest).

Targeting these muscles with very challenging resistance loads — as shown in the following images — will force the body to use stored fat – including fat stored in the outer thighs — for recuperative energy!

Shutterstock/Tyler Olson



Shutterstock/Robert Taylor



Combine this with high intensity type of cardio and sensible eating habits, and voila, a woman will experience inches lost in her outer thighs.

As for that hip abduction machine, it’s a good piece of equipment to tone and strengthen the smaller butt muscles.

It’s also great to keep these muscles in shape for inline skating if you haven’t been inline skating for a while due to injury, lack of time or cold weather.

Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified through the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained women and men of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health. 



Top image: Shutterstock/lunamarina