BAD news: The adductor and abductor machines will not slim your chubby thighs or any other “fat” area of your legs and hips.
When I was a personal trainer I’d see quite a few women with heavy thighs using the adductor and abductor machines.
It’s no coincidence that many women who use this equipment have thick thighs, and I know exactly why they are drawn to the adductor and abductor equipment.
And the reason is to slim their upper legs.
Somehow, the myth spread like wildfire that women can actually trim their big thighs by spending enough time on the abductor and adductor machines.
But it won’t happen.
Ask yourself why you’re upper legs are “fat” or heavy in the first place.
What’s there that’s creating the look that you don’t like? It’s fat.
What’s the best way to get rid of that fat in your thighs?
You must exercise in a way that causes your body to take stored fat and convert it to energy.
The adductor and abductor machines work small muscles, called the hip adductors and hip abductors.
Small muscles don’t require much energy, so working these particular muscles will not burn much fat — not enough to make your thighs slimmer.
The myth that the abductor and adductor machines make thighs smaller might stem from the diagrams on the equipment, where it says “Muscles Worked,” showing the areas in color the particular muscles this equipment recruits.
The colored areas are precisely in the spots that women would like to slim down, the “trouble spots.”
This makes them think that these machines will slim their upper legs’ inner and outer portions.
Another reason for the myth is that it seems logical that sitting on a seat and then repeatedly closing and opening your legs against resistance will burn up fat in your thighs, the very areas where you feel “the burn.”
It just FEELS like fat is being burned there, and it just feels like your thighs are getting thinner.
But don’t let what this feels like fool you. The adductor and abductor machines will firm and tone the inner thighs and outer butt, respectively.
Muscles that are given a good workout will become tighter and firmer. But this doesn’t mean that the fat by these muscles will burn away.
So how do you get rid of fat in the thighs?
You work the large muscles of the body! Do intense strength training routines that target large muscle groups, because these larger, stronger muscles require much more energy than do the small adductor and abductor muscles.
This means just about all of your leg exercises should involve routines like squats, leg presses, heavy weighted lunges, deadlifts and even hamstring curls and leg extensions.
Upper body weight routines will also contribute to overall fat-burning.
A full routine involving all of these exercises, done at an intense level, will force your body to use the fat near your adductor and abductor muscles, as well as your belly and all over, for energy.
And this includes the energy needed for muscle recovery, which can take place for hours after the workout is over!
Another way to tap into the fat in your thighs is high intensity interval training.
HIIT will force the body to suck the fat out of heavy thighs (and elsewhere) and use it for recuperative energy.
HIIT basically is alternating very brief bursts of high energy — such as squat jumps, street sprints, burpees, mountain climbers, lunge jumps, lunge-kicks and hill dashes, with a few minutes of casual walking or marching in place.
The adductor and abductor machines are great for toning and tightening the inner thighs and outer buttocks, but they will not make big thighs smaller.
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.