T Nation

Adductor Dominance

Every time that I perform a single leg movement on my right side my right adductor magnus kicks in when the glutes should be firing. I can still feel the glutes working but the adductor contracts very hard. It is often sore after workouts and generally feels tight and over-worked all of the time.

I have tried one leg curl (same str), one leg press (right leg weaker), single leg rdl (right leg weaker). For nearly a year I have cycled through all of the exercises trying for ages to bring up the weak leg. I have only been doing sets on the weak leg and it seems as though whenever I do this my quads or hams on the right side get better but my right glute remains unused. I also notice that the right side is a lot less stable than the left when standing. I should note that I had some dramas with a hypertonic ql on the left side, so I am not sure whether the left glute contracts harder because the back is tight, causing the imbalance.

Do you guys have any ideas for exercises that may recruit the glute without using the adductor at all? I have tried the glute bridge, single leg glute bridge, donkey kicks, side lying clams and lots of low load isometric stuff. I do feel the glute working but as soon as load is added or fatigue sets in, the adductor begins to dominate again on that side.

that’s an interesting one. I would foam roll and stretch the shit out of your adductors. Do that every day. Also do loads of glute activation like bridges, hip thrusts etc.

If you’ve rolled your adductors enough then I think you should be able to do the activation stuff without your adductors firing. You might need to get something harder than a foam roller, like a PVC pipe or a field hockey ball.

Remember to do it in this order:

roll
stretch
activate

if your back is tight (which it will be if your glutes are rubbish) then a few sets of bird dogs every day is a good idea too. That’ll strengthen up your core and take some of the heat off your back. I know that whenever my back gets tight, doing some core activation works wonders.

so maybe something like

roll adductors (might as well roll hip flexors and TFL while you’re at it :slight_smile: )
stretch adductors
couple of sets of hip thrusts
couple of sets of cross band walks (great exercise these, google it)
couple of sets of bird dogs
couple of sets of stir-the-pot

do that every day. Should only take you ten minutes or so. Really try and get those glutes burning on the activation stuff.

Hope that helps!

Maybe foam rolling regularly might help?
Stretching, yoga, unblocking is likely a good first step.
Do you have any side imbalance? suffered any fall, impact?
Any front, back, side pics?
Higher shoulder, shorter leg??

A massage person, a kinesytherapeute, a chiropractor might be worth a session to ask how you can progress combine with a treatment.
Getting stronger might be step 2.
All the best!

Pre-exhaust the gluteus via Contreras’ patented Glute Thrusts.
Parts of your back should be elevated on a bench, your feet are on the ground, barbell on your hip, falcon at your wrist and the wind in your hair.
I believe this variation takes the hamstrings and adductors out best in life.
You have to find out the ideal foot position yourself, probably not too narrow, not too wide.

Then do narrow squats with way less weight because you have to go a-t-g.
Find the best compromise between a-t-g and narrow stance; although a-t-g has a higher priority.
If you have long femurs, low bar positioning is probably better.
Come up half way and go a-t-g again then explosively come all the way up to your starting position.
That’s one rep.

Crush the glutes, see doms driven before you and hear the lamentation of the idle adductors!

I actually had a similar problem until, like mentioned above, I really stretched and foam rolled the crap out of them for like 3 days…the next time I did single leg stuff I noticed a difference. It hurt pretty bad at first, but really loosened the adductors up.

[quote]rds63799 wrote:
that’s an interesting one. I would foam roll and stretch the shit out of your adductors. Do that every day. Also do loads of glute activation like bridges, hip thrusts etc.

If you’ve rolled your adductors enough then I think you should be able to do the activation stuff without your adductors firing. You might need to get something harder than a foam roller, like a PVC pipe or a field hockey ball.

Remember to do it in this order:

roll
stretch
activate

if your back is tight (which it will be if your glutes are rubbish) then a few sets of bird dogs every day is a good idea too. That’ll strengthen up your core and take some of the heat off your back. I know that whenever my back gets tight, doing some core activation works wonders.

so maybe something like

roll adductors (might as well roll hip flexors and TFL while you’re at it :slight_smile: )
stretch adductors
couple of sets of hip thrusts
couple of sets of cross band walks (great exercise these, google it)
couple of sets of bird dogs
couple of sets of stir-the-pot

do that every day. Should only take you ten minutes or so. Really try and get those glutes burning on the activation stuff.

Hope that helps![/quote]

Thanks for the reply! Yes I foam roll the bad adductor and the left IT band/TFL every day. The let TFL and ITB feels very tight because I think it is picking up the slack for the right side. Whenever I perform any movements that recruit the posterior chain the right adductor kicks in on the right side and the left glute/glute med gets all knotty and painful.

I regularly stretch hamstrings, piro, quad fem, quads/hf and calves but I don’t really stretch the adductors that much. I might try stretching them to see if it helps. My core is very strong. The back is only tight on the left side, sometimes I stretch the QL but it tightens back up again so I have just been trying to focus on keeping my legs balanced.

[quote]BHappy wrote:
Maybe foam rolling regularly might help?
Stretching, yoga, unblocking is likely a good first step.
Do you have any side imbalance? suffered any fall, impact?
Any front, back, side pics?
Higher shoulder, shorter leg??

A massage person, a kinesytherapeute, a chiropractor might be worth a session to ask how you can progress combine with a treatment.
Getting stronger might be step 2.
All the best![/quote]

Apart from the right hip extensors being weaker, I don’t have a side imbalance. I tried one leg press for a while and the right leg was quite weak. I performed more sets on the right side for a few weeks and now they are the same strength. The only problem is that now my right quad is a tonne bigger as I think it has been picking up the slack for the sleepy glute.

I have very slight scoliosis. Nothing major though. I was tackled about 2 years ago and this caused the hypertonic QL which I haven’t been able to calm down since… I have had ART on my left glute med and right adductor a few times now. The biggest change was when I strengthened my right hamstring. The adductor calmed down quite a bit, I am just having trouble bringing the glutes up to par now.

[quote]Schwarzfahrer wrote:
Pre-exhaust the gluteus via Contreras’ patented Glute Thrusts.
Parts of your back should be elevated on a bench, your feet are on the ground, barbell on your hip, falcon at your wrist and the wind in your hair.
I believe this variation takes the hamstrings and adductors out best in life.
You have to find out the ideal foot position yourself, probably not too narrow, not too wide.

Then do narrow squats with way less weight because you have to go a-t-g.
Find the best compromise between a-t-g and narrow stance; although a-t-g has a higher priority.
If you have long femurs, low bar positioning is probably better.
Come up half way and go a-t-g again then explosively come all the way up to your starting position.
That’s one rep.

Crush the glutes, see doms driven before you and hear the lamentation of the idle adductors![/quote]

lol… Hmm I have never thought about going very narrow for squats. I squat high bar shoulder width with feet slightly pointed out. They don’t kick in too badly with squats, I mainly feel them in my quads.

Any single leg movements and the leg press are the worst. Squats and deadlifts aren’t too bad.

I will give the narrower squats a go. I always go a-t-g btw. Still keep feet pointed out?

I cannot specifically help you around the world but you confirmed what i was suspecting.
I suggest you put your situation/problem on the back burner. The cause must first be adressed. Maybe go to the gym take a 5-8 min. hot shower to relax muscles as much as possible.
Step 2 do specific foam rolling, strechting, warmup about 3 days in a row and see if that helps.

Avoid heavy for a few days be on the light/rehab side that will supply you whith valuable info.
Also thight muscles benefit from alkaline nutrition. Simply search alkaline foods you will find lots of vegetables and more. I would suggest you go seriously for about 10 days on that side. If you loose muscles they can be regain fast do not worry.
All the best!