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Adductors and Inner Hamstrings Related?


#1

Whenever I do any hamstring exercise,
my adductors and hamstrings get worked.
Do the inner hamstrings do things besides flex knee/extend hip?


#2

The inner hamstrings (semitendinosis, semimembranosis) also medially rotate the tibia when the knee is flexed.

Based on one of Poliquin's (sp?) articles, I might guess based on this limited assessment that you might have a strength deficit between your medial and lateral hamstrings. This could account for use of the hamstrings as a hip flexor when using them (or at least intending to) as solely a knee flexor.


#3

Nearly every muscle (and joint for that matter) in the body functions through a combination all three planes of movement.The hamstrings and adductors are marvelous examples.

You are correct on the primary functions of the hamstrings in regards to facilitating extension at the hip and flexion at the knee. However, since the hamstrings attach to the pelvis medial to the hip joint (i.e. toward the midline of the body), they are also able to secondarily facilitate hip adduction (i.e. movement of the thigh toward the midline of the body). Additionally, with their attachments across the knee wrapping around each side of the lower leg, they become very important in producing and controlling rotation (i.e. twisting) at the knee as well as at the hip.

The adductors, although named for their adduction function at the hip joint, also contribute to hip function in other planes particularly depending upon the position of the hip at any given moment. When the thigh is extended behind the body, a number of the adductors can actually assist in flexing the hip (i.e. moving the thigh forward). When the hip is flexed (like at the bottom of a squat or deadlift), a number of the adductors act to aid hip extension. The rotational functions of the adductors really kick in when one leg is in front and one leg is behind.

I'm guessing the exercises you are running into the medial hamstring and adductor cooperation with are compound movements like squat and deadlift variations. With these movements, it can be quite interesting to vary foot placement in regards to stance width and even toeing in or out as your body allows without throwing your form off to see what different "feel" you can get from the exercises. My personal favorites for hitting the hamstrings and adductors together are low-bar wide stance squats being sure to push the knees apart over the feet as you descend or a sumo stance Romanian deadlift.

Sorry about rambling on, but I hope this was helpful.

All the best.


#4

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that especially in a situation where there is a strength deficit between the hamstrings, the medial hamstrings can act as adductors. This would be compounded during a hip flexion exercise.


#5

Thanks guys! Yeah, my inner hamstrings
are much more powerful than my outer.
I do box squats on squat day, and I
use a pigeon toed stance. I sit back as
well. When I am done, my adductors are
completely sore! I was thinkin "hey,
if you sit back, you use your hamstrings, right, not adductors!" Turns out I was wrong. Another possibility is that those areas of soreness were also on the inner hamstrings, though they are close to
each other, and made me be confused that only the adductors are sore. It's
interesting how they are "renaissance muscles."


#6

The adductor magnus is often referred to as one of the hamstrings; it contributed to hip extension. Check out my article "Construction by Adduction" for details.


#7

Whoa! This site has info you can't get
from most other sites! Back to the point, I will stick my nose in that article and learn more about this muscle group.