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Lovely Legs: The truth about abductor/adductor machines

February 20, 2010

Lovely legs. What gym owners SELL us so we can have them!

Are you guilty of spending time on the adductor machine, that piece of gym equipment you sit on and push your legs together against pads that supply resistance? The idea is you’re working your inner thighs here.

If so, then it’s a good bet you also spend time on the abductor machine, a similar-looking piece of equipment that’s usually sitting next to the adductor machine. On this one, you push your legs (again, against pads) away from each other, ostensibly to work the outer thighs.

Save yourself time!

The muscles on both your inner thighs and outer thighs are very small. Target them regularly and, like any other muscle, you will build them. If that’s your only plan of attack, you’ll have larger inner and outer thigh muscles, with the same amount of fat on top of them.

Bottom line: Your jeans will be tighter in the thigh. Is that what you want?

What you’re no doubt upset with is the amount of FAT on your leg, not the strength or size of your adductor or abductor muscles.

To achieve lean, shapely legs, here’s what you need to do:

1) Work your ENTIRE LEG using basic exercises like squats and lunges. Step-ups work well, too. This will strengthen and shape your legs. What’s more, an intense leg workout burns calories and helps kick up your levels of human growth hormone, the hormone that helps you get/stay lean!

2) Watch your diet. Get rid of junk foods, for sure. Also, get rid of foods, like bottled salad dressings, that have lots of chemicals in them. I found that when I got rid of ALL foods containing additives and preservatives, my legs shed excess flab, which I took to be water weight. On that note, experiment to see if certain foods are causing you to hold water in your legs (because you’re allergic to them!) Once you lose a little fat on your legs, their shape will come out and they’ll look longer and leaner.

3) Do more effective CARDIO. You likely need something OTHER than what you’re doing now. Try interval cardio, which, studies show, can help you lose fat faster than steady-state cardio. Plus, interval cardio takes half the time (or less) than long stretches of steady-state cardio, so it gets you out of the gym faster!

* Photo courtesy of Stacy McDowell (Simons), whose beautiful legs, incidentally, are NOT attributable to either abductor OR adductor machines.

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