HIP ADDUCTOR MUSCLES
If you are looking to get faster and improve your lateral speed and quickness, then look no further than your hip adductor muscles. The Hip Adductors are located on the inside of your thigh. There are five of them and their names are the Adductor Longus, Adductor Brevis, Adductor Magnus, Pectineus and Gracilis. See Figure 1.
Hip adduction is the ability to move your thigh and leg inwards, toward each other, as well continuing on and crossing one leg over the other. This is seen by observing the right leg in the neutral position in Figure 1a and then adducted over the midline of the body as seen in Figure 1b.
The hip adductors are the antagonistic muscle group of the hip abductors. The word ‘antagonist’ means ‘opposed to’, so when you say the hip adductors are antagonistic to the hip abductors, what you are saying is that it works in the opposite direction.
Every skeletal muscle that moves a particular joint will have an antagonistic muscle to undo the movement, or move it back to where it was. One example would be the biceps and triceps; another is the quadriceps and hamstrings.
Sports activities that require lateral movements will involve both hip adduction and hip abduction. Examples would be playing defense in basketball where you shift side to side guarding your opponent. Playing third base or shortstop in baseball would be another as you move sideways to get yourself into position to field the ball. See Figure 3.