About ConAron2799

Connie Aronson is an elite personal trainer who has been coaching and helping people for over three decades. She is an American College of Sports Medicine Exercise Physiologist and a BioMechanics Method Corrective Movement Specialist. Connie also holds top national certifications, including the American Council on Exercise Gold level, the Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research and AFFA . She is certified as an Active Isolated Strengthening Therapist, a method of fascia release used to facilitate stretching. Connie is an International Dance Exercise Association Elite Level Personal Trainer, which represents the highest achievement in the personal fitness training industry. She also writes a popular monthly health and fitness column for the Idaho Mountain Express in Ketchum, Idaho.

Fitness Guru-How to find tight neck and shoulder relief

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If your neck and shoulders are chronically tight, not only does it feel bad, but neck and shoulder limitations affect the biomechanics of your body.

Conversely, when you have balance and alignment in everyday life, you establish a great starting point for exercise. Rolling on balls has become an increasingly popular way to target areas of your body that are restricted and tight. Ball exercises can target areas in the neck and upper back that are otherwise not easily accessible. Using a ball specifically for these troublesome areas allows you to hit tender points and virtually melt them out of your body.

If you consider that your head weighs anywhere between 9 and 12 pounds, a forward position of the head can wreck havoc on your neck and shoulders. Consider that the weight of the head effectively doubles for every inch forward of its optimal alignment. Not only does this create neck and shoulder tension, but the position of the head and neck affects the alignment of the whole body.

Furthermore, internally-rotated arms, caused by rounded posture—a result of looking at a computer screen throughout the day—or elevated shoulders, increase the likelihood of upper back discomfort. Rolling a tennis ball along the neck and shoulders penetrates deep into the musculature, helps pull your head back into neutral and gives you gentle extension in your upper back.

Another benefit of ball rolling on your upper back is that you are creating a ball bearing between your body and the floor. This allows more extensive movement on the floor, so that your upper back will feel more spread out and relaxed.

Tennis ball on the shoulder blade

Tennis ball on top of the shoulder blade

Rejuvenate and mobilize the upper back and shoulder blades with tennis ball rolling. This exercise targets the muscles in the upper back that have become chronically lengthened by internally-rotated arms: the infraspinatus and teres minor and the trapezius muscles.

Lie on your back and place a tennis ball on top of your shoulder blade. Use a pillow under your neck for proper head alignment.

Hug the opposite shoulder in order to increase pressure on the ball.

Push with your feet to move the ball, finding a tender spot. Try to relax while breathing normally. Hold for 20-30 seconds.

Gently move your body up, down and sideways to find additional sore spots.

Tennis ball on the back of the neck

The “Tennis ball on the back of the neck” exercise can ne used to target specific tight or sore spots.

This exercise helps regenerate the tissues of the neck—so that the neck can flex more easily—and allows the head to move back into better alignment.

Lie on your back and place a tennis ball under your neck. Use a pillow or towels to support your head.

Apply pressure for 20-30 seconds at each sore spot, for a total of 2-3 minutes.

Next, perform the following stretch:

Back of neck stretch

Neck stretching can help provide relief from tension and pain.

The muscles of the neck have a natural curve to help maintain stability and maintain alignment over the body. When this curve is overstretched or exaggerated in any way, it can become quite uncomfortable. This stretch helps release tightness in the neck.

Place your hands on top of your head, keep your elbows together, and pull your shoulders down using your mid-back muscles.

Pull your chin to your chest to feel the stretch in the back of your neck and shoulders.

Hold for 20 seconds, and repeat the cycle three times.

Published in the Idaho Mountain Express Jan.5, 2024.

https://www.mtexpress.com/wood_river_journal/features/fitness-guru-how-to-find-tight-neck-and-shoulder-relief/article_07ce84f8-ab2a-11ee-a9ff-a7fbfeece97e.html

Train like an athlete with the landmine single-leg deadlift

You know you could always use a little extra strength. Strong legs, in particular, will help you excel in activities such as running, hiking, tennis and skiing.

More importantly, strength is a key component to avoiding injuries. If you are looking to up your game and need a leg and core strengthener, try the landmine single-leg Romanian deadlift. Don’t be intimidated by the name!

If we break it down, the base move—a deadlift—is a bend-and-lift movement. It’s simply picking up a stationary weight off the floor, with no momentum. The landmine single-leg Romanian deadlift will target your posterior chain; the hamstrings, gluteal muscles and the core. It’s a unilateral movement that builds stability, strength and power throughout the posterior chain. Performing it provides you a unique training effect because you combine elements of a free-weight and machine-based exercise. Furthermore, this particular lift will really activate the muscles located through the core to maintain proper form throughout the full range of motion.

Landmine deadlift is a type of deadlift that features a barbell placed in a Landmine attachment. This particular attachment safely anchors the barbell to the floor. If you don’t have access to one, simply wedge the barbell in the corner of two walls.

The biomechanics of so many sports involve the power and strength of one leg, (running, soccer and football) so developing unilateral strength is important. In reality, most time in daily life is spent on one leg or the other, with minimal time on both legs. Any time you perform a single leg exercise, the inherent instability is a wonderful training stimuli. A good coach or trainer uses varieties like this landmine squat not only to prevent staleness or overtraining in a program, but to encourage proper form. Train like an athlete, with proper alignment and stability of the spine in the deadlift and any other exercise you choose.

Starting position

Start in an upright position while holding the bar close to your body. Hold the hand opposite your planted foot at hip level.

Maintain a slight bend in the knee, and push through the heel of the standing foot.

Keep your shoulders relaxed, head and eyes up (or in line with your spine), and core engaged.

Lower the bar by flexing at your hips, as one leg lifts back up off the floor.

Tip: Focus on moving the rear leg and torso as one unit, maintaining postural control.

Return to the starting position

Once you reach the bottom of the move, quickly contract the glutes and hamstrings to drive the non-weight-bearing leg back to your starting position.

For newbies:

Start by practicing a traditional Romanian deadlift using a free weight. Make sure the hip doesn’t “open up” as the bar gets closer to the floor. 

https://www.mtexpress.com/wood_river_journal/features/train-like-an-athlete-with-the-landmine-single-leg-deadlift/article_166d1696-8f14-11ee-882e-53a650385d63.html

Think twice about skipping the gym

For muscles to grow and change, the stimulus must be great enough to allow the muscles to grow back stronger than before. Muscle growth happens whenever the rate of protein synthesis is greater than the rate of muscle protein breakdown. Resistance training can profoundly stimulate muscle cell hypertrophy and, as a result, gain strength.

Just a single bout of exercise stimulates protein synthesis within 2-4 hours after a workout and may remain elevated for up to 24 hours.

There’s no exact measurement as to how much muscle you can build in a month, but it’s typically between one-half to two pounds of muscle. Overall, the timeframe generally takes several weeks or months to be apparent. Greater changes in muscle mass will happen in individuals with more muscle mass at the start of a come back. Other variables, such as volume, training intensity, genetic factors, rest, hormone levels and diet, all affect muscle gain outcomes.

Commonly our muscle mass and strength increases steadily and reaches its peak at around 30-35 years of age. After age 40, men lose as much as 3-5 percent of their muscle mass per decade. And, unfortunately, studies from the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging found that muscle power declines faster after age 65 for women, and 70 for men. We really can’t “stop the clock.” So, it’s important that we push our muscles as we age. Dr. Len Kravitz, program coordinator of exercise science at the University of New Mexico, happily shares that the ravages of time on muscles have been shown to be restrained or even reversed with regular resistance training.

Of course, life and unwanted stuff happens, and it’s quite all right to take two or three weeks off. Sometimes you just need rest and recovery. Yes, your ability to generate force in the muscles does take a hit. You might notice that the 10 body-weight squats you once did with ease now have you huffing and puffing. Thanks partly to muscle memory, you can get back lost muscle quicker than you thought, reverse muscle loss, and continue to progress.

https://www.mtexpress.com/wood_river_journal/features/fitness-guru-think-twice-about-skipping-the-gym/article_baa3bce2-79c5-11ee-9c1f-6b985a4275e7.html

Learn Hip Airplane for strong hips and stability

If you’re trying to get the most out of your leg program, you might want to try an exercise called Hip Airplane. I know a lot of us use squats and lunges to stay strong for strength in the sports we enjoy. With ski season right around the corner, you’ll need good hip function. Good hip function keeps you symmetrical on skis, or in a squat, minimizes any hip shifting, and helps mobility. The Airplane is an exercise that targets the posterior hip muscles, the Gluteus Medius and Maximus. Strengthening these muscles is important, as your glutes are key lateral stabilizing muscles of the hip and legs, including the hamstrings.

Along with teaching you good pelvic control, which can eliminate back pain, or excessive motion in your back (not good) the Airplane also targets six muscles in the deep gluteal region known as external rotators of the hip joint. Yes, squats and lunges are fundamental strengthening exercises. Your glutes have to work hard when you lift yourself out of the bottom of a squat. But squats are typically performed in a one plane of motion-up and down. Very few exercises work on the rotational aspect of a move. The Airplane does just that: it helps improve your mobility, especially if you are tighter on one side. For skiers who feel like they are tighter turning one way than the other, this can be a helpful pre-season exercise.

Airplane is also a terrific neuromotor exercise. Performing it throughout the season can improve your motor skills, such as balance, coordination, agility, gait and proprioception. The advantage of practicing most single leg exercise is that any neuromotor exercise helps solidify a connection between the nervous and muscular systems.

Hip Airplane:

To begin, ground one foot into the floor.

1. Place your hands on your hips. Ground one foot into the floor, hinge from your hips, and lift the opposite leg back.

Hinge from your hips, and lift the opposite leg back. Hold 5 seconds.

2. Open the hip about 2 inches, or as far as you can, squeezing the glute. Hold 5 seconds.


Tip- Steer the hip inward around the pelvis.

3. Drop the hip inward: you’ll feel a good stretch. Hold 5 seconds.4. Return to start.

Keep pressing into the stance foot, and fully extend your back leg, squeezing the gluteals.

5. To make it easier : Hold onto a bar or wall for support. You can also use your arms for balance.

https://www.mtexpress.com/wood_river_journal/features/fitness-guru-learn-hip-airplane-for-strong-hips-and-stability/article_420951ca-62f5-11ee-b984-5fd4ce48995e.html

 Improve your motor skills with crawling and bird dogs

Watch children play outside on a lawn and you can be sure they are crawling, rolling or somersaulting. From the time we kick and crawl as infants, our motor skills continue to evolve, leading to higher physical activity over a life span. There’s a new trend in fitness programs that focuses on ground-based fundamental or “primal” movements, like crawling. Some of these programs, like Animal Flow, are exercises performed in the quadruped position, linked together in continuous sequences called flows.

If you enjoy yoga flow, Animal Flow is quite similar, though not necessary performed completely on the hands and feet, in a quadruped stance. The later promotes reconnecting with your body’s natural movement abilities, or “primitive movement patterns,” ones of our four-egged friends, to improve function of the “human animal.” Studies show that an eight-week, twice-per-week Animal Flow program, in addition to regular exercise, increased trunk stability scores, range of motion and motor competence.

Crawling lights up your muscles

If we take away the 100-mile-an-hour lawn crawl that children love to show-off, the crawl itself is a body weight exercise that improves motor control mechanisms for better balance and coordination. Adam Eckhart, assistant professor at Kean University has studied how when we are upright, either walking or running, built in motor programs generated in the spinal cord play an important role in the rhythmic coupling of our arms and legs. When you step over an obstacle, he says, the central pattern generators adapt the timing and counterbalancing limb movements to adapt to changes in stability.

Studies show that patients with Parkinson’s disease have higher sensory signals in the arms when anticipating a step obstacle, concluding that a robust arm-leg coupling awareness is very helpful. Stroke patients conversely, rely on the same motor muscle activity in their arms to counterbalance difficulty lifting a leg over a step obstacle.

Compared to walking, hand-foot crawling lights all your muscles up, especially with added speed. Loads on the shoulders, triceps, quadriceps, hamstrings and calves change, depending on the whether the hips are high or low.

Four-point kneeling dogs

If animal flow feels too intimidating, another quadruped exercise called Bird Dog, (with variations) is an important go-to. Evidence shows that these simple but important exercises aid in balance and coordination when we’re upright, on two legs. Bird Dog, (also known as the quadruped limb lift) is one of the most important exercises used in low-back stabilization programs as it targets the back as well as the hip extensors. It also teaches the discipline of using proper hip and shoulder motion while maintaining a stable spine, says Stuart McGill.

Forward crawling. Photos by Connie Aronson
Knees elevated with one arm lifted.
Knees elevated with one arm fully extended. Photo by Connie Aronson
Bird dog. Photo by Connie Aronson
Arms on foam pad, knee elevated, leg extended. Photo by Connie Aronson

Bird Dog starts in a four-point kneeling position, with a contralateral arm and leg lift. The act of raising opposing limbs changes the types of stress on the body and impels the body in the redistribution of forces in an unfamiliar way, forcing the body to adapt. By alternating the base of support, such as using an unstable upper body support, like a foam pad, research shows that you’ll improve total body joint stability, joint proprioception, and range of motion.

The goal of any fitness program is to train your body for the sports and activities you enjoy and to prevent injury. Overall, quadruped movements are simple, fun, and important fundamental movement patterns.

https://www.mtexpress.com/wood_river_journal/features/fitness-guru-improve-your-motor-skills-with-crawling-and-bird-dogs/article_203fff00-3701-11ee-b736-4f7a28cdca1b.html

The power of problem solving

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Can you think of a time when your problems seemed insurmountable? In a world where our happiness is so crucial to our overall well-being, behavioral tools can be helpful. If you’re struggling with goals like eating better, sleeping or exercising more or reducing stress, how do you even start? How do you shrink your problems and jump through the hurdles that have been holding you back ?

Experts say that there are two key ways to take the first steps to create change to kick-start your goals.

Shrink the problem

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The problem for some is that a plan of attack for fat loss might be a declaration of, for instance, to eat less, stop eating sugar, or eat clean.

This is a principle, a big word for the framework for our actions. All of our daily decisions, like helping a neighbor or spoiling our children and pets to no end, are principles we live by. When it comes to our overall health, like the goal of fat loss, we know that our lifestyle habits and behavior is determined by what we do, rather than a principle. In other words, you need an action. Eat less desert after dinner, or, set the alarm for 6:30 in order to brisk walk for 45 minutes. By eliminating a principle, such as eat clean, in which you may have no idea how to fit in, in the real world, you’ve relinquished any guilt you might have at blowing your promise over birthday cake, by taking an action, eat less desert after dinner.

When, already?

When you’re struggling, yet desire to make a health change, experts suggest a temporal landmark. Temporal landmarks are big words for any distinct events that stands out from everyday stuff. The landmarks are a social timetable, like the first of the month, a 50th birthday, or wedding. It has been found, too, that a temporal landmark like a Monday, for example, can help you start or restart a new gym habit. This initiation opportunity promotes a focus on the big picture. Behavioral science shows that by psychologically separating you from your past failures, a temporal landmark, like going to the gym on Monday, promotes a clean slate. You’ll become more motivated to think about long term goals and their importance, and your new found priorities, however busy you may be. Here’s to a summer of health, armed with a new behavioral toolkit.

https://www.mtexpress.com/wood_river_journal/features/fitness-guru-the-power-of-problem-solving/article_9c739ee2-2103-11ee-977b-4f38d6aa1999.html

Save a fall with strength and balance

We take our balance for granted—until we have an embarrassing fall.

For youngsters, they typically shake off a fall. A young person has no problem slipping a sock on standing up. That’s a demonstration of balance and strength. Those past a certain age, however, usually sit down to pull on socks or sneakers. The fear of falling is a real concern. One of three older adults suffer a fall each year. Falls claimed 60,000 lives in 2012 and 2013. Falls are a serious health concern for older adults, alongside the cascade of other debilitating factors and a loss of independence.

Balance training is the mainstay of a fall prevention program, as well as strength and coordination. Lower body weakness increases the odds of falling fourfold. Unfortunately, there are other risk factors that contribute to falls. This includes foot problems, improper footwear like sneakers or slippers without traction and tight ankles. A limited range of motion in your ankles can affect balance and the simple ability to step up. Vision and environmental hazards in the house, like loose rugs or clutter, can contribute to falls as well.

One of the best things you can do as an adult is to make sure your gluteal medius and gluteal maximus muscles are strong. These posterior muscles are prime movers and important for stability. Making sure your glutes are working well, in conjunction with ankle mobility and stability, will help you move around with grace and confidence, and not fall.

Try to the following exercises every day.

Heel rise rocker

• Rise upward onto your toes and immediately rock back onto your heels as you lift your toes up towards your shins. Aim for 10-15 reps daily. Use a wall for support if needed.

Alphabet

• Stand on your right leg with your opposite foot off the ground close to your right foot.

• Push your hips back slightly, into a quarter squat. Keep your torso engaged, and the weight balanced on the whole foot.

• With your foot in the air, write the letters of the alphabet with your foot using small movements.

• Repeat on the left leg.

Bridging—single leg

• Lie face-up with your arms by your side, knees bent and feet flat on the ground.

• Squeeze your glutes and lift your hips off the ground until your knees, hips and shoulders are in a straight line.

• Extend one leg, foot flexed, and keep it extended.

• Lower and lift your hips 12 times. Repeat on the other side.

Clam Shell

• In a side-lying position, hips slightly flexed and the knees bent, raise your top knee off the bottom knee by contracting the hip muscles. This exercise mimics the opening of a clamshell.

• Avoid rolling or rotating your torso as you lift your knee.

Tree Pose

Tree pose develops balance, stability  and poise. It strengthens the muscles of the supporting leg and foot.

• Stand firm on the right leg. Use a wall for support if needed.

• Bend the left leg out to the side, hold the foot and press the sole of your right foot into the top of your right inner thigh.

• Straighten the right knee and press the left knee back, in line with the left hip.

• Try to balance for 20 seconds before repeating on the left leg.


Published in the Idaho Mountain Express June 16, 2023

https://www.mtexpress.com/wood_river_journal/features/fitness-guru-save-a-fall-with-balance-and-strength/article_dfa2b6ea-0afa-11ee-a111-974c9f3b63a9.html

4 stretches to stay ahead of aging

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We all want to enjoy a healthy work-life balance and have more energy throughout the day. Regardless of your age, the habits of daily living become more important, whether you are in your 40s or 60s. The body, however, has an agenda of its own, and presents unforeseen challenges. You start to notice signs of arthritis; joint stiffness first thing in the morning, knee buckling, or clicking or popping sounds in your joints.

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis; it often emerges slowly and affects everyone differently. Stiffness for a short period of time after a long road trip, too much sitting, or limited reach are indicators of the condition. Women are more likely to develop it, and there is a genetic component to the disease. Osteoporosis used to be thought of as simple wear and tear of tissue. The Arthritis Foundation opines that it is now known as a degenerative disease of the entire joint, including bone, cartilage, ligaments, and the synovial fluid that lubricates the joint.

Though it is more common in individuals over 50, much younger people can also develop osteoarthritis (OA), usually the result of a joint injury, like a torn ACL, cartilage or bone fracture. After such an injury, it can develop within just a few years. Other factors that can contribute to osteoarthritis are overuse, using the same joint over and over in a sport or job, or excess weight. But the good news is that osteoarthritis isn’t a normal process of aging, and some people never even develop it. If you are willing to include daily habits, like getting plenty of exercise, and stretching, you can stay ahead of arthritis and pain.

There is no cure for osteoarthritis, and anti-inflammatory and pain medications can help manage pain. A nondrug therapy, like moving and regular exercise is an imperative part of your treatment plan.

One of the best ways to manage OA is through moving more and regular stretching. Stretching not only feels good, but it will help increase limited range of motion. Here are four essential stretches to energize the entire body and increase your mobility, no matter your age.

Spine Extension

Spine Extension

Photo courtesy Connie Aronson

• Place your hands firmly on your lower back, fingers pointed downward.

• Gently arch the upper back by lifting your ribs. 8 repetitions

Figure 4 Stretch on wall

Figure 4 Stretch on wall.

Photo courtesy Connie Aronson

Benefits: Releases tension in the hips and groin

• Place one foot on a wall, head resting on the floor or a pillow

• Cross one ankle over the opposite leg

• Feel the stretch in your outer hip and inner thigh

• Hold for 1 minute each side

Side-lying quad stretch

Side-lying quad stretch.

Photo Courtesy Connie Aronson

Benefits: Stretches the hip flexors and quadriceps

• Start on your side

• Using your hand or a strap, pull your heel up toward the buttocks

• As you bring the knee back, gently rotate the pelvis under

• Hold for 1 minute each side

Reclining Twist

Reclining Twist

Photo courtesy Connie Aronson

Benefits: Stretches, rotates and relieves tension around the belly, chest, shoulders, hips and spine.

• Start on your back with your legs bent, feet together

• Bring the knees towards your chest. Flatten your sacrum, and lower back, and settle the shoulder blades under so your back is comfortable

• As you exhale, take your legs to the right

• Let them descend toward the floor

• Experiment with moving the knee closer to your head, or your feet, or turn your head to gaze toward the left hand.

• Repeat on the other side. 3-4 repetitions

https://www.mtexpress.com/wood_river_journal/features/fitness-guru-4-stretches-to-stay-ahead-of-aging/article_9c5617ba-f4e8-11ed-ba58-a351f6d58462.html

Want a strong core? Skip the 3- minute plank


Recently, I walked by a packed evening kettlebell class, a room full of participants doing a terrific plank variation—slowly sliding a heavy weight in front of them from left to right, and vice versa. A plank is one of the gold standards for working the core in which you assume and hold a position. Sit-ups and crunches are no longer the norm for a great set of abs. Traditional core training sought to isolate a single area, such as the six-pack, which is problematic.

All movement originates through the core. The core is an integral part of the protective mechanism that relieves the spine of harmful forces during activities. Deep stabilizing muscles allow a protective mechanism for posture control and athletic performance.

The main reason sit-ups don’t help you is that they can damage the spine. The traditional sit-up, writes Dr. Stuart McGill in “Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance,” imposes about 730 pounds of compression on the spine. Those participants in the evening workout were shown ways to retire old concepts and learn from a great coach, in her presentation of fresher research: plank variations.

Secondly, planks recruit a balance of muscle from the front, sides and back of the body, as the core goes far beyond a six-pack. Even though Cher boasts about holding a three-minute plank, you don’t need to hold a plank that long. There are better ways to get strong. Once you can perform a 20-, 30- or 60-second plank, you can advance from a stability level to light loads and additional stimulus in a plank.

Here are two simple stability tests to determine your core strength before you add additional stimulus, as in that kettlebell class.

Forearm plank, 20 seconds

Forearm plank. All photos by Connie Aronson
  • Lie on the floor, with the feet flexed, toes towards the shins, and the elbows and forearms under the chest area. To begin, lift the body off the floor in a position in which the arms are perpendicular to the floor, and the elbows directly under your shoulders, hands under your face.
  • Brace the core, lock the knees and tighten the glutes.
  • Have a friend or partner place a long stick or broomstick in line with your spine.
  • Start the clock only when you are in straight body alignment.
  • Hold for 20 seconds.

Fail is any part of the body sagging away from the stick.

Pass is if your torso remains in full contact with the stick for 20 seconds without any noticeable quivering.

Anti-rotation Bird Dog

  • In a kneeling position with hands on the floor, have a friend or partner place a stick or broomstick in line with your spine.
  • To begin, raise the right arm up and extend it parallel to the floor.
  • Simultaneously raise the left leg up and extend it backward, also parallel to the floor.
  • Touch both the arm and foot back under the body to touch left elbow to right knee.
  • Return to the fully extended position for six repetitions. Repeat on the other side.

Fail is if at any point during the test, the body sags away from the stick, or it rolls off the back.

Pass is if you the body is in contact with the stick, and control is maintained throughout the test.

Straight arm plank with feet elevated

Example of an advanced plank, with increased involvement of the stabilizing muscles of the core.

Check out Idaho Mt. Express –

https://www.mtexpress.com/wood_river_journal/features/fitness-guru-want-a-strong-core-skip-the-3-minute-plank/article_72f3c06c-ded5-11ed-aea5-7f0302c07a5a.html

Why you need inner leg work

All movement at the hip joint involves powerful muscles in the thighs. The hips are a ball and socket joint that allow us to flex and extend our legs in the forward swing of walking. Most of us train the quads, the most powerful of the thigh muscles, and the massive hamstrings muscles of the back of the thigh But the muscles of the inner thigh, the hip adductors, are often overlooked in training, or at best, managed at a machine like the Thigh Master or Pilates Ring. To develop strong muscles that function well, the adductors need exercises that are even better than ones done on a machine. That means performing exercises that lengthen the muscle, in the way that happens when lunging or with side-to-side moves.

The longest muscle in the human body runs across the front thigh and crosses both hip and knee joints. This long, slim muscle is called the sartorius. It originates in the upper leg at the iliac spine, and wraps like a sash across the front of the thigh, attaching below the knee. The name originates from the Latin word sartor, meaning tailor, and is often referred to as the way in which early tailor’s sat. If you sit in a cross-legged position, it’s easy to see or feel the muscle. If the muscle is tight, you probably are unable to lateral rotate the thigh properly to sit comfortably cross-legged. Though not part of the inner thigh group, it flexes and outwardly rotates the leg and flexes the knee.

Just inside the sartorius is a group of inner thigh, or adductor muscles. These muscles all work together to bring the hip and leg towards the midline, outwardly rotate the leg and also help to flex the hip and leg. The adductors also play an important role in preventing a tendency towards being knock-knee.

Inner thigh anatomy

The adductor group includes a small flat muscle called pectineus, the important adductor magnus , adductor brevis and longus, and the gracilis that crosses the knee joint and attaches just below the knee. Straining or overstretching this muscle group is called a “pulled groin”.

To avoid straining the adductors, here is a great daily hip adductor stretch.

Kneeling Side Lunge stretch

Kneel on the floor with one hip externally rotated so that the foot is pointed toward the side. Lean your body weight toward the supporting foot.

Here are 5 examples and variations of lunges and squats that strengthen the adductors:

Side-to-side lunge

Side-to-side lunge

Side lunge with weight

Side lunge with weight

Side lunge with arm swing

Side Lunge with arm swing

Four o’clock sumo lunge

4 -o’clock sumo lunge

Stand at 12 o’clock, with or without a weight.

Rotate into a sumo squat at Four o’clock. Keep both knees directly over second toes in your landing squat.

Skater bounds

Skater bounds

https://www.mtexpress.com/wood_river_journal/features/fitness-guru-why-you-need-inner-leg-work/article_146723f0-c8db-11ed-b14d-7feb425581b3.html