Hip strengthening exercises tone your hips, thighs and buttocks, giving you a sexy figure. Along the outside of your thighs are your hip abductor muscles -- muscles that move your hips away from your body. On the opposite side of your thighs are your hip adductor muscles -- muscles that move your legs in toward your body. Certain moves on fitness machines will work both these muscles.
Strengthen your hip abductors and adductors with a cable weight machine. Stand with your right side toward the weight stack to strengthen your adductor muscles. Attach the cable cuff to your right ankle. Step back approximately six inches with your left foot. Keeping your right leg straight, pull your leg in toward your body, crossing it in front of your body, against the resistance of the cable. Hold for two to three seconds, and then return to the standing position. Repeat 10 times. Keep the cuff around your ankle and carefully turn your body around until your left side is toward the weight stack to target your abductors. Lift your right leg out away from the right side of your body against the resistance of the cable. Hold for two to three seconds and return to the start position. Repeat 10 times. Switch legs and repeat these exercises, working up to three sets of 10 repetitions in a row.
Seated Hip Abduction Machine
Strengthen your hip muscles with the seated abduction machine. Sit in the seat of the machine and place your feet against the foot rests. Rest the outside of your knees against the pads on each side of the machine. Grip the handles on either side of the seat to stabilize your upper body. Push your knees against the thigh pads, against the resistance of the weight stack. Hold for two to three seconds, and then slowly allow your knees to come back together. Repeat 10 times and work up to three sets in a row.
Seated Hip Adduction Machine
Strengthen the muscles that adduct your hips with the seated hip adduction machine. Sit on the seat of the machine, spread your legs apart and position them so the inside of your knees are resting on the pads. Hold the grips on the sides of the seat and squeeze your knees together until the thigh pads meet in the middle. Hold for two to three seconds, and then slowly allow your knees to return to the start position. Repeat 10 times and work up to three sets.
Strengthen your legs with the multi-hip exercise machine. Stand on the machine platform, facing the weight stack with the thigh pad resting on the outside of your right thigh to strengthen your abductors. Grasp the handles on the machine to maintain your balance and kick your right leg out to the side, against the resistance of the weight stack. Stand up straight throughout the movement. Hold your leg out for two to three seconds, and then lower it back down. Repeat 10 times, and then switch legs. Strengthen your adductor muscles with this same machine -- stand facing the weight stack, with the thigh pad resting on the inside of your right thigh. Step back approximately six inches with your left foot to allow your right leg to swing in front of you as you move your leg against the resistance of the weights. Hold this position for two to three seconds, and then return to the starting position. Repeat each exercise 10 times on each leg and work up to three sets in a row.
Aubrey Bailey has been writing health-related articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in ADVANCE for Physical Therapy & Rehab Medicine. She holds a Bachelor of Science in physical therapy and Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University at Buffalo, as well as a post-professional Doctor of Physical Therapy from Utica College. Dr. Bailey is also a certified hand therapist.