Body part splits dedicate entire workouts to a muscle, but the adductors are often neglected even on lower-body days. That's a mistake.
What's the best exercise?
The Copenhagen Raise
Adductor muscles are found in the inner thighs. Exercises that isolate them require you to draw your legs together.
Strong adductors are important for total hip stabilization, but they also help with hip extension, sprinting, deceleration, and change of direction speed. Getting them strong will also prevent groin injuries.
This lift is hard! It can feel like your muscle is ripping away from the bone. Don't jump right in without a little preparation first. Here are a few lifts that'll help you build the adductor strength you need to master it.
Lying Ground Series
The most regressed version of the Copenhagen raise is a ground-based adductor raise. Outside of a good warm-up exercise, there won't be much use for this unless you absolutely must start from ground zero. You can also do these movements with additional resistance. Aim for about 20-30 reps per side and per set.
You can easily progress this one by increasing weight over time. The standing and balance component makes this slightly more difficult from the ground, but you can also do it supported so the lack of balance doesn't affect the contraction at the hip. Use slightly higher reps: 10-20 per side on each set.
Copenhagen Isometric Hold – Bent Leg
Once you're able to begin on the bench, start with an isometric hold in a bent-leg position. This is easier than the straight-leg position because you'll have a larger base of support on the bench.
Hold for 10-30 seconds. If you can easily hold this position for 30 seconds, then progress to the next variation.
Copenhagen Raise – Bent Leg
Do the raise, but with the bent-leg position. Use a full range of motion and focus on keeping a neutral spine. Do between 5-10 reps per side.
Copenhagen Isometric Hold – Straight Leg
Before doing the standard Copenhagen raise, try the isometric hold first and maintain a strong position. Adjust your leg position as needed. If it's too hard, get more of your leg on the bench. If it's too easy, move your body further away from the bench.
Hold each isometric for 10-30 seconds before moving to the next exercise.
Copenhagen Raise – Straight Leg
Once you've worked your way through the previous progressions with ease, try 5-10 reps per side on this.
Copenhagen Raise – Straight Leg, Resisted
If the standard version is too easy, this is your next step. Add resistance with chains, bands, or by holding a plate on the side to increase the intensity.