When was the last time you gave some love to your inner thighs? Do you ever strengthen or stretch them? The inner thigh muscles (hip adductors) often get overlooked, but did you know that they play a pretty big role in the functioning of our pelvic floor muscles?
Tension or tightness in the hip adductors is known to be a contributor to pelvic floor dysfunction, which can cause issues like:
When we treat any of the symptoms above, we treat the pelvic floor muscles, but it's important to also look at other muscles that attach to the pelvis to improve all symptoms fully. Oftentimes, the hip adductors (inner thighs) are the missing link.
You might be thinking to yourself, I have tight inner thighs and some of the symptoms above, what can I do? First of all, remember there is hope!
We could all do with being a little stronger in our inner thighs. The muscle fibers of your adductors cross directly over your pubic bone, and attach into the core. These muscles work to bring our legs back to our midline. They also need to be able to stretch when we bring our leg away from our body, so its important to keep these muscles long and strong. Because of this connection, the function of the inner thighs can tell us a whole lot about our pelvic floor health, in that if the inner thighs are weak and/or tight, it is very likely that the pelvic floor is also.
It’s important to remember that tightness and weakness go hand in hand. Stretching and stretching and stretching tight (weak) inner thigh muscles will actually only make the tightness worse. So it is just as important to strengthen tight muscles, as it is to stretch them. Strengthening the hip adductors can help to also strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. One study even found that utilizing (not "squeezing") the adductor muscles helped to perform a stronger pelvic floor contraction.
The majority of women that I see have very weak adductors. Your glutes, abs and inner thigh muscles all help to stabilize your pelvis and as a result can lessen low back pain, and who doesn't want less low back pain!
Because of the adductor relationship with the pelvic floor, they can serve as a mirror to what’s going on in there. If you can’t fire your inner thighs without gripping your hip flexors and glutes, then it’s likely that the same is true of your pelvic floor. (Where are all my glute clenchers at?!)
If you can’t activate a muscle in isolation without compensating (or essentially cheating) with nearby muscle groups, then the muscle you were trying to strengthen in the first place actually ends up getting weaker over time.
If you're in the Mama Method, the Phase 1 workout Happy Hips will show you how to strengthen your inner thighs, while Pelvic Floor Release and Release & Activate will give you some really great inner thigh stretching.
Phase 2's Lower Body routine continues the journey, fostering both strength and flexibility. And when you reach Phase 3, get ready for a treat with the captivating "Inner Thighs" routine.
And OH MY, just you wait until you get to the the Strong Mama Method!! (Stand by, because I am currently revamping the Strong Mama Method so if you have it already, you will automatically find the all new Strong Mama 2.0 inside your member library and it's going to be 🔥).
Tuning in with your body makes a big impact on how your body experiences movement. Yes, it is very important to lift weight. But blindly lifting weights without tuning into what your body truly needs can lead to imbalances and potential injuries over time.
I always recommend seeing a pelvic floor physical therapist at least once. They will get you the most answers, and will be able to perform a full assessment to give you individualized advice. You can either ask your provider for a referral or find one at https://www.mypfm.com/find-a-pt
Here are some more resources from me to help you learn more about your pelvic floor:
Free Pelvic Floor 101 training - my most downloaded resource
Bromley Method instagram account
The book I co-authored about the pelvic floor in 2022