How many adductor muscles are there?


Magnifying glass child - MSThere are lots of muscles that are ‘adductors’.  Literally, this only refers to muscles which bring a limb closer to the midline.  In common usage however, ‘adductors’ are used to refer to a group of muscles that perform this function on the inner thigh.

This group of muscles is made up of 5 different muscles.  They are (from the shortest to longest):


  • Pectineus
  • Adductor brevis
  • Adductor longus
  • Adductor magnus &
  • Gracilis

Each of these muscles performs adduction, but they differ from each other in what part of the thigh range of motion they adduct best as well as what other motions they each contribute to.

Some of the adductors for example contribute significantly to thigh rotation (pectineus), some to centering the femur within the hip socket in order to minimize wear and tear.  Only one of the five (the gracilis) crosses the knee joint as well, contributing to adducting the lower leg.  They all have a role to play in helping you maintain your balance and preventing falls.

Learn more about the actions of muscles in your legs, how to test for and determine if they are imbalanced.   See the DxF courses on Muscle Imbalance Testing, available online, at our seminars or through a seminar scheduled to take place at your facility.