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Tripping Over Some Words: How Your ABDuctors and/or ADDuctors Keep You From Falling Over

Welcome to ABDuctor April! No, this is not an April’s Fool joke. This month we will be focused on the ABDuctors. I love this month - and one of the reasons I love it so much is that I get to explain what an ABDuctor is and why the heck most people spell it (and say it) like I just did. Ask any pilates instructor, fitness trainer or anatomy nerd and they will say, A-B-D-ductor. Honestly, this is simply because, it’s a funny word. In anatomy, “abductor” simply means to move away from the midline of the body. Think of it like the limb is being “abducted by aliens.” Really. Now, the reason that most people will emphasize the A-B-D part is because it sounds quite like A-D-D-ductor, which, you guessed it! Is when the limb moves towards the body or is “added” to it.

Emphasizing the start of the word helps to clarify which muscles we are working. So, what muscles are those? For the hip, it is the gluteus medius, gluteus minimus and tensor fasciae latae (nope that’s not a drink at Starbucks). These muscles are found on the side of your hip and are extremely important. These muscles help us not only step to the side, get out of the car, but also to stand on one leg as we do during gait. Yes, they literally help us walk without falling down! When we train them in pilates, we are typically doing a side leg series. You can think of the Jane Fonda leg raise, but with about 90% less of the raise (the 80’s were amazing, but sometimes we overdid it – leg lifts, food preservatives, Velveta). But we don’t want to stop there. Yes, working these muscles on our side will strengthen them and also “wake them up,” and yes, you will feel the burn! But we also want to think of the functional aspect of these muscles (remember how they help us walk without falling over).

This month at SolPop Pilates, we will teach you where these muscles are, how they work and also how to work them efficiently, so that you leave taller, stronger, and able to walk to your car. Because it’s LA, so you might be there for a while ; )

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