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The hip abductor muscles are a group of four muscles located in the buttocks and lateral hip region on both sides of the body.  Their names are: 1) Gluteus Maximus, 2) Gluteus Medius, 3) Gluteus Minimus, and 4) Tensor Fascia Lata.  These muscles are shown in Figure 1 below:

Abductor Muscles

Figure 1. The Hip Abductor Muscles.


The nerve supply to the abductor muscles is as follows:  The Gluteus Maximus is supplied by the Inferior Gluteal Nerve and branches from the Sacral Plexus.  The Gluteus Medius, Gluteus Minimus, and Tensor Fascia Lata are supplied by the Superior Gluteal Nerve.  See Figure 2 below:

Abductor Nerves

Figure 2.  Nerves of the Abductor Muscles.
Superior Gluteal Nerve (L4, L5, and S1): Gluteus Medius, Gluteus Minimus, and Tensor Fascia Lata.
Inferior gluteal nerve (L5, S1, and S2):  Gluteus Maximus.

"LifeART (and/or) MediClip image copyright (2005) Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. All rights reserved."


The abductors main function is to abduct or separate your legs away from the midline of the body. See Figures 3a and 3b. 

Abductors Starting Postiion

Why Athletes Should Train This Muscles

Competitive athletes are always looking for that extra edge in sports, wanting to learn more about new exercises and muscles to train to help them get faster and stronger so they can beat their competition.

One of the more frequent questions we get is, “what exercises can I do to help improve my juke moves?’

When an athlete mentions the word ‘juke’ they are typically referring to their sudden change of direction speed, or, their ability to move quicker from side to side. This usually applies to an offensive player, like a running back in football.

They want to increase this because they know that it will help them fake out their opponent and gain a positional advantage on the field and help their team win.

Developing strong hip abductor muscles, that allows them to move laterally faster than their opponent, is the key!

But strong hip abductor muscles aren’t just needed for those who play on the offensive side of the ball looking to score touchdowns. They are equally important for the athletes who have to defend against these types of players.

If you play on defense and have to guard against someone whose juke moves have already been quickened, then you better come equally equipped with your own well-conditioned hip abductor muscles if you hope to stay in the game.

Essentially, having stronger and faster hip abductor muscles, or juke move muscles as a lot of today’s athletes call them, are needed for any athlete who plays a sport that requires them to move side to side, quickly. This also includes those of you who might be playing the infield in baseball, offense and defense in basketball and ice skating to name a few.

What exercises can I do to improve my juke move speed?

Most athletes know a little about the hip abductor muscles in part because they have seen the hip abductor machine in the gym.

Abductors Starting Postiion

These are great machines and if you have access to them, it is highly recommended that you include a few reps in your workouts.

Unfortunately for many though, the hip abductor machine workout shown above is the only exercise they will ever do for these important muscles. While this is good, it’s not good enough to separate you from your competition because, well, your competition is probably already using this machine, too!

The main reason is because there is typically no other hip abductor equipment available for you or your competition to exercise these muscles on and, so, your hip abductor workouts typically ends there.

But, this is where can help you take your juke moves to the next level! With the use of the resistance band and isometric training, we can now extend leverage to these muscles through the entire length of your legs and not just at the knees like the machine shown above.

That’s a nice change of pace for this exercise, wouldn’t you say? And I bet you’ve never even considered that! Plus, I bet your competition hasn’t either!

That’s the kind of news you or any competitive athlete should love to hear! That’s because you know firsthand that any improvement you make in the gym will transfer directly over to improvements in your game.

So, if you include the strategies for exercising your hip abductor muscles as outlined in our Run Faster program, you will strengthen and quicken these muscles beyond their current level, giving you that extra “burn” you have always wanted from your workout.

But even more satisfying than that will be seeing the look on your competition’s face when they know they can’t keep up with you or your juke moves!

Keep Grinding!
Dr. Larry VanSuch



Speed Training For All Sports
Speed Training Exercises For Faster Muscles
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