What muscle group allows you to draw your legs to the midline of your body?


Quick Answer

The hip adductor muscles allow humans to draw their legs to the mid-line of the body, an action which is aptly named adduction. Other movements the hip adductors enable include transverse adduction, flexion, extension, and external rotation.

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Full Answer

The hip adductor group is comprised of the pectineus, adductor magnus, adductor longus, adductor brevis, adductor minimus, and gracilis muscles. As a group these muscles provide balance to the pelvis when walking. Outward rotation is accomplished by pectineus, adductor brevis and adductor magnus, whereas inward rotation and extension are made possible solely by the adductor magnus tendinous insertion. All of the hip adductors work in unison to accomplish flexion. Gracilis is the only two joint adductor in the group, as it plays a role in both the hip and knee joints.

The hip adductors are innervated by the obturator nerve. The pectineus and adductor magnus are additionally innervated by the femoral and tibial nerves respectively.

The hip adductors are most often used when crossing one's legs, and are easily injured during physical activity. Poor stretching habits can cause an adductor muscle tear, known more commonly as a groin strain, in which extreme strain is placed on the tendon of origin at the pubic attachment. This causes pain that may extend from the inguinal region down to the knee when stretched.

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