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Adductor Muscle

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Adductor Group of Muscles

  • The hip adductors are known as a group of five muscles that are located in the medial compartment of the thigh. 

  • As the name suggests the adductor muscles are a group of muscles that primarily function to adduct the femur at the hip joint. As they originate in different places at the front of the pelvis, the adductor muscles are all present somewhere along the medial side of the thigh, 

  • Most of them are surprisingly thin muscles. 

  • There is an exception that the largest of them is the adductor Magnus muscle.

  • The adductor group includes the following muscles:

  • Pectineus

  • Adductor Brevis

  • Adductor longus

  • Gracilis

  • Adductor Magnus

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What Actions do the Adductors Do?

  • The pectineus assists in both adduction as well as in flexion of the femur at the hip joint.

  • The primary function of the adductor brevis is the adduction of the thigh at the hip joint and the adductor brevis is known to assist in flexion and in addition to that is the rotation of the femur at the hip joint in medical.

  • Also, the function of the adductor longus is adduction of the thigh at the hip joint. The adductor longus assists in flexion and medial rotation of the femur at the hip joint.

  • The primary action of gracilis is adduction of the thigh and to assist in flexion of the knee as well as medial rotation of that flexed knee, similar to what we’ll see when we look at sartorius.

Position of Hip Adductors

Due to the position of Hip adductors, the hip adductors are known to shape the surface anatomy of the medial thigh. More specifically, these hip adductors generally extend from the anteroinferior external surface of the bony pelvis to the shaft of the femur as well as extend to the proximal tibia. The majority of hip adductors are innervated by the obturator nerve (L2-L4) and blood is supplied mainly via the branches of the femoral and also via the obturator arteries

What is Adductor Longus?

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  • Adductor longus is triangular in shape, the most anteriorly placed muscle of the adductor group. Upon originating from the anterior surface of the body of the pubis, the adductor longus muscle fibers course downwards and this muscle is laterally inserted onto the middle third of the linea Aspera and this muscle is innervated by the anterior division of the obturator nerve (L2-L4).

  • The blood supply of this muscle mainly from the deep femoral artery as well as contributions from the medial circumflex femoral and femoral arteries. 

  • Coming to the main function of the adductor longus, the main function is to adduct the thigh at the hip joint. 

  • Additionally, the adductor longus contributes to the flexion of the extended thigh, as well as the adductor longus contributes to the extension of the flexed thigh. The muscle’s contribution to the internal or the medial rotation of the thigh is still not known.

What is Pectineus Muscle?

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  • The pectineus muscle is a flat and quadrangular muscle.

  • This muscle is situated at the medial (inner) aspect and the upper part of the thigh. 

  • The most anterior adductor of the hip is the pectineus muscle. The muscle does adduct as well as internally rotates the thigh but the primary function of the muscle is hip flexion.

  • It can be classified in the medial compartment of the thigh (when the function is emphasized) or the anterior compartment of the thigh (when the nerve is emphasized)

  • Actions: Thigh - flexion, adduction

  • Nerve: Femoral nerve, sometimes obturator nerve

  • Latin: Musculus pectineus

What is Gracilis Muscle?

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  • The gracilis muscle is the Latin term for slender. 

  • The most superficial muscle on the medial side of the thigh is the Gracillis muscle. 

  • Gracilis muscle is generally thin and flattened, broad above, narrow, and a little tapering below.

  • Artery: Medial circumflex femoral artery

  • Actions: flexes, medially rotates

  • Latin: musculus gracilis

What is Adductor Brevis?

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  • The Adductor brevis is a flat, triangular muscle and it is found in the inner thigh.

  • The muscle that runs from the pubis to the medial aspect of the femur is the adductor brevis. Together with adductor longus, adductor Magnus, gracilis, as well as pectineus muscles, it comprises a group of muscles known as the adductors of the thigh.

  • Action: Hip joint: thigh flexion, thigh adduction

  • Insertion: Linea Aspera of the femur (medial lip)

  • Origin: Anterior body of the pubis, inferior pubic ramus

  • Innervation: Obturator nerve (L2-L4)

What is the Adductor Magnus?

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  • The large triangular muscle of the lower limb is known as the adductor Magnus muscle, with its apex it is situated on the hip bone, and with the muscle’s base on the linea aspera of the femur. 

  • It is situated both in the posterior as well as in medial fascial compartments of the thigh.

  • Insertion: Adductor part: Gluteal tuberosity

  • Innervation: Adductor part: Obturator nerve 

  • Action: Adductor part: Hip joint - Thigh flexion

  • Origin: Adductor part: Inferior pubic ramus

Key Points About Adductor Muscles

Definition and Function

We can describe the hip adductors are a group of muscles of the medial thigh that primarily perform thigh adduction


Adductor longus, adductor brevis, adductor Magnus, gracilis, as well as pectineus


  • Obturator Nerve (L2-L4)
  • Tibial Nerve (L4-S1)
  • Femoral Nerve (L2-L4)

Blood Supply

Branches of the femoral and obturator arteries


Adduction of the thigh, stabilization of pelvis, and posture

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FAQs on Adductor Muscle

Question1) What Causes Tight Adductors? What is the Function of the Adductor Muscles?

Answer) To adduct the femur toward the midline is the main function of the adductor muscles, but they also assist hip flexion and extension. The main reason for the development of any groin injuries is because of poor tissue quality through this area. What happens is that the adductors become fibrotic and develop adhesions because they are weak or overworked.

The adductor longus in the human body is a skeletal muscle and this muscle is located in the thigh. One of the adductor muscles of the hip, the main function of this muscle is to adduct the thigh and it is innervated by the obturator nerve. This muscle forms the medial wall of the femoral triangle.

Question2) How do You Treat a Pulled Adductor Brevis Muscle?

Answer) Most adductor muscle strains respond to conservative treatment. Initial treatment of pulled adductor brevis muscle includes activity modification, which may temporarily include crutches. Ice as well as anti-inflammatory medication are appropriate for acute muscle strains. As symptoms improve, gentle stretching, as well as various strengthening exercises, are appropriate.