Fit Knowledge

Hip Abduction Machine – Do You Need One? 

The hip abduction machine has been around for quite a while now, however it’s recently become an extremely popular piece of kit, especially amongst women looking to strengthen and grow rounded glutes. You can even buy them for home gyms now! 

Here at, we’ve used them many times and regularly include them as part of a well-rounded lower body workout. However, you might be unsure about what they are, and whether you should be using them too. 

Well, to help you find out more about hip abduction machines, we’ve tried to answer as many questions about them as possible, to demystify what they do, how they work and the benefits you can expect from using them. 

Keep reading to find out more. 

What is a hip abduction machine for? 

The hip abduction machine has two pads which sit on the outside of your knees. When you push your knees out against resistance, it works your hip abductors, as well as tightening your outer butt and lower back. Hip abduction exercises can benefit your hip and knee strength. 

The hip abduction machine is something you’re likely to find in most gyms and is now something you can buy for a home gym too! You can even buy them on, like this product from Body Solid.

By pushing your knees out against the resistance of the machine, whilst maintaining a stable seated position, you will feel the burn at the side of both hips and in your glutes. The hip abductor goes down the side of each hip, and is essential to your everyday movement in the lower body.

It’s also essential to strength and stability in movements like the squat and lunge.

The hip abduction exercise machine has become something of a staple in any good butt workout, as it helps to work out the muscles around your hip and the outer sides of your butt, helping to create a rounder shape. 

Because of this, the hip abduction machine has grown in popularity and has been used by men and women to develop the outer hips to support heavier squats and an overall stronger lower body. 

Does hip abduction make glutes bigger?

The hip abductor machine has been designed to strengthen the hip abductors and the glutes. This means it can contribute to making your glutes bigger as part of regular and varied butt and lower body workouts. 

It can be especially beneficial if you’re noticing there seems to be a weakness at the sides of your hips, often referred to as ‘hip dips’. By regularly using the hope abductor machine you can put the magnifying glass on these often missed muscles and help to ‘fill out’ those hip muscles. 

As this is such a specific area to focus on, it’s rare to find a movement or machine that’s puts the intensity on the hip dip area so effectively.

Having said that, it’s important to remember that not one exercise alone can give you that coveted ‘bubble butt’. Any smart booty workout will have a combination of movements that challenge your body in a variety of ways. Consider adding these other movements to your butt workout too: 

Read our review of the best hip thrust pads right here.

Should I use a hip abductor machine?

If you think you’re experiencing weakness in the outer hip, then using a hip abductor machine can be a great way to specifically target these areas. However, we recommend using alongside multi-joint exercises like squats, as they’ll contribute towards building overall strength too. 

So, if you’re thinking about building overall strength in your lower body, or want to develop bigger, more rounded glutes, then we’d say definitely consider adding the hip abductor machine to your lower body workouts alongside other movements. 

This way, you’ll get the variety you need to make some noticeable changes to your physique. 

It’s also great to hear that you can now buy hip abductor machines to use in home gyms. There are some great quality options out there that aren’t too expensive either, and will give your booty and leg workouts a definite edge. 

Alternatively, if you’re just starting out, then a good resistance band for glutes is also a great alternative that is considerably easier on the purse.

How to use a hip abduction machine

Sit down on the seat and adjust the pads so your feet are resting on the stirrups and your knees are bent at 90 degrees directly in front of you. Chose a suitable weight and push both knees outwards, whilst maintaining this seated position. Return knees to the centre. 

Luckily, as a static machine designed to target very specific muscles, it’s very easy to use and should come with clear instructions on how best to use it safely. 

You may have also seen quite a few ladies standing up, leaning forward and holding on to the machine to perform their hip abductor exercises. This changes the muscle focus slightly, allowing for more of the intensity to sit on the glutes – kind of like you’re doing monster walks, but more intense! 

Of course, to do this, you need to be very sure the hip abductor exercise machine is safely fixed to the floor and heavy enough to do so. 

Hip abductor exercise machine alternatives

Of course, you don’t have to opt for a full machine if you don’t want to. It’s a big space and cash commitment if you’re thinking about buying, and they’re usually pretty busy when in the gym. 

Instead, a small looped resistance band can be a great alternative. They are lightweight and can offer a good amount of resistance that can help to focus on the hip dip area too. They’re also very inexpensive compared to a full machine. 

Having said that, they do have their limitations in terms of resistance, but are still good pieces of kit. Either way, it’s always great to have a range of options at your fingertips!


gymgirlfit was created by health and fitness enthusiasts, with backgrounds in powerlifting and writing. We've written for a number of well-known fitness publishing companies.

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