The adductor/abductor machine, also known as the Yes/No machine (hehe) joins the distinguished list of exercises that SUCK with the behind the head overhead press and bench dip.

This wonderful device provides resistance for both adduction (bringing the legs together) and abduction (spreading the legs apart) in order to “isolate” the inner and outer thighs. While the machine will provide a “burn” to the inner and outer thighs it serves no functional purpose and will not further “tone or shape” a muscle. To be honest these things are completely useless, if you see one douse it in gasoline and set fire to it. IMMEDIATELY.

Here is why: First off, most gym goers use this machine in an attempt to “tone” or “shape” the thigh muscles. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as spot reduction. It doesn’t work for the abs by doing 10,000 sit ups per week and will not work on the yes/ no machine.

The adductor-abductor machine is NOT functional…unless you’re trying to make an ass out of yourself/ your clients and waste your time.

The muscles responsible for adduction and or abduction

  • Adductor longus
  • Adductor brevis
  • Adductor magnus
  • Adductor minimus
  • Pectinus
  • Gracilus
  • Gluteus minimus
  • Tensor Fascia Latae


The biggest reason this machine is worthless is these muscles aren’t designed to work alone. Very few of these muscles have only 1 function, which does not make it very efficient to train them through one singular plane of motion on a machine. This takes away the stabilization benefits of training these muscles to control the pelvic floor and entire hip girdle, while also ignoring the glutes. Ignoring the glutes is a bad idea, considering most individuals have very weak and/or inactive glutes.

In addition, working either of these functions (adduction/abduction) alone is a bad idea, as they must work synergistically to keep the femur ( big upper leg bone noobs) in proper alignment as well as maintain frontal plain stability. This can lead to valgus collapse (caving of the knee) and put athletes at an increased risk for acl injuries. Bad Stuff!

Rather than sit awkwardly opening and closing your legs against resistance opt for these better options:

All lower body unilateral exercises and variations, deadlifts, Lunges, Squats (any variation), step ups, stability ball curls, sprinting (yes, yes), banded shuffle walks, hip thrusts, a well rounded diet, and nearly everything else imaginable.

Note: Sorry for of the “annoying” quotation marks, but all the cool kids use them these days.

Training the adductors/abductors is NOT a bad idea, but doing them through on plane of motion on this awkward machine is a waste of time, energy, and potentially dangerous. Stick with compound exercises such bilateral and unilateral versions of squats, deadlifts, hip thrusts, and the like to work the leg muscles to see your best improvements.

Last but not least Follow This Rule


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About Eric Bach Performance

Eric Bach is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), Precision Nutrition Level 1 (PN1) with a degree in Kinesiology Concentrated in Human Performance and Emphasizing Sports Performance from the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire. A former collegiate Strength Coach Eric now resides in Denver, Colorado. Eric coaches clients at Forza Fitness and Performance Center and trains everyone from weekend warriors and post rehabilitation patients to professional athletes. Eric developed his passion for fitness through a competitive sports career which included competitive Olympic lifting, Football, Track and Field, and Powerlifting. Eric is a self proclaimed fitness nerd who enjoys reading, eating, deadlifting, and living a healthy and fullfilling life while helping others dominant their lives in and out of the gym. Eric can be contacted at for all consultations and questions

2 responses »

  1. Bezzymates says:

    You know, I always thought this machine looked useless.

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