The abductor muscle group is composed of four muscles:
1. Gluteus Maximus (your butt)
2. Gluteus Minimus (your outer hip)
3. Gluteus Medius (your butt)
4. Tensor Fascia Lata (your hip)
In order to avoid the dreaded muffin top, training the external obliques and abductors together is critical. Remember, nutrition is 70% of a fat loss and toning combination. So is 80 oz a day of water, 7-8 hours of quality sleep, and stress management.
Don’t waste your time sitting in a hip abduction machine at the gym! Engage your entire body and drip sweat on the floor by performing wood chops, reverse wood chops. Use a medicine ball, a sledge-hammer, or a dumbbell to mimic a wood chopping motion diagonally across or straight up and down your body. Use quick, controlled movements. Also try weighted fire hydrants, penguin walks, side planks with hip pulses, weighted side planks, jackknives, weighted side bends, weighted twists, and sprint drills.
Try the hip girdle stretch by getting into an all fours position and sticking your hip out to one side until you feel a slightly uncomfortable but good sensation. Hold it there for 30 seconds and then switch sides. Try the stretch shown left on your back with legs bent pulling the knees down toward the ground.
While there are several great abductor stretches, it’s really important to stretch the tensor fascia lata–TFL. See photo below.
Stand next to a wall with the foot furthest from the wall about 30cm in front of the other. Prop your self against a wall with your forearm so that you lean into the wall. Now bring the front leg towards the wall so that your legs are crossed. Push your hips sideways towards the wall. If you do not feel this is stretching your thigh sufficiently then move your left leg further from the wall.
Only with strict clean eating–40% low glycemic carbohydrates (fruit & veg), 30% protein, and 30% fat, 80-90 oz of water DAILY, lots of sweat during training sessions, good sleep, low stress, and consistency in ALL of the above will eliminate the muffin top.