Human Movement Science & Functional Anatomy of the:

Adductor Complex

by Brent Brookbush DPT, PT, COMT, MS, PES, CES, CSCS, H/FS

What’s in a name

  • Adductors
    • adduce (v.) early 15c., from Latin adducere “lead to, bring to, bring along,” from ad- “to” (see ad-) + ducere “to lead” (see duke (n.)). Related: Adduced; adducing. (Etymology Online)
    • -or word-forming element making nouns of quality, state, or condition, from Middle English -our, from Old French -our (Modern French -eur), from Latin -orem (nominative -or), a suffix added to pp. verbal stems. Also in some cases from Latin -atorem (nominative -ator). (Etymology Online)
    • pectineus – The word pectineus comes from the Latin pecten, which translates as “comb.” Os pecten was originally the name given to the bone now referred to as the pubic bone. The prong-like nature of this bone resembled an ancient comb. Since this muscle attached to the comb-bone it became the comb-muscle. (Etymology)
    • brevis (adj.) c.1500, Latin for “short” (Etymology Online)
    • longus (adj.)  Latin for “long” (Etymology Online)
    • magnus – from Latin magnus “great, large, big” (of size) (Etymology Online)
    • gracilis – gracile (adj.) 1620s, from Latin gracilis “slender, thin, fine; plain, simple.” Not etymologically connected to grace but often regarded as if it is. Perhaps a dissimilated form related to Latin cracens “slender;” if so, perhaps cognate with Sanskrit krsah “thin, weak,” Avestankeresa- “lean, meager,” Lithuanian karštu “to be very old, to age.” (Etymology Online)

 

Funny acronym for remembering your adductor muscles in order of insertion from proximal to distal (kind-of):
Peanut Butter Leaves Me Greasy

  • Pectineus
  • Brevis
  • Longus
  • Magnus
  • Gracilis

Attachments and Innervation:

Interesting Note: The adductors are a very large muscle group, comprising 22.5% of the mass of the lower extremity. Compare that to the 18.5% made up by the flexors, 14.9% by the abductors, and 12.8% by the gluteus maximus (18).

Pectineu

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