The key difference between abductor and adductor muscles is that the abductor muscles are the muscles that pull body parts outwards from the midline while the adductor muscles are the muscles that pull body parts towards the midline of the body.
Muscle is a soft tissue that aids in force and motion that works as a source of power as well. Muscles help to change and maintain the posture, locomotion and moving internal organs. Similarly, there are three types of muscles namely skeletal muscle, smooth muscle and cardiac muscle. Skeletal muscle is responsible for the skeleton movements while cardiac muscles residing in the heart walls are responsible for contraction of the heart. Smooth muscles act as a supporting tissue of blood vessels and hollow internal organs.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What are Abductor Muscles
3. What are Adductor Muscles
4. Similarities Between Abductor and Adductor Muscles
5. Side by Side Comparison – Abductor vs Adductor Muscles in Tabular Form
What are Abductor Muscles?
Abductor muscles are the muscles that pull the body parts outward from the median line of our body. As an example, abductor muscles in your legs keep the two legs away from each other as well as away from the midline of the body. The meaning of ‘abductor’ in Latin is ‘to draw away from’. Therefore, these muscles work oppose to adductor muscles that pull your body parts towards the midline of the body.
Abductor muscles are spread throughout our body. Hip abductor muscles (Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Medius, Gluteus Minimus, and Tensor Fascia Lata) are responsible for lateral rotation and abduction (external movement) of your thigh. Eye abductor muscles are responsible for keeping your eyes away from the nose. Apart from these, there are abductors in our hands, fingers, thumbs, legs and toes as well.
What are Adductor Muscles?
Adductor muscles are the muscles that pull your body parts towards the midline of the body. Adductor muscles in our legs help to keep our legs closer together.
Furthermore, the meaning of ‘adductor’ in Latin is ‘to draw toward’. Longus Magnus and brevis are two adductor muscles. When our adductor muscles in the eye work, we are able to look at our nose.
What are the Similarities Between Abductor and Adductor Muscles?
- Both are muscles that aid to move our body parts.
- Both are able to contract.
- They are located throughout our body.
What is the Difference Between Abductor and Adductor Muscles?
Abductor and adductor muscles are two types of muscles that pull your body parts away and towards the midline of your body respectively. Examples of abductor muscles are; Abductor digiti minimi manus, abductor pollicis longus, abductor pollicis brevis, abductor digiti minimi pedis, abductor hallucis, etc. On the other hand, examples of adductor muscles are; Adductor longus, adductor brevis, adductor magnus, adductor pollicis, adductor hallucis, etc. The below infographic presents more details on the difference between abductor and adductor muscles.
Summary – Abductor vs Adductor Muscles
Abductor muscles aid in pulling your body parts away from the midline of your body while adductor muscles perform the opposite action. Adductor muscles pull the body parts towards the midline and keep them close. Both these muscles can be seen everywhere in our body. All the movements are possible due to these muscles. This is the difference between abductor and adductor muscles.
1.“Abductor Muscle.” Egyptian Journal of Medical Human Genetics, Elsevier. Available here
2.“Muscles – National Library of Medicine – PubMed Health.” Advances in Pediatrics., U.S. National Library of Medicine. Available here
1.’1121 Intrinsic Muscles of the Hand Superficial sin’By CFCF – Own work, (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2.’Adductor longus’By BodyParts3D/Anatomography – BodyParts3D/Anatomography, (CC BY-SA 2.1 jp) via Commons Wikimedia