OBJECTIVE To investigate the pattern of muscle activation of the individual hip adductor muscles using a standardised simulated unilateral weight-bearing task. DESIGN A repeated measures design. SETTING Laboratory. PARTICIPANTS 20 healthy individuals (11 females, 9 males) participated in the study. Age ranged from 20 to 25 years. MAIN OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS Surface electromyography recordings from adductor magnus and adductor longus muscles were taken at levels representing 10-50% of body weight during a simulated weight-bearing task. Electromyography (EMG) data were normalised to maximal voluntary isometric contraction. RESULTS The adductor magnus was recruited at significantly higher levels than the adductor longus muscle during a simulated weight-bearing task performed across 10-50% of body weight (p < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS Adductor magnus and adductor longus muscles are recruited to different extents during a simulated weight-bearing task. This information should be considered when selecting exercises for management and prevention of groin strains. Closed chain exercises with weight-bearing through the lower limb are more likely to recruit the adductor magnus muscle over the adductor longus muscle.