It’s a well-known workout rule that you should never skip leg day, and these inner thigh exercises are sure to spice up your routine and contribute to lean, strong thigh muscles. All of these moves are simple enough for beginners but effective in helping blast fat and sculpt shapely legs.
Read on for all the reasons why you should incorporate inner thigh workouts into your regular exercises, the best way to do them for noticeable results, and six powerful moves that could potentially give you that beautifully sculpted look you’re after.
Why Do You Need Inner Thigh Exercises?
First off, there’s no such thing as spot-treating a problem area when it comes to building strong muscles or losing fat. For stronger and shapelier legs, you need to make sure you’re targeting your often-ignored hip adductors, or inner thigh muscles, just as much as you’re working on your outer thighs, glutes, or quads. This can help ensure that your pelvis stays balanced and strong as you age — and that extra muscle tone in the area is a great bonus.1
Inner thigh exercises target your inner thighs, of course, but they may also help support a stronger core, more stable knees, and even better posture.2 They’re dynamic bodyweight exercises sure to get your blood pumping, even without any special or pricey equipment. Consider adding them to your regular circuit routines, or combine them together for a killer leg workout.
Inner Thigh Exercises To Beef Up Your Leg Day
All of these are aerobic exercises incorporating cardio with strength training — meaning you must do them with high intensity to get your heart rate up. After getting your doctor’s approval, try to complete as many repetitions as you can of each move within a set time frame (usually 30-45 seconds) before taking a brief rest and moving onto the next exercise, completing a circuit.
This exercise aims to tone up both your butt and thighs, since it stimulates all the muscles in the area.
- Stand with your feet wider than shoulder width apart. Keep your arms loose and relaxed at your sides.
- Squat down deeply on your left leg, allowing your right leg to stretch out or extend. Point the toes of your right foot up while keeping your leg straight.
- To keep your balance, extend your arms straight forward at shoulder height.3
Scissor Legs Plank
Keep your core engaged throughout this powerful move, which not only tones your thighs, but also gives your chest, arms, and butt a good burn.
- Get into a full plank position by evenly distributing your weight between your extended arms and your toes. Keep your body straight by keeping your back and core tight and engaged.
- Place each foot on a paper plate or folded towel to give it some glide.
- Slowly and with full control, slide your feet as far apart as you can while keeping your upper body stable.
- Slide your feet back into the starting position by engaging your inner thigh muscles to pull legs together.4
To add a bit more challenge, you can use a dumbbell in each hand to increase resistance. If you’re new to this exercise, use your body weight until you master the movement.
- Start with your feet in a wide stance.
- Cross your left leg behind your right, squatting slightly into a curtsy. Keep your chest facing forward in an upright position and your shoulders relaxed and straight.
- Hold this lunge position for a beat before using your legs to push back into your starting stance. Repeat with the opposite leg. (right behind left).5
Ballet Plié (Plié Lunge)
This variation on the regular squat changes the stance to help target your inner thighs more effectively.
- Start with a wider stance, feet flat on the ground and toes and knees pointed slightly outward.
- Drop down into a squat, putting hands on your hips to help maintain balance. Keep your chest and back straight.
- Push back up through your legs into your starting position, squeezing your glutes before repeating the exercise.6
Using a resistance band for this exercise will up the challenge and help you isolate and call on your inner thigh muscles.
- Lie on your side, propping your upper body up on a bent arm.
- Bend your knees, and place a resistance band above your knee area. Engage your thighs to push against the band, pressing your upper thigh against it to open your legs.
- Keep your feet together, and imagine your knees and thighs are two halves of a clam. Return to your starting position, and complete your desired number of reps before flipping to the other side.7
Hip Bridges With Pulses
A departure from the deep squat and lunge, this prone position engages your inner thigh muscles to help strengthen your hips and knees.
- Lie flat on your back. Bring your knees up, and place your feet flat against the ground.
- Keep your shoulders flat against the floor and your arms relaxed by your sides.
- Use your core and glute muscles to slowly lift your hips up off the ground. Drive through your heels to keep your pelvis up and stable.
- Hold for a beat, then pulse your knees out slightly before lowering your hips back to the ground.8
Best Practices For Even Better Results
Inner thigh exercises may work best when combined with fat-burning cardio exercises and a solid, well-balanced diet. And as always, consult with your doctor before starting any new workout routine, especially if you have any pre-existing medical conditions or previous joint injuries.