Summer’s staples (shorts, swimsuits, and slim-cut pants) put the inner thighs on display. To target these tricky-to-hit muscles (and the surrounding ones), use this routine by Matthew Hurst, owner of Training Zone, a gym in Atlanta. Beginners should do each of the standing exercises 15 to 20 times; the intermediate and advanced can repeat them 25 to 30 times.
Move 1: Wide-Stance Squat
(A) Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and toes pointed out to 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock.
(B) Slowly lower for two counts into a squat position. Hold the squat for one count, then straighten your legs for two counts to go back to the starting position.
Move 2: First-Position Plié Squat
Begin with heels touching and toes slightly turned out. (A) Keeping heels together, rise up onto your toes. (Hold on to a wall if you feel wobbly, but maintain posture.)
(B) Bend your knees into a half squat for two counts, then come back up in two counts, keeping heels together.
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Move 3: Squat With Ball
(A) Position your feet shoulder-width apart with toes pointed straight ahead. Place a medium rubber ball (or a knotted beach towel) between your legs just above the knees.
(B) Squeezing your inner thighs to keep the ball steady, lower into a squat for two counts. Hold for one, then return to standing for two counts.
Move 4: Wide-Stance Arm Swing
(A) Place your feet just wider than shoulder-width apart and point toes to 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock. Grasp a dumbbell (three to five pounds for beginners, 8 to 12 for more advanced) vertically in front of your stomach.
(B) With arms straight, lift the weight to shoulder height as you lower into a squat for two counts. Hold for one count, then slowly lower the weight and return to standing for two counts.
Move 5: Inner-Thigh Press With Rubber Ball
Lying on your back on a mat, bend your knees so that the soles of your feet are flat on the floor. Place a medium rubber ball (or a knotted beach towel) between your knees. Contract your inner thighs to squeeze the ball for 30 seconds. Relax for 10 seconds, then repeat the cycle four more times.