Oh, the inner thighs — how we women just love to hate them.
Enough of that! This summer, show your inner thighs some love for a change. Not only can strengthening your inner thighs (composed primarily of the adductor longus, adductor brevis, and adductor magnus muscles) give your legs a toned look, but targeting this area can improve your overall leg function, thereby boosting your overall performance in the gym, explains Michelle Roots, CSCS., a personal trainer with the Trainerize online training app. The result: stronger, safer workouts,and better results.
Check out these five awesome exercises, courtesy of Roots, for showing your inner thighs some much-deserved love. Sprinkle them into your existing workouts or perform them back to back for one intense inner-thigh workout.
1. Sumo Squat
Stand tall with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart and your toes pointing slightly outward. From here, keeping your core engaged, chest up, knees out, and weight in your heels, push your hips back and bend your knees to squat down toward the floor. Lower as far as possible. Pause, then squeeze your inner thighs and glutes to push through your heels and return to start. Increase difficulty by using a kettlebell; hold it with both hands, letting it hang between your legs throughout the exercise.
2. Lateral lunge
Stand tall with your feet together. From here, take a large step to your right with your right foot, keeping your body and both feet facing forward as you do so. Bend your right knee and sit back so that your weight is on your right heel and your right thigh is parallel to the floor. Keeping your left leg straight, push through your right foot to return to the start. Repeat on the opposite side. Increase difficulty by using a kettlebell; hold it with both hands, letting it hang between your legs throughout the exercise.
3. Glute bridge with squeeze
Lie flat on your back when your knees bent and feet flat on the floor hip-width apart and about 12 to 16 inches away from your glutes. Place a small ball or pillow between your knees. From here, push through your heels and squeeze your glutes to raise your hips until your body forms a straight line from knees to shoulders. (Your shins should be completely vertical. If they aren’t, move your heels closer or farther away from your glutes.) Squeeze the ball or pillow with your knees, holding the position for 10 seconds, then release the squeeze and lower your hips to return to start.
4. Skater jump
Start in a squat position with feet significantly wider than shoulder width, toes pointing out, chest up, and hips back. Stay in the squat position (try to get low enough that thighs are almost parallel to the floor) and slowly rock left to right continuously. Use your inner thigh muscles to force your knees outwards, keep your weight in your heels, and maintain an upright chest through the entire exercise.
5. Side-lying leg raise
Lie on your side and rest your head on your bottom arm. Position your body so that your bottom leg is straight and top leg is bent with that foot on the floor in front of your bottom knee. From here, lift your bottom leg up toward the ceiling as high as possible, keeping your ankle flexed and toes pointed straight ahead as you do so. Pause, then slowly lower your leg to return to start. Perform all reps, then repeat on the opposite side.