Inner thighs are one of those tricky areas that are hard to really isolate. We do work our inner thighs during exercises like squats, lunges, deadlifts, etc. but to really isolate that area you have to be creative. Strong and toned inner thighs are just for women…you guys can also reap the benefits! Our inner thighs help us stabilize our legs and help our hips and quads work together when we walk/run, twist or play sports. Below are the 3 main ways to target this area, along with some sample exercises. I would mix in a few of these moves 2-3 times a week and do 2-3 sets of 12-15 reps.
1. Use Isometrics
Wall sit with ball squeeze: Stand up against a wall, slide down and bend your knees to a 90 degree angle, keeping your knees over your ankles (pictured). Then, to work inner thighs – place a towel, medicine ball or even water bottle between your knees. Squeeze and hold for 10 seconds then repeat as long as you can hold it.
Stability ball squeeze on mat: Lie down on your back with your legs in the air and place a large stability ball between your ankles (pictured). Squeeze and hold for 10 seconds and repeat. To also work your abs, you can place your hands behind your head and add do crunches while you squeeze your inner thighs (also pictured).
2. Do Crossovers
Cable crossovers: Find a cable machine (or you can use resistance bands tied to a stable object) and attach the cable around one ankle. Then, while standing upright (keep abs tight) take the foot with cable attachment across the mid-line of your body with your foot flexed (pictured). Keep inner thighs nice and tight and then with control, slowly move the foot back to the starting position. Repeat 12-15 times.
Lying leg lift with crossover: Lie down on your side with your hip and shoulder lined up. Then take your top leg and cross it over the bottom (or place behind as pictured). Flex your bottom foot and lift the leg up towards the ceiling. You can do single lifts with high reps or you can use an ankle weight or weighted bar (pictured) rested on your leg to make it harder and do less reps.
3. Get Sliding
Siding side lunges: Grab a paper plate (if you are on carpet) or a towel (for wood floor) and place it under your left foot. Slowly bend your right leg (keeping your knee over your ankle) and slide the right foot out to the side until the leg is almost straight (pictured). Then, using the towel or plate under your foot, slide your left leg back in towards the right until the feet are almost together. Repeat for 12-15 reps and then switch sides. To make it harder, hold 5-15lb dumbbells.
Try sports: Many sports such as rollerblading, ice skating, ice hockey, and skiing work your inner thighs a lot because you are constantly sliding your legs in and out. Biking and also horseback riding work the inner thighs because you are having to squeeze your thighs to hold on. Get creative and try something new and odds are…you’ll be working more than just your inner thighs!