The inner thighs are a notoriously tricky area of the body to shape. Performing exercises that directly tighten, tone, and build the inner thigh muscles can give you the slim legs that you desire.
Eating healthy, increasing cardio workouts, and targeting the inner thigh muscles with these exercises can help you reach your goal of slim, toned legs.
Leg muscles are also the largest muscle group in our bodies, so the more we train them, the more calories we burn over time. Shaping your inner thigh muscles creates a more attractive physique, but also helps support the body.
Your inner thigh muscles help you squat, walk, climb, and step. They are also some of the most challenging leg muscles to sculpt, so targeting them directly can help build strong, lean, tight inner thigh muscles.
How To Tone Inner Thighs - Exercises To Slim Down
The lateral lunge begins standing up with both feet shoulder-width apart. From here, step to the right side with your right leg and let your body weight move with your leg. Placing all your weight on your right leg, squat until your right thigh is parallel to the ground. Then, move back into the starting position and begin the process again but with your left leg.
Tree Lean to Side Lunge
The tree lean-to side lunge is a complex inner thigh move. Watch this video from Bowlfex to learn this move as well as a few other lunge exercises.
A simple bodyweight lunge begins standing with both feet shoulder-width apart. From here, move your right leg forward and place your weight as far forward as you can. Then, bend your right knee and squat until your left knee almost touches the ground. From here, move slowly back to the starting position. Then repeat the exercise with your left leg.
A sumo squat begins standing up with your feet a few inches wider than shoulder-width apart. Your toes should be pointed outward. Then, slowly move your butt backwards as you bend down into a squat. You will feel this in your inner thighs as well as your glutes. From here, slowly stand back up and repeat.
The crossack squat is an advanced squat and should only be performed by people at intermediate to expert fitness levels. We recommend this video by FitnessFAQs for a progression series to help you with this exercise.
The barbell squat is a powerful move that targets not only your inner thighs but all of your leg muscles. This exercise requires the use of a barbell. Performing this exercise incorrectly can create muscle imbalances and cause back pain. To make sure that you use correct form during your barbell squat exercises, check out this video from Scott Herman Fitness.
Ballet Plié Squat
The ballet plié squat is an excellent exercise for both the inner thighs and calf muscles. To do a plié squat, start with your legs more than shoulder-width apart. Point your feet outward and relax your hips. Then, slowly lower your body into a squat position until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Slowly move back up to the starting position.
Side Lying Double Leg Lifts
To begin the side lying double leg lifts, lie on one side with both legs straight and knees together. From here, make sure that your head is supported and rest it on your arm. Then, keep your legs together and begin to squeeze as you lift both legs upwards. You won’t be able to lift your legs far off the ground, but the motion and squeeze will target your inner thigh muscles as well as your abdominal muscles.
Forward Lunge to Single-Leg Deadlift
This exercise effectively works the inner thighs as well as the glutes. It is a combination of a standard forward lunge and then a forward deadlift movement. Follow the correct form shown in this video from PBCfit.
Criss-Cross Power Jacks
The basic jumping jack is a great way to work out, but the criss-cross power jacks add another level. To start, stand with your feet more than shoulder-width apart. Then jump in, but cross your legs and cross your arms. This "criss-cross" position will change the next time you jump. Each time you jump in, switch which leg goes in front and which arm goes on top.
Inner Thigh Circles
This is one of the best exercises on our list for targeting the inner thigh exclusively. To perform this exercise, lie on one side with both legs straight. Then, pick up the leg on top (keep the leg on the bottom straight) and point your toes. Create tight circles with the leg on top and then create large circles. Focus on using your inner thighs to create a circular motion. Then switch sides to focus on the other leg.
Inner Thigh Slide
The inner thigh slide is performed expertly by Kacy Duke in this video. You can perform this exercise with or without dumbbell weights. If you do use dumbbells, we recommend a smaller size, such as 3lbs. to 5lbs. because of the sliding motion and potential lack of balance with this movement. Use a small core slider to perform this exercise.
Scissor Legs Plank
A scissor legs plank starts with a standard plank position; however, the goal is to use your arms to stabilize your body while you move your legs in and out. Place your feet on a small core slider and slide your feet outward and then back inwards. This “scissor” motion requires core strength, arm strength, and inner thigh strength.
A frog bend is a simple exercise that places the focus on the inner thigh muscles. Lie on your back with your knees bent and thighs parallel to the ground with your feet hanging in the air. Place your legs in a frog position by moving your knees outward to either side of your body. Then, move your feet up to the ceiling and straighten your legs. As you move your feet upward, push with your inner thighs.
Around the Room Froggies
Another great “frog” exercise for inner thigh muscles is the around the room froggie exercise. This exercise involves a slight jump for an explosive movement. You can perform the movement in place, as shown in this video from 30 Day Fitness Challenges, or you can perform the movement as you move around the room.
Inner Thigh Pulse
The inner thigh pulse exercise starts with your body in a straight line. From here, bring the top leg in front of the other leg. The lower leg is the leg that you will be working on. Take the lower leg and "pulse" the leg. This means moving the leg slowly and in little movements, back and forth. Then, switch sides and repeat.
Fitness Ball Squeezes
Fitness ball squeezes are a simple way to engage the inner thigh muscles. You can do a standing fitness ball squeeze by standing up with your legs shoulder-width apart and placing a fitness ball in between your thighs. Then press your thighs against the ball and squeeze it as hard as you can. This “squeeze” motion targets your inner thighs.
Cable Hip Adduction
The cable hip adduction exercise requires a set of cables to complete but targets your inner thighs in a way that allows you to add weights. We recommend watching this great video of Adrienne from Spartan Strength & Conditioning for proper form instructions.
Fitness Gear to Work the Inner Thighs
An exercise ball is an excellent way to work your inner thighs with exercises such as reverse clamshell or fitness ball squeezes. To perform a fitness ball squeeze, hold the ball between your knees while lying down on the floor with your knees bent. Squeeze the ball as hard as you can with your knees focusing on using your inner thigh muscles.
A pilates ring is great for a standing v squeeze exercise. With this exercise, stand up straight with your heels touching, but toes pointed outward. This should look like a letter “V.” Next, move the pilates ring between your legs, at the back of your knees. From here, squeeze the pilates ring together with your legs.
A pilates reformer can help you perform a great inner thigh fat-blasting exercise, the pilates side splits. To do this exercise, we recommend this instructional video by Lesley Logan Pilates. This can be a tricky move, so we recommend learning proper form before beginning at home.
Seated Adductor Machine
The seated abductor machine can help you perform cable hip adduction exercises. This exercise strengthens your inner thigh, legs, and hips all at the same time. This video from Livestrong shows you how to get started.
Step Aerobic Platforms (Side Step-Ups)
The step aerobic platforms make for the perfect fitness tool to work your inner thighs. Simple side step-ups work the entire body while focusing on the inner thigh muscles. To do this exercise, stand in front of your step aerobic platform but with your right side facing the platform. Then lift your right leg and place your right foot on the platform. Step up to bring your left foot up to the platform as well. Then, move both feet, one-by-one back down and repeat on the opposite side.
Exercise Limitations & Considerations
Although the exercises for inner thighs on our list are relatively low impact, we recommend checking in with a doctor to make sure that you do not have any exercise limitations.
Your doctor will be able to let you know if you need to avoid certain exercises. Each body is different, but the majority of people will be able to tone their inner thighs following these exercises.
Tips on Food & Nutrition for Inner Thigh Workouts
Food plays a vital role when trying to get in shape because your food determines your caloric intake. Managing your caloric intake is critical when it comes to weight loss and maintaining weight. Basic nutritional advice starts with avoiding sugar, staying hydrated, and eating lots of fruits and vegetables daily.
Regardless of the particular diet you choose, make sure that you get enough nutrition and avoid foods that offer little nutritional value but offer high-calorie counts. Consider eating between 1600-2000 calories as a woman and 1800-2400 calories as a man. Speak to a registered dietitian to learn more about the best calorie consumption for you as well as food nutritional goals.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long should these inner thigh workouts be?
The length of individual inner thigh workouts depends on your current fitness level as well as your fitness goals. Most exercises should be performed for 15 reps to 50 reps per exercise.
How often should you do these inner thigh exercises?
We recommend working out anywhere from ten to thirty minutes, approximately two to four times per week. The more fit you are, the more often you can exercise and increase the length of each workout.
How do I know if I’m healthy enough to exercise?
Ask your doctor. Most people are healthy enough to perform these inner thigh exercises, but your doctor can tell you if you should avoid certain exercises due to physical limitations or illnesses. We always recommend consulting your doctor before beginning any exercise program.
How can I slim my thighs fast?
The fastest way to slim your thighs is by starting to make changes to your diet as well as your exercise program. Incorporating these exercises for inner thighs into your existing workout program will help you slim your thighs quickly as well as eating healthy to lose weight. Inner thigh exercises will tone your thighs, eating healthy will help you lose excess fat, and the result will be slim inner thighs.
How long does it take to see results from these workout routines?
We expect that most people will see results within five to seven weeks. However, it may take six to nine months to fully slim your inner thighs to your desired thigh circumference.
Spot reduction is impossible, and you must lose weight everywhere to lose weight in your inner thighs. However, the best exercises for inner thighs will slim your thighs by creating tighter muscles. Your inner thigh muscles will be stronger and more toned, which will create slimmer thighs.
For a total leg workout, check out this guide.
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