You might not pay much attention to your inner thighs, but it’s important to exercise them for a number of reasons. One of those reasons is not because it’s desirable to develop a “thigh gap,” a misguided fitness goal for some women. The thigh gap is often down to genetics and really shouldn’t be paid any attention. Let’s all move on.
The inner thigh muscles, AKA your adductors, are stabilising muscles that help to align your hips and thighs, keeping them in line with the rest of your body.
The hip adductors consist of five muscles which, when strengthened, can help reduce the chance of knee injuries and improve your posture. This is because these muscles run down from your pelvis (hip bone) to your knee.
This short workout is designed to strengthen and support the inner thighs. The workout is made up of five moves and all that’s required is a resistance band and a dumbbell. However, you can perform it as a bodyweight workout if that better suits your fitness level, or if you don’t have any equipment.
Run through all the reps of each exercise, then repeat the entire sequence two more times, for a total of three rounds.
Reps 10 each side Rest 30sec
Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in both hands. Step your left leg out to the side, wide, and bend your left knee and push your hips back to lower. Your right leg should stay straight throughout. Keep your back flat and gaze forwards. Push up through the left foot to rise, then repeat on the other side. Alternate sides with each rep.
2 Standing leg raise
Reps 15 each leg Rest 30sec
Stand side-on to a wall so it’s next to your right arm and wrap a mini loop resistance band just above your ankles. Place your right hand on the wall to support yourself, engage your core, look forwards and, keeping both legs straight, raise your left leg away from the wall as high as you can. Lower your leg but before your foot touches the floor, lift it back up again. This keeps your muscles under tension for longer. Do all the reps on one side, then switch.
3 Leg circles
Time 30sec each side Rest 15sec
Lie on your left side, propping up your head with your left hand, your right leg resting on top of your left. Lift your right leg and move it in a circular motion for 30 seconds, ensuring it doesn’t touch the left leg at any point. When the 30 seconds are up, swap over onto your right side, and work the circles with your left leg.
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Reps 10 each leg Rest 30sec
You can do this as a bodyweight exercise or add a dumbbell to challenge the inner thigh muscles a little bit more. Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Step your left leg back and across your right leg, and bend both knees to lower until your left knee touches the floor. Push up through your right heel to come back up to standing. Repeat on the other side, alternating sides with each rep.
Reps 15 Rest 30sec
This is a little different from a regular squat because your feet are placed much farther apart. You can hold a dumbbell in both hands while doing this move to add a greater level of resistance. Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart, toes pointing out. Maintain a flat back and keep your gaze forwards as you bend both knees, push your hips back and drop into a squat. Try to push your knees outwards as you lower. Pause at the bottom of the squat, then push up through your heels to return to standing.
Lucy is a freelance journalist, and former health and fitness editor across various UK women’s magazines. She is also a level 3 personal trainer and is trained in pre- and post-natal fitness.
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