A version of this article was first published on January 23, 2017.
The inner thighs can be a challenging area to lose fat and gain muscle. It’s a part of the body that tends to store more fat cells, especially in women. It isn’t easy to reduce fat in just one part of the body without overall fat loss, but toning the muscle can definitely help create a leaner look. Strengthening the inner thighs is also important for helping stabilize our knee joints, which in turn decreases knee problems and pain. Toning our inner thighs will also help tone our lower abs, another area that tends to store excess fat. The two are connected through the hip flexors. Here are 4 inner thigh workouts you can do at home to tighten and tone your inner thighs.
Inner Thigh Workouts
1. Plie Squats into 5th – Inspired by a ballet barre exercise, this move is all about the inner thighs and weight transference. Start in a deep plie squat with your feet turned out and placed slightly wider than your shoulders. Keep your arm to the sides with the elbows slightly rounded like you are hugging a big ball. Make sure your spine is long, navel pulled in and your tailbone pointing down towards the ground. Imagine your inner thighs are like magnets as you straighten your legs and transfer your weight completely onto the left leg. You will be pulling your right leg in front of your left to a 5th position in ballet. Your goal is to get your right heel in front of your left toes. To work the inner thighs, you must keep your legs stick straight as you pull the leg in. Step out into the deep plie squat again with the right leg and repeat the move crossing the right leg behind the left leg this time. Continue to switch in front and behind ten times before repeating on the other side. Keeping the legs turned out is key to making this move about the inner thighs, so do your best to open your hips and keep the inner thighs facing forward.
2. Side Leg Lifts– Lie on the ground on one side of your body. You can keep your hand on the ground in front of you for support. Keep the legs straight and slightly forward from the hips so that you do not arch your back. Engage the abs as you lift both legs off the ground. Squeeze the inner thighs together so that they never come apart. Isolate the inner thigh muscle by using your bottom leg to lift the top leg. Lift and lower the legs 10 times and then hold the legs up in the air. Keeping the top leg where it is, lower and lift the bottom leg 10 times using the inner thigh. Repeat on the other side.
3. Frog with Heel Beats– Sit on the ground and lean back so that you are propped up onto your forearms. Pull your knees into your chest with the legs turned out. Your heels should be glued together and your toes apart with the feet flexed. Make sure not to sink into your shoulder blades. Stay lifted in the chest and strong in your arms and abs. Straighten your legs out at a diagonal by squeezing the inner thighs. Go slowly so that the movement is initiated from the inner thigh muscles rather than the feet. Pull your legs back in and press them out and in 10-15 more times. Hold your legs out on the last rep and begin rapidly beating your heels together for 20-30 seconds.
4. Inner Thigh Lifts– Lie on one side with your forearm propping your torso up. Bend the top leg so that the sole of the foot is turned out on the ground in front of your bottom knee. Trying to keep your top hip from rolling back, lift bottom leg up as high as you can using your abs and inner thigh. Lower the leg and repeat 15-20 times. On the last rep, hold the leg up and either pulse or circle the leg 10 more times. This will really burn out your bottom inner thigh muscle. Repeat on the other side.
To maintain toned upper legs, do these inner thigh workouts at least 3 times a week. Along with a healthy diet, you will have strong and lean inner thighs in no time!
Also by Crystal: These 6 Moves Will Slim and Sculpt Your Entire Body (Video)
Related: 5 Lunges for Longer, Leaner Legs
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Video: Crystal Chin; Music: “Harps at Midnight” by Robot Koch