Thighs, especially inner thighs, are getting a lot of attention lately, especially through the phenomenon known as “the thigh gap.” The idea is that the more gap you have between your inner thighs, the more beautiful your body–and there are actually blogs dedicated solely to pictures of these legs, as sad as that sounds (to me). This sort of skinny-thigh-worship, I feel, encourages the idea that there is only one type of right leg or body shape. Some women naturally have thighs that don’t touch, and other women have thighs that touch each other, some are more muscular and others less so–and they’re all beautiful and feminine.
As corny as that sounds, I think sooner you embrace your own shape and size, the happier you feel. Nowadays I’m really fond of my thighs, but growing up I didn’t like them at all. When I was about 15, my size 0 sister told me that I just don’t have the body for jeans, so for years I just accepted that as my fate–nope, jeans and Juhea don’t mix. (Note: she’s actually a really nice person). If I truly internalized that I also have to have thighs like hers to look good, I’d be very unhappy. But dancing, running, and doing yoga for years has made me see my body as a whole thing, instead of a patchwork of imperfect parts. Now I wear skinny jeans all the time–and my boyfriend sure would be happy if I wore nothing else!
Here are some of my favorite inner thigh exercises, so you can still look like yourself but stronger and firmer! *p.s. if you like these exercises and you live in NYC, come to my Ballet Sculpt class at BellaVita in Chelsea!
Stand with one foot lightly resting on a towel, hands together in front of your chest.
Slide your foot out to the side while pitching forward with your torso, into a low side lunge. Slowly slide your foot back into position 1, mindful of the tension between your thighs. That’s one rep; do 2 sets of 16 reps.
From same position 1, slide your foot out to the back into a low lunge. Slowly pull back up together to position 1. Do 2 sets of 16 reps on each side.
Side Plank Inner Thigh Pulse
Start from side plank position, your weight on your left hand and both feet. Step your right foot back, so that your right knee is perpendicular to the floor. Point your left foot and raise it up about 6″ from the floor, then pulse.
Start on your hands and knees. Extend your right leg behind you, foot pointed, and cross it over your left leg reaching towards the corner of the room. Exhale and lift the leg diagonally toward your right outer corner; inhale and cross it behind you again. Do 2 sets of 16 reps and switch sides.
Start lying down on your back. Bring your feet closer toward your pelvis. Put them together; exhale and left your hips off the floor into a bridge. Raise your heels up (releve) and come into demi-pointe, tucking your pelvis in the whole time. Open your knees into position 2. Use your inner thigh muscles to close the knees together back into position 1. Do 2 sets of 16 reps.
Related: 7 Moves for Slimmer Thighs
5 Post-Run Stretches for Longer Legs
Photo: Peaceful Dumpling