A toned inner thigh is a healthy inner thigh — attractive and strong. So show yours some love with these 14 inner-thigh exercises that will keep you feeling confident in your legging and tights all Winter long.
— Additional reporting by Leta Shy
Are you frenemies with the abductor machine and constantly trying to incorporate this thigh exercise into your weekly workouts? Well, stop giving this awkward machine your time; there are more effective exercises that work your outer thighs. Skip straddling the seated machine, and try some weight-bearing exercises like side lunges, lateral band walks, and plié squats for a timely tone-up.
Side LungesGive regular lunges a rest and try side lunges. Without using equipment, they allow you to work your hips, glutes, and thighs a bit differently than traditional squats and lunges while still targeting the major muscles of the lower body. Here's how to do them:
Plié SquatTime to get your Black Swan on and tone your thighs and tush. The plié squat (often known as the sumo squat) will help you create shapely legs. To get the most from this exercise, focus on the inner thigh when doing this move, not the quad.
Don't waste precious time squeezing your legs together on the boring adductor machine. Instead, opt for these three effective exercises that require no equipment whatsoever.
Pilates Side-Lying Leg Lifts
This Pilates move will help tighten up and tone your inner thighs for bathing suit season:
Keep reading for two more equipment-free inner-thigh moves.
If you're looking for one move that will whip your lower body into shape, it's time to try gate swings.
This deep inner-thigh stretch tones your glutes, quads, and both your outer and inner thighs, and it also gets your heart rate up! The cardio element comes from a little plyometric jump that helps you transition between the two positions of this move. The directions seem straightforward, but trust me, you'll feel the burn with this one.
This move is great to use as a dynamic warmup before strength training.
Photo: POPSUGAR Studios
Try this thigh-sculpting move in the comfort of your own home, and see it work some magic on your gams. This barre-optional exercise from Pure Barre helps shape the body without the need for any equipment. Try it tonight!
The SetupIf you don't have a barre in your home, find a doorway you can stand in easily.
See the rest of the variations and cooldown after the break!
Holding this wide ballerina stance, aka second position, will tone trouble areas around the thighs and get you up and off the mat. Bonus: you can also skip some of those bicycle crunches, because the obliques get stronger from doing this exercise. Try this Pure Barre move at home, and since no equipment is needed, there's no excuse to skip the exercise!
Keep reading for two variations after the break.
Make sure to always stretch your inner thighs after you tone and tighten them to get even more out of your hard work. From lying on your back to posing in an active yoga stance, these stretches will have you bouncing back to the next activity in no time.
Single Leg ExtensionLie down for a rewarding stretch you can do after you're done exerting yourself.
See two more stretches after the break!
Step right up (or lie down) for these simple yet challenging thigh-toning exercises. You don't need an at-home gym to sculpt your inner thighs, just a few tricks up your sleeve that will target them. Most of these exercises also work around to reach your backside, too, so they're double threats right in time to start fresh this new year! Click through to start feeling the burn.
Squats are effective, but they can get a little tedious. By lifting off of one leg, you can put more weight into each side to get a quicker burn. Try this single-leg version for that cute dent dancers obtain in the side of their seat, or bathing suit line. Even if you won't be on the beach anytime soon, you can still show off your hard work in Winter leggings.
Learn how to do the move after the break!
Tone your tush and your inner thighs with one swift move. Standing with your legs wide in a second-position stance works your backside as it supports you, and your inner thighs work as you rotate your legs open. Try this exercise in your living room or the weight room at the gym where you can use a mirror to check your posture.
Note: all of these movements are so minute that you will hardly be able to see them. They are small yet effective, and you will definitely feel the burn when doing them correctly. The tinier the action, the more controlled and successful it is.