TARGET YOUR INNER THIGHS


Winter is on its way out, so if you're anything like me you're already getting excited for all the summer fashion about to launch... but you know that can only mean one thing.... legs on show!

So many of us want strong, toned legs but from all of your feedback and questions, the one area that's hardest to trim are inner thighs. So I went back to my PT days and pulled out some old faithful exercises to help give you strong, toned, lean thighs ready for summer.

Best part is, you can do them all at home without a gym membership. WInner!

1.    Bridge With Squeeze

This little twist on the regular bridge exercise will help tone up your inner thighs.

  1. Start on your back with your knees bent and your feet hip distance apart. Place a pillow, ball, toning ring, or folded towel between your knees.

  2. Push up into bridge position. Keep those ribs aligned with your pelvis.

  3. Without raising or lowering your pelvis, slowly squeeze your pillow 20 times. Lower the pelvis and bring your knees to your chest to round and relax your back.

  4. Repeat twice for a total of 3 sets.

2.    Pilates inner-thigh leg raises

This may bear some resemblance to Jane Fonda’s workout vids from the 80s, but this exercise has been a staple of the Pilates mat repertoire for decades. Because the knee is straight, you’ll be working all the muscles of the inner-thigh!

  1. Lying on your side, lengthen your bottom leg and cross your top leg over it. Prop your head up with your hand, or rest it on your arm.

  2. As you exhale, lift your bottom leg up, and inhale as you lower it back down. Your core should remain still.

  3. Complete 10 reps, and repeat on other side.

3.    Side lunge

Side lunges are a great twist on the standard lunge. While working your outer and inner thighs, they also work the major muscle groups of your hips and glutes! Start with your body weight, and then add dumbbells for a challenge.

  1. Holding a pair of dumbbells, stand with your feet and knees together.

  2. Take a large step with your right foot to the right side and lunge toward the floor.

  3. Make sure your right knee does not extend past your toes and keep your left leg relatively straight.

  4. Push off through your right foot to return to the start to complete one rep. Do three sets of 10 reps on each side.

4.    Plie squats

Like the standard squat, your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes and calves get a lot of attention with plie squats. BUT, the extra focus on your thighs in the pile squat will really work that inner thigh area! If you want to take it further, adding the weight of a dumbbell to the exercise increases the resistance applied to those areas of your body while making your core muscles help balance the added weight you are holding in front of your body.

  1. When standing in the normal squat position, rotate your feet so your toes point away from your body. This places your feet at roughly 30-degree angles to your body, which is the same foot position as the ballet plié squat.

  2. Hold one end of a dumbbell with both hands. Allow the loose end of the dumbbell to face the floor as you lower your body during the squat. Remember to keep your back straight as you raise and lower your body.

  3. Start with five squats and progress by adding more reps each time you exercise.

5.    Ball Leg Raises

Exercise and medicine balls are your best friend when it comes to toning and strength training! You’ve gotta work a little harder to keep the ball in place, so you’ll end up using more muscle groups. Not only will it tone your inner thighs, but your entire thigh in general, and also your core.

  1. Lie on your side on the floor with your arms crossed in front of your body. Alternatively, you can lie on your back instead of your side.

  2. Place a large exercise or medicine ball in between your feet, and slowly lift the ball up toward the ceiling using only your hips and butt. Return to start position.

  3. Complete three sets of 15 reps.

 

Don't forget to finish every session with a gentle stretch to avoid muscles contracting or being sore.

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