The muscles at your inner thighs are often tagged as your adductors because they are responsible for performing hip adduction, which means they squeeze your legs in toward your centerline and across your body. There are exercises you can use to strengthen and tone these adductors depending on where you’re working out. To slim your thighs, you’ll also want to incorporate cardio-burning exercises. Before each thigh workout, perform a five- to 15-minute dynamic warm-up.
Working the Inner Thigh on the Mat
Lying hip adduction only requires an exercise mat or soft surface. Lie on your side so your legs are stacked atop each other. Slide your bottom leg slightly forward so it’s clear of your top leg. While keeping your knee straight and keeping your torso and hips static, lift your lower leg off the floor. Control it back to the mat and then repeat until you’re finished with the set. Complete two sets of 15 reps on each leg.
Using a Seated Machine
Most fitness facilities offer a seated hip adduction machine. Position yourself on the seat and place each leg onto the leg rests so the pad is resting on the inside of your thighs. You’ll begin with your legs separated. Squeeze your legs together until the units make contact at the center, and then control them back to starting position. To reduce the risk of muscle strain, avoid jerking your thighs together and instead perform the exercise using a steady cadence. Complete two sets of 15 reps.
Cable Inner Thigh Exercise
You can also work your inner thighs with a cable pulley or exercise band. If using a cable pulley, set it in the low position and attach the cable cuff to one ankle. If using an exercise band, attach the band to the bottom of a stable object, such as the leg of a piece of furniture, and attach the other end to one ankle. Position your body so you’re standing sideways to where the cable or band is attached and your cuffed ankle is positioned closest. Place all your weight on your free leg as you lift your cuffed leg and move it across the front of your body while keeping your knee straight. Control it back to the starting position and then repeat until you’re done with the set. If you suffer from balance issues, hold onto a chair or other stable object while performing the exercise. Do two sets of 15 reps.
Incorporating the Side Lunge
A more advanced way to work your hip adductors is the side lunge exercise. Stand with your feet positioned hip-width apart and then take a large step to the side with one foot. Bend the knee of that same leg and push your hips back to lower into a lunge until your thigh is parallel to the floor, and then come back up to starting position. On the next rep, switch legs. Kick up the intensity a notch by holding a pair of dumbbells or placing a barbell on the back of your shoulders. To reduce the stress on your knees, avoid allowing your knee to move beyond the vertical line of your toes as you lower into the lunge. Complete two sets of 10 to 12 reps.
The inner thigh exercises will help you effectively build tone and strength in your muscles. However, if you have excess fat in your thighs, you’ll see better results if you also incorporate consistent bouts of cardiovascular exercise. The strength exercises won’t make an impact on the fat tissue, so you’ve got to lose weight by increasing the number of calories you burn every day. Shoot for three to four 30-minute workouts per week.