Can You Exercise to Tone the Inner Knee?

Sumo squats are a great way to work the inner knee.
Image Credit: fizkes/iStock/GettyImages

Performing exercises to strengthen the inner knee muscles might help prevent knee injuries and help create a shapely set of legs. Target these with an inner thigh workout.


Inner knee muscles can be strengthened with common exercises that target your quad muscles — with small modifications in exercise position. Include straight leg raises, squats and quad sets in your inner thigh workout.

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Start inner knee toning exercises two to three times per week as part of a lower-body strengthening program. Precede all workouts with a warm-up such as walking or light biking to help avoid muscle pulls or strains.


Tone your inner knee muscles with exercises that target your inner quadriceps.

Read more: Bad Knees? Try These 14 Knee-Strengthening Exercises

1. Turn Your Toes

Straight leg raises tone the quadriceps and hip flexor muscles, as demonstrated by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. You can target the inner knee muscles with this exercise as well by slightly rotating your foot out to the side.


  1. Lie on your back with legs straight.
  2. Bend up one knee to support your lower back if this is more comfortable.
  3. Rotate your foot out to the side at a 45-degree angle as you lift your opposite leg up into the air.
  4. Hold for two to three seconds before lowering to start position.
  5. Repeat 10 to 12 times for a total of three sets.

2. Squatting Sumo Style

Sumo style squats target the inner thigh adductors and knee muscles. Add a barbell, as demonstrated by, as your strength improves.


  1. Stand tall with feet wider than hip-width apart and toes pointing out.
  2. Contract your abdominals as you lower down into a squat to a maximum of 90 degrees or such that thighs are parallel to the floor. Avoid deep knee bends if you have knee pain. Your knees should not extend past your toes.
  3. Raise back up to start position and repeat 10 times or until fatigued for two sets in total.

3. Static Quad Sets

Target your inner knee muscles with static quad sets. The only equipment you'll need is a small towel or pillow.


  1. Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. Place a small rolled-up towel underneath your left knee so that your left heel still maintains contact with the floor.
  2. Contract the left quadriceps muscle so that that back of your knee pushes into the towel.
  3. Hold for five seconds and repeat 10 times for a total of three sets.
  4. Repeat on the right leg.

Read more: Avoid Runner's Knee With These 5 Exercises


4. Wall-Ball Squats

Squats using a stability ball against a wall, as demonstrated by the American Council on Exercise, increase tone in the inner thigh and knee muscles.

  1. Place a stability ball behind your low back pressed into a wall.
  2. Walk your feet out so that when you lower into a squat, your knees will not extend past your toes.
  3. Slowly squat down by bending your knees, keeping a straight back.
  4. Bend to approximately 90 degrees if you have no knee pain, pause and return to start.
  5. Repeat 10 to 12 times for a total of three sets.




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