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The Best Exercises for Hips & Thighs at Home

author image Carly Schuna
Carly Schuna is a Wisconsin-based professional writer, editor and copy editor/proofreader. She has worked with hundreds of pieces of fiction, nonfiction, children's literature, feature stories and corporate content. Her expertise on food, cooking, nutrition and fitness information comes from years of in-depth study on those and other health topics.
The Best Exercises for Hips & Thighs at Home
Woman doing yoga in her home. Photo Credit: wernerimages/iStock/Getty Images

You don’t need a lot of room or special equipment at home to work your hips and thighs. A dumbbell or medicine ball can add resistance to exercises that target these areas. But even if your equipment is limited to nothing more than a sturdy pair of athletic shoes, it’s possible to tone and tighten the muscles in your midsection with exercises at home.

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The squat is a simple movement that targets the hips, thighs, glutes, lower back and the abdominals. To do it, stand with feet hip-width apart and arms out in front of you, or elbows bent and hands at shoulder height for balance. Bend at the waist and sit back and down, as if in a chair, being careful not to let your knees extend forward over your toes. Pause, straighten up and repeat the movement.

For a variation, try a side squat. Rather than lowering down, take a giant step to your right and then sit back and down, keeping your left leg straight and bending right leg to about 90 degrees. Pause, straighten up and repeat the move on the left side. According to, a wider stance in a side squat emphasizes the glutes and a narrower stance emphasizes thigh muscles.


The lunge targets the quadriceps and hamstrings, prominent thigh muscles, and is an excellent conditioning exercise for athletes. You need only a very small space for a lunge, so any square of floor at home is ideal. Stand up straight and tall, with abs tight and arms at your sides. Take a big step forward with your right foot and bend your left knee, lowering it toward the floor as you bend your right knee as well. Go as low as you can or stop when both knees are bent at about a 90-degree angle. Make sure your knees don’t extend past your toes. Pause, return to start and repeat on the other side, doing as many total repetitions as you can.


A deadlift is an appropriate home workout choice because it tones glutes and outer thighs as well as inner thighs and hips. It works best with dumbbells, but it can also be done without them. To start, hold a medium- to heavy-weight dumbbell in each hand. Stand with feet a bit closer than hip-width apart and arms at your sides. Bend at the hip and begin to lean down, keeping your legs as straight as possible. When you reach the floor or as far as you can go with the dumbbells, pause briefly and then straighten back up before repeating the move.

Side Lying Hip Abduction

Lie on your right side and rest your head on top of your right arm; and rest your left arm on top of your left hip. Stack your left leg on top of your right leg. Don't roll forward or backward as you exhale and slowly lift your left leg until you can feel tension in your side abdominal muscles. Inhale, and just as slowly, lower your left leg back on tip of your right leg. Complete 10 reps on both sides.

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