As you gain weight around your lower body, you may notice excess fat buildup on your inner and outer thighs. While traditional thigh-strengthening exercises may help tone your central quadriceps, specific strength-training exercises are necessary for the outer and inner thigh. Perform these strengthening exercises two to three days a week along with a consistent daily aerobic exercise routine for best fat-loss results.
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Hip abductions and adductions are exercise movements that help strengthen the outer and inner thigh muscles. With resistance bands, a light-weight fitness tool made of latex or rubber, both of these exercises are possible. For hip abductions, tie one end of a resistance band to a fixed, sturdy object and wrap the other end around the ankle opposite the fixed object. Pull your foot to the side and back to the original position to work your outer thigh with each foot. Hip adductions are also possible with resistance bands. For this exercise, wrap the opposite end of the band around the ankle nearest the fixed object and bring this foot in front of and across the opposite foot to work your inner thigh. Perform three sets of 10 repetitions of each exercise with each foot.
Several muscle-strengthening exercises for your inner and outer thighs are possible without any form of exercise equipment. Lunges work all parts of the quadriceps, or thigh, muscle. A floor lunge with an instep specifically helps strengthen the adductor, or inner thigh, muscles. Lunge forward on one leg, then bring your palms down to the ground in front of you in the mountain-climber stance. Your forward foot should be to the outside of your arm. The side lunge is another adductor exercise, in which you lunge to the side instead of in front of your body.
Squats are normally performed to strengthen the central quadriceps muscle. However, your stance may be varied to work different parts of the thigh. Stand with your feet farther apart to work your inner thighs during a squat, and pull your feet together to work your outer thighs.
Strength-training machines are often an effective substitute for body-weight resistance exercises and exercises that use other fitness tools. Adductor and abductor-strengthening machines allow you to sit in the seat of a machine with various weights available to tailor your thigh workout to your needs. Adductor and abductor machines generally move your bent legs in a together and outward motion with resistance on opposite sides to work either your inner or outer thighs. If you have access to this type of fitness equipment, perform three sets of 10 to 12 repetitions of each exercise during your thigh-strengthening workout.
No matter how strong your inner and outer thigh muscles become with strength training, you will not be able to see the results of your hard work unless you work to rid your upper legs of excess fat. You will not be able to pinpoint the area of your body that will lose fat, however. But with consistent aerobic exercise and a healthy eating plan, you will be working to lose fat from your entire body and eventually see the results with toned, lean legs. Perform at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise every day for best fat-loss results.