If you're looking to tone up your outer thighs and glutes, look no further. Hip abduction exercises target these muscles. These exercises can be performed in a variety of positions, and don't require any fancy equipment.
Hip abduction exercises can be performed from a sidelying position, working the muscles in your top leg. Work up to three sets of 10 repetitions on each leg.
To do the exercise: Lie on one side with your hips stacked directly on top of each other. Bend the bottom knee if this is more comfortable for you.Keeping your toes pointed forward, lift your top leg up toward the ceiling as far as possible. Hold this position for 2 to 3 seconds, then lower back down. Repeat 10 times.
Read More: Hip Abductor Muscles Exercises
Standing Leg Lifts
Perform hip abduction from a standing position too, using gravity as resistance.
To do the exercise: Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping your toes pointed forward, lift one leg straight out to the side, as far as possible. Hold this position for 2 to 3 seconds, then lower back down.
Repeat three sets of 10 repetitions on each leg. Remember to keep your torso straight during standing leg lifts. If you find yourself leaning, don't lift your leg quite so high.
Standing Hip Dips
The muscles on your outer thigh help keep your hips level when you walk and stand on one foot. Standing hip dips strengthen these muscles. For this exercise, you will need a book or similar item that is approximately two inches thick.
To do the exercise: Place the book close to a wall or other sturdy object that you can hold on to for balance (if needed). Place your left foot on the book. Keeping your right knee straight, hike your hip up until your right foot comes off the ground. Hold this position for 2 to 3 seconds, then slowly lower your foot back to the ground.
Repeat 10 times and switch legs.
Squats might not be the first exercise that comes to mind for your outer thighs, however this powerful movement also targets your hip abductor muscles.
To do the exercise: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and toes pointed forward. Keeping your back straight, push your hips backward as if you are going to sit in a chair. If needed, put your arms straight out in front of you for balance. Push your knees apart by tightening the muscles on your outer thigh and as you lower into the squat.
Do not allow your knees to bend in front of your toes -- keep your hips back throughout the movement. Squat as low as you comfortably can, then squeeze your hip muscles and stand back up. Repeat 10 times and work up to three sets in a row.