What Machine Works Your Inner Thighs & Legs in the Gym?

Though you may have worked diligently to burn off fat, you might be thinking your legs could benefit from some thigh exercises to sculpt the muscle and provide definition. It's fairly simple to target the muscles on the insides of your upper legs. Any movement that draws your legs together, or pulls one in front of the other, activates your inner thigh muscles. Add weight to the movement to increase the challenge and build and define the muscle.

There's more than one machine that will target your inner thighs. (Image: Barry Austin/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Adduction Lever Machine

If you've seen the machine that has you sit and place your legs apart on either side of padded leg rests, you know what the lever seated hip adduction machine looks like. While seated, you press your legs together against resistance provided by the machine. You can adjust the resistance by moving the levers. Some versions of this machine use a weight stack for resistance while other ones employ air hydraulics. The ones that use hydraulics give your outer thighs a workout, too, when you press your legs apart.

Cable Machine

You can use a cable machine to work your inner thighs by attaching an ankle cuff or handle to the lower pulley on the stack and then buckling the cuff into place or slipping one of your feet through the handle. Turn your body so that the weight stack is to your side -- the same side that is attached to the machine. Draw your weighted foot in front of your free leg and hold it for a beat, just to the count of one. Slowly allow your weighted leg to return to the starting position while controlling the movement and not allowing the weight to jerk your leg back.

Hip Sled

Give the hip sled a try when working your inner thighs. It's all in the way you position your feet on the platform. Sit in the hip sled as you normally would, and lift your feet up, placing them on the platform. Arrange your feet so that your toes point to the outer edges of the platform and your heels are angled in, but not so much that they're touching. You'll feel how the angle engages your inner thighs when you bring the weight down toward your body.

Smith Machine

You can work your glutes and your inner thighs at the same time with the Smith machine just by adjusting your stance. As when doing a regular squat, your feet should be placed shoulder-width apart, but to enlist your inner thighs for the exercise, you need to point your toes outward, as if about to do the ballet move called the plié. You'll feel a stretch in your inner thighs when you squat down, and you'll feel their exertion during the upward movement when you press back up to the starting position.

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