GENETICS might have a ton to do with the appearance of your legs, and women have a greater propensity for storing fat in the inner thighs and on the hips than men. But even though genes play a role in our physical make-up, certified personal trainer Kassidi Honeyghan said that our desire for toned, slimmer-looking legs is not out of reach.
She explained that while fine-tuning your inner-thigh muscles may require targetted precision, it's not hard, and you will have stronger, toned legs in no time with the right combination of inner thigh exercises.
“The inner thigh is one of those muscle areas that is either commonly neglected or underworked. High-focused exercising will not blast fat in the area, but it will build muscles leading to stronger, toned, slimmer thighs. If you remain dedicated to the exercises for at least three days weekly you begin to see desired results,” Honeyghan said.
What are the best exercises to try? Honeyghan shares five of the best inner-thigh targeted exercises below:
This technique has a triple benefit, not only does it target the inner thigh, but it also strengthens calves and legs.
How to execute: Stand with your legs wide apart and your toes pointed outward. Next, lower yourself into a squat position slowly, while widening your legs and engaging the inner thighs. As you do this, make sure to keep your back upright (no slouching), and keep both hands on your hips. Now, as you slowly return to the standing position, engage your glutes by squeezing them as you straighten your knees. Repeat for thirty seconds per set for six sets.
Lateral squat walking
If you also want to get your glutes in shape while you work on your inner thighs, then this inner-thigh focused exercise is the one. For added benefit, you can add some resistance using a resistance band for a better outcome.
How to execute: If you are using resistance bands, before you start the technique, fit the resistance bands around your lower thighs (just above the knees) or at the ankles if you prefer them there.
Now, stand with your feet hip-width apart. Maintain an upright upper body — with your spine tall as you push your butt out and lower yourself slowly into a squat. Focus on maintaining your balance in the squat position and carefully take ten steps to the right. Now, pause in the squat position, then take ten steps to the left before resetting to the hip-width apart stance. Complete three sets.
This is a golden technique for inner-thigh focus as well as stabilising the hips and building glutes. You can either choose to do this technique with free hands or weights (dumb-bells). Honeyghan recommends that you master the technique with free hands first, before graduating to weights.
How to execute: Assume a standing position, your feet hip-width apart and your arms at both sides. Keep your chest lifted and move your right foot to lunge behind your left leg. Next, lunge down, hovering your knee a few inches above the ground and then slowly return to the start position. Do the same for the opposite side. Repeat for four sets on each.
Fitness ball squeeze
This move is the queen of thigh engagement. It, of course, focuses on the entire thigh area for a toned appearance.
How to execute: For this exercise, you will need a fitness/stability ball. Once you have your ball ready, stand hip-distance apart, then place the exercise ball between your inner thighs. Now extend the booty further back to assume a high squat position. Once in this position, use your thighs to squeeze the ball for 10 seconds. Reset and repeat for three repetitions per set for six sets.
Side-lying inner-thigh lift
This exercise focuses on strengthening the adductor muscles (those of the hips and inner thighs as well as the core.)
How to execute: Spread your yoga mat on a flat surface and lie on your right side. Cradle your head with your right arm. Now, bend your left leg and place your foot in front of your right thigh. Next, using your left hand, hold on to your left ankle, all while keeping your core engaged. Lastly, lift and lower your right leg about three to five inches. Repeat on the other side.
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