10 top fitness experts share their go-to move for slim, sculpted hips and thighs
This exercise provides a unique training stimulus for the lower body that will shape your glutes and thighs from every angle.
To do it: Stand with feet much wider than shoulder width, arms relaxed by sides. Squat as deep as possible to the left, while turning right toes up, flexing right foot (right leg remains straight and torso leans slightly forward to maintain balance). Extend arms straight out from shoulders. Return to the starting position and perform on the opposite side to complete one rep. Do 2 to 4 sets of 8 to 12 reps.
2.Criss-Cross Power Jacks
This move effectively targets the inner-thigh muscles while also engaging your whole body and increasing heart rate (meaning more calories burned!).
To do it: Stand with feet together and take a deep breath in. As you exhale, jump feet out wide and cross arms overhead. From there, scissor legs, crossing left leg in front of right, as left arm crosses over right at chest level. Immediately repeat, alternating sides each time.
Matthews recommends using this move as part of a circuit, completing the exercise for 30 to 45 seconds before transitioning to the next strength move.
3.Scissor Legs Plank
In addition to targeting the inner thighs, supporting the scissor movement in this exercise forces your arms, chest, core, and glutes to engage.
To do it: Begin in a full plank position with each foot on a folded towel, paper plate, or gliding disc. Keeping upper body stable, slide feet apart, opening legs as wide as possible, and then slowly squeeze inner thighs to slide feet back together. Do 2 sets of 15 reps, resting in between sets as needed.
The frog bend is an ideal exercise for when you’re short on time or traveling because you only use gravity for resistance—no equipment necessary.
To do it: Lie faceup with legs extended straight over hips, feet flexed, heels together, and toes turned out.
Slowly bend knees out to the sides, and then straighten, using your inner-thigh muscles to control the movement. Do 3 sets of 12 reps, resting in between each set as needed.
5.Squeeze and Lift
The small range of motion in this isolated movement makes it a great option for people with very weak inner-thigh muscles or those dealing with a groin injury.
To do it: Place a small ball between ankles (can be a soft weighted ball, air-filled ball, or medicine ball, but softer balls are more comfortable), and lie on right side, supporting head with bent right arm. Bend top arm and press hand on the floor in front of chest to help stabilize body. Squeeze inner thighs to secure ball. Lengthen legs and then press bottom leg up toward top to lift both legs about 6 inches off the ground. Hold for 5 counts. Do 10 reps; repeat on opposite side
To do it: Stand with feet wide, knees and toes pointed out, reaching hands down to the floor. Squat down as low as possible while keeping chest lifted and knees tracking over toes.
Jump up in the air and rotate body a quarter turn to the right while bringing feet together, swinging arms overhead to help propel body up. Land in a deep squat, facing right side of the room. Continue to complete a full rotation. Repeat as many times as possible for 1 minute, then repeat to the left.
“This sequence should make you breathless, so use 20 to 40 seconds to recover properly before doing it again (or doing another exercise)
7.Forward Lunge to Single-Leg Deadlift
The primary role of the inner-thigh muscle is to flex and extend the femur (thigh bone) while walking—when the leg is in front of the body the inner thighs create extension, when the leg is behind the body they create flexion. This exercise is excellent for targeting those muscles, along with the hamstrings and glutes.
To do it: With arms by sides, step right foot forward, lowering into a lunge. Shift weight into right leg and stand up, balancing on right leg with left knee bent.
Extend left leg back while right knee bends slightly, hinging forward from hips (body should almost make a straight line from left heel to head). Immediately swing left leg forward into a lunge and repeat on the opposite side. That’s one rep. Do 2 to 4 sets of 8 to 12 reps, resting 30 to 45 seconds after each set.
An added bonus of this inner-thigh toner? It’s a safe and effective way to build strength during pregnancy.
To do it: Lie on right side, supporting head with bottom arm bent. Bend top leg and place foot firmly on the mat in front of bottom leg, holding on to ankle for support. Point bottom foot and lift leg up high.
In a swooping motion, trace a circle with lifted leg (lift up each time to initiate the circle and target the inner thigh more). “Imagine you are drawing circles on the back wall, lengthening the inner thigh, and keep abs pulled in tight and torso stable. Do 10 to 20 circles in each direction, and then switch sides and repeat.
Any single-leg exercise performed through a full range of motion (thighs below parallel) while standing is great for your inner thighs, but lunges are my personal favorite, Unlike non-functional movements like you’d do on the seated adductor machine, your inner-thigh muscles have more than one function during lunges. Plus, you get the added bonus of working your glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, and core, resulting in more calories burned both during and after exercise.
To do it: Stand with feet hip-width apart and arms by sides. Keeping chest lifted and back straight, take a large step forward (about 3 feet) with the right foot and lower into a lunge until front thigh is parallel to floor. Push off right foot to return to start. For best results, Recommends 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps on each leg performed two to three times per week
10.Inner-Thigh Inside Piques
Strengthens and tones your inner-thighs while also increasing extension and flexion in your opposite hip. This makes it easier for your hips and knees to flex, rotate, and elongate like they’re designed to do without pain or injury.
To do it: Stand with feet parallel and shoulder-width apart, holding onto a chair or wall for support (if needed). Extend right leg and cross it over to left side of body, squeezing inner thighs and rotating heel up. Shift left hip to the side as far as possible and then begin the piques: raise right foot up as high as possible and then quickly touch toes to the ground (try only tapping the baby toe on the floor if possible). Do 10 reps; repeat on opposite side Recommends working up to 50 reps per side