7 Inner Thigh Exercises To Target The Hard-To-Reach Area

Plus, how to modify them for an extra challenge.

Originally Published: 
How to target the inner thighs.
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The inner thighs, also called the adductors, are five muscles that help stabilize your hips and pelvis, says Pilates pro Gia Calhoun. They support the knees for movements like running and jumping, and these are the best exercises to focus on this tough-to-reach area.


Inner Thigh Beats

Calhoun says bringing your legs back together is a great way to engage the adductors.

- Lie on your back, legs up to ceiling.

- Open legs wide.

- Bring them back together.

- When legs return, cross one in front of other. Switch.

- Open them wide again.

- Repeat 10x.


Side Lying Leg Lifts

Calhoun says this move engages the inner thighs as you lift against gravity.

- Lie on side, hand supports head.

- Bend top leg, place foot in front of bottom leg.

- Flex bottom foot. Lift leg as high as you can.

- Lower leg back down.

- Repeat 10x, each side.


Bridge With Ball Squeeze

Fitness pro Ashley Nowe says squeezing a ball helps strengthen the adductors.

- Lie on your back, knees bent.

- Place a Pilates ball or pillow between knees.

- Exhale, lift pelvis off floor.

- Press knees into ball, squeeze.

- Lower back down.

- Do 10 reps, 3x.


Lateral Lunge

Trainer Darlene Bellarmino says to add a resistance band above your knees for a challenge.

- Stand with feet hip-width apart.

- Keep chest up, step one foot out wide.

- Sink hips back as you squat to one side.

- Engage glutes and come back to center.

- Do 20 on each side.


Sumo Squat

Coach Allison Sizemore recommends holding a dumbbell for added resistance.

- Stand with feet wider than shoulder-width apart, toes pointing out.

- Bend both knees to lower into a squat.

- Press knees outward.

- Pause, then push up through heels to stand.

- Do 15 reps.


Copenhagen Plank

Think of this move from trainer TJ Mentus as an upgraded side plank.

- Lie perpendicular to bench.

- Prop body up on elbow.

- Place top knee on bench.

- Push top knee into bench to raise hips off floor.

- Squeeze bench with lower leg.

- Hold 20 seconds, 3x each side.


Cross Ankle Bridge

Pilates pro Kristina Borseti likes this challenging version of a bridge.

- Lie on back, knees bent, feet on floor.

- Move heels in. Cross right ankle over left.

- With weight in heels and knees together, lift hips into bridge.

- Repeat 10 to 20 reps, both sides.

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