It is important to train the large muscle groups in your lower body because it helps you build a solid foundation so you can have better workouts and a strong start to your day. When you do exercises to strengthen and tone your thighs, there are three different muscle groups, your quads, your hamstrings, and your adductors, which are your inner thighs. Here are 10 exercises that you can incorporate into your workout to help tone those thigh muscles.
Squat jumps will help workout your glutes and quads. This variation of a squat will also increase your heart rate and help you boost your lower-body strength and power.
How to do it: Start in a squat, which is your feet under your shoulders, toes facing forward, and thighs parallel to the floor. With your torso upright and hands clasped in front of your chest. Press through your feet to straighten your legs and jump up off the floor while swinging straight arms behind your body. Land back in a squat position, that is one rep. Continue for 30 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds. Repeat for four rounds.
This step-up exercise will help with your glutes and quads. It works your single-leg strength, balance, and stability at once.
How to do it: Start standing facing a box, step, or a sturdy, elevated surface with your hands on your hips. Engage your core, then step your left foot up onto the surface. Press through your left foot to re-straighten your left leg while driving your right knee forward in front of your body and up to hip height. Maintaining a 90-degree bend in your right knee and coming to balance on your left leg on top of the surface. Return to starting position. Continue for 30 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds. Repeat for four rounds.
Melissa Wood-Tepperberg, creator of The MWH Method, says this squat variation helps increase range of motion in the hips while also strengthening the legs, inner thighs, and calves.
How to do it: Come into a wide stance with your feet externally rotated. Tuck the tailbone towards the pubic bone, keep your spine long, and engage your core as you sink low opening up your legs. Knees should be over your ankles at the base of the squat. Engage your glutes as you come back up and straighten your knees. You can also pulse an inch up and down when you are at the bottom of the squat.
A goblet squat will help workout your quads, glutes, and hamstrings. For this squat you will need a weight or a heavy object that will help create resistance. The squat is a functional compound exercise that has many benefits during a workout.
How to do it: Start standing with your feet hip-width apart, holding a weight in front of your chest, and elbows pointing toward the floor. Push your hips back and bend your knees to lower into a squat. Press back up to start, and that is one rep. Complete three sets of six to 10 reps, resting as needed between sets.
Speed skaters will help tone your glutes and quads. The movement of the skaters is a great way to improve lateral power and stability and boost your heart rate quickly.
How to do it: Start standing, with your knees slightly bent. Hop to your left side, bringing your right leg behind your body and reaching your right arm in front, toward your left toe. Hop to your right side, this time bringing your left leg behind your body and left arm in front. Your chest should stay up and hips should stay low throughout the entire movement. Work for 20 seconds, rest for 10 and repeat for 8 total rounds to gain the benefits of this exercise.
Body Weight Lunges
Any single-leg exercise performed through a full range of motion while standing is great for your inner thighs, says Amanda Russell, a certified personal trainer. With lunges your inner-thigh muscles work out completely, including the glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, and core.
How to do it: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and arms by your sides. Keeping your chest lifted and back straight, take a large step forward with the right foot and lower into a lunge until your front thigh is parallel to the floor. Push off your right foot to return to starting position. Continue to do the same with the left side. It is recommended 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps on each leg for maximum results.
Hip Bridge with Pulse
With a hip bridge and pulse, this will work out your glutes, activate your inner thighs to help with your hip and knee stability. You can even place a resistance band on your lower thigh right about your knees to get an even better workout.
How to do it: Lay on your back, keep your legs hip-width apart and bend your knees so your feet are flat on the floor. Your arms lay flat along your side and your shoulders stay on the floor. Push through your heels and lift the pelvis up to the ceiling. Pulse the knees out, then lower back down slowly. Gently tap the floor and repeat.
Scissor Legs Plank
According to Kim Truman, an athletic trainer and owner of Kim Truman Fitness, scissor leg planks target the adductor muscle group. The in-out movement pattern also forces your arms, chest, core, and glutes to engage.
How to do it: Begin in a full plank position with each foot on a folded towel, paper plate, or gliding disc. Keeping your upper body stable, slide your feet apart, opening your legs as wide as possible. Then slowly squeeze your inner thighs to slide your feet back together. Do 2 sets of 15 reps, resting in between sets as needed.
Inner Thigh Heel Pulses
According to Wood-Tepperberg, the inner thigh heel pulses tone your inner thighs, and glutes. The movement also helps strengthen your core.
How to do it: Lay down on your side, and make sure your head, hips, and heels are in one long plane. Place your fingertips on the floor to stabilize your body or life the top arm to the ceiling. Engage your core and glutes, squeeze your heels together, and externally rotate your toes. Lift both legs off the ground about an inch, try to hold them up for 10 seconds, and then release back down. After repetitions, be sure to repeat on the opposite side.
Inner Thigh Raise
An inner thigh raise is a low-impact option that directly targets the inner thigh muscles. It will help engage your core and glutes as well.
How to do it: Lay down on your right side, and make sure your head, hips, and heels are in one long plane. Place your fingertips on the floor in front of you to stabilize your body. Bend your left leg over your right so your left foot sits on the floor—your left leg can either be in front or behind. Engage your core and glutes. Keep your bottom leg straight, raise your bottom leg up two inches and then lower back down two inches. Once you finish the reps, repeat on the other side.