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Easy Inner Thigh Workouts to Add to Your Leg Routine

woman working out inner thigh doing leg lifts
There are plenty of inner thigh workouts that are simple enough for beginners!

by Catherine Santino

Oh, the inner thighs! It's easy to see why these muscles are so often overlooked by beginners. After all, the majority of leg workouts we see tend to focus on the more obvious parts of the lower body — hamstrings, glutes, and quads. These areas are certainly important, but inner thigh exercises play an important role in lower body strength, too!

Benefits of Adding Inner Thigh Workouts to Leg Day

The inner thigh muscles, or adductors, contain five different muscles that provide stability to your knees, hips, and lower back that can help prevent injury. "These muscles all attach to the pelvis and play a key role in hip flexion and extension," explains exercise physiologist Michelle Lovitt, M.A. "They're also incredibly important in stabilizing your core."

As you may know, balance and core stability are key elements of safe, effective workouts, so incorporating some inner thigh workouts into your leg routine can be extremely beneficial.

Easy Exercises to Try

The adductor machine (that thing at the gym where you squeeze your thighs together) isn't the only way to get an inner thigh workout. There are tons of exercises out there targeting these muscles that are simple enough for beginners. Try the following:

1. Sumo Squat

  • Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and your toes turned open.
  • Fold your hands together in front of your chest.
  • Bend your knees and squat down until they are bent to roughly 90 degrees.
  • Slowly rise back to the starting position and repeat.

2. Inner Thigh Circles

  • Lie down on one side so your legs are stacked on top of each other.
  • Bend your top leg and place your foot in front of the thigh of your outstretched bottom leg. You can hold on to your ankle for support.
  • Point the foot of your bottom leg, squeeze your inner thigh, and lift your leg a few inches off the ground.
  • Engage your core and trace a circle with the pointed toes of your lifted foot. Complete 10 to 15 circles (switching directions halfway through) before repeating on the other side.

3. Ballet Raise

  • Stand with one foot flat on the floor.
  • Place the other foot directly in front of the flat one with your foot pointed and your toes touching the floor.
  • Slowly lift your pointed foot straight out in front of you.
  • Lower your leg back down. Repeat 10 times before switching to the other side.

4. Lean Forward Lunge

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent.
  • Step one foot out a couple of feet in front of you and bend into a lunge until your front leg is at roughly 90 degrees.
  • While keeping your spine straight, tilt your upper body forward at a 45-degree angle as you reach the bottom of the lunge.
  • Hold for a couple of breaths and then step back to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

5. Sumo Squat Jack

  • Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and your toes turned open.
  • Fold your hands together in front of your chest.
  • Bend your knees and squat down until your knees are bent to roughly 90 degrees.
  • Jump your legs inward and lift your arms straight up.
  • Land back in the squat position and repeat.

It's totally normal for these moves to feel strenuous at first — but keep at it! Over time, they'll likely become much easier.

Inner thigh exercises (as part of a larger workout plan) can lead to massive benefits and help make a difference in your overall health and fitness. Try incorporating a few of these into your next leg day at the gym and reap the rewards!

As always, please consult with a physician prior to beginning any exercise program. See full medical disclaimer here.