Let's face it ladies, Summer may be drawing to a close, but skinny jeans still rule the fashion books. To keep rocking your fave pair of denims you need to work your legs and this means you inner thighs too. If you've noticed a bit of jiggle in that general vicinity, try these five toning moves.
- Pilates side lying leg lifts: This exercise might remind you of Jane Fonda's workout videos from the '80s, but it's been a staple of the Pilates mat repertoire for decades. Since the knee is straight, you work all the muscles of the inner thigh group. Learn this two-minute exercise series from this thigh time video. The moves may be small, but the burn is big.
- Sumo squat with side arm raises: celeb trainer David Kirsch recommends the sumo squat (also known by the feminine name plié squat) for creating shapely legs. Focus on the inner thigh when doing this move, not the quad. Here's how to do this effective exercise:
- Stand with legs wide and toes pointed outward slightly. Hold a pair of dumbbells in your hands with your arms straight and your palms facing down.
- Bend your knees until your knees are over your ankles while raising arms to just below shoulder height. Arms should be in line with your legs - you should see the weights in your peripheral vision.
- Straighten your legs and lower your arms simultaneously.
- Do 15 reps for one set. Do three sets
- Bridge with squeeze: Adding an inner thigh squeeze to your basic bridge will tone your inner thigh. It reminds me of the adductor machine, but you can do this one in the privacy of your own home.
- Start on your back with your knees bent and your feet hip distance apart. Place a pillow, a ball, or a toning ring between your knees.
- Push up into a bridge. Keep your ribs aligned with your pelvis.
- Without raising or lower your pelvis, slowly squeeze your pillow 20 times. Lower the pelvis and bring your knees to your chest to round and relax your back. Then repeat twice for a total of three sets.
- Glider side lunge: This exercise works the legs and glutes, but as you slide your leg back to center, your inner thigh does all the work. You need one of those discs like the Valslide, but if you don't have one, just use the lid of a plastic container and do this move on carpet. Or wear socks and try it on a wood floor.
- Stand with your feet a few inches apart, with your right foot on the plastic lid. Make a fist with one hand and cup your other hand over it. Keep your hands in front of your chest throughout the exercise to help you stay balanced.
- Put weight into your left leg, and as you slowly bend your left knee and squat down, slide your right foot out to the side. Then as you slowly straighten your leg, slide the right foot back in. Most of your weight remains in the leg that's not moving.
- Complete three sets of 10 reps with each leg.
- Narrow squat with overhead press: standing with a much narrower stance while you squat targets the inner thigh, inner quad, and inner hamstring. There is no reason not to multitask on this move - so work your arms too. Here's how:
- Begin standing with your legs together, arms raised to shoulder height with elbows bent, holding weights by your ears.
- Squat toward the floor by bending your knees and reaching your bum backward, as if you were sitting in a chair. Keep your legs squeezing together. Focus your weight into your heels. While squatting, raise your arms overhead into a parallel position.
- Return to starting position by pressing through your heels while bending your elbows to lower the weights back to shoulder level.
- Do 15 reps for one set. Do three sets.
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