Leg workouts can be some of the toughest to power through. Admittedly, they’re not always my favorite, as it usually doesn’t take much to completely wear me out. A few sets of weighted lunges or box jumps, and I sometimes find it hard to muster up the will to go on. While it’s easy to want to skip it, there are great reasons to stay motivated to routinely work those leg muscles!
Working the leg muscles can stimulate the release of large amounts of hormones such as cortisol, testosterone, and human growth hormone. Cortisol helps your body to respond to stress and increase fat metabolism. Generally, leg exercises provide many benefits, such as maintaining good bone health, strengthening joints, and improving functional movement. Because your leg muscles are the biggest muscle group in your body, the more you train them, the more energy is needed to move them. This means that you will automatically burn more calories for a greater potential for fat loss.
The inner thigh is part of the quadriceps muscles, which is the teardrop-shaped muscle runs along the inner part of your thigh. The inner thigh, or quad muscles, also connects your femur to your kneecap.
It’s easier to find the discipline in doing specific exercises or working specific muscle groups when you understand the benefits. You may not think too often about this inner part of your legs if you aren’t making the mind-to-muscle connection as to what this group of muscles does for the overall well-being of your body. Having strong inner thighs has excellent benefits, including:
I will be including 5 simple (but not easy) inner thigh exercises and, as a bonus, the most effective outer thigh exercise so that you will have a comprehensive workout routine to work both the inside and outside of those quadricep muscles, providing balance to this portion of the legs.
While the squat with side leg lift is an excellent warmup for these inner thigh exercises, they also make a great resistance exercise.
How to do a squat with side leg raise:
Even though I sometimes dread leg day at the gym, I’ve always loved sumo squats. The sumo squat increases the activation of the adductor (inner thigh) muscles more than many other lower body exercises, making it into my list of Top 5 Favorite Inner Thigh Exercises. I also love that you can perform a sumo squat anywhere because this move is effective with just your body weight.
How to do a sumo squat:
Variation: the sumo squat can also be done with added weight like a kettlebell or dumbbell. If you find you need more of a challenge and really want to work those inner thigh muscles, hold a weight between your legs and allow it to add resistance as you’re raising out of your sumo squat.
Side lunges work multiple muscle groups throughout your lower body, including your quadriceps and adductors, which are part of your inner thigh muscles. They work the inside and outside of the thighs and glutes, making these a great stabilizer exercise.
How to do side lunges:
Variation: while side lunges are an excellent body weight-only exercise, you can also add weight to provide even more of a challenge and amplify your results. Once you’ve ensured you have proper form, you can also increase your speed to activate your cardiovascular system.
The inner thigh press is routinely done on a fitness machine at the gym, but a variation can also be done at home with no equipment. The inner thigh press will strengthen and firm your inner thighs, and it’s a safe and effective way to strengthen the adductor muscles of the inner thighs and hips.
How to do an inner thigh press at home:
Variation: Use a hip adductor machine at the gym
The hip adduction will work your hips and groin. This movement is an adduction of the hip, moving the thigh inwards with the hip straight. This exercise is beneficial for improving strength in the hip abductor group.
How to do side-lying hip adductions:
Variation: add a set of ankle weights to increase your resistance.
The clamshell exercise not only keeps the hips moving, but it also strengthens the outer thighs and glutes.
How to do the clamshell:
Variation: if you need an extra challenge, add a resistance band around both legs, just above the knees. There are many levels of resistance bands, from light to heavy, that will add a wide range of pounds of pressure to this movement.
While we often think about our arms looking toned or having a flatter tummy, having strong legs truly is the foundation of a healthier body. Overall, leg and inner thigh strength and mobility will keep you strong, stable, and independent as you age.
Check out this video on the Prime Women YouTube channel for additional inner thigh sculpting workouts