Inner thigh exercises are among the most sought after kinds of exercise instructions. But before I point you toward specific inner thigh exercises, I want to make a few points about inner thigh work that I hope will help direct your efforts toward a more effective workout.
Inner Thighs and Weight Loss
First, let's get a harsh truth out of the way: There Is No Such Thing As Spot Reduction. You can't lose weight in one particular spot just by exercising that spot. Weight loss happens all over the body. On the upside, if you need to lose weight, and you do lose it, revealing a toned inner thigh is going to feel extra good.
If your goal is to tone the inner thigh, it important to know that there is a whole set of interconnected muscles that make up the inner thigh. Each muscle works a little differently, and they all work in concert with other muscles of the leg. For those reasons, you have to take a few different approaches to make sure you get to the various muscles of the inner thigh. So read on.
More to the Inner Thigh Than Meets the Eye
Some of the muscles we want to tone when we speak of the inner thigh are inside of the leg, but some are also little more toward the front, and some wrap around the thigh from back to front. And, the muscles involved with the inner thigh have different actions. Some inner thigh muscles bring the leg in toward the body, some help bend or straighten the leg, and some rotate the leg or flex the foot. So as you may have guessed, you have to work the leg at different angles, and with different kinds of motion to get to the inner thigh muscles. Of course, we always have to work the legs in a balanced way - that is ultimately what is going to improve leg motion, appearance, and protect the knee joint.
The Adductors and Beyond
Several of the inner thigh muscles people want to tone for appearances sake, the gracillus and the adductor magnus for example, are called adductors. That means they bring the leg in toward the midline of the body - it's easy to remember, they add the leg. Abductors, found more on the outside line of the leg, are muscles that take the leg away from the midline of the body - they abduct it, like a kidnapper. For many us, our abductors are stronger than our adductors, so our inner thighs are weak and inner leg reflects that with an un-toned look. Many inner thigh exercises focus on the adductors, these are exercises that squeeze the legs toward each other. Seated legs is an example. But not every muscle that we want to tone to improve the functionality and appearance of the inner thigh is an adductor. For example the quadriceps is a set of powerful muscles that extend the leg (open the knee joint) and muscles of the quadrecps, like the vastus medialus, are major players in inner thigh tone as well.
Poor leg alignment, and therefore unbalanced muscle use, is frequently to blame lack of muscle tone in the leg. That's why we are such sticklers in Pilates for correct leg alignment. We want balanced muscular development.
Know Parallel Legs
You can do much to further your cause of toning the inner thighs by knowing what parallel legs means, and training yourself to walk, run, sit and stand with an emphasis on the legs in parallel position with the weight falling through the center of the foot. Lots of us send our line of energy down the outside of the leg instead of the middle. Just this one correction will go a long way toward helping you create and maintain a well balanced leg - including the inner thigh.
But I hear you: My inner thighs need more work than that. Right. They need strengthening. Here's what we do: see next page