16 Best Inner Thigh Exercises To Tone Your Legs

Strengthen and tone your inner thighs with a bunch of easy workouts at home.

Reviewed by Dr. Sudhansu Singh, BPT Dr. Sudhansu Singh Dr. Sudhansu SinghBPT facebook_icontwitter_iconlinkedin_icon
Written by , MSc (Biotechnology), ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist Charushila Biswas MSc (Biotechnology), ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist Experience: 6 years
Edited by , BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health Ravi Teja Tadimalla BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health Experience: 8 years
Fact-checked by , MSc (Biotechnology), Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach Payal Karnik MSc (Biotechnology), Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach Experience: 2.5 years
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Inner thigh exercises help shape and tone the inner thigh area. The inner thigh muscles or adductors are located from the groin area to the knees (1). These muscles help stabilize the pelvis, aid external and internal rotation of the thigh bone, aid in hip movement (2), (3). Moreover, simple tasks like standing, walking, running, and climbing become easy if your inner thigh muscles are strong.

Poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle may cause inner thigh fat accumulation (4), (5), (6). This may lead to inner thigh chafing, pigmentation, rashes, problems standing up or walking, and poor posture.

But worry no more! Do inner thigh stretches to strengthen your inner thigh muscles, prevent muscle loss, and shed excess flab. Here are the 16 best inner thigh exercises you can try out. Scroll down!

protip_icon Workout Blueprint: Inner Thigh Exercises
  • Frequency: 1-3 times per week
  • Benefits: Shape, tone, and strengthen the inner thighs.
  • Equipment Needed: Exercise mat, kettlebell, resistance band.
  • Space Required: Small area
  • Assistance Required: Yes, for certain exercises.
  • Who Should Avoid: Anyone with chronic knee, hip, or lower back pain.

Inner Thigh Workouts You Can Do At Home To Burn Fat 

Warm-up – This is very important before beginning any exercise. Dedicate at least 10 minutes to prep your muscles for the next 35 minutes of adductor exercises.

1. Jumping Jacks

Jumping jacks inner thigh exercise
Image: YouTube @xhit

Target – Adductors, glutes, hamstrings, quads, deltoids, and lats.

How To Do Jumping Jacks
  1. Stand straight with your legs shoulder-width apart. Keep your shoulders rolled back, hands by your side, and chest and chin up. This is the starting position.
  2. Hop and land gently with your legs wider than shoulder-width apart. Simultaneously, move your arms laterally up. Stop when your fingertips touch.
  3. Hop again and land gently with your legs close together. Bring your hands back to the starting position.
  4. Do this at a rapid speed. Keep breathing.

Sets And Reps – 3 sets of 20 reps

2. Side Lunges

Side lunges inner thigh exercise
Image: YouTube @health

Target – Adductors, glutes, hamstrings, quads, and hip flexors.

How To Do Side Lunges
  1. Stand straight with your legs wider than shoulder-width apart.
  2. Bend your right knee, push your weight to the right, and lower your hips. Make sure your back is in line with your neck. Lean a little forward to keep your back straight.
  3. Pause for a moment and get back to the starting position.
  4. Do the same on your left side. This completes one rep.

Sets And Reps – 2 sets of 10 reps

3. Curtsey Lunge

Curtsey lunge inner thigh exercise
Image: YouTube @3VFitness

Target – Adductor, glutes, hip flexors, hamstrings, and quads.

How To Do Curtsy Lunge
  1. Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Place your hands on your waist, roll your shoulders back, and engage your core. This is the starting position.
  2. Lift your right leg off the floor and place it diagonally behind your left leg.
  3. Bend both your knees and lower your body.
  4. Get back up and place your right foot beside the left.
  5. Lift your left foot off the floor and place it diagonally behind the right leg. Bend your knees and lower your body.
  6. Stand up and place your left foot beside the right. This completes one rep.

Sets And Reps – 2 sets of 8 reps 

4. Frog Jumps

The frog jumps inner thigh exercise
Image: YouTube @Fitpositively

Target – Adductors, quads, hamstrings, and glutes.

How To Do Frog Jumps
  1. Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Flex your knees, push your hips out, and come to a sitting or squatting position. Bend your elbows and keep your palms close to each other in front of your chest.
  3. Jump, throw your hands to the side and propel your body forward.
  4. Land softly and get back to the full squat position.
  5. With each jump, you move forward – just like a frog!

Sets And Reps – 2 sets of 8 reps 

5. Side-Lying Leg Lifts

Side-lying leg lifts inner thigh exercise
Image: YouTube @3v878

Target – Adductors, hip flexors, and glutes.

How To Do Side-Lying Leg Lifts
  1. Lie down on your right side, place your left hand on your waist, fold your right hand, and place your head on it for support. Make sure your neck, hips, and legs are in the same line. (Engage your core or maintain three plain neutral spine.)
  2. Lift your left leg. Stop when your leg is at a 30-degree angle.
  3. Pause for a moment and lower your leg.
  4. Lift it again before it touches your right leg.
  5. Do this 10 times before switching sides and repeating the same with your right leg.

Sets And Reps – 2 sets of 10 reps

In addition to this side-lying leg lift, you can try standing leg lifts to tone your legs.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Petroleum jelly, aloe vera gel, and baby powder can help if you ever run out of thigh chafing cream.

6. Sumo Squats

Sumo squats inner thigh exercise
Image: YouTube @ChrissyChitwood

Target – Adductors, glutes, hamstrings, and quads.

How To Do Sumo Squats
  1. Stand straight with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart, feet at a 45-degree angle, shoulders rolled back, chest up, and hands on your waist or palms together. This is the starting position.
  2. Push your hips out, flex your knees, and come to a sitting position. Make sure your knees are pointing out and are not overshooting the tip of your toes. Your knees and hips should be in the same line when you squat down.
  3. Pause for a moment and then get back to the starting position.

Sets And Reps – 2 sets of 12 reps

Apart from sumo squats, beginners can even opt for chair squats to tone the inner thighs. Dagmar Munn, a blogger, shared how chair squats helped her with her inner thighs and improved leg strength. She said, “ It’s been almost a year since I began doing chair squats – – and I continue to do them e-v-e-r-y-d-a-y. Now, I can sit onto my chair, wait a few seconds, then stand up without rocking or great effort. I still hold onto my rollator, but I have renewed confidence in my leg and hip muscles (i).”

7. Standing Alternate Side Crunches

Standing alternate side crunches inner thigh exercise
Image: YouTube @psychetruth

Target – Adductors, glutes, hamstrings, obliques, lats, and quads.

How To Do Standing Alternate Side Crunches

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, hands folded, and fingertips at the back of your head, arms open, shoulders rolled back, and core engaged. This is the starting position.
  2. Lift your left leg off the floor, bring your right elbow close to the knee, and crunch.
  3. Release the pose and place your left foot on the floor.
  4. Do the same with your right leg and left elbow to complete one rep.

Sets And Reps – 2 sets of 12 reps

8. Externally Rotated Leg Lifts

Externally rotated leg lifts inner thigh exercise
Image: YouTube @vibrantpelvichealth

Target – Adductors, hamstrings, quads, calves, and glutes.

How To Do Externally Rotated Leg Lifts
  1. Sit on a mat. Place your hands at the back, flex your elbows, and lean back a little. Bend your right knee and place your right foot flat on the floor.
  2. Keep your left leg straight and rotate your feet out so that you can engage your adductors while doing the exercise.
  3. Keep your back extended and chest up. This is the starting position.
  4. Lift your left leg off the floor and keep your feet rotated out.
  5. Bring your leg down.
  6. Do this 10 times before switching legs.

Sets And Reps – 2 sets of 10 reps

9. Weighted Step Side Lunge

Weighted step side lunge inner thigh exercise
Image: YouTube @glowbodypt

Target – Adductors, glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves.

How To Do Weighted Step Side Lunge
  1. Hold a 13-pound (6 kg) kettlebell close to your chest. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart, shoulders rolled back, chest up, and look straight. This is the starting position.
  2. Take a wide step to your left, flex your left knee, and lower your upper body. Make sure your back remains straight, which means you have to lean a little forward to prevent a low back curve formation.
  3. Get up from the lunging pose and place your left foot beside your right, shoulder-width apart.
  4. Take a step to your right, lunge down, and come back to the starting position.
  5. This completes one rep.

Sets And Reps – 2 sets of 8 reps 

10. Full Squat And Side Raise

Full squat and side raise inner thigh exercise
Image: YouTube @joannasohofficial

Target – Adductors, glutes, hamstrings, hip flexors, quads, and lower abs. 

How To Do A Full Squat And Side Raise
  1. Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes directed outward at a 45-degree angle, shoulders rolled back, and core engaged.
  2. Bend your knees, push your hips out, and come to a full squat pose. Bring your hands close to your chest.
  3. Get back to the standing pose and raise your left leg laterally up.
  4. Lower your leg and get back to the full squat pose.
  5. Repeat 10 times before doing the same with your right leg.

Sets And Reps – 2 sets of 10 reps

11. Plank Jacks

Plank jacks inner thigh exercise
Image: YouTube @POPSUGARFitness

Target – Adductors, glutes, hamstrings, quads, abs, and shoulders.

How To Do Plank Jacks
  1. Get into a plank pose, engage your core, make sure your elbows are right below your shoulders.
  2. Hop and place your feet wider than shoulder-width apart.
  3. Hop again and place your feet close together.

Sets And Reps – 2 sets of 20 reps

12. Lying Single Leg Circles

Target – Adductors, abductors, hamstrings, quads, glutes, and lower abs.

How To Do Lying Single Leg Circles
  1. Lie down on a mat with your hands by your side, palms flat on the mat, and core engaged.
  2. Lift your left leg off the floor and raise it straight up at a 90-degree angle.
  3. Start moving it in a wide circle. Do it 10 times to complete one set.
  4. Place your left leg on the mat, lift your right leg, and perform 10 leg circles.

Sets And Reps – 2 sets of 10 reps 

13. Lying Leg Split Pulse

Lying leg split pulse inner thigh exercise
Image: YouTube @psychetruth

Target – Adductors

How To Do Lying Leg Split Pulse
  1. Lie down on a mat. Open your arms and place your arms laterally at shoulder level.
  2. Lift your legs off the floor at a 45-degree angle and split them wider than shoulder-width  apart.
  3. Pulse your legs. You will feel a stretch in your inner thigh area.
  4. You may gently press your inner thigh area with your hands if doing it without support seems difficult to you.
  5. Pulse 15 times before taking a short break of 10 seconds.
  6. Repeat thrice.

Sets And Reps – 3 sets of 15 reps

14. Resistance Band Adductor Stretch

Resistance band adductor stretch inner thigh exercise
Image: YouTube @MadFit

Target – Adductor, glutes, hamstrings, lower abs, and shoulders.

How To Do Resistance Band Adductor Stretch
  1. Take a wide loop resistance band and place it just above your knees.
  2. Get down on all fours, and keep your back in line with your neck. Do not pike up or bend your back. Make sure your elbows are right below your shoulders, and your knees right below your hips. Keep your core engaged.
  3. Lift your right knee off the floor. Without extending your legs straight, bring your knee laterally up to your hip level.
  4. Pause for a moment and bring your knee back down to the floor.
  5. Do it 10 times to complete one set with your left leg.

Sets And Reps – 2 sets of 10 reps

15. Seated Butterfly Pose

Target – Adductors

How To Do Seated Butterfly Pose
  1. Sit on a mat. Flex your knees, open your legs, and bring your foot soles together. Hold your feet together with your hands, bringing them close to your groin area.
  2. Roll your shoulders back, chest up, and engage your core.
  3. Lift both your knees. Pause for a moment and push your knees down.

Sets And Reps – 2 sets of 20 reps

16. Clamshell

Target – Adductors and hip abductors

How To Do Clamshell Exercise

  1. Lie down on your side and bend your legs at a 45-degree angle. You can rest your head on your lower arm or lie down completely on the mat.
  2. Keep your feet on top of one another.
  3. Keep your head, back, and hips aligned.
  4. Place one hand on your hip for stability and the other hand behind your head.
  5. As you keep your feet together, lift your top knee without overstraining any muscle or moving your pelvis or lower back.
  6. This motion should resemble a clamshell opening.
  7. Lower your knee back down and repeat the motion.

Sets And Reps – 2 sets of 15 reps on each side

In addition, there are many leg exercises for adductors that help get your adductor muscles worked. Those adductor strengthening exercises include wall sit exercises, groin exercises, clamshell exercises, cable adductor exercises, inner thigh circle exercises, inner thigh scissor exercises, inner thigh ball squeeze, and seated butterfly stretches.

Note: You can also try adductor machine exercises to tone your legs.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Include leafy greens, whole grains, soya beans, olive oil, and nut butter in your diet to reduce fat deposition in the thighs.

Infographic: Top 5 Exercises To Get Sculpted Inner Thighs

The inner thighs stabilize the legs during walking or running and aid our lateral or side-to-side movements. Hence, it is important to keep them strong and prevent fat accumulation. But you don’t need to go to the gym for that. We have compiled a list of top exercises you can do at home to tone and sculpt your inner thighs. Check out the infographic below to know more!

top 5 exercises to get sculpted inner thighs (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Inner thighs, which play a key role in stabilizing the pelvic area and ensuring proper hip movement, are prone to fat accumulation. Therefore, keeping them toned and strong is highly essential to performing everyday tasks without any hassle. The hip adduction exercises discussed in this article can work wonders for you by acting on your adductors, quads, lats, glutes, hamstrings, deltoids, hip flexors, obliques, and calves. These adductor activation exercises, complemented with a proper diet and cardio and other strength-training exercises, can make your inner thighs look thinner and stronger. Do warm-up exercises for at least 10 minutes before getting started with this workout.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does running tone the inner thighs?

Running helps burn fat from the entire body. If you want to lose inner thigh fat, running is a good option for losing flab in general. But you must also do inner thigh workouts to keep them toned.

Can flabby inner thighs be toned?

Yes! You must follow a good diet plan and mix cardio and strength training.

Can walking slim your inner thighs?

Yes. Walking is a good exercise to tone your lower body and work on your inner thighs.

Does drinking water reduce thigh fat?

There is a lack of scientific evidence to suggest that drinking water specifically targets your thigh fat.

Are thigh gaps unhealthy?

Thigh gaps are a desired aesthetic standard for many. While it isn’t unhealthy, the journey some might undertake to achieve it (following extreme fads, etc.) may damage their health in the long run.

Key Takeaways

  • Inner thigh exercises improve pelvic stability along with hip and thigh bone range of rotation.
  • Start the workout with exercises like lunges, squats, side crunches, and leg lifts that target the lower body muscles.
  • Move on to jumping jacks, frog jumps, and plank jacks, advanced inner thick exercises that strengthen the whole body.
  • End the workout session with cool-down exercises like butterfly pose and stretch.
inner thigh exercises

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

References

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Anatomy, Bony Pelvis and Lower Limb, Thigh Muscles, StatPearls, National Institutes of Health.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482445/
  2. A functional model to describe the action of the adductor muscles at the hip in the transverse plane, Physiotherapy Theory and Practice, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17118893
  3. Adductor Strain, StatPearls, National Institutes of Health.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK493166/
  4. Lower Physical Activity is Associated with Skeletal Muscle Fat Content in Girls, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3819115/
  5. Associations between sedentary behaviour and body composition, muscle function and sarcopenia in community-dwelling older adults, Osteoporosis International, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25245026
  6. Lifestyle and Sarcopenia—Etiology, Prevention, and Treatment,Rambam Maimonides Medical Journal, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3678825/
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Dr. Sudhansu Singh is a Physiotherapist, Sports and Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist, and Neuro Physiotherapist with 8 years of experience. He is a member of the Federation of Indian Manual Therapists (FIMT) and an active member of the Delhi Council of Physiotherapy and FIMT Australia Association. Dr. Singh earned his Bachelor's degree in Physiotherapy from Padmashree Institute of Physiotherapy, Bangalore, Rajiv Gandhi...read full bio

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