This 30-Minute Inner Thigh Workout Will Make You Super Toned

inner thigh exercises 

Tyler Joe

As you age, you might find it harder to balance and have stability in your joints, making you more prone to injury. The good news is that you can help prevent and reduce these muscle imbalances by strengthening your legs—namely your inner thighs. Nicole Blades, a NASM-certified personal trainer based in Connecticut, says: "Your adductors—the muscles in your inner thighs—are responsible for inner rotation of the leg. Together with the abductors—the external rotators of the glutes—they support the pelvis, helping you to stabilize when you walk, run, or cycle."

Before you dive into the inner thigh exercises below, note that Blades says targeting one specific muscle group in the body isn't possible. "There is no such thing as spot training or focusing on one particular body part alone in order to reshape or define that specific area. If your goals include stronger, firmer legs, you'll need to rely on a combo platter of strength training exercises," Blades explains.

Working your inner thighs as well as your outer thighs and glutes is key to having greater overall strength in your lower body and reducing your risk of injury. "Having under-active or weaker adductors leads to muscle imbalances, which leads to overcompensation that can result in back or knee pain," Blades says.

That said, the inner thigh exercises below help strengthen your adductors and the other muscles in your entire leg, as well as your glutes.

Time: 30 minutes

Reps: 8 to 12 reps per exercise. Repeat for 2 rounds.

Equipment: 1 set of 8-pound dumbbells—or medium-to-heavy weights of your choice—and a resistance band

Apparel: Athleta Contender Side Stripe Capri in Powerlift in Beach Plum, Athleta Shanti Tank In Powervita in Hibiscus Red, and APL Techloom Phantom in Navy/Bleached Pink

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1 Forward Lunge

Whether you're doing a forward or back lunge, you're improving your hips' range of motion and flexibility. It also works your quadriceps for incredibly strong thighs.

How to do forward lunges: Stand with your feet together and hold a dumbbell in each hand. Take a big step forward with your left foot and lower your body into a lunge until your right knee is hovering over the floor. Your left leg should form a 90-degree angle in the front and your right leg a 90-degree angle in the back. As you get stronger, you can have your back leg touch the ground before pushing off on your front foot to stand. This is one rep. Alternate legs.

2 Lateral Lunge

This lunge variation works in the front plane of motion (left to right), strengthening the inner thighs as well as the glutes. This side lunge helps build strength and improves balance in each leg.

How to to a lateral lunge: Stand with your feet together and hold a dumbbell in each hand. Take a big step to your left side, then lower your body into a lunge, hinging your hips forward and keeping your chest lifted. Your right leg should be straight with your toes pointing forward. Push off with your left foot while keeping your right foot firmly on the ground and return to the starting position. This is one rep. Alternate legs.

3 Curtsy Lunge

A curtsy lunge adds a different element of balance to your leg workout and helps to strengthen both the inner and outer thighs. Remember, you want to keep a 90-degree angle with your front and back leg when you lunge. It helps to keep this visual in mind to get the most out of the exercise.

How to do a curtsy lunge: Stand with your feet hip-distance apart and hold a dumbbell in each hand. Take a big step behind you to your left with your right foot, so your thighs cross. Lower into a lunge until your form a 90-degree angle with your front and back legs. Make sure your left knee is aligned with your left ankle. Push off to stand back up to the starting position. This is one rep. Alternate legs.

4 Forward Lunge to Single Deadlift

Compound exercises kill two birds with one stone—and this lunge to deadlift move targets your entire lower body while engaging your core and challenging your balance. Your core plays a key role in this exercise by providing control.

How to do a forward lunge to single deadlift: Stand with your feet together and hold a dumbbell in each hand. Take a big step forward with your right leg and lower into a lunge. Then, bring your right leg back to the starting position.

Next, shift your weight to your left leg and simultaneously lift your right leg behind you. Hinge forward at the hips for a deadlift until your torso is parallel to the ground and your back leg forms a 90-degree angle. Keep your left leg straight or with a slight bend at the knee to balance. Engaging your glutes and thighs, pull your right leg forward until your torso is upright again. This is one rep. Alternate legs.

5 Lateral Lunges to Leg Lift

Challenge your balance further with this variation of the lunge, which adds a leg lift as a special twist. If this is your first time trying this move, we recommend doing this exercise without weights to practice balancing on one leg.

How to do lateral lunge to leg lift: Stand with your feet together. Take a big step to your right side, then lower your body into a lunge, hinging your hips forward and keeping your chest lifted. Your left leg should be straight with your toes pointing forward. Push off with your right foot while keeping your left foot firmly on the ground. Bring your right leg in front of your chest with your knee bent at 90 degrees. This is one rep. Alternate legs.

6 Goblet Squat

Because your torso is more upright with this version of the squat, there's less pressure on your back, and you're able to engage your quads, glutes, and core more in the movement. This exercise is also great for building grip strength.

How to do a goblet squat: Stand with your feet a little wider than hip-distance apart and your feet slightly turned out. Hold a dumbbell on one end with both hands with your elbows pointing down. Keeping your chest lifted, sit into a squat—as low as you can—widening your knees out to the sides without lifting your feet off the ground. Pause for two to three seconds and then stand back up to the starting position.

7 Skaters

This bodyweight exercise gets your heart rate up as much as it strengthens. It works your glutes and thighs, while also improving ankle stability.

How to do skaters: Take a big jump to your right side, landing on the ground with your right foot and your left foot lifted off the ground behind your right ankle. Then, jump to your left side and land with your left foot and your right foot lifted off the ground behind your left ankle. This is one rep. Get your arms involved by swinging with the opposite arm and foot.

8 Sumo Squat

A sumo squat will get your heart pumping, while also working your glutes, quads, and inner thighs. The slightly wider stance helps you engage those inner thigh muscles further.

How to do sumo squats: Stand with your feet wide and your toes pointing out to the sides. Keeping your chest lifted, sit into a squat—as low as you can—until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Pause for a moment. Then, squeezing your inner thighs, straighten your legs to stand.

9 Plie Squat Pulse

By pulsing on your toes, you engage your calves, too. Challenge yourself to stick it out for a full minute while maintaining form.

How to do plie squat pulses: Stand with your feet wide with your toes pointing out to the sides. Keeping your chest lifted, sit into a deep squat and raise your heels off the ground. Squeezing your inner thighs, pulse up and down in a partial range of motion. Complete eight reps before bringing your heels back down to stand.

10 Jumping Jacks

These heart-pumping exercises offer a dose a cardio with strength work—without any equipment. The very movement of jumping your feet in and out is the definition of abduction and adduction—moving your legs away and back to the midline.

How to do jumping jacks: Stand with your feet together and your hands by your sides. Jump your feet out to the sides as you bring your hands over head. Then, quickly bring your legs back together. Add cross jacks to engage your inner thighs more.

11 Clam

Using a resistance band in this exercise will force you to engage your thigh muscles. Pause for a second or two at the top of the exercise—when you stretch the band as far as you can away from your midline—before slowly lowering your leg back down.

How to do a clam: Lie on your right side on an exercise mat with your right forearm propped. Bend your knees and loop a resistance band just above your knees. Rest your left hand on your hip. Working against the band, squeeze your thigh muscles to press your left thigh out as wide as you can. Then, slowly bring your left thigh back to the starting position. This is one rep. Alternate sides.

12 Leg Lifts

While this move might look easy, it's actually a major leg burner if you're doing it right. The most common mistake is not keeping your hips square throughout the entire movement and not moving with control as you lower your leg. For an added challenge, loop a resistance band around your thighs, just above your knees.

How to do leg lifts: Lie on your right side with your right forearm propped. Rest your left hand on your left hip. Squeezing your thigh muscles and keeping your hips square, lift your left leg as high as you can and then slowly lower it back down.

Tiffany Ayuda, a senior editor at Prevention and certified personal trainer through the American Council on Exercise, has specialized in fitness, health, and general wellness topics in her previously editorial roles at Life by Daily Burn, Everyday Health, and South Beach Diet.

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