Trouble spots… they can give you fits, and those pesky inner thighs are sometimes the worst. If you have ever struggled with getting rid of the fat in your inner thighs, this information will be music to your ears. You may know by now that you cannot spot reduce. In other words, you cannot simply exercise one area of your body to lose fat in that area alone. However, there are exercises that can target the muscles in a particular area, thereby increasing the lean mass to tone the area and increase caloric burn. Combining them with the right cardiovascular exercises to decrease fat will allow you to greatly alter the size and appearance of that area. To watch the fat melt away from your inner thighs, apply that concept using the following inner thigh exercises and cardiovascular routines.
Body Weight Hip Adduction Exercises
Adduction occurs when a part of the body is moved toward the midline of the body. For example, if your arms are raised so they are in line with your shoulders, adduction would move them toward your body so your hands are rested by your legs. With hip adduction, the same occurs for the legs. This movement engages the adductor muscles of the inner thigh, and it is common in most inner thigh exercises.
Swiss Ball Adductions
Lie on your left side, resting your head in your left hand. Place the swiss ball on the floor approximately 18 inches in front of your hips and thighs. Put your right ankle on the top side of the ball to get in the starting position. Contract your inner thigh to press your right leg into the swiss ball. Hold for one second, and then return to the starting position. Perform 12 to 15 repetitions before switching to the other leg.
Lie on your back with your legs outstretched so your body is in a straight line. Place your hands by your buttocks to brace your torso. Raise your feet off the ground 4 to 6 inches. This is your starting position. Keeping your knees slightly bent, raise your right leg so your right foot is approximately 18 to 24 inches higher than your left foot. Now lower your right leg back to the starting position as you raise your left leg 18 to 24 inches. Continue alternating your feet back and forth, making certain to keep your abdominals contracted to minimize stress on your lower back. Perform 12 to 15 repetitions with each leg.
Lying Inner Thigh Lift
Lie on your left side with your upper body resting on your left elbow. Cross your right leg over your left, and bend your right knee so your right foot rests flat on the floor in front of your left leg. Keeping your left leg straight, contract your left inner thigh to raise that leg off the floor about six inches. Lower it until it is approximately one inch above the floor. Repeat for 15 to 20 repetitions before performing the same exercise on your right side.
Compound exercises are performed using more muscles than the simple exercises listed above. Although they do not solely target the inner thighs, they are beneficial to add into your inner thigh exercise routine. Both exercises may be performed with or without weights held in your hands.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Step to the right with your right foot, and bend both knees to lower into a squatted position. Forcefully push off your right leg to return your body to the starting position. Repeat on the left side. Alternate back and forth until you have completed 12 to 15 repetitions on each side.
Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart. Point your toes at a diagonal. Grasp a dumbbell with both hands, straighten your arms, and allow the weight to rest in front of your pelvis. Bend both knees to lower yourself until your thighs are parallel to the floor, making certain to keep your knees in the same line as your feet. Squeeze your glutes and inner thighs to raise your body back to the starting position. Repeat for 12 to 15 repetitions.
If you are looking to get an inner thigh workout at the gym, there are two machines that you need to include in your routine.
Sit on the machine with the leg pads placed on your inner legs. Contract your inner thighs to squeeze your legs together. Return to the starting position. Repeat for 12 to 15 repetitions.
Stand with your right side to the weight stack of the cable machine. Attach the ankle strap around your right ankle. With your knees slightly bent to maintain balance and your body stabilized by holding onto a bar in front of you, contract your right inner thigh to pull your right leg across the front of your body. Return to the starting position. Perform 12 to 15 repetitions, and then repeat on the left side.
The more lean muscle mass you have, the more calories you will burn. However, the best way to ensure you are losing fat is to include cardiovascular exercises in your workout. Whether you walk, run, ride a bike, do the elliptical, perform a plyometric routine, or play a sport, the important factor is to elevate your heart rate and keep it up for 20 to 60 minutes. If you already perform cardio exercises on a regular basis, try interval training. After an adequate warm-up, exercise at an intense pace for one minute, then back off to a light to moderate pace for two minutes. Repeat 4 to 10 times, depending on your current fitness level.
Although reducing the fat in one particular area is not possible, combining inner thigh exercises with cardiovascular exercise and a healthy diet will help you decrease fat throughout your body and tone the muscles in your inner thighs, giving you more sculpted, shapely legs.