I train many women clients, and if there is one thing I have learned, women like to have toned inner thighs! It is a problem area for most women. The muscles of the inner thighs, also called the hip adductors, respond to a very specific exercise routine. It takes about 15 minutes of exercise three times a week to shape the inner thighs. All you need is an exercise mat to get stared. Try these exercises for a few weeks and you will feel more leg power when you walk, run, or swim. After about ten weeks, you will see new definition in your thighs.
Outer Thigh Lift.
Lie on your left side, and prop your upper body nearly upright on your left forearm. With your left leg bent comfortably, extend your right leg at a 45-degree angle in front of you. Slowly raise the right foot about six inches off the floor in a controlled motion. Hold for one count, then slowly lower the foot almost to the floor; start another lift without touching down. Do 10 reps. Then roil onto your right side and repeat. Do 3 sets with each leg. 3 sets of 10 repetitions each is a good starting point. When the routine begins to feel easy in about 3-4 weeks, add a one pound ankle weight.
Inner Thigh Firmer.
Lie on your left side with your head resting on a rolled-up towel to maintain proper alignment of your head, shoulders, and hips. Bend your right leg and rest it on the floor in front of you while extending your left leg straight with the foot. Slowly lift your left leg about six inches. Hold for a moment and then gradually lower the leg, beginning the next lift before your foot touches back down on the floor. After ten lifts, roll onto your right side and repeat. Complete 2 sets of 10 lifts with each leg. 2 sets of 10 repetitions each is a good starting point.
Cable Adductor Machine
This is the machine in the gym that most women gravitate towards! It’s the one where you sit with your back pressed into the machine, holding onto any handles and with your legs and feet pressed against the foam pads. Smoothly bring your legs together, hold for a second then return under control to starting position. Some machines will have a combination of settings, allowing the legs to be taken wider, avoid taking your legs out too far, especially for beginners. Aim to keep your legs and back in contact with the machine at all times. It may be useful to warm up your muscles with a lightweight prior to your training weight, as this will not only help prevent injury, but also make sure that the machine is set-up comfortably for you.
Inner Thigh Firmer Using a Stability Ball or Pillow.
Lie on your back on the floor and place a small Swiss Ball or large pillow centrally between your lower legs. Smoothly squeeze the ball or pillow, aiming to apply pressure from both legs, onto the sides of the ball. Hold in the inner phase for 2 – 3 seconds prior to releasing and repeating again. Repeat 10 times. This exercise is usually performed while lying, but can also be performed seated or standing. Complete 2 sets of 10 repetitions. 2 sets of 10 repetitions is a good starting point.
How Much Exercise Is Enough To Tone The Inner Thighs?
This number guide will help you determine what intensity is right for you.
Let’s say that the intensity of the exercise ranges from 1 to 5.
1 – Light exercise, can barely feel the muscle. (this is what you feel in the first 1-3 repetitions)
2 – You can feel the hip muscles working (as you do more repetitions, you become more aware of the tension in the muscles)
3 – Moderate intensity, where you begin feel a ‘burn’ or ‘strain’ in the muscle. You have to exert a little to maintain the exercise.
4 – Moderate to high intensity, where your hip muscle starts to hurt, and you feel like stopping.
5 – High intensity, where you just can’t continue. You need to stop and take a break.
In order to tone the thighs, you need to push to an intensity that falls between 3 and 4. This will vary from person to person. For some individuals, 10 repetitions of an exercise is enough to get to 3, or even 4. This is especially common for beginners, or for those who have resumed exercise after a long break. For other, more conditioned individuals, it is common to get to 3 or 4 after 30-40 repetitions, or after using ankle weights.
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