The inner thighs are the bane of many women’s existence. The group of five muscles in the inner thighs -- the adductors -- bring your thigh toward and across the centerline of your body, as when you cross your legs. Strengthening these muscles with the side-lying adductor exercise not only can help tone this trouble spot, it can help stabilize your hip and knee joints. With increased stability, you reduce your chance of injury.
Lie on your left side and rest your head on your left arm.
Engage your abdominal muscles to help align your body. There should be a straight line running from your head to your toes, and your right hip should be directly above your left hip. You can place your right hand on the floor in front of you to help with balance. Ideally, however, you should aim to use your abdominal muscles for balance, and place your right arm along the side of your body.
Move your right leg in front of your body and bend the knee. Place your right toes on the floor. Keep your right knee off the floor. You can rest in on a thick book, yoga block or aerobic step, if desired. If you feel a lot of pressure on the side of your left hip, try lying on a yoga mat.
Raise your left leg off the floor a couple of inches. While lifting your leg, pay attention to the position of your right hip. Most people will have a tendency to let the right hip move forward. Keep your right hip directly above the left one.
Lower your leg to the floor with control.
Repeat the exercise eight times before changing sides. As you get stronger, increase the number of repetitions gradually until you can do two or three sets of 15 repetitions.
Items you will need
- Thick book, yoga block or aerobics step (optional)
- Yoga mat (optional)
- Side-lying adduction is a single-joint exercise, involving only movement at the hip. You should place this exercise toward the end of your strength-training workouts, after you’ve done multiple-joint exercises such as lunges and squats. To make the exercise more challenging, add ankle weights.
- IDEA Health & Fitness Association: Hip Joint Anatomy
- Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: Hip Adductors’ Strength, Flexibility, and Injury Risk
- Fundamentals of Sports Injury Management, 2nd Edition; Marcia K. Anderson
- Methods of Group Exercise Instruction, 2nd Edition; Carol A. Kennedy and Mary M. Yoke
- American Council on Exercise: Side Lying Hip Adduction
- Human Kinetics: Utilize Proper Workout Structure and Exercise Order