Tight inner thighs are usually preferred over loose inner thighs, but when your inner thighs are too tight, adductor stretches provide relief. Flexible inner thighs also improve your hip range of motion, which helps you walk, run, cycle and swim more efficiently. Thigh stretches are quick, yet effective and are an easy addition to your weekly workout routine. Perform one or two inner thigh stretches at least three days a week.
The muscles along the insides of your thighs are known as adductors. The purpose of the adductors is to move your legs toward, or across the mid-line, of your body. When you squeeze your legs together, your inner thigh adductor muscles contract. Before you stretch and loosen your adductors, warm up your legs. Warm muscles move easier than cold muscles, and you'll get a greater range of motion in your stretches after a brief movement activity. Use full-body movements such as walking, dancing, cycling or stair climbing for five to 10 minutes to warm your legs.
The standing straddle triangle stretch targets your inner thigh area. Begin standing, but space your feet wider than hip-distance apart. Turn your left foot slightly out to the left. Face your right foot forward. Reach up and overhead with your right arm. Place your left hand on your left leg. Slowly, slide your left hand down your leg as you bend toward the left. Rest your left hand above or below your knee without placing your weight onto your leg for support. Reach as low as possible, though, with your left hand without tilting your shoulders and hips forward. Concentrate on lifting the right side of your rib cage as you feel the stretch along your right side and your left inner thigh. Maintain the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds as you breathe normally. Slowly release from the stretch and then repeat it to your right.
Another standing inner thigh stretch uses a table or weight bench that is of hip height. Stand with your right side closest to the bench. Face both of your feet forward. Shift your weight onto your left leg and bend your right knee. Raise your right leg out to the side and rest the inner side of your right leg on the bench. Keep your knee bent to a 90-degree angle so your foot is behind you. If this is enough of a stretch, maintain this position. If you need more of a stretch, bend your left knee slightly. If you feel unstable, hold onto the table, or place a chair in front of you to hold for balance. Maintain the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. Slowly release and then repeat the stretch on your left leg.
The lying inner thigh stretch can be performed on the floor, or in the comfort of your bed. Lie face up with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Press your lower back into the floor by tilting up your hips. Drop your knees out to the sides to open your legs and place the soles of your feet together. Move your feet as close to your body as possible. If you need help from your hands, reach down and wrap your hands around the outside edges of your feet and gently move them closer. Position your feet close enough to feel the stretch, but not to cause discomfort in your knees. Relax and breathe normally as you look up and hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. Release and then repeat if needed.
A mother of two and passionate fitness presenter, Lisa M. Wolfe had her first fitness article published in 2001. She is the author of six fitness books and holds an Associate of Arts in exercise science from Oakland Community College. When not writing, Wolfe is hula-hooping, kayaking, walking or cycling.