Let’s face it, it takes confidence to sport a pair of tight, skinny jeans or those my-legs-are-too-big-to-wear short shorts. Firming up your thighs might give you more confidence, but it can also be quite challenging. Don’t give up – you can tone your thighs by doing a variety of dumbbell exercises that target your inner thigh muscles, the adductors. These are the muscles that move your leg toward the center-line of your body – crossing your legs, for example. And, you don’t even have to join a gym; you can do these exercises at home.
Get into the swing of things -- try wide-stance arm swings. Grasp a 3-pound dumbbell with both hands and hold it vertically. Straighten your arms and extend them straight down in front of your body. Start by standing upright, spreading your feet wider than shoulder-width apart and turning your toes outward 45 degrees. Simultaneously lift your arms until they are level with your shoulders, bend your hips and knees and lower your body into a squat position. Concentrate on keeping your back straight and your head up -- no slouching. Pause, straighten your legs and lower the weight to the starting position.
Try side-lying thigh adductions, but make them more challenging. Add some resistance by using a dumbbell. Hold your dumbbell in your right hand and lie on your left side on an exercise mat. Extend your legs, bend your left elbow and place your arm under your head for support. Move your left leg slightly forward, ahead of your right leg. While holding the weight, extend your right arm and rest the weight on the inside of your left thigh. Without letting go of the dumbbell, lift your left leg off the floor as high as you can. Pause, lower your leg and repeat. Don't forget your other leg. After several reps, roll over onto your right side and repeat.
Take a seat for dumbbell thigh lifts. For comfort, use an exercise mat to cushion your butt. Bend your knees, flare them out to the sides and put the bottoms of your feet together. Grab your dumbbells and rest them, vertically, on your knees. Start with your knees as close to the floor as possible. Slowly raise your knees as high as you can, pause, slowly lower them back to the starting position and repeat. No cheating on your form, keep your back straight.
- Perform a short 10-minute warm-up before exercising. Put on some lively music and do jumping jacks, march in place or some other exercise to get your blood flowing.
- Start with 3-pound weights and don't be too quick to increase the weight. It's better to increase the number of sets and reps before using heavier dumbbells.
- Start with two sets of 10 to 12 reps and over time, increase the number of sets and reps.
- If you are new to exercising or you have been inactive for a long period of time, get the OK from your doctor.