Maybe it was while wearing a pair of jeans or corduroys that you noticed it – the thigh rub. You’re walking down the street on your way to get a latte when you feel your inner thighs making contact with each other. You wonder how that could have happened since you watch what you eat and are a regular on the cardio machines at the gym. Though cardio is important for keeping fat at bay, incorporating two to three strength-training sessions that target your thighs and knees is also vital. Stick with it and watch your thighs whittle away.
Place a medium-sized stability ball between your lower back and a sturdy wall. Separate your feet to be hip-width apart and about 12 inches in front of the ball. Keep your back straight and press it into the ball to remain stable. Pull your abdominal muscles in toward the ball.
Bend your knees and lower your glutes toward the floor, allowing the ball to roll down the wall with your body. Stop when your thighs are parallel to the floor. Hold the position for three counts.
Press through your feet to return to standing position. Beginners should start with five reps and increase as they become stronger; more advanced exercisers should aim to complete 12. Complete two sets.
Inner Leg Lift
Lay the right side of your body on an exercise mat. Extend your right arm over your head and use it to rest your head.
Bend your left leg and cross it over the right so that your left foot is flat on the floor in front of your right thigh.
Engage your inner thigh muscle and lift your right leg about one foot toward the ceiling. Lower it back to the floor for one repetition. Complete 10 repetitions and then repeat on the left side.
Hold a 5- to 8-pound dumbbell in each hand, depending on your fitness level. Rest your arms at your sides with palms facing in. Position your feet to be hip-width apart and pointing forward.
Step forward with the right leg in a long stance to target the inner thigh and knee; for most women this will be 2 to 3 feet.
Lower your left knee until it rests just above the floor. Simultaneously, bend your right knee to 90 degrees. Align your knee to be directly over your ankle. Evenly distribute the weight between both legs. Keep your torso straight and perpendicular to the floor.
Push through the right foot to lift it and bring it back to starting position. Aim to complete eight to 12 lunges on the right foot and then repeat on the left side.
- Maximize efforts by engaging in a comprehensive fitness plan that includes strength training, cardiovascular exercise and a healthy eating plan.
- Avoid doing too much too soon; if your thighs are out of shape then the affected muscle, the hip adductor, is likely weak. Start slow and increase your repetitions and resistance level as your become stronger.
Beth Rifkin has been writing health- and fitness-related articles since 2005. Her bylines include "Tennis Life," "Ms. Fitness," "Triathlon Magazine," "Inside Tennis" and others. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Temple University.