You may never want to crush anyone between your legs like a female Bond movie villain, but you don't want soft, saggy or weak inner thighs, either. Properly called your adductors, your inner thighs are responsible for drawing your leg inward in a movement called adduction -- literally adding your leg back to the midline of your body. There are a number of pieces of gym equipment you can use to strengthen your inner thighs.
Low Cable Machine
The low cable machine provides an easy way to work your inner thighs -- especially when combined with an ankle cuff. The best inner thigh exercise using this type of machine is the cable hip adduction. Stand sideways next to the low pulley and place the cuff around the ankle nearest the machine. Attach the cable to your cuff. Take a sideways step or two away from the machine to add tension to the cable. Keep your leg straight and swing it across in front of your opposite leg. Return to the starting position and repeat. Perform the same number of repetitions on the opposite side.
Seated Hip Adduction Machine
The seated hip adduction machine allows you to target your inner thighs in relative comfort and both legs at a time. To perform this exercise, sit on the machine with your inner knees resting against the pads. Squeeze your legs together until the lever arms touch. Return to the starting position and repeat. As machine designs vary, check with a qualified gym instructor on how to use the machine at your facility.
Total Hip Machine
As the name suggests, the total hip machine allows you to perform a variety of hip and glute exercises. By placing the roller pad on the outside, back, front or inside of your thigh, it is possible to work all of your major hip muscles. To target your adductors, raise the level arm to around hip height. Lift your leg and rest your inner thigh on the pad. Push your leg down and across your supporting leg. Reset your position and repeat. Perform the same number of repetitions on each leg.
Ankle weights are used in group exercise classes and are also suitable for home use. Wearing ankle weights makes many body-weight exercises more effective and makes side lying hip adductions more challenging. Lie on your side and move your bottom leg slightly forward of your top leg to create space to move. Keeping your shoulders and hips square, lift your lower leg up toward the ceiling and then lower it back to the floor. On completion of your set, roll over and repeat.
Patrick Dale is an experienced writer who has written for a plethora of international publications. A lecturer and trainer of trainers, he is a contributor to "Ultra-FIT" magazine and has been involved in fitness for more than 22 years. He authored the books "Military Fitness", "Live Long, Live Strong" and "No Gym? No Problem!" and served in the Royal Marines for five years.