The skin and muscles of your inner thighs can be a problematic area when it comes to slimming down. If you want to wear that new bathing suit or mini with confidence you may need to focus on losing that extra flab through some focused strength-training exercises. While spot reduction for a specific area of your body is not possible, practicing a regular overall cardio workout along with some exercises meant to strengthen the muscles of your inner thighs can lead to a sleek, leaner look.
The muscles of your inner thighs are called your adductors. These muscles work to move your leg toward the mid-line of your body. Exercises that focus on this movement tend to help tone these muscles, which include your adductor magnus, adductor longus, adductor brevis, the gracilis and the pectinius.
Cable Hip Adduction
Strength-training exercises such as the cable hip adduction can help tone the adductor muscles when practiced on a regular basis. This particular exercise is performed on a cable pulley machine, available at most gyms. Stand in front of the machine facing to one side. Begin by attaching the cable cuff around the ankle nearest to the machine. Stand with a wide stance and hold onto something with one hand for support. Balance your weight on your free foot and allow the cuffed foot to be pulled toward the machine. Then pull it back just in front of your stable foot. Repeat for eight to 12 reps for each leg.
Dumbbell Side Lunge
The dumbbell side lunge is another exercise that strengthens your inner thigh muscles. Stand with dumbbells in each hand. Step out to the side with one leg, landing on your heel and then your forefoot. You should lower your knee and hip of this leading foot. Push yourself back to a standing position by extending your lead leg and hip. Then alternate and go down on the other side. Repeat for eight to 12 reps.
Overall Cardio and Diet Changes
While strength-training exercises can help target the problem area of your inner thighs, you will need to make adjustments in your overall diet and exercise plan to see real results. Cardio exercise, or aerobic exercise, works your heart and lungs and helps you lose calories. Swimming, biking and running are all great forms of cardio that work your leg muscles and can be performed on days you are not strength training. Try to practice some form of cardio exercise for 20 to 60 minutes two to three times a week. In addition to your new exercise plan, make sure you are eating a balanced and nutritional diet, cutting out extra sugary snacks between meals.
Joelle Dedalus began writing professionally for websites such as PugetSoundMagazine.com in 2009. She received her B.A. in English education at Iowa State University and is currently a M.F.A. candidate in creative nonfiction writing at Emerson College in Boston, where she is developing a manuscript on literary travel. Her areas of expertise include travel and literature, the outdoors and the arts.