Training your inner thighs is an absolute must for getting those highly coveted shapely thighs. This is because a large portion of overall thigh mass is located in the inner region. A muscle known as the adductor magnus makes up the majority of this muscle mass. Performing simple exercises will certainly build this muscle but, to best increase its mass and bring out its shape, you must use a specific rep range.
The large adductor magnus is made up of two parts -- front and rear -- both of which work function as hip adductors. Confused by the term? Well try this. Sit with your legs apart and grab the inside of your thighs. Now bring your legs close together and you will feel your adductor magnus in action. You will also feel the other adductor muscles working the inner thigh region. These muscles, albeit smaller than the adductor magnus, are the adductor longus, adductor brevis, gracilis and pectineus. If the anatomy and muscle names seem overwhelming, remember this: There are several smaller muscles that come into play when you bring your legs together.
If you want to build the best set of inner thighs, you will need access to two specific resistance machines: the standing hip adduction machine and seated hip adduction machine. When using these machines, you basically put each thigh against the machine pads and bring them toward the center of your body. Easy enough.
If you don't have access to the resistance training machines, you can perform alternate exercises using free weights. The best two exercises for the inner thighs are the sumo squat and the sumo deadlift. Don't let the word "sumo" frighten you -- it simply refers to the wide stance you must have during execution of each exercise, which is similar to the wide stance utilized by sumo practitioners. So, no, those exercises won't give you sumo thighs, in case you were concerned. During the execution of those two exercises, there is a good deal of involvement of the inner thighs as you bring your legs closer together during each upward phase.
Optimal Rep Range
To best pack on lean mass to your inner thighs, and thus bring out that shapelier thigh look, you must do eight to 12 repetitions per set, and three sets per exercise. This is an optimal rep range and set number for muscle-building. During each inner thigh workout, doing two to three exercises for the hip adductors will suffice.
Richard Choueiri is a fitness and nutrition expert and the author of "The Human Statue Workout." He began writing professionally in 2007 and his work has been featured in Bodybuilding.com and "Physique Magazine." Choueiri studied exercise science and nutritional science at Rutgers University. He holds an American College of Sports Medicine CPT, and a National Exercise and Sports Trainers Association CMMACC.