How to Do Exercises for the Inner Thigh

Medically Reviewed by Poonam Sachdev on June 29, 2022
5 min read

Inner thigh workouts are important for both men and women. These exercises focus on the muscles that bring your thighs together, called your adductors. 

To work out your inner thighs, you can try many different strengthening exercises. Some involve resistance bands and other equipment, but you can do a lot of them anywhere at any time. 

Your thighs occupy the upper half of your legs — from your knees up to your hips. The inner thigh is the central-facing side of your thigh. Your inner thighs face one another. They’re opposite your outer thighs, which face the outside edges of your body.  

 Your inner thigh muscles are called your adductors. Your adductors include five muscles, the: 

  • Gracilis
  • Obturator externus
  • Adductor brevis
  • Adductor longus
  • Adductor magnus

It’s important for everyone to work out their inner thigh muscles. Exercises that strengthen your inner thighs also build muscle and help shape your legs. Your inner thigh muscles need to be strong to help you: 

  • Maintain your balance
  • Align your hips and legs
  • Rotate your hips and legs

On top of that, research indicates that strength training of all of your muscles can slow down bone loss and prevent conditions like osteoporosis and certain types of arthritis. Many inner thigh exercises can benefit other aspects of your fitness too — like your core strength and the strength of your pelvic muscles.

Most inner thigh workouts can be adapted to suit anyone, from expert to beginner. Many of them can accommodate people with health conditions that restrict their ability to exercise. The inner thigh workout that’s best for you will depend on these factors and more. 

You need to make sure that you’re maintaining proper form while doing all of these exercises. Thigh muscle injuries are common, particularly: 

Don’t overtax yourself. Stop your workout if you feel any exceptional strain or pain while performing these exercises. Also, remember to breathe steadily throughout your exercise routine. 

The simplest inner thigh exercises don’t require any special equipment. Examples include the:

  • Supine inner thigh lift
  • Standing inner thigh lift
  • Plié walk
  • Criss-cross plié jump

Supine inner thigh lift. To perform this move, lay on your back with your hands out to your sides for balance. Start with your legs straight up in the air, forming about a 90° angle at your hips. Your feet should be flexed. 

Keep your left leg raised while you slowly extend your right leg out to the side. Keep going until you feel your left hip rising up from the ground. Then raise your right leg back up to the top. Squeeze your legs together for a moment before repeating the motion. Make sure to press energy out from your heels to keep both legs engaged throughout the motion. 

Repeat this move for 15 repetitions, then switch legs. 

Standing inner thigh lift. Stand on your left leg with your right leg pointing out to the side. Your right toes should just rest on the ground. Bend your right knee and lift your leg up and across your middle, toward your left hand. Touch your left hand to your right heel or ankle and then lower your leg back to the start position. Make sure to lead with your inner thigh. Repeat this motion 15 times, then switch legs.  

Plié walk. Stand with your feet wide apart and your knees and toes pointing outward. Lower yourself into a squatting position with your spine straight and chest lifted. Then, leading with your right foot, stay in your squat position and take two steps forward and two steps back. Continue the movement for 30 seconds, then rest and repeat for an additional 30 seconds. 

Criss-cross plié jump. Start with your feet wide apart and your knee and toes pointing outward. Lower yourself into a squat, then jump up and land in an upright plié position — with your right leg crossed in front of your left leg. Jump again and land with your left leg crossed in front. Jump again to land back in your initial wide squat position. Continue these jumps for 30 to 60 seconds.  

You can do a lot of inner thigh exercises with a resistance band. A band is a flexible piece of gym equipment that should fit around your legs. It provides added resistance and increases the effectiveness of your exercises. 

Examples of inner thigh exercises that can be done with bands include banded squats and banded side leg lifts. These exercises can also be done without the band. 

Banded squatsStart in a standing position with your legs just a bit wider than your shoulders, your toes pointing slightly outward, and your arms at your sides. The band should rest just above your knees. Bend your knees while pushing your hips back into a seated position. Continue until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Then slowly raise yourself back up to the starting position. Keep your back straight throughout. Repeat this motion for 45 seconds. 

Banded side leg lifts. Lay on your right side with your legs atop one another and the band around your ankles. Rest your head on your right palm and keep your left arm flat in front of you for stability. Keep your core tight and lift your left leg about three feet into the air. Then lower your leg back to the starting position. Repeat this motion for 45 seconds, then switch to lying on your left side. 

All inner thigh exercises work out additional parts of your body. Some of them specifically address your pelvic floor too. These types of exercise come with added benefits because a strong pelvic floor is important for bladder control. Urine can leak out between bathroom breaks if your pelvic floor muscles are weak

One exercise that works both your inner thighs and your pelvic floor muscles requires a chair and a medium-sized ball. To perform this exercise, you need to start in a seated position with the ball between your legs, just above your knees. Then roll your knees inward — toward each other — and push your heels outward. 

Lift your pelvic floor muscles up and in while you tighten your legs around the ball. Hold this position while you count to 10. Relax into the starting position for another count of 10.

For maximal effect, repeat this move for five minutes two to three times a day.