The muscles of your inner thighs can be trained in two ways, lifting and squeezing. The inner thighs, or adductors, are part of your core muscles that work to stabilize your trunk. They adduct and externally rotate your hip joint, which means to bring the legs and hips closer to the midline of your body and turn them outwards. Any exercise that brings your leg up and toward and across the center of your body will work your adductors.
Inner Thigh Lift
The simplest of the inner thigh lift exercises is the inner thigh lift exercise. This exercise is done lying sideways on the floor so you can raise your bottom leg upwards toward the ceiling by contracting the adductors. Gravity provides the force for you to lift against in this exercise. Simply lie on your side with your legs straight, bend your top leg and place that foot on the floor in front of you, and then lift the bottom leg about three to six inches off the floor. Your hips remain still thanks to your core muscles. It is easier to roll backwards, but that will change the exercise. Repeat lying on the other side.
Inner Thigh Circles
A classic Pilates exercise from the Side Kick series is called inner thigh circles. It is performed with inner thigh lifts to work the adductors. The starting position is done from a side-lying position on the floor. Begin on your right side with your head supported by your hand and your upper body propped up by your forearm. The right leg is straight on the floor and the left leg is crossed over it as in the previous exercise. Use your left arm to hold onto the lower portion of your left leg around the outside of the calf. Then, lift your right leg into the air and circle the leg forward, up toward the ceiling and then backward. The leg remains straight throughout the exercise with the foot pointed.
Inner Thigh Climb
The inner thigh climb exercise is done on stairs, but you could substitute an inclined treadmill or a stair climber machine as long as you feel that you can easily maintain your balance on the machines. The exercise utilizes the inner thighs to lift your legs to climb stairs sideways. All you need to do is walk sideways up a flight of stairs, holding the railing for balance. Place one foot on a step and then lift the other leg up and across your body to step onto the next highest step. Turn around and use a rail or wall for balance so that you can walk up the stairs with the opposite leg doing the cross-over movement to work that inner thigh.
About this Author
Sarka-Jonae Miller has been a freelance writer and editor since graduating cum laude from Syracuse University in 2003. She was a personal trainer for four years with certifications from AFAA and NASM. Miller also worked at 24 Hour Fitness, LA Fitness and as a mobile trainer. Her career in the fitness industry begin in 2000 as a martial arts, yoga and group exercise instructor.