Best Inner Thigh Workouts for Stronger Legs

Side view of a curly-haired sporty African American young woman doing the seated leg press
Your thigh muscles are stabilizing muscles that aid in hip and thigh alignment to align with the whole body. You need the best inner thigh exercises for more muscular legs when you want to have strong thigh muscles.

The inner (upper) thigh muscles are known as adductors and are attached to the thigh bone (femur bone) on the inside of the thigh.

These muscles extend to the sit bones, or ischial tuberosity (lower part of your pelvis). Your sit bones absorb the weight when you’re sitting.

The adductor muscles are a group of inner thigh muscles, including the pectineus, adductor magnus, gracilis, adductor brevis, and adductor longus.

The main goal of inner thigh exercises is to strengthen these muscles, improving coordination and balance.

Weighted leg exercises and bodyweight exercises are the best inner thigh workouts because they target the adductor muscles of the inner thighs.

When dealing with inner thigh strength, workouts are more effective when using resistance bands, kettlebells, or dumbbells.

Further benefits of inner thigh muscle exercises extend to the outer thighs, glutes, quads, hips, and the whole lower body.

The 2 Best Inner Thigh Strength Workouts

When you want the best inner thigh exercises for stronger legs, here are three to consider:

1. Curtsy Lunges

The curtsy lunge targets your lower body and core muscles as a bodyweight exercise.

  • Starting position: Stand with your back straight and your feet shoulder-length apart.
  • With your hands on your waist, roll back your shoulders, and activate your core.
  • Lift your right leg, placing it diagonally behind your left leg.
  • Bend both knees and start lowering your body.
  • Return to the starting position and put your right and left feet together.
  • Lift your left foot, placing it diagonally behind your right leg.
  • Bend your knees and start lowering your boy.
  • Return to the starting position and put your left and right feet together.
  • It completes one full repetition.
  • Perform two sets of 10 repetitions.

This exercise targets your hip flexors, quads, hamstrings, and adductors.

Woman demonstrating curtsy lunge starting position and lunge position

2. Skater Jumps

This plyometric exercise is similar to side lunges, only more intense. These are for high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts.

  • Starting position: Stand upright.
  • Shift your weight to your left leg while bending your left knee to lower the hips just a few inches, and raise your right foot off the floor.
  • Bound to your right side by pushing off with your left leg.
  • Softly land on your right leg and let your left leg cross behind your body.
  • In the same direction, your arms should be swinging across your body.
  • Stop for a second, then repeat this on the other side.
  • Keep jumping side to side using these movements.
  • Perform between 2 and 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions on each side.

Since this exercise engages the quads, glutes, and calves, you will achieve stronger inner and outer thighs, lose thigh fat, and enjoy stronger glutes.

4 Top Inner Thigh Workout Fagan Recommended

The Sumo Squat is one of Silvan Fagan’s top recommendations for upper thigh strength. Fagan is the owner of Strong with Silvan in Baltimore, Maryland.

Fagan recommends using an exercise mat for comfort and a moderate-to-heavy dumbbell for these inner thigh workouts.

1. The Sumo Squat

  • Starting position: With your feet placed widely apart, turn your toes to the 10:00 and 2:00 positions.
  • Get a dumbbell to get additional resistance.
  • Keep your chest high and bend your knees.
  • Keep your knees pointed out over your toes.
  • As you’re coming out of the sumo squat, clinch your inner thighs, glutes, and abdominals.
  • Perform two sets of 12 to 15 repetitions.

group of women in gym performing the sumo squat

2. The Side-Lying Inner Thigh Raise

  • Starting position: Lie on either side, legs straight, and placed atop each other.
  • Your forearm should be flat on the exercise mat or supported by your torso.
  • Cross the top leg over the bottom leg as you bend your knee. Your top foot should be in front of your bottom knee.
  • Lift the top leg up in a controlled and slow motion, keeping your torso stable.
  • Return to the starting point.
  • It completes one repetition.
  • Perform 15 to 20 repetitions on each side.

Be sure to activate your core to protect your back and keep it straight during this exercise. Side leg raises work the hips, thighs, and glutes, whether lying down or standing to do them.

3. The Lateral Lunge

  • Starting position: Stand with both feet together, hands by your sides. If you want a challenge, hold a dumbbell across your chest.
  • Take a large step to the right (around 2 feet).
  • With your foot on the floor, hinge forward from the hips, push your rear back, and bend your knee to get down into the lunge.
  • Stop for a second, then push off the left leg and return to your starting position. That’s one repetition.
  • Perform 12 to 15 repetitions on each side.

This exercise is a compound exercise because it works your inner thighs, quads, and glutes while providing a challenge to your balance and core.

4. The Inverted Thigh Opener

  • Starting position: Lie on your back, knees bent, with your feet flat on the exercise mat (floor).
  • Lift your right leg while keeping your thighs touching, and stretch your leg toward the ceiling.
  • Gradually lower the right leg to the right as far as possible, keeping your lower back and hips flat on the mat.
  • Bring your leg back to the starting position. That is one repetition.
  • Do as many repetitions as you can on each side.

While this exercise targets the inner thigh muscles, it also engages the outer thighs. Keep your core engaged, your hips square, and your back flat on the mat throughout the repetition.

Fagan recommends grouping exercises into Supersets for maximum effect. Superset 1 includes the sumo squat and the side-lying inner thigh raise, and Superset 2 includes the lateral lunge and inverted thigh opener.

The 2 Best Quick Inner Thigh Workout

When time is a factor, you need quick thigh exercises that are also effective. The inner thigh blaster is that exercise. This exercise may be small, but it’s powerful. You will need a pillow or small exercise ball for this one.

1. Inner Thigh Blaster

  • Starting position: Stand forearm’s length from a countertop or sturdy chair. You can perform this exercise without that support if you can do it.
  • Hold onto the chair or countertop lightly with your right hand.
  • Place your feet hip-width apart with your toes pointed forward.
  • Place your small pillow or ball between the inner thighs.
  • Put your hands on your hips, raise your heels, and balance on the balls of your feet.
  • Bend your knees, lowering yourself by about one inch (like sliding down a wall).
  • Press your thighs together into the ball or pillow while maintaining straight shoulders directly over the hips and ankles.
  • You should engage your core.
  • Lift your hips while squeezing the ball: lower one inch and repeat.
  • Perform 30 repetitions on each side.

It also makes a great leg workout as it strengthens the thighs, calves, hips, and core.

2. Goblet Squats

Goblet squats are workouts that offer an intense inner thigh fat exercise that engages several lower body muscles. You will need a dumbbell or kettlebell for this exercise and plenty of space to move.

  • Starting position: Stand with your feet a little wider than hip-length apart.
  • Angle your toes somewhat outward. With a kettlebell in each hand, grip the handles like you would a goblet, one hand on each side of the handles.
  • Bend your elbows to position the goblet at the center of your chest.
  • Activate your core and look straight ahead.
  • Push your hips back and start bending your knees to go into the squat, inhaling through the movement.
  • Press through your heels, then reverse the squat back to the starting position, exhaling in the movement.
  • Perform between 3 and 5 sets of 10 to 20 repetitions, according to your ability, without overdoing it.

The benefits of goblet squats extend to the upper and lower inner thighs, quads, and glutes.

Man and woman in gym doing goblet squats

The 2 Best Leg Exercises for Outer Thighs

1. The Standing Hip Abduction

You can do hip abduction exercises seated, lying, or standing. It is a standing outer thigh muscles exercise. This leg exercise also challenges your core and stabilizes your body.

  • Starting position: Stand with your feet hip-length apart. Raise one foot off the mat and lift it to a 45-degree angle.
  • Return your foot to the mat.
  • Perform 8 to 12 repetitions in three sets on both sides.

A looped resistance band around your ankles will be more challenging. You can wear ankle weights for more strengthening instead of using a resistance band.

2. The Fire Hydrant

The fire hydrant workout requires no special equipment, though an exercise mat provides comfort.

  • Starting position: Get on your hands and knees, wrists directly under your shoulders, and your knees hip distance apart.
  • Raise one leg up and out to the side until it’s hip-level, keeping the other knee bent.
  • Return to the starting position.
  • Repeat the process on the other side.
  • Perform 1 to 2 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions for starters, then increase as you get stronger.

You will be primarily engaging your hips and glutes and your thighs and core.

Woman doing the fire hydrant exercise

The 2 Best Exercises for Flabby Inner Thighs

Flabby thighs are a common condition that happens as we age. It can also occur when one loses a lot of weight. Either way, you need exercise to reduce that flab and have sexier thighs.

1. The Clamshell

This exercise is pretty easy, but it makes a big difference in flabby thighs.

  • Starting position: Lie on your side with your knees slightly bent and your ankle and feet together.
  • Bring your lower leg up and upper leg down, keeping your feet together.
  • Open and close your legs in this position while you keep your feet together.
  • Control your legs during this exercise to tighten your inner thigh muscles.
  • Do 3 sets of 12 repetitions.

2. Side Lunges

Side lunges are an effective lower body workout that works your inner thighs.

  • Starting position: Stand with legs slightly wider than shoulder distance apart and toes pointed forward.
  • Shift your body weight to one leg by bending your knee until it achieves a 90-degree angle while keeping the other leg straight.
  • Return to the starting position and do the same for the other side.
  • 45 seconds of side lunges are ample for beginners. Increase your reps gradually as you get stronger.

Side lunges work your glutes and help to tone your booty.

Young man doing a side lunge on a yoga mat in his living room

The 2 Best Leg Workouts for Strong Inner Thighs

1. The Seated Leg Press

The seated leg press requires a leg press machine to perform. These instructions are beginner level.

  • Starting position: Lying on your back on the leg press machine.
  • Inhale, engage your abs, pushing the leg platform away using your feet.
  • Keep your heels flat on the footplate.
  • Exhale as you extend your legs, keeping your back and head flat on the seat pad.
  • Perform this slowly with control.
  • Stop for a second at the top, but don’t lock or bow your knees.
  • Return the footplate to its starting position as you inhale.
  • Start with 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

While this exercise develops strong quadriceps, it builds your glutes, calves, and hamstrings.

2. The Standing Hamstring Curl

The standing hamstring curl is also called a leg curl. It’s a bodyweight exercise. It is easy enough for beginners.

  • Starting position: Stand with your feet hip-distance apart with your hands on a chair if you need balance or your waist if you don’t.
  • Shift your weight to one side, on the left or right leg.
  • Bend the opposite knee, bringing it as close to your booty as possible. Maintain parallel thighs.
  • Lower your foot slowly.
  • Repeat on the other side.
  • Perform 12 to 15 repetitions for each side.

This exercise is ideal for your hamstrings, inner thighs, outer thighs, glutes, and core and improves leg strength and balance.

The Benefits of Inner Thigh Workouts

There are three primary benefits to adding inner thigh workouts to your routine.

Foundational Strength Building

The muscles in your inner thighs and quads are responsible for stability and balance in your lower body. Adding leg workouts will build strength in the leg muscles, stabilizing your body for other exercise practices like yoga, strength training, and pilates.

Improve Athletic Performance

Having lower body strength and stability is efficient for jogging, running, and walking. Stabilization in your hips for side-to-side exercises and squatting is crucial to proper form and avoiding injury. Building your inner thighs with strong muscles raises your heart rate for a dynamic cardio workout.

Total Joint Wellness

Performing inner thigh workouts promotes joint health, especially in the knees and hips. Your inner thigh muscles extend through the quads, which connect to the knees and hips. It provides further support to your joints. Inner thigh workouts give your lower body more strength and stability, improve your range of motion, and help you avoid injury.

Woman in sports gear doing a side leg raise

Safety Tips for Inner Thigh Workouts

It’s important to take care when you’re stretching or exercising, so here are some safety tips to consider when you’re performing inner thigh exercises:

  • Don’t push yourself beyond your limits: Your body will let you know your limits, so listen to it. While you should expect some discomfort, you shouldn’t feel sharp or sudden pains during exercise.
  • Remember to breathe: The act of breathing during exercises and stretches aids in the relaxation of the muscles, which allows you to hold stretches or positions longer.
  • Don’t bounce: Avoid quick, jerky, bouncy, or explosive movements when stretching or performing controlled inner thigh exercises. You could end up tearing muscles.
  • Start slowly: Avoid trying to do too much, too fast. Start with a couple of exercises and stretches, and add more as you get more flexible, mobile, and strong.

If you experience anything abnormal during or after inner thigh exercises, please see your doctor and make sure there haven’t been any tears or fractures from your workouts.


Whether you want to close your thigh gap, enhance your lower body strength, or get leaner thighs, inner thigh workouts can make that happen!

Knowing the safety precautions is wise, whether you’re working your inner thighs at home or the gym. You will have some expert support from trainers who can help you with proper form at the gym.

Overall, inner thigh workouts work multiple muscle groups that strengthen and stabilize your hips, legs, knees, and entire lower body. Remember, your lower body is the foundation that takes the brunt of your activities. So, treat your roots right, and the rest of you will grow and prosper!

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