best thigh

The inner thighs are a tough area to target, but it’s essential if you want your legs to be strong, lean, and powerful. The good news is that you don’t need much more than your own body weight to keep them toned.

We asked Kusha Karvandi, CPT, a San Diego-based conditioning specialist and founder of Exerscribe for his best moves for your inner thighs.

Transverse Lunge

Lunges are at the core of a good thigh workout, and this is a great place to start. You don’t need any equipment at all to get moving:

  • Start with your feet together.
  • Step out sideways with your right leg and bend your right knee, pushing your body down through the hips and heels.  Keep your left leg straight throughout the move.
  • Step back to center, then repeat with the left leg.

That’s one rep. Try to do three sets of 10 to 15 if you’re a beginner. Work up to longer sets as you get stronger.

Ice Skaters

Build a little cardio into your thigh workout with ice skaters. You might feel less graceful than Tara Lipinski while you’re doing them, but they get the job done:

  • Start with your feet together.
  • Jump wide to the right with your right foot. Let your left follow. Extend your arms to the left as you jump.
  • From where you landed, jump wide with your left foot and let your right follow. Extend your arms to the right.

Try to do these for about a minute per set, and do three sets.

Lateral Slide Board Glides

Slide boards are a lot of fun, and most gyms have them. You can even build one yourself! Once you’re all set up, this is going to look a lot like the ice skater move you did earlier:

  • Start with your feet together to one side of the board.
  • Raise your right foot, and push it out to the right.
  • Slide all the way across the slide board, leading with your right foot. Try to keep your upper body still.
  • When you get to the other side of the slide board, start again, only this time use your left foot.

This exercise, like the ice skaters you did earlier, combines cardio with strength, so try to do this for about a minute per set, and do three sets.

Side Lunge

This one might seem similar to the transverse lunge, but you’re focusing on a slightly different set of muscles:

  • Start with your feet together, facing away from a wall.
  • With your buttocks aimed slightly toward the wall, step out wide with your right leg, making sure that your knee doesn’t track above your ankle.  
  • Return to the center for one rep.
  • Alternate with the left leg.

You can make this more difficult by not putting your foot down between reps. Try to do three sets of 15 on each side.

Side Step Up

If you have a step up bench, great! If not, you can do this on your stairs or with some other raised platform. The higher the step, the tougher the exercise.

  • Start with both feet on the platform.
  • Step your left foot down to the ground and into a squat while leaving the right foot on the bench.
  • Push back up to the start for one rep.

Try to do three sets of 10 to 15 on each side. You can hold hand weights or a kettlebell in your hands for some extra weight, but this exercise is effective without it, too!

All those lunges will leave you feeling tired, but strong. Make sure not to overexert yourself, because a leg injury can sideline you for quite some time. .  Avoid strength training the same muscle group two days in a row. Prevent overtraining by building in at least one rest day every week, and by combining strength training with cardio exercises, stretching, and a balanced diet.