Almost everyone has that one body part that just doesn’t seem to respond to exercise. It relentlessly holds on to fat, no matter how many exercises you do to “tighten” it up.
Or so this is how many people think about fat loss anyway.
The biggest problem with this type of thinking, with exercising to target fat loss in specific body parts, is that, simply, that’s not how fat loss works.
Essentially, it’s impossible to target fat loss by doing exercises that target a specific area of the body. So while the following exercises will play a role in strengthening your inner thighs (building muscle is an effective strategy for fat loss, by the way) while also allowing you to burn calories, they won’t magically melt away the fat in that area.
Learn more about you can effectively lose fat: 5 Habits You Must Master to Burn Fat
That said, you can build strength and develop muscle tone in your inner thighs by regularly incorporating the following five moves into your strength training routine.
Sumo Squat + Upright Row
Begin standing tall with your feet pointed slightly outward and slightly wider than hip-width distance apart. Hold a kettlebell or dumbbell in both hands and extend your arms so they fall in front of you. Keep your core tight and your spine neutral as you squat down, sitting back into your heels. As you make your way out of the squat by returning to the starting position, bend your elbows, drawing your hands to your chin to complete the row. Repeat for 8 to 12 reps.
(Note: If desired, you can remove the row portion of the exercise and just perform sumo squats, however by combining both exercises you can burn more calories and the upright row will target muscles in your upper body.)
Single-Leg Split Squat + Hip Abduction
Begin with your left foot placed firmly on a box or step and your right foot on the ground. Squat down and then use your left foot to push yourself up so that your right foot comes off the ground. From here, lift your right leg up and out to your right (technically referred to as a hip abduction) as far as your flexibility allows. With control, slowly lower your right leg back down so that it’s hanging next to your left, then slowly step down and sit back into a squat. Repeat for 8 to 12 reps on each side.
Lateral Curtsy Lunge
Begin in a side lunge with your right knee bent in a 90-degree angle and your left extended outward. Push through your left leg to begin moving towards your left, keeping your left leg planted and drawing your right leg to cross over behind your left, squatting down slightly as you reach the “curtsy” phase of the move. Pause for a beat before reversing the movement and returning to the starting position. Repeat for 8 to 12 reps on each side.
Side-Plank + Hip Abduction
Start in side plank position. Keep your core tight as you slowly lift your top leg towards the ceiling, raising it as far as your felxibility allows. With control, slowly lower your top leg back to the starting position and repeat for 8 to 12 reps on each side.
(Note: You can extend your top arm straight up or place it on your hip. You can also modify this move to make it less challenging by dropping your bottom knee to the floor.)
Side-Plank Toe Taps
Start in side plank position. Keep your core tight as you extend your top leg forward as far as your flexibility allows, tapping the floor in front of you with the tips of your toes (technically referred to as hip flexion). Pause for a beat and then reverse the movement, extending your leg to tap your toes to the floor behind you (technically referred to as hip extension). Repeat for 10 to 20 reps (one tap equals one rep) on each side.