Easier said than done, we know, but with these 20 exercises for outer and inner thighs, you can rock the neighborhood pool this summer with confidence and leave the other moms begging to know what your secret is!
1. Intensified Lunges:
Foam rollers are a great piece of equipment to intensify your workout, which is why we love them for this lunge!
- Step 1: In a split stance, place your back foot on top of the roller.
- Step 2: Bend your front knee and extend your back leg out straight as you lower into a lunge, sliding your shin over top of the roller.
- Step 3: Slowly rise up out of the lunge, drawing the roller in towards you as you stand.
2. Spiderwoman Pushups:
We love pushups because of how great they are for our back, shoulders and arm muscles, but with this variation, you'll also love them for the great thigh workout!
- Step 1: Get in pushup position.
- Step 2: Perform a standard pushup, and while your chest is hovering over the floor, lift your left foot, bringing your left knee up to your elbow so your leg is at a 90-degree angle.
- Step 3: Bring your left foot back to the floor and push up to start position. Continue alternating legs each rep.
3. Single Leg Glute Bridge:
When doing this move, keep your raised leg very controlled. This will help to challenge that thigh muscle. Add a pillow or a squishy ball (shown) to increase instability and make this move even more difficult!
- Step 1: Start by sitting down and placing the ball underneath one foot. Lie back with your hands at your sides, then pull the belly button into the spine. Lift the opposite leg straight up over the hip. Once you're braced, squeeze the glutes and lift into your bridge.
- Step 2: Remain in your bridge as your lower the leg. Keep the leg straight and long. You'll want to drop your hips, so squeeze your lats, core and glutes to keep the hips lifted. Imagine the hip of your moving leg as a pivot point or hinge. Everything else remains stable.
4. Squat Step with Resistance Band:
This exercise adds lateral movement to your leg workout to get into the glutes!
- Step 1: Stand with feet a little closer than shoulder-width apart and loop your resistance band around the ankles. Drop to form a squat and keep your weight shifted to your heels.
- Step 2: Step to the side with your right leg until you feel substantial resistance (do not push to a point of pain).
- Step 3: Slide your left foot to meet your right. Then repeat with the other side.
5. Side Star Plank:
While we promised moves that would tone your thighs, this move does WAY more than that. In fact, this plank variation is a total body toner!
- Step 1: Get into side forearm plank position with top hand resting on top of your thigh.
- Step 2: In a controlled movement, raise top leg up as high as you can while staying balanced, and simultaneously extend top arm straight up from shoulder toward ceiling.Return top leg and arm to start position and repeat.
6. Side Plank Super Crunch:
Like the side star plank, this is another total body move. The knee press in this move really forces you to concentrate on your thigh muscles, making it perfect for your bikini bod.
- Step 1: Get into forearm side crunch with your elbow directly underneath your shoulder. Rest your top hand behind your head with elbow pointing to ceiling.
- Step 2: Bring your top leg in with a bended knee pointing toward your top elbow. When bringing your knee in toward your elbow, keep your hips raised and your abs in tight. Return top leg to starting position and repeat.
7. Calf Raise with Donkey Kick:
By lifting your leg up behind you in this plank, you will not only be toning your inner thighs, but really working those glutes too!
- Step 1: Face the seat of a chair. Bend over until your hands can wrap around the side edges of the chair. Pull your left foot up and go to your tip toes on your right foot, keeping a flat back.
- Step 2: Exhale and press the bent leg up like your stamping your foot on the ceiling. Try to get the thigh parallel with the floor. Do this lift without shifting your weight into one side. Keep the hips square to the floor and let the back arch a little. Bring the knee back down, but don't rest! Send back up for another rep! Complete all reps on this side, then repeat on the opposite side.
8. Booty Lift Plank:
Don't let the name fool you. Sure, you're getting a great booty lift in this move, but your thighs will also reap the benefits!
Take a plank and add a little extra oomph with this move! Start in forearm plank position and place your right ankle behind your left. Using your glutes and hamstrings (not your lower back), lift your right leg above your butt. Lower your leg down, resting your right ankle behind your left and repeat. Do 10 reps. Repeat the sequence on other leg.prevnext
9. Weighted Plié Squat:
- Step 1: Hold one dumbbell in front of you and step the feet out into a wide stance. Turn your toes at least 45 degrees. Drop the shoulders from your ears and lift the chest.
- Step 2: Drop your hips down to a plié squat, trying to get the thighs parallel with the floor. Exhale and push out of it to straighten the legs and repeat.
10. Standing Fire Hydrant:
Having to support your body weight on one leg makes this a great move if you really want to feel the burn!
- Step 1: Have a chair or countertop to rest your hands on and use for minimal balance. The standing leg should be slightly bent to protect the knee joint.
- Step 2: Flex the opposite foot and brace the abs as you lift the leg out to the side. Avoid leaning.
- Step 3: Bring the leg back to the starting position and repeat for several reps on the same side before switching.
11. Tip Toe Squats:
Squats are a great move for toning your thighs, so take it up a level – literally! This squat is done on your tip toes!
- Step 1: Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width distance apart, toes pointing out at 45 degrees, hands on your hips.
- Step 2: Bend your knees and lift your heels off the floor while squeezing your butt.
- Step 3: Slowly lower your heels back to the floor and straighten your legs. That is one rep.
12. Wall Sits:
Hopefully this move doesn't trigger too many middle-school gym class flashbacks! If it does, then you'll probably remember the burning you felt in the tops of your thighs; that's exactly what we're going for.
- Step 1: Lean your back against a wall, making sure that your whole back is touching the wall. Your feet should be about two feet from the wall and about shoulder-width apart from each other.
- Step 2: Slowly slide your back down the wall until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Aim for a 90-degree angle. Keep your weight in the heels of your feet and make sure your knees are behind your toes. Keep your back flat against the wall.
13. Plié Squat with Bicep Curl:
Another pumped-up squat, this plié squat is thigh-focused because of the wide leg stance.
- Step 1: Stand with a set of dumbbells hanging in front of you, palms forward, resting on your thighs.
- Step 2: Stand much wider than hip-width apart, with toes turned out to 45 degrees, brace your core, and lower your body as far into a seated position as you can with a straight back. Pause.
- Step 3: Slowly push through your glutes and inner thighs to return to start. That's one rep.
14. Side Leg Lift on Stability Ball:
If you have a stability ball, you've got to try this move. It's a great way to target the thighs and glutes; just remember to keep your movements slow and controlled.
- Step 1: Kneel and lean left hip against a stability ball, right arm bent on top of it, forearm resting on the ball.
- Step 2: Place your right hand on your hip and extend your right leg out to side as high as you can. Hold for 1 count, then lower. That's one rep. Perform all your reps, then, switch sides and repeat.
15. Fire Hydrant:
With a flat back and tight abs, this move will target your abs and glutes in addition to your thighs!
- Step 1: Start on all fours, with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. Keep shoulders and neck relaxed, your core tight.
- Step 2: Keeping your knee bent, raise your right leg out to the side, until your thigh is parallel to the floor, keeping your hips square. Lower your leg back to starting position. That is one rep.
16. Crossover Lunge:
You've done lunges before and those are great for your thighs, but we are here to pump things up!
- Step 1: Stand straight with your feet facing forward.
- Step 2: Step out and cross your lead foot in front of your back foot. This should look like a curtsy. Make sure your knee stays behind your toes. Pause in the lunge and then push yourself back to starting position.
17. Reverse Lunge:
Like the crossover lunge, this is an awesome twist on the traditional lunge. You'll find that doing it backward helps to target your thighs in a whole new way!
- Step 1: Stand with your feet under your hips and a lifted chest.
- Step 2: Step one leg directly behind you at the same width and bend both knees until they form 90-degree angles. Keep your chest lifted and your torso centered over the hips. Try to get your back knee down as low as possible. Exhale and push out of the lunge, bringing the leg back to the other one.
- Step 3: Alternate lunges stepping back with one foot at a time.
18. Lying Leg Lift:
Grab your resistance band and get going! You'll love the burn that the band offers, but you'll love the results even more.
- Step 1: Place a resistance band around your ankles and lie on your right side, supporting your upper body with your right hand and forearm. Extend both legs out, feet flexed. Brace your abs in tight and lift your top leg up to hip height, rotating your leg to turn your toes down to the floor, keeping tension on the band.
- Step 2: Lift your leg slightly higher than hip height, pushing against band, with heel rotated up to the ceiling.
- Step 3: Return to hip height. Repeat.
19. Attitude to Thigh Sweep:
This move will really work the thighs, adding a resistance band makes it even tougher.
- Step 1: Stand with abs engaged, feet hip-width apart, hands on hips.
- Step 2: Shift weight onto right foot, keeping knee slightly bent. Raise left leg out to side, (You'll feel your outer thigh muscle engage).
- Step 3: Sweep left leg to the right, crossing in front of body, feeling your inner thigh engage. Finish reps on one leg and repeat on opposite side.
20. Weighted Leg Circles:
Grab your ankle weights and lay on a mat. Adding the weight will really help you to feel the burn and sculpt the thighs you want!0comments
- Step 1: Lie on your right side, supporting your upper body with your right hand and forearm. Extend both legs out, feet flexed with (or without) ankle weights. Your other leg should be straight and on the floor.
- Step 2: Form circular movements with the raised leg, keeping your core tight. Continue for 1 minute and repeat on opposite side.
Work these moves into your next routine and you'll see the results reflecting back in the eyes of everyone at the pool!prev