Best Inner Thigh Exercises that Reach Those Hard Targets

Explore effective inner thigh exercises in our blog to tone those hard-to-reach areas. Start your targeted workout journey today!
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Nothing beats feeling pumped up after crushing your leg day! Surely, you don’t skip out on giving your quads, hamstrings, and calves a beast-like workout. But there might be a certain muscle group you’re completely forgetting about, yet it can make your performance miles better, in addition to keeping you safe. With that said, prepare to find out all there is to know about the best inner thigh exercises!

Surprisingly, inner thigh muscles are often brushed off, even though they are pivotal in building stronger, defined, and resilient legs. Also known as the adductor muscles, they are responsible for stabilizing the hips and thighs, all the while helping you make the most explosive thrusts. However, one of the greatest things about this muscle group is the fact that they keep you safe from injury when performing athletic movements. And what’s best is that this is only the beginning! With our suggestions for the best inner thigh exercises, prepare your gym game to be stronger than ever!

Performing inner thigh exercises at the gym or home can even help you with lifting heavier weights, as the adductors can absorb a lot of stress from the cutting and rotational movements. Are you excited for your next leg day? We know we are! Let’s take a look at this amazing muscle group and what you can do to make it stronger than ever. 

What Are Inner Thigh Muscles?

The inner thighs consist of five adductor muscles that start at the pelvis and extend throughout the thigh bone. These are gracilis, pectineus, adductor brevis, adductor longus, and adductor magnus. 

1. Gracilis

As the most medial of the inner thigh muscles, the gracilis adducts the thigh at the hip and flexes the knee at the leg. With that in mind, it plays a pivotal role in flexing and rotating the upper parts of the leg. 

2. Pectineus

Although short, the pectineus muscle makes all the difference. Namely, it supports the flexion and adduction of the hips. 

3. Adductor Longus

Partially covering the adductor brevis and magnus, this flat triangular muscle is the most anterior of the group and is responsible for adducting the thigh. 

4. Adductor Brevis

This muscle sits underneath the adductor longus, supporting adduction in hip flexion. This is also the shortest of all adductor muscles, positioned amid the anterior and posterior sections of the obturator nerve.

5. Adductor Magnus

As the name suggests, this is the largest of all the adductors, and it works alongside the hamstrings to perform hip flexion.

Finally, the obturator externus also plays a part in thigh adduction, even though it’s not “officially” included in the five adductor muscles. Still, it supports their motion, contributing to the inner thighs’ correct function. Boasting a triangular shape, the obturator externus is positioned in the hip joint and assists in the lateral rotation of the thighs.

Also Read: How to Perfectly Execute The Straight-Arm Pulldown?

Benefits Of Strong Inner Thigh Muscles

Even though they’re not “mindfully” targeted by gymgoers, doing inner thigh exercises for men offers countless benefits that directly support your performance and growth. Here are some of the most notable ones.

1. Preventing Injury

As previously mentioned, the adductor muscles support the pelvis and protect the knees. As the outer thigh muscles contribute to rotating your legs outward, the inner counterparts keep the balance as they do the opposite, i.e., inward rotation. By not performing some of the best inner thigh exercises, your legs might cave, placing quite a heavy load on your knees. Moreover, weak muscles can also lead to groin strain, which can put you out of the gym for quite a long time, and we’re sure this is the last thing you want!

Also Read: Best Exercises for a Smaller Waist 

2. Heavier Lifts

No matter if you are seasoned or a beginner, lifting heavier weights is always rewarding. But opting for inner thigh toning workouts is a must to give yourself more power and momentum. The abovementioned adductors keep the legs balanced, distributing the weight evenly. With this, they provide more stability, allowing you to lift heavier loads in the long run. Moreover, they can help you achieve the perfect form, which can increase the weight you’re able to move.

3. Balance

It’s all about balance, and strong inner thigh muscles can help you achieve that! Although it doesn’t feel like we’re doing anything while we’re standing, our muscles and joints work like a well-oiled machine to keep us stable and balanced. However, when a certain muscle group is weak, it can take quite a big toll on your body, specifically on your posture. Since adductor muscles keep your legs in line and affect the position of your hips, they can directly influence the spine, keeping your posture ideal.

Also Read: Know All You Need About the Bane Workout

4. Cardio Improvement

In some cases, you may also find inner thigh exercises at the gym to help you out with your cardio sessions. As they’re linked with the anterior movement of the thighs, which is mostly seen when riding a bike or jogging, they can assist with keeping your body balanced, thus providing more energy. In turn, this can make your running or cycling sessions more powerful and efficient.

Best Inner Thigh Exercises

By now, you probably realize you should give your adductors the same amount of love as you give your quads and hamstrings! For that reason, we’ve rounded up some of the best inner thigh exercises to include in your leg day routine. Conveniently, you don’t need a gym environment to perform many of them. You can do inner thigh exercises at home as they don’t require special equipment, which is incredibly useful on those days when you need to squeeze in a quick workout in your busy schedule.

Also Read: Isometric Vs Isotonic Exercises 

1. Forward Lunge

Although forward lunges mostly focus on your quads and glutes, they are also great for targeting your inner thighs. You can do countless variations with only your body weight, but if you’re looking for a more challenging approach, you can even include dumbbells as well. Alternatively, you can even perform forward lunges with a barbell across your shoulders, but ensure you’re fully stable throughout the whole movement. Controlled balance and stability are key!

2. Sumo Squats

Can you imagine doing leg day without a series of squats? We doubt it! Since our target for today is the inner thighs, consider adding sumo squats to your rotation. Its wide stance directly affects the adductors, and since they’re a compound exercise, you’ll also be working your glutes, hamstrings, and quads.

Also Read: Ultimate Pull Day Workout 

3. Lateral Lunges

We cannot emphasize enough how important it is to be properly stretched before you begin your workouts - and even afterward. Lateral lunges can provide just that, in addition to strengthening the inner thighs. Moreover, if you feel like one side of the body is weaker than the other, you can use this exercise to correct muscle imbalances. Much like the forward counterpart, lateral lunges are performed with your body weight, but you’re free to use additional weights as well.

4. Narrow Squat w/ Pilates Ball

Even though it appears rather gentle at first glance, you have no idea just how powerful this exercise truly is! By placing a Pilates ball between your thighs, the adductors are “prompted” to squeeze as hard as possible to keep the ball in place. In turn, this makes the muscles that much stronger!

5. Prayer Squats

We simply can’t think of a reason why you should do this inner thigh exercise at the gym! Another squat variant, prayer squats, aren’t as dynamic compared to the rest, but they provide a deep stretch in your hips, thus increasing their range of motion. Still, if this feels a bit easy for you, use a kettlebell for added resistance and strength-building potential.

Also Read: Straight Leg Deadlift & Alternatives

6. Curtsy Lunge

As the most “proper” addition to our best inner thigh exercise, the curtsy lunge not only targets your glutes but it also stabilizes your inner thighs. You don’t need any additional weight to perform this lunge variation as it’s rather powerful, but if you’re up to the challenge, perform it with either a barbell or dumbbell.

7. Scissor Legs Plank

Keeping your core engaged is pivotal if you want to maximize your performance! In this case, scissor legs plank mainly targets the adductors, and their in-and-out movement also causes your arms, chest, core, and glutes to burn up!

8. Side Leg Raises

Side leg raises are ideal for those who experience limited mobility, but with a slight adjustment, they can be turned into demanding full-on leg exercises. Typically, you need a soft ground, which is why you can do this inner thigh exercise at home. However, add a resistance band just below the knees to make it slightly more difficult.

9. Lateral Lunge Slides

Instead of going down, this exercise is all about the slide! This lunge variation improves strength and coordination throughout the entire lower body, in addition to increasing hip flexibility and mobility. Just don’t let the heel of the foot lose contact with the ground while doing them!

10. Clamshells

Similarly to leg raises, the clamshells work even more to target the glutes, resulting in the stabilization of the pelvis. Additionally, this exercise also provides balance to the lower body, especially if you add a resistance band below the knees. Ensure you have the appropriate space to do them, as you’ll be lying on your side.

Also Read: Sissy Squats - The Full Guide

11. Side-Lying Double Leg Lift

If you’ve experienced a groin injury in your fitness journey, consider this as the best inner thigh exercise for you! Side-lying double deadlifts are also ideal for people who are just starting out at the gym, as they’re pretty easy to learn and can be done practically anywhere!

12. Cossack Squat

Even seasoned gym rats sometimes confuse the cossack squat with lateral lunges due to the almost identical form. However, this squat variation requires a slightly different muscle engagement and movement as it is much more dynamic. Lastly, consider using a kettlebell for even more resistance.

13. Reverse Lunge to Single-Leg Deadlift

Ever noticed how you can keep your balance better on one leg as opposed to the other? This is commonly observed in fencers as they have one dominant leg, and because they need to do repetitive and dynamic movements, they’re more prone to injuries. For that reason, they use a specific lunge movement that helps keep them safe.

Interestingly enough, this also happens to common gymgoers, meaning you might experience this imbalance. To fix it, you should perform the reverse lunge to single-leg deadlift, considered one of the best inner thigh exercises. This combo will help you improve your “weaker” leg stability.

14. Copenhagen Plank

The Copenhagen plank is undoubtedly one of the best moments for the adductors, though it is a bit more challenging compared to other plank variants. Since you need a sturdy surface like a bench, perform this inner thigh exercise at the gym.

Also Read: Donkey Kicks - The Full Guide

15. Jefferson Squat

This inner thigh exercise for men features an ideal compound move that activates the adductors and engages your hamstrings. Additionally, if you’re suffering from lower back stress, the Jefferson squat can provide relief as it activates the core and legs.

16. Step-Ups

If you want to improve your balance, especially when holding heavy weights, consider implementing step-ups into your routine. The claves, quads, and hamstrings work together during this exercise to enhance your stabilization. Add ankle weights or hold dumbbells by your sides to make it slightly more difficult.

17. Cable Hip Adductors

Aiming for bigger thighs? Then, performing hip adductions is a must! The inner thighs take center stage when doing this isolation movement, with the glutes acting behind the scenes. You can even intensify this inner thigh exercise at the gym by increasing the weight on the cable machine. Alternatively, use resistance bands instead if you’re working out at home.

Over to You

There you have it - these are some of the best inner thigh exercises that will not only make your legs more powerful but will enhance your pelvic muscles as well as your balance. As you can see, you can choose from plenty of options, so you’ll find no trouble keeping your routine varied.

As always, if you want to discover even more fitness tips and excellent exercises, read the rest of our blogs!