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10 Exercises and an Inner Thigh Workout to Tone and Sculpt

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Though many people never think twice about them, your adductors (inner thigh muscles) play essential roles in joint and bone alignment, movement, functionality, and strength (1, 2). 

Most notably, as their name suggests – these muscles serve to adduct your legs, which means to bring them in and toward the midline of your body from the side. For example, if you lunge to the side, it’s precisely your adductors that work hard to bring you back to the starting position.

Beyond that, your adductors (inner thigh) are involved in many activities, including running, squatting, and keeping the lower body stable. Your adductors also play an important role in pelvic stability, spinal alignment, and stability in the knees. 

If you are looking for ideas for other exercises that work the adductors, you can search for exercises by muscle group with the app Hevy.

Hevy – Workout Tracker

Create your own inner thigh workouts with Hevy, and track your progress

Hevy – Workout Tracker

Create your own inner thigh workouts with Hevy, and track your progress – for free

10 Exercises for Inner Thighs

1. Lateral Lunges

Lateral lunges are fantastic for emphasizing your inner thigh muscles because they are forced to work hard to bring you back to the starting position on each rep. Plus, you can overload the exercise with extra weight for greater mechanical tension.

man lateral squat bodyweight inner thigh workout

Muscles trained: Adductors, Hamstrings, Quads, and Glutes
Equipment: none

  1. Stand tall, direct your gaze forward, and take a breath.
  2. Step out laterally with your right foot as comfortably as you can and descend into a lunge.
  3. Descend until your thigh is almost parallel to the floor.
  4. Push through the heel to extend your knee and return to the starting position. Exhale near the end.
  5. Step your left foot out and repeat.
  6. Keep alternating between right and left until you finish.

2. Standing Lateral Leg Slide

This exercise is fantastic for any inner thigh workout because you don’t need any equipment. So long as you have a slick surface, you can make it work.

Muscles trained: Adductors, Hamstrings, Glutes, and Abs
Equipment: Sliding Disk but any slick surface would work

  1. Stand tall with your legs hip width apart. Have your left foot on a surface with good traction and your right one on a sliding disk.
  2. Shift your weight on your left foot as you engage your abs, squeeze your glutes, and extend your arms forward for balance.
  3. Breathe in and slide your right leg laterally as comfortably as you can until you feel a stretch in the inner thigh.
  4. Exhale and bring your leg back to the starting position. 
  5. Once finished, place the disk underneath your other foot and repeat.

3. Single-Leg Glute Bridge

The glute bridge is among the simplest and most -effective exercises you can use to train your hamstrings and glutes. It’s also great for emphasizing the inner thigh muscles (adductors) of your straight leg, especially if you squeeze something such as a foam roller while you do the movement.

man single leg glute bridge inner thigh workout

Muscles trained: Glutes, Hamstrings, Adductors, Quadriceps, Lower Back, and Abs
Equipment: Foam Roller or Ball (for squeezing)

  1. Lie on an exercise mat, extend your legs, and have your arms to your sides.
  2. Bend one knee and place the foot flat on the floor. 
  3. Optional: Place a foam roller or squishy ball between your lower thighs.
  4. Engage your abs, take a breath, and push through the heels to raise your hips off the floor. At the same time, raise your straight leg off the floor and in the direction of your hips.
  5. Lower yourself, exhaling on the way down.
  6. Once finished, repeat with your other foot.

4. Cossack Squat

The Cossack squat highlights the abductor as you squat to the side and forces the opposite adductor to work hard and return you to the starting position.

Muscles trained: Quads, Adductors, Abductors, Hamstrings, Glutes, and Abs
Equipment: none

  1. Stand tall and position your feet wider than shoulder level with your toes pointing forward.
  2. Bring your shoulders back, engage your abs, and take a breath.
  3. Shift to the left and descend into a squat as deep as your hip mobility would allow.
  4. Push through your left heel to rise to stand and exhale
  5. Shift to the right and do another squat.
  6. Keep alternating between left and right.

5. Barbell Back Squat

While most people consider the back squat a pure quadricep exercise, it’s also great for your inner thigh workouts. In addition, squats are fantastic for strengthening our adductors, and research shows a significant growth in as little as ten weeks (3).

man barbell squat inner thigh workout

Muscles trained: Quadriceps, Glutes, Hamstrings, Adductors, Abductors, Back, Abs, Shoulders, and Chest
Equipment: Squat Rack or Stand, Barbell, and Weight Plates

  1. Set the barbell at collarbone height, and grab it with an even overhand grip. Your hand position should be slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  2. Tuck under the bar and place it on your upper traps.
  3. Tighten your body and extend your knees to unrack the bar.
  4. Take a couple of steps back, bring your chest out, and take a breath.
  5. Descend into a squat and go down as much as possible – ideally until your thighs are parallel with the floor.
  6. Push through your heels and squat back up, exhaling near the top.

Hevy – Workout Tracker

Create your own inner thigh workouts with Hevy, and track your progress

Hevy – Workout Tracker

Create your own inner thigh workouts with Hevy, and track your progress – for free

6. Scissor Legs Plank

This exercise is great because it forces your entire core to work hard, strengthens your adductors, improves your balance, and requires equipment.

Muscles trained: Abs, Entire Back, Arms, Chest, Shoulders, Glutes, Hamstrings, and Adductors
Equipment: Sliding Disks but any slick surface would work

  1. Get down on the floor and place a pair of sliding disks underneath your feet.
  2. Move your upper body forward and transition into an elbow plank position. Position your elbows directly underneath your shoulders. Have your shoulders, hips, and ankles in a straight line—this is your starting position.
  3. Take a breath, make sure you’ve engaged your abs, and slowly bring one leg out until you feel an inner thigh stretch. Keep the other leg stationary.
  4. Slide it back in, leaving a few inches of distance in between, and exhale.
  5. Repeat the motion with your other leg.
  6. Keep alternating sliding them out and in for as long as you can.

7. Side Step-Ups

The classic step-up is fantastic for your quadriceps and glutes. However, this variation is slightly different and allows you to emphasize your adductors since it forces inward leg movement.

Muscles trained: Quads, Glutes, Hamstrings, Adductors, and Abs
Equipment: Box, Stool, Chair, or Steps

  1. Stand next to a plyo box or stool with your right side facing it.
  2. Take a breath, extend your right leg and place your foot on top of the object, leaving some space for your left foot.
  3. Push through your right heel to raise yourself and place your left foot next to the right.
  4. Exhale as you bring your left foot back to the floor. Repeat the movement however many times you wish.
  5. Once finished, rotate and do the same thing for your left side.

8. Adductor Machine Squeezes

Using the adductor machine is a fantastic way to isolate and strengthen the inner thigh area. The reason for this is because of the significant range of motion and good overloading potential.

Muscles trained: Adductors and Glutes
Equipment: Adductor Machine

  1. Adjust the weight on the machine and place the pads in a position that allows you to place your inner thighs on them.
  2. Sit down, place the pads on your inner thighs, just over your knees, and grab the handles for stability.
  3. Take a breath and squeeze the pads in with your thighs.
  4. Once together, return the pads to the starting position, exhaling near the end.

9. Sumo Deadlifts

Thanks to the stance and foot position, the sumo deadlift puts our adductors at a mechanical advantage, allowing them to contribute more during hip and knee extension (4).

man sumo deadlift barbell inner thigh workout

Muscles trained: Quads, Hamstrings, Glutes, Adductors, Arms, Back, Chest, and Shoulders
Equipment: Barbell and Weight Plates

  1. Stand over the barbell with a wide stance and toes pointed slightly out. Your shins should be a couple of inches from the barbell.
  2. As you bend forward and grab the bar with an even overhand grip at shoulder level
  3. Bring your chest out and straighten your back. This stance will create a solid pulling position and bring the bar against your shins.
  4. Take a breath and pull as you dig your heels into the floor and engage your quads to extend your knees. Near the top, raise your hips to finish the lift. The barbell should go up in a straight line.
  5. Slowly bring the barbell back to the floor as you exhale.

10. Stability Ball Hamstring Squeeze

This movement is excellent for activating the adductors and forcing them to work hard from start to finish. As an added benefit, we also get to train our hamstrings and glutes.

Muscles trained: Hamstrings, Glutes, Adductors, and Lower Back
Equipment: Stability Ball

  1. Place a stability ball between your legs and lie on the floor with your face down.
  2. Squeeze the ball hard between your lower legs and place your forearms flat on the floor for balance.
  3. Take a breath and lift your legs toward the ceiling without bending your knees. At the same time, keep squeezing the ball.
  4. Lower your legs to the floor, exhale, and repeat.

The Best Inner Thigh Workout for Toned Legs 

Since no muscle truly works in isolation, we’ve designed the below two workouts in a way to allow for your adductors to work with other muscles. Most notably, this means your hamstrings and quadriceps. We can improve the adductors’ strength, functionality, and resilience while teaching them to be team players.

The below two workouts feature several engaging exercises that emphasize your adductors in unique ways and through various planes and ranges of motion. We recommend doing both of these workouts together – for example, workout A on Monday and workout B on Thursday.

Remember that your legs will get a lot of work from these workouts, so you don’t need to do much else for optimal growth. Other than some calve-specific exercises.

Inner Thigh Workout

This workout is a healthy blend of exercises that allow you to emphasize your adductors but also help you develop your glutes, hamstrings, and quads. The best part is you won’t need any special equipment for the exercises, apart from the rack, barbell, and weights you need for back squatting.

  • Barbell Back Squats – 3-4 sets of 6 to 10 reps
  • Lateral Lunges – 3 sets of 16 to 30 reps (total)
  • Single-Leg Glute Bridge – 3 sets of 10 to 25 reps (per side)
  • Scissor Legs Plank – 2-3 sets of 5 to 20 reps

Click here to find and log this workout inner thigh workout on the Hevy app.


We’ve covered a lot of information today, so let’s do a quick recap:

  • Though many people choose to focus on other seemingly more important muscle groups, our adductors play a considerable role in our functionality, longevity, and athletic ability. 
  • There are many ways to put together effective and fun inner thigh workouts. So long as you make a conscious effort, you can pick from a wide range of fantastic inner thigh exercises and put together routines.
  • Exercises for inner thighs come in different shapes and sizes. Some are simple and require no equipment; others are complex and simultaneously train multiple muscle groups. Both types of exercises have their place in your training.
  • You can dedicate an entire workout for your inner thighs each week, similar to the ‘best inner thigh workout’ above. Another option that can work great is to add some adductor-specific work when training your legs. These workouts are beneficial if you’re particularly busy and can’t make it to the gym that often.

Hevy – Workout Tracker

Create your own inner thigh workouts with Hevy, and track your progress

Hevy – Workout Tracker

Create your own inner thigh workouts with Hevy, and track your progress – for free

Related Articles:
Develop a Shelf Butt: 2 Upper Glute Workouts and 10 Upper Glute Exercises
Top 15 Gluteus Minimus Activation Exercises
Best Leg Workouts and Exercises for a Strong Lower Body

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. What are the best exercises for inner thighs?

There isn’t a selection of several ‘best’ exercises for your inner thighs. It mostly comes down to your preferences and which activities allow you to stimulate and overload your inner thighs safely.

2. What workouts are best to burn inner thigh fat? 

There aren’t any. Losing inner thigh fat comes down to losing fat from your entire body, establishing a calorie deficit by eating well, and exercising regularly (5, 6).

3. Can you work out your inner thighs at home? 

Absolutely. As you saw above, there are plenty of fantastic adductor exercises, many of which require minimal to no equipment.

4. Best machine inner thigh workout? 

The hip adductor machine is excellent, and you can use it for fantastic inner thigh workouts. But you don’t have to limit yourself to it alone because there is plenty of bodyweight and free-weight exercises you can use.

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