Looking for more ways to work your thighs than endless squat and lunge variations? It’s your lucky day. While you may already know spot toning doesn’t really work, you can turn to certain moves that target your inner and outer thighs for some extra TLC.
These creative moves, work your thighs in ways you didn’t know were possible. (But don’t psych yourself out—while they may look fancy, they’re actually simpler than you think.) As you’ll notice, the rep count for each move is pretty high since it’s designed to completely fatigue the muscles on each leg. (This is also why you won’t be switching sides after each exercise.)
You can do all the moves using only your body weight but be sure to squeeze legs, glutes, and abs to create your own resistance. Otherwise, step it up a notch with a resistance band for the outer thigh moves and ankle weights for the inner thigh moves. And go slow: If you fake it by rushing the reps and kicking your legs around, you won’t see results.
Start by lying on your left side and complete the prescribed number of reps for the outer thigh moves targeting the right leg. Then complete all the moves for the inner thighs targeting the left leg. Repeat all moves on the opposite side. For best results, add these moves onto a cardio workout and repeat up to 5 times per week.
Top 4 Moves for Outer Thighs:
1. Two Pumps:
- Lie on your left side, supporting head with the left hand, left leg bent, right leg extended, core tight, and right hip stacked directly on top of the left hip.
- Flex right foot and lift toward the ceiling: one pump to lift halfway up, one more pump to lift as high as possible.
- Lower in two distinct movements.
- Do not allow hips to fall back, which would mean you’re not engaging your core.
- Do 30 reps per leg.
Related article: What Exercises Can I Do To Love My Lower Body? This No Squats Belly, Butt & Thighs Workout Is For You
2. Check Mark:
- Start in the same position, lying on your left side.
- Point right toes and bring right knee in front of navel, squeezing abs.
- Extend the right leg on a diagonal as far as possible.
- Do 20 reps per leg.
Related article: Why Can’t I Tone My Inner Thighs Without Weights? You Can With This 8 Move Lower Body Workout
3. Up and Over:
- From the same starting position as above, push up onto the left forearm.
- Extend the right leg, point toes, and move the leg from front to back as if you were drawing an arch up and over the left leg.
- Your goal: Get your right leg as perpendicular to your torso as possible at the front of the arch.
- Do 20 reps.
Related article: Try These Leg Exercises That Include Only Your Bodyweight To Sculpt And Shape Your Thighs
4. The Burner:
- Starting in the same position as above, bend right knee to chest with right foot flexed, engaging abs and right obliques.
- Touch your right hand to the ground behind you for added balance.
- Now point right foot and extend the leg, bringing the right hand back to front.
- Next squeeze glutes and bend right knee, bringing heel toward butt.
- Repeat the entire sequence 20 times.
Related article: 10 Fat Blasting Home Exercises For Sexy Tighter Thinner Thighs
Top 4 Moves for Inner Thighs:
1. Single Sweep:
- Grab your ankle weights.
- From the same starting position lying on your left side, bend your right knee and place your right foot on the ground behind the left leg.
- Now flex the left foot and lift the leg as much as possible, then lower until the foot is 2 to 3 inches off the ground.
- Do 25 reps.
Related article: Inner & Outer Thighs Workout: Tone Your Thighs With These 6 Moves
2. Heel Press:
- From the same position, lift left leg 2 to 3 inches off the ground.
- Flex left foot, draw left knee toward chest, crunch abs, then press heel away, extending left leg without letting it touch the ground.
- Do 25 reps.
Related article: 6 Calisthenics Home Exercises That’ll Work Your Abs Butt & Thighs
- From the same position, raise your left leg 2 to 3 inches off the floor and flex your foot.
- Bring left knee toward chest while engaging abs.
- Then extend the left leg in front of you, so the leg is perpendicular to the torso, forming an L.
- Bend knee back to crunch position, then push heel away, extending hip to return to starting position.
- Do 20 reps.
Related article: Firm Your Butt and Smooth Your Thighs In Less Than 5 Minutes a Day With 10 Moves That Target Cellulite
4. Dancer Lift:
- This doubles as an abs move.
- From the same position, point both feet and lift your right leg high toward the ceiling.
- With the right hand, hold thigh, calf, or heel, depending on flexibility (avoid holding back of the knee to protect your joints!).
- Brace core and draw the straight left leg up to meet the right leg.
- Slowly lower left leg with control.
- Do 20 reps.