10 Best Inner Thigh Exercises for Stronger & Leaner Legs

Christiana Mikesch, CPT
Published by Christiana Mikesch, CPT | Senior Coach
Last updated: November 23, 2023
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The inner thigh is a complex of multiple muscles, but the most important are the adductor longus, brevis, and magnus.

Implementing appropriate exercise can significantly change the look of your inner thighs, make you look more attractive, and even lose inner thigh fat.

Based on my firsthand experience and 15 hours of research, I compiled a list of the best inner thigh exercises to help you develop adductors and the rest of the thigh muscles.

After reading the article, you will have sufficient knowledge to implement these exercises into your daily workout regime.

Quick Summary

  • The best inner thigh exercises include lateral lunge, stability ball hamstring squeeze, supported single-leg deadlift, reverse lunge, sumo squat, and more.
  • One of the best benefits of regular inner thigh workouts is improved balance and dynamic stability during complex and unilateral movements.
  • The best way to lose inner thigh fat is to follow an appropriate inner thigh workout regime, a healthy diet plan, and effective supplementation.

10 Best Inner Thigh Exercises

A person exercising her inner thigh

My fitness team and I tested all inner thigh exercises on the list to ensure you complete every workout injury-free.

Most of the exercises are beginner-friendly and can be performed by people of both genders and different age groups.

We provided clear and easy-to-follow instructions for every exercise to ensure proper technique, which always leads to better results and less chance of injury.

Below you may find the 10 best exercises for developing inner thigh muscles and losing inner thigh fat.

1. Lateral Lunge

A person doing lateral lunges - one of the best inner thigh exercise

Lateral lunge is a compound exercise following a lunge movement pattern and working in the frontal plane.

Lateral lunge will effectively target your inner thigh muscles and develop additional lower body muscles such as the glutes, hamstring, and quadriceps.

How to Perform Lateral Lunges:

  1. Pick an appropriately sized kettlebell and assume a standing position, feet hip-width.
  2. Your back should be flat, your chest lifted, and the kettlebell should be in the goblet position.
  3. Start the exercise by lunging laterally with your left leg until your reach a half-squat position.
  4. You should stop lowering your body when your left thigh reaches parallel to the ground.
  5. After your thigh reaches parallel to the ground, reverse the motion to return to the starting position.
  6. Repeat for 8 reps before changing the leg.

Also Read: Lunge Alternatives for Bad Knees

2. Stability Ball Hamstring Squeeze

The stability ball hamstring squeeze is another excellent exercise targeting most of your inner thigh muscles.

It is considered a beginner exercise since it is performed on the ground without much stabilization, like in the normal standing stance.

How to Perform a Stability Ball Hamstring Squeeze:

  1. Assume a lying position on your stomach with your knees and hips fully extended.
  2. Place the ball between your right and left foot. You may place the ball between the right and left knee or between the ankles.
  3. Put your hands under your head with elbows bent over 90 degrees and shoulders abducted for 90 degrees.
  4. Start the exercise by extending your lower body from the ground toward the ceiling and squeezing the ball at the end range of motion.
  5. Slowly lower the ball back to the floor and repeat the whole process.
  6. Repeat for 8 reps.

3. Supported Single-Leg Deadlift

A person in the gym doing a supported single leg deadlift

Supported single-leg deadlift is a regressed version of a standing single-leg deadlift.

You ensure greater stability by placing the foot behind the floor, but your adductors will work less than the unsupported single-leg deadlift.

How to Perform a Supported Single-Leg Deadlift:

  1. Pick one appropriately sized dumbbell or kettlebell.
  2. Assume a standing position with your leg slightly backward behind your body to create a semi-split stance.
  3. Keep the back flat and your knees slightly bent throughout the whole exercise.
  4. Start the exercise by bending your torso forward without lifting the left leg from the floor.
  5. When the kettlebell reaches just below the level of your knees, reverse the motion to return to the starting position.
  6. Repeat for 6 reps before switching legs.

Also Read: Conventional vs Sumo Deadlift

4. Reverse Lunge

The reverse lunge is a compound exercise following a lunge movement pattern and is mainly performed in the sagittal plane.

It will effectively target your glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, and adductors.

How to Perform Reverse Lunges:

  1. Assume a standing position, feet hip-width apart, holding two dumbbells.
  2. Start the exercise by lunging backward with your right leg and keeping your back flat.
  3. When your right knee comes close to the floor, reverse the motion and return to the standing position.
  4. Repeat for 8 reps before switching legs.

Also Read: How to Do Lateral Lunges like a Pro

5. Sumo Squat

A person doing a sumo squat

Sumo squat is my favorite inner thigh exercise because it is easy to progress due to the availability to use heavier weights.

How to Perform a Sumo Squat:

  1. Assume a standing position is wider than shoulder-width apart.
  2. Start the exercise by lowering your body towards the ground until your thighs parallel the ground.
  3. Hold the bottom position for one second and reverse the motion to return to the starting position.
  4. Repeat for 8 repetitions.

6. Resistance Band Lateral Step-Out Squat

The resistance band lateral step-out squat is a harder version of the lateral lunge and bodyweight exercise.

It targets the same muscles as the lateral lunge and bodyweight squat but is harder at the end range of motion due to the pull of the resistance band.

How to Perform a Resistance Band Lateral Step-Out Squat:

  1. Assume a standing position slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and place the resistance band above your knees.
  2. Start the exercise by stepping out to your right and performing a deep squat.
  3. Stand up and return to the starting position when your thighs parallel the ground.
  4. Repeat for 10 repetitions.

7. Jumping Jacks

A person doing jumping jacks

Jumping jacks are a basic bodyweight exercise that will target most of your adductor muscles and can also serve as a fat burning cardio exercise.

How to Perform Jumping Jacks:

  1. Assume a standing position shoulder width apart and keep your hands fully extended near your body.
  2. Start the exercise by simultaneously jumping and spreading your legs in the frontal plane.
  3. While in the air, abduct your hands towards the overhead position.
  4. Reverse the motion by jumping, pulling your legs towards the starting stance, and adducting your hands to the anatomical position.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

8. Bulgarian Split Squat

Bulgarian split squat is among the most advanced unilateral exercises excellent for developing dynamic stability and muscles such as the glutes, hams, quads, and thighs [1].

How to Perform a Bulgarian Split Squat:

  1. Assume a standing position and pick two appropriately sized dumbbells.
  2. Place your left foot back on the box so your right foot remains in contact with the ground.
  3. Start the exercise by lowering to the split squat position where your thighs are parallel to the ground.
  4. Hold that position for one second and return to the starting position.
  5. Repeat for 6 reps before switching legs.

9. Isometric Squat

A person doing an isometric squat

The isometric squat is a variation of a regular bodyweight squat. It targets specific fibers of your quads, hams, glutes, and thighs.

How to Perform an Isometric Squat:

  1. Assume a standing position a little wider than hip-width apart.
  2. Start the exercise by lowering yourself to the squat position until your thighs parallel the ground.
  3. Hold that position for 30 seconds.
  4. Repeat for the desired number of sets.

10. Single-Leg Deadlift

Single-leg deadlift follows the hinge movement pattern and is one of the hardest inner thigh exercises.

How to Perform a Single-Leg Deadlift:

  1. Assume standing on your right leg while keeping the left leg on the ground.
  2. Keep your back flat and slightly bend your right knee.
  3. Bend your torso forward until your hands reach below the knees.
  4. Reverse the motion to return to the starting position.
  5. Repeat single-leg deadlift for the desired amount of reps.

Benefits of Inner-Thigh Exercises

A man with buff inner thighs

The most notable benefit of inner thigh exercises is dynamic stabilization.

This is important for athletes with great running and jumping in their sports and who want to minimize adductor muscle strains [2].

However, some studies suggest inner thigh development is associated with improved functional tasks [3].

This is especially important for older adults and people with movement difficulties.

"Adductor muscles help with explosive hip movements, and most importantly, can assist with injury prevention when performing athletic-type movements."
- Tyler DiGiovanni, Certified Personal Trainer


How Can I Tone My Inner Thighs Fast?

You can tone your inner thighs fast by doing sumo squats. Sumo squats enable you to use heavy resistance while also ensuring to target your adductor muscles.

To target your inner thighs, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and lift your left leg, placing your left foot on your right inner thigh, using your body weight for resistance.

Can Flabby Inner Thighs Be Toned?

Yes, flabby inner thighs can be toned. You can tone your flabby inner thighs by implementing thigh exercises into your workout and following an appropriate diet plan.

For an effective inner thigh exercise, incorporate targeted thigh workout into your lower body routine, and pay attention to your left knee to avoid strain while engaging the outer thighs.

Does Walking Tone Your Inner Thighs?

Yes, walking tones your inner thighs. However, running is much more effective at toning your inner thighs because the one-legged nature of running forces adductor muscles to work as dynamic stabilizers.


  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6709890/
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34631242/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8551702/
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