This simple and effective exercise hits those hard-to-reach muscles of the hips and thighs and can be done anywhere and anytime.
The muscles of the inner and outer thigh can become hard to reach because of how inactive they become after years of sitting and not moving enough. Keep in mind, even if you are an athlete, there are still tasks in your life that involve sitting, such as attending school and driving your car. So don’t think you’re exempt just because you regularly hit the gym. In fact, you may want to pay special attention to this exercise.
If this exercise is done properly, it can be very effective at improving strength in the hips and preventing pain and injury further down the line. And those are benefits we’d all be happy to earn.
How to Strengthen Hard-to-Reach Muscles in the Hips And Thighs
To get in position for both these exercises:
- Lie on your side with your body in a straight line. Your hips should be stacked and legs straight and stacked on top of each other.
- Rest your head on your hand and brace yourself with the other arm, placing your palm flat on the floor.
To work the inner thigh:
- Bend the top leg, and place your foot flat on the floor in front of your thigh. (You can use an exercise mat for traction to anchor the top foot.)
- Raise the bottom leg 3-4 inches off the floor and then lower it back down. Keep your thigh tight and foot flexed back.
- Do this for 20 reps.
To work the outer thigh:
- Stay on the same side and re-stack your legs in the straight position.
- Bend the knee of the bottom leg, forming a 90-degree angle with that leg behind you.
- Make sure your knees are stacked on top of each other.
- Hold the top leg straight, with your thigh tight and your foot flexed back.
- Raise and lower the top leg for 20 reps.
Once you’ve worked both the inner and outer thigh on that first side of your body, flip to the other side and repeat 20 reps of the inner thigh and 20 reps of the outer thigh.
20 reps of the inner thigh and 20 reps of the outer thigh on both legs counts as one full set. Build up to doing a total of three sets.
Tips for outer thighs:
- Don’t roll your hips back to lift the top leg really high. The point isn’t to go as high as you can, but to use the right muscles.
- Keep the heel slightly higher than the toes. Heel pointing to the ceiling, foot flexed and thigh tight.
Tips for inner thighs:
- Don’t bend the knee to go higher.
- Don’t overly use the top foot to push into the floor for leverage.
- Don’t rock your upper body to initiate the movement. Keep your upper body relaxed, and keep your head and shoulders in line with your body.
When to do this:
- Sneak this one in on your living room floor when watching TV or add it to your regular workout routine.