If you’re trying to tone your jiggly thighs or create a thigh gap, then the hip adduction exercises below are for you.
Unlike hip abduction exercises which improve the strength and stability in your hip muscles, hip adduction exercises specifically target your inner thighs. And best of all, you can do hip adduction exercises at home, the park, in the office, or anywhere. You don’t need to go to the gym!
Hip adduction exercises include:
- Goblet Squats
- Jumping Jacks
- Dumbbell Side Lunges
- Sumo Squats
- Lateral Squats
- Cossack Squats
- Barbell Back Squats
Goblet squats target your hip adductors (the muscles in your inner thigh) by using several lower body muscles at once. The wide starting stance engages your hip adductors and the movement lets you feel the exercise work your thighs from start to finish.
If you need more intensity, wear a weighted vest or hold a kettlebell. If you need less intensity, use a squat machine.
- Stand with your feet hip-distance apart and your feet slightly turned out.
- Hold a dumbbell on one end with both hands.
- Lower yourself down into a squat as low as you can go.
- Pause for two to three seconds.
- Push through your feet to stand back up.
Bringing your legs together and apart targets your hip adductors while working your thighs. Aside from being a thigh-toning hip adduction exercise, jumping jacks get your heart pumping helping you burn more calories than a sedated exercise.
- Stand with your legs together, slightly bending your knees, and your hands resting on your thighs.
- Jump your feet outside of your hips, land on the balls of your feet, and raise your arms overhead.
- Jump your feet back to the starting position while bringing your arms back down by your sides.
Pro-tip: To make jumping jacks more challenging, try cross-legged jacks or squat jacks.
Dumbbell Side Lunges
The dumbbell side lunge works in the front plane of motion to strengthen and tone your inner thighs. As an added bonus, the individual leg movement helps you improve your balance in each leg.
- Stand with your feet together and hold a dumbbell in each hand.
- Take a wide step with your left leg to the side of you and lower yourself into a lunge.
- Push off your left foot while keeping your right foot on the ground to return to the starting position.
The jumping pattern that creates the skating stride increases your leg power as well as tones and targets the jiggly part of your inner thighs making skaters hip adduction exercises and a cardio workout combo. You’ll also find an improvement in your strength, speed, and flexibility after adding these to your routines.
- Stand with your feet together, your toes pointed forward, and your arms by your side.
- Take a wide “skate” step (or jump) with your left foot to the left side. Your right foot should be lifted off the ground and behind your right ankle.
- Now jump to your right side and land with your right foot. Your left foot should be lifted off the ground behind your right ankle.
Since you start sumo squats with a wide stance, you specifically target and engage your inner thigh muscles making the sumo squat an elite and easy-to-do hip adduction exercise. To perfect your form or make these squats easier to do, you can use a squat machine.
- Stand with your feet wider than hip-width apart and your toes pointing out to the sides.
- Push your hips back and lower yourself into a squat position. Your thighs should be parallel to the ground.
- Push up with your legs while squeezing your inner thighs to straighten your legs and go back to the starting position.
Clamshells work to strengthen and shape your inner thigh muscles by keeping your body in a stable position and hyper focusing on them. As an added bonus, clamshells strengthen your hips and stabilize your pelvic muscles.
- Lay on your side and make sure your head, hips, and heels are in a line. Put your fingertips on the floor in front of you to help stabilize your body.
- Bend your knees in front of you.
- Keep your feet glued together and float your top knee up to your hip, then lower back down.
- Repeat on the opposite side when you finish all the reps.
Pro-tip: If you need more of a challenge, add resistance loop bands.
Lateral squats target your hip adductors while also challenging your core strength and stability. This reduces any side-to-side muscle imbalances you may have while also improving your athletic skills. Lateral squats can be modified to make them easier by using supports like TRX handles or more challenging by holding a free weight by your side.
- Stand with your feet together.
- Extend both of your arms in front of you or clasp your hands together in front of your chest.
- With your right foot, step out to the right about 2-3 feet.
- Bend your right knee and lower yourself into a squat. Your left leg should remain straight.
- Press through your right foot to return to the starting position.
- Repeat on the other side.
When you do Cossack squats, your squatting leg is challenged while you are bending at the hip, knee, and ankle. At the same time, the hip adductors in your other leg are being engaged and stretched. The side-to-side movement works out any imbalances you may have while sculpting your thighs.
- Stand with your feet wider than shoulder width apart with your arms relaxed at your sides and your toes slightly pointed out.
- Shift your weight over your right leg, bend at the right knee, and lower your hips down. Your left leg should stay completely straight.
- As you lower yourself, lift your toes on your left foot up and point them towards the ceiling. You should be resting on the heel of your left foot now.
- Pause, then return to the start position by driving through your right foot.
Barbell Back Squats
Barbell back squats take your workout to the next level by increasing the tension on your thigh muscles. You’ll feel the burn as you go and down, and you can control the difficulty/intensity by changing the weight on the barbell.
- Stand with your feet shoulder width apart with a slight bend in your knees.
- Place a barbell behind your neck and just over your traps. Your hands should be on the bar at a comfortable distance.
- Keeping your back straight, Lower yourself into the squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
- Pause for a second and squeeze your leg muscles.
- Slowly raise yourself back up to the starting position
These nine hip adductor exercises are the perfect additions to your leg day routine. They’ll help remove cellulite, get the thigh gap you desire, and build strength for everyday activities and sports.