We don’t often think about our inner thigh muscles in everyday life. Sure, we think about how our abs look, or if our arms have gotten stronger. We think about our quads and glutes when we take a few too many stairs. But our inner thighs? Not really.
But these smaller muscles make a big difference, and that’s why we love to focus on them in Pilates!
All about the inner thighs
Your inner thigh muscles are actually five different muscles: the gracilis, pectineus, adductor brevis, adductor longus, and adductor magnus. They start at the pelvis and extend down the length of the femur (the thigh bone).
Your adductors are a lot more important than you might think.
Strong inner thigh muscles:
- Support your core and pelvis
- Support and lessen the load on your hip flexors, IT bands, and quads
- Improve balance
- Stabilize the leg for a healthy stride
- Enable lateral (side-to-side) movements, like lunging and side-stepping
- Support the knees
- Improve mobility
- Help recruit core engagement for movement and posture
These muscles work overtime to support your body, which is why we make sure to exercise the inner thighs.
Our favorite inner thigh exercises
While we always have variety in our classes, we also have our old favorites. Keep an eye out for these inner thigh exercises in your next class!
- Leg Circles: This feet-in-straps exercise involves lying on your back, legs extended, and making controlled circles with one leg at a time while attached to the reformer springs. Leg circles engage the inner thighs while improving hip mobility and stability.
- Frog Press: During feet-in-straps series, the frog press exercise targets the inner thighs as you press the carriage out and then draw it back in using the resistance provided by the springs. This exercise strengthens the inner thighs and engages the glutes and core.
- Inner Thigh Slides: Standing on the reformer, this exercise involves pressing the carriage out and then bringing it back in using your inner thigh strength. Side splits work the inner and outer thighs, as well as the stabilizing muscles in the core and hips.
- Kneeling Inner Thigh Slides: like the inner thigh slides, but switching it up for variety! The kneeling inner thigh slides strengthen the thigh muscles, as well as other stabilizing muscles in the core and hips. Kneeling inner thighs is also great for hip mobility and flexibility.
“Adductors are usually a weak and underused muscle group. Training them contributes to hip strength and hip mobility which helps with injury prevention!” – RTR Instructor Regina
See the results for yourself!
With more than 300 classes/week across 5 studio locations, RTR Pilates has classes for every level and lifestyle.