Are you frenemies with the abductor machine and constantly trying to incorporate this thigh exercise into your weekly workouts? Well, stop giving this awkward machine your time; there are more effective exercises that work your outer thighs. Skip straddling the seated machine, and try some weight-bearing exercises like side lunges, lateral band walks, and plié squats for a timely tone-up.
Give regular lunges a rest and try side lunges. Without using equipment, they allow you to work your hips, glutes, and thighs a bit differently than traditional squats and lunges while still targeting the major muscles of the lower body. Here's how to do them:
- Stand with your feet and knees together, hands on your hips.
- Take a large step with your right foot to the right side and lunge toward the floor. Allow your upper body to bend forward, creasing at the hips, not rounding your spine.
- Make sure your right knee does not extend past your toes and keep your left leg relatively straight.
- Push off through your right foot to return to the start to complete one rep.
- Do two sets of 10 reps on each side.
Time to get your Black Swan on and tone your thighs and tush. The plié squat (often known as the sumo squat) will help you create shapely legs. To get the most from this exercise, focus on the inner thigh when doing this move, not the quad.
- Stand with legs wide and toes pointed outward slightly. Hold a pair of dumbbells in your hands with your arms straight and your palms facing down.
- Bend your knees until your knees are over your ankles while raising your arms to just below shoulder height. Arms should be in line with your legs — you should see the weights in your peripheral vision.
- Straighten your legs and lower your arms simultaneously.
- Complete three sets of 15 reps.
For more thigh tone-ups, keep reading!
Lateral Band Walks
For maximum burn and quick results, turn to your fitness band. Lateral band walks tone the glutes on the sides of your pelvis and your tush, too! Plus, strong glute meds help stabilize the pelvis, making this an exercise for runners to try when they're not on the track.
- Place a resistance band just below your knees.
- Begin standing with feet directly underneath your hips, and squat about halfway down.
- Take a step sideways to the right as far as you can. To fully activate the muscle, be sure to step onto your heel, rather than your toes.
- Actively resist the pull of the exercise band as you bring your left leg slowly toward your right, returning to the starting position.
- Step to the right 20 to 30 times, then reverse directions stepping to the left 20 to 30 times; you really want to feel the muscle burn. Repeat for three sets.
When all is said and done, don't forget to give your thighs a good stretch!