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Exercise Swap Out: Inner and Outer Thighs

If there are two machines (or sometimes it is just one machine) that I refuse to use at the gym they are the abductor/adductor machines.

These machines require you to either spread your legs as far as they can from a closed knees position, or start with your legs spread wide open and close them, over and over again. Doesn't get any more suggestive than that, now does it? Both, in my opinion, are pretty embarrassing and I always catch some meat-head (albeit usually my husband) snickering while watching someone use these machines. Plus, I am not even sure these machines do my thighs justice anyway.

Here's the good news: You can still work your inner and outer thighs without succumbing to this highly embarrassing piece of equipment by doing a few sets of a killer Pilates exercise called ronde de jambe (leg circles) where you basically draw a big circle with your leg.
Here's how you do it: Lay on your right side, legs extended and slightly in front of you. Bring your left left leg forward as far as you can. Continue moving your leg, circling it up to the side as close to your ear as possible. Keep circling the leg behind you, lower the leg. Then return to the starting position with the legs together. That is one circle. Now do 4 more, then reverse circling the leg in the other direction for five more reps. Turn onto your left side and repeat with your right leg.

This is a great way to work both your adductor and abductor muscles (inner and outer thigh) Plus it's perfectly G-rated for the gym, even with the meatiest of the meat-heads watching you.


Join The Conversation
hannegee hannegee 8 years
haha, me and my girlfriends call these machines the "yes" and "no" machines! ;)
vitisva vitisva 8 years
I LOVE this machine
silvergirl silvergirl 9 years
I use both of these machines and I have killer thighs and buttocks thanks to them (& the rest of my routine ...) Nothing embarassing for me .... ;-)
nikolem2 nikolem2 9 years
I don't recommend this specific machines because they require you to move your body in a range of motion that is not typical of normal body motion. There's no real reason, unless you're some type of athlete who needs strength in your ad/abductors, to move against heavy resistance in this plane of motion. Because it's so abnormal, you can create imbalance in your body and increase your risk of injury. Your inner and outer thighs should be secondary to the movements that you make, not primary. Standard old squats, lunghes, etc. also target the in/outer thigh in the way they should be used-as supporters to movement.
ilovecandyfloss ilovecandyfloss 9 years
What is the big deal??? You should not be made to feel uncomfortable at your gym. If there are guys gawking at you, SAY SOMETHING for the love of god! I'm sure you girls can think of something to make them feel equally uncomfortable - use your imagination! I personally love using this machine, but I agree that its a great idea to 'aim' them at a wall. Use the cable ab/adductor ropes if you don't like the machine - they're great and require balance too!
Pinkgirl88 Pinkgirl88 9 years
I am sooo happy for this post--- thanks fit!!!!!!!!! I keep saying the inner and outer thigh machine stinks and doesn't do anything!!!
sinsational sinsational 9 years
You can use the string attached to your ankles as well
Iwillmarryunick Iwillmarryunick 9 years
I have no problem with these machines. My gym has them facing a wall you unless you are standing between the machine and the wall you're not going to see anything. I like the machines because I really feel the burn and notice a difference when I am diligent at using them.
bigestivediscuit bigestivediscuit 9 years
Yeah, Susanec made a good suggestion, as you can do a similar exercise standing up, but be careful NOT to "sit in your hip" - that is, lean into tgtthe side/leg that you're standing on, otherwise, you're not working the muscles you're supposed to effectively.
justanotherjane justanotherjane 9 years
I also refuse to use these machines!!! In general machines should be avoided, but this one is the worst! I have no idea why cardio bunnies or older women love to use this machine to "tone" their thighs. It's a waste of time. I'm sorry to be harsh but these things need to be said. Do squats/lunges or pilates/yoga instead. And eat less if you just want smaller thighs.
vegan-musician vegan-musician 9 years
aww, i love those machines! i always wear capris to lift lower body, though, so there's no chance for a peep show!
bizzybee bizzybee 9 years
Yes, I'm having a hard time figuring this out. Fit could you post a video of this exercise?
susanec susanec 9 years
Or you can do standing ballet ronde de jambes, as long as you use decent technique with turn out; targeting your inner thigh not just whipping your leg around straight. Point to the front, then to the back and through reverse after a few with the emphasis on the back to the front.
MaggietheCat MaggietheCat 9 years
Who cares what the men think? My thigh muscles are some of the ones I'm most proud of. I thank these machines. Also, my glutes have been improved by them, too.
JustSomeChick JustSomeChick 9 years
I can't either, fluffyhelen. Lucky for me, I belong to a women's only gym, so I have never felt gawked at for using the thigh machines. I can imagine the discomfort though, if men were present!
sparklestar sparklestar 9 years
I just can't see how to do this in my head. =(
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