Inner Thigh Strengthening Exercises
The inner thighs are composed of several muscles, including the hip adductors, vastus medialis, sartorius, and gracilis. You can strengthen these muscles by performing certain exercises under resistance from free weight equipment or exercise machines. For each exercise you do, perform 10 to 12 repetitions. This rep range is effective for increase muscular strength along with muscle mass.
The hip adductor muscle group comprises four muscles in the inner thigh region: adductor longus, adductor brevis, adductor magnus anterior head, and adductor magnus posterior head. The adductor longus and adductor brevis are the smallest of the hip adductors, the two heads of the adductor magnus are the largest. All four of these muscles function to adduct the hip, so as to bring the thigh towards the midline of the body. You can work the hip adductors using the seated machine hip adduction and the stand machine hip adduction. You can also work the adductor magnus with the wide stance squat, the wide stance deadlift, and the wide stance leg press. Furthermore, you can target the adductor magnus posterior head with the straight-leg deadlift and the hyperextension.
The vastus medialis is one of four quadriceps muscles, the others being the vastus lateralis, vastus intermedius, and rectus femoris. The vastus medialis extends across the inner thigh region. It functions as an extensor of the knee, along with the other three quadriceps muscles. You can work the quadriceps by doing the squat, the deadlift, the lunge, the leg press, and the leg extension. To emphasize the vastus medialis, you should use a wide stance when doing knee extending exercises. These exercises include the wide stance squat, the wide stance deadlift, and the wide stance leg press.
The gracilis is a muscle that extends down the inner thigh. Its main function is hip adduction. It also assists during flexion of the knee. The gracilis can also be considered a muscle of the hip adductor muscle group. You can work the gracilis by doing the standing and seated machine hip adduction, and the standing, seated, and lying leg curl.
The sartorius is a muscle that extends from the hip down and across the thigh. A small portion of the sartorius lies in the inner lower thigh region. This muscle mainly functions to flex the hip. It also assists during knee flexion, similar to the gracilis. You work the sartorius by doing the hanging straight-leg raise, hanging bent-knee raise, the standing leg curl, the seated leg curl, and the lying leg curl.
Richard Choueiri is a fitness and nutrition expert and the author of "The Human Statue Workout." He began writing professionally in 2007 and his work has been featured in Bodybuilding.com and "Physique Magazine." Choueiri studied exercise science and nutritional science at Rutgers University. He holds an American College of Sports Medicine CPT, and a National Exercise and Sports Trainers Association CMMACC.