I'd like to work on my inner thigh strength! I love to run and do plenty of hamstring and quadricep exercises, but I realize I slack off when it comes to inner and outer thighs. I love to use the hip and inner thigh machines (I forget what they are called, but the very common ones where you sit and use your legs to push the parts inward or outward) when I go to the gym, but I often just go to my gym at my apartment, where they don't have these machines.
I love how my legs look and they don't jiggle or have fat I am looking to get rid of; I'm doing it for the strength. I get kneecap pain near the inner part of the knee and think gaining some inner thigh strength will help balance it out, since runner's knee is most often caused by muscle imbalance. I have a new routine for my outer legs that I've been doing, so now it's just figuring out a good one for inner legs.
I'd appreciate any new ideas for when there isn't gym equipment! I remember doing these leg criss crosses in a class before, but they feel a bit easy. Maybe I'll try using some ankle weights to make it more challenging. I also used to do pilates pretty often and might start up again in addition to my running and take a break from weight lifting. Do any of you know if pilates is recommended for this? I remember particular exercises working this area.
There is one inner thigh exercise I do which seems to help. It is a leg lift, one leg at a time, with the foot turned slightly outward. Here is how it is done.
Lie on your back with your legs stretched out in front, toes pointing to the sky. Prop your upper body up on your elbows. Turn your right foot slightly to the right (about 2 o'clock since you're starting from a 12 o'clock position.) Lift your right foot slowly as high as you can go then lower slowly. Repeat until fatigued, then stretch leg out and straighten foot so toes point to sky. Go on to left leg, turning left foot slightly to the left. Repeat the slow up and down movements with the left leg until fatigued.
If you get a little shaking with your legs while lifting and lowering, you're doing it correctly.
Thanks! That is a great idea. I bet you can even add ankle weights if it gets easier with time. I remember doing a similar exercise in a pilates video, only they laid on their sides and lifted their legs up.
Another variation, from a standing position, is to loop a stretch band under a chair leg (a heavy chair!), put your foot into the loop, and pull your straightened leg to the inside. Uh, I'm not describing this too well, but imagine the exercises described by both you and jane, but standing up, and with the resistance of a stretch band.
I think I get what you are saying! Thanks for that idea too. I've also been trying to use my gym more rather than my apartment's fitness center, since they have the machines for inner/outer thighs. I just run less time during my lunch break so I can fit in some of these, then I finish the rest of my workout in the evening.
Unfortunately I got a pull and swelling in the groin area as a result of these exercises. They often feel uncomfortable to me in a way that is hard to describe. It's been this way for years. I am hoping I am just prone to groin pulls, but I am seeing my doctor in two weeks to make sure it isn't a hernia. I have all the symptoms of a hernia (especially the cough test), but I am crossing my fingers that I won't need surgery for it!