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June 17, 2012 / ShapedforFitness

Best Inner & Outer Thigh Exercises

Need to tackle those troublesome areas on your thighs? Inner & outer thighs are some of the toughest areas on our bodies to exercise and for me, that’s where my body stores all the excess fat. Many exercises focus on the front (quads) or back (hamstrings) of our thighs, which are big and strong muscles, but we need to balance out all sides of our thighs. This past week while teaching Xtend Barre, I’ve been burning those hard to reach areas with these exercises:

1) 4th Position Plies on Releve

Having fun with plies on the pier in San Clemente, CA

To set up, stand with your feet flat on the floor, heels together and toes 3 inches apart. Rise up onto your toes with high heels (called a releve), keeping the heels connected. Take a small baby step forward with your right foot, about 6 inches forward. Now you’re in 4th position.

Standing tall with your abs in, shoulders back and booty squeezed, keep your upper body as still as you can while you lower down into a plie. Your heels stay lifted and knees open wide tracking in the direction of your toes. Go down to your challenge point and rise back up, squeezing your inner thighs until your legs are completely straight again.

Knees open wide as you lower down, SQUEEZE the inner thighs to lift back up to straight legs. Keep high heels the entire time.

Do 4 sets and play with the tempo:

  1. Single, full range plies down to your challenge zone and lift to straight legs (8 reps)
  2. Pulse at the bottom in your challenge zone, lift & lower one inch (16 pulses)
  3. Full range plies, lower down 3 counts, lift in 1 count (4 reps)
  4. Full range plies, lower down 1 count, lift in 3 counts – SQUEEZE the inner thighs! (4 reps)

Make sure to keep the booty squeezed the entire time and abs in, keeping the upper body lifted. Watch out for the booty sticking out too. Pretend you’re in a toaster, if you stick your booty back or let your chest fall forward, they will get burned! 🙂 One of my favorite analogies. Always keep good posture.

2) Back Attitude Lifts

Hold your 4th position plie on releve down in your challenge zone. Shift your weight onto your front (right) foot and point your left toes behind you. Your left toes should be barely touching the ground and your knees are still open wide. Squeeze your left butt/hip to lift your whole leg up keeping the shape of you leg (bent, knee out) and lower your leg back down to tap the floor. Make sure to keep your hips still, don’t let them tilt forward. This is a very small movement, focusing on the hip/butt area. Modification is to lower the right heel flat on the floor.

Do 16 pulses.

Use your butt to lift and lower the whole leg, keeping the shape. Don’t let those hips wiggle!

3) Back Attitude Extension

From your starting attitude position in a low plie on the right leg (on releve or modify with flat foot) and left toes lightly brushing the ground, extend both legs straight. Your left leg extends at a diagonal to the back and your right leg lifts you up tall. Return back down to the plie & attitude. Make sure to keep those legs & feet turned out with knees opening wide. Bend & Xtend 16 times.

From attitude with both knees bent, extend both legs straight and return to knees bent

4) Tendu Lifts

Extend both legs straight, back leg at a diagonal with a pointed toe . Using the butt/hip, pulse the back leg up, only lifting a few inches. Make sure those hips stay completely still, no tilting forward and focus your attention on the glute. Do 16 reps.

Use your butt to lift the back leg up, little lifts

5) Repeat exercises 1-4 with the left leg in front

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These are some of my favorite inner & outer thigh exercises from the Xtend Barre workout. Come check us out for a class some time and get the whole body toned & chiseled! First class is free at Xtend Barre Mission Viejo!

Don’t live near a studio? Get the Xtend Barre DVD at Target for only $12.99!

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