This post first appeared on Heidi Powell - Fitness. READ ORIGINAL ARTICLE HERE
It’s that time…with swimsuit season in full swing, it’s time to talk inner thigh thinning and ALL the errors you’re making! Who knew you’ve been doing it WRONG all these years?! Countless hours spent doing exercises you THINK are “spot reducing” the fat on your inner thighs…when really those exercises are actually BULKING THEM UP!
TRUTH: You cannot spot reduce. Nope. Nada. Not possible (without some magical wand, surgical procedure, or pixie dust). What this means is that no matter how hard you work your inner thighs, those movements alone WILL NOT burn fat. Fat loss is done in the kitchen!
ALSO TRUTH: Those inner thigh lifts you’ve been doing relentlessly at gym all these years —called ADDUCTORS— are actually just doing what lifting does…building muscle.
So while you thought you were slimming your thighs by doing countless reps on the machine that mimics Suzanne Summers Thigh Master from the 70’s, what you were actually doing was building so absolutely beautiful (and slightly larger) Adductor Longus and Gracilis muscles…ie. inner thighs.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to point out a problem without giving you a solution or ten. So let’s talk SOLUTIONS. Watch this vid real fast…then scroll down for all the solutions + PLUS my favorite AT-HOME RESISTANCE BAND MOVES to thin those inner thighs.
YOU CAN’T SPOT REDUCE YOUR INNER THIGHS.
So let’s talk about this + get into the magical moves! Two very important things to remember:
1. First and most importantly, don’t forget “calories in, calories out!” I cannot post about this without reminding you. Fat cannot be lost at a calorie surplus. This is a longer post for another day, BUT eat at either a deficit OR maintenance (asterisk…we’ll talk later) to burn fat….GLOBALLY (ie. All over the body, which is how body fat is lost!).
2. ABduct!! Don’t ADduct!! A-B. ABDUCT. As in ‘AWAY from the body.’ Grab the machine NEXT to the one you always hop on…you know, the one where you press your knees OUTWARD and feel it more in your glutes?! Yeah. That one. By focusing on the OPPOSITE motion, we are able to inflate and sculpt opposing muscles that help create the look of an ACTUAL THINNER INNER THIGH.
* Add in some squats w/ weight on heels, hip thrusts w/ and w/out band, banded squat walks…and you’re golden.
Now for the moves. Here are three of my faves exercises for building the booty and shaping thighs for bikini season (or really any season, for that matter!). The best part about these moves? NO GYM, NO PROBLEM! You can do them from the comfort of your home, your hotel, your kids soccer game, or poolside while you play! Now let’s do work.
- Begin in a standing position, feet shoulder width apart, toes pointed slightly out from parallel. Place the resistance band just above the knees.
- Keeping your weight on your heels, bend your knees and lower your buttocks down and back, as if being pulled from a belt.
- Using your arms as a counterbalance, reach upward as the crease of your hips drops slightly below your kneecap, making sure that your knees are tracking directly over your toes (not inward).
- Lie on the floor on your side with your legs bent at around 90 degrees at the knees, knees on top of each other and forward so you feel supported. If you’re using a resistance band, place it just above your knees.
- Keeping your hips straight and “stacked” on top of each other, raise the top knee up towards the ceiling, keeping your feet together, like a clamshell. Squeeze your glutes to drive the movement, making sure your pelvis doesn’t roll backwards as you raise your knee.
- Return to the starting position.
STANDING LEG ABDUCTORS
- Begin in a standing position with a resistance band around your ankles. Holding your core tight, transfer your weight to one leg and raise the other one out to the side, using the band as resistance.
- Be sure and keep your upper body straight—no leaning!
- Return to the starting position and repeat on the other leg.
HOW MANY OF EACH MOVE SHOULD I DO?
Start with 3 sets of 10 of each move (both sides), working up to 5 sets of 20 over time.
HOW MANY DAYS A WEEK SHOULD I DO THESE?
Start with once a week on lower body days, working up to 3 days a week. Make sure to allow a day rest between each time you perform these moves.
HOW CAN I MAKE THESE EASIER IF IM A BEGINNER?
Easy! Simply remove the band and do what you can!
So remember, if you’re after thinner inner thighs, hit the Abductor machine or use a resistance band to work on the muscles that are OPPOSITE your inner thighs. By doing this, you’ll strengthen the muscles that will pull everything away from the midline and give your thighs a killer shape and a leaner, bikini-ready look!
What other muscle groups would you like to improve for swimsuit season? Share with me below so I can help us all get into our very best bikini shape!
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