Ahh, summer. Spending long, leisurely days lounging at the beach, soaking up the sun and refreshing ocean breeze. Sipping pina coladas on the deck watching the sunset.
Pulling subconsciously at your too-tight bikini as you attempt to infiltrate a fun game of beach volleyball. Wincing as you remove your cover-up, or refusing to lay out sans jean shorts, lest someone witness your gym absence for the bleak winter months.
My least favorite body part has to be my inner thigh area. The seemingly impossible-to-tone fleshy area plagues many women. Along with the tummy, butt, legs, and hips. But those inner thighs are killer. I have found they are insanely difficult to tone- no amount of squats, lunges, runs on the treadmill or Zumba classes will ever make that area attractive.
To be 1000% honest, the only results I have ever seen take hold of my inner thighs have come courtesy of a few select Pilates moves. As a certified Mat Pilates trainer, these are my favorite (in a love/hate way) exercises to do lying on my side. You don’t need to devote hours per day to a grueling, private session. Just indulge in these 4 moves for 20 minutes per day, and watch your legs transform before your eyes!
Side Leg Lifts: These are simple, but they seem to work wonders. Be sure to keep your core strong (no slouching or pooching) and move at your own pace. I do 3 sets of 10 lifts on each leg.
Scissors: Keeping both legs straight, and stretching behind both knees as much as you can, alternate legs. Keep your core engaged and remember to inhale and exhale deeply. I try to pull each leg a teeny bit closer each time. I do 3 sets of 6 reps on each leg.
Bicycles: You will feel these babies working. I recommend finding a Mat Pilates class near you or watching a decent instructional video to properly grasp this technique, but I like to think of it as “extending your leg in front, straightening behind the knee as much as possible, and keeping your hips as still as possible, swing your straightened leg around in a clockwise motion, extending all the way behind you and then bend you knee in to your chest again” I do 3 sets of 6 on each side, in each direction. Enjoy!
Side Stretching Lifts: not the technical name for this move, but the stretch part is vital. After you’ve endured the bicycles, firmly plant the foot of your top leg flat onto your mat in front of your abs, and then lift your bottom leg in swift, controlled motions. This should feel ah-may-zing after you’ve really worked those thigh muscles (you’ll feel this in the inner thighs as well as outer butt/hips- yay!)
Of course, when beginning any new exercise regimen, consult your health care or fitness professional. I am a Pilates instructor, but of course everyone is different and every body is different. Please do not continue a fitness program that causes you pain in your lower back (or anywhere, for that matter)- you want to feel sore like you worked the muscles the day after a work out, not like you are unable to walk.
Along with a healthy diet and regular exercise regimen, these Pilates moves will whip those inner thighs into beach-ready shape. No more cover-ups needed. See you on the beach!
first photo courtesy of shutterstock.com
second photo courtesy of avaxhome.ws
third photo courtesy of womenshealthmag.com
fourth photo courtesy of pilatesonfifth.com
fifth photo courtesy of purelyfitness.com
sixth photo courtesy of pilatesonfifth.com