This exercise provides a unique training stimulus for the lower body that will shape your glutes and thighs from every angle, says Jon-Erik Kawamoto, strength coach and owner of JKConditioning.
To do it: Stand with feet much wider than shoulder-width apart, arms relaxed by sides. Squat as deep as possible to the left, while turning right toes up, flexing right foot (right leg remains straight and torso leans slightly forward to maintain balance).
Extend arms straight out from shoulders. Return to the starting position and perform on the opposite side to complete 1 rep. Do 2 to 4 sets of 8 to 12 reps.
Crisscross Power Jacks
This move effectively targets the inner-thigh muscles while also engaging your whole body and increasing heart rate (meaning more calories burned!), says Jessica Matthews, exercise physiologist at the American Council on Exercise.
To do it: Stand with feet together and take a deep breath in. As you exhale, jump feet out wide and cross arms overhead. From there, scissor legs, crossing left leg in front of right, as left arm crosses over right at chest level. Immediately repeat, alternating sides each time.
Matthews recommends using this move as part of a circuit, completing the exercise for 30 to 45 seconds before transitioning to the next strength move.
You don’t need much time to shape your legs, especially the inner thighs, with this low-impact move from Barre3 instructor Sadie Lincoln, star of the Element: Barre Conditioning DVD.
To do it: Stand forearms’ distance away from a sturdy chair or countertop, holding on lightly with right hand. Step feet hip-distance apart, toes pointed straight ahead.
Place a soft, small ball (or similar size pillow) between inner thighs. With left hand on hip, lift heels, balancing on balls of feet. Bend knees and lower about an inch (imagine back is sliding down an imaginary wall). Press inner thighs into the ball, keeping shoulders stacked over hips, hips stacked over ankles, and core tight.
Raise hips back up and bring left arm overhead, squeezing the ball with inner thighs. Lower an inch to repeat. Do 30 reps, and then turn around to repeat on other side.
Scissor Legs Plank
In addition to targeting the inner thighs, supporting the scissor movement in this exercise forces your arms, chest, core, and glutes to engage, says Kim Truman, athletic trainer and owner of Kim Truman Fitness.
To do it: Begin in a full plank position with each foot on a folded towel, paper plate, or gliding disc.
Keeping upper body stable, slide feet apart, opening legs as wide as possible, and then slowly squeeze inner thighs to slide feet back together. Do 2 sets of 15 reps, resting in between sets as needed.
Use this move from certified trainer Sara Haley, creator of the Daily Sweat DVD series, to tighten up your inner thighs and get your heart pumping and burn major calories!
To do it: Stand with feet wide, knees and toes pointed out, reaching hands down to the floor. Squat down as low as possible while keeping chest lifted and knees tracking over toes.
Jump up in the air and rotate body a quarter turn to the right while bringing feet together, swinging arms overhead to help propel body up. Land in a deep squat, facing right side of the room.
Continue to complete a full rotation. Repeat as many times as possible for 1 minute, then repeat to the left.
“This sequence should make you breathless, so use 20 to 40 seconds to recover properly before doing it again or doing another exercise,” Haley says.