The hip adductors consist of the adductor brevis, adductor longus and the adductor magnus. The three inner thigh muscles work together to pull the legs toward the midline of the body. Hip adductor exercises tone the thigh muscles and increase leg strength. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends two to three weekly strength training sessions to build muscle. Talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise program.
Leg lifts tone the adductors. Lie on your right side, prop your right elbow under your right shoulder and rest your head on your palm. Stack your legs and align your body into a straight line. Bend your left leg and place your left foot on the ground in front of your right leg. Lift your right leg 3 inches off the ground, then lower it back to the start, lightly touching the ground before lifting it back up. Continue to do this until your inner thigh muscles begin to burn, then switch sides. Wear ankle weights to make the lifts more challenging.
Sumo squats tone the adductors, glutes and hamstrings. Stand up straight, position your feet a little wider than hip-width apart and slightly bend your knees. Lift your arms parallel to the floor. Turn your toes out 45 degrees, stick your buttocks out behind you and lower your hips toward the ground. Stop when your thighs reach parallel to the floor. Hold this position for 30 to 60 seconds, then rise back up to standing. Keep your torso erect and your gaze forward throughout the exercise. Perform five to 10 repetitions.
Inner Thigh Squeezes
Inner thigh squeezes tone the thighs while building abdominal and lower back strength. Grab a small weighted ball, or any other small, weighted object. Lie on your back, bend your legs and place your feet on the ground under your knees. Widen your feet and place the ball in between your thighs. Tighten your abdominal muscles by squeezing your stomach muscles and imagine balancing a grape in your belly button. Press your thighs against the ball and lift your glutes off the ground, stopping when your knees, lower back and shoulders form a straight line. Hold this position for 30 to 60 seconds, stopping when you feel a burning in your thighs. Stop sooner if your lower back hurts. Core strength will improve after several weeks, allowing you to hold the squeeze for a longer time.
Step-ups tone the inner thighs while strengthening the glutes and legs. Stand in front of a workout bench. Straighten your back, tighten your abdominal muscles and bend your knees slightly. Step your right foot onto the bench, push through your right heel and stand up straight on the bench, bringing your left foot up next to your right. Step your left foot back down to the ground, following with your right foot. Next, step up with your left foot first, bringing your right foot up second. Step down with your right foot and then your left, coming back to the starting position. Continue to alternate in this way, completing as many repetitions as you can. Stop when you are unable to maintain good form. Use a shorter bench if you are a beginner. Holding dumbbells during the exercise increases intensity and is appropriate only if a foundation of strength has been built and correct form is maintained during the exercise.