Improve your agility on the court with strong thigh muscles.
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Though the quadriceps and hamstrings usually get the most attention when discussing the muscles of the thighs, the inner thigh abductors and outer thigh adductors are just as important when it comes to strength and stability. The inner thighs pull your legs in toward your body and the outer thighs move your legs out to the side and away from your body. Training the entirety of your thighs can help you to be more agile, balanced and powerful in athletic activities, as well as during everyday movements.
Warm up with five to 10 minutes of cardiovascular exercise, such as brisk walking, jumping rope or cycling. Complete one to two sets of bodyweight squats, eight to 12 repetitions each, to further activate your lower body muscles.
Lunge It Out
Lunge to the side to target both your inner and outer thigh muscles. Stand tall with your feet separated hip-width. Pull your stomach muscles in toward your lower back, slightly lift your chest and slide your shoulder blades down your back. Step your right foot out to the right by approximately 2 feet. Transfer your body weight to the right foot while keeping the left foot flat on the floor. Bend your right knee and hinge your hips back until the right thigh is parallel to the ground. Hold the contraction for one count and then push through your right foot to straighten your leg. Return the right foot next to the left. Complete eight to 12 repetitions and then repeat on the other side. Aim for three sets on each side.
Lift, Lift, Lift
Lay on the right side of your body on the floor for side leg lifts. Stack your left shoulder, hip and ankle over their right counterparts. Extend your legs so your body is in one straight line. Position your right upper arm on the floor above your shoulder and support your head with your right hand. Rest your left hand on the ground in front of your stomach. Engage your abdominal muscles and elongate your spine. Raise your left leg as high as possible toward the ceiling while maintaining a straight leg. Hold the lift at the top for one count and then lower it back to starting position. Perform 12 repetitions and then switch legs. Complete three sets on each leg.
Stretch for Flexibility
Stretch your inner and outer thighs with bound angle pose. Sit tall on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. Bend your knees and bring the soles of your feet together in front of your pelvis, with the knees dropped out to the sides. Take hold of your feet and inch your heels toward your pelvis as you lay the outer thighs on the floor; place a yoga block under your thighs if they do not reach the ground. Hold the stretch for 60 seconds.
Train your outer thighs two to three times per week to maximize muscle development.
Consult with your physician before starting a new fitness program. Tell your doctor if you have any injuries or pain in your lower body.