Exercising your outer thigh muscles can give you a slimmer lower body.
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Also known as your thigh abductor, your outer thigh muscles help move your thighs -- and the rest of your leg -- away from your body. Your outer thigh muscles help control side-to-side movement, as well as help provide the slender, fit, defined shape along the side of your leg. Strong outer thigh muscles can reduce the likelihood of lower body injuries, as they provide stability.
To build stronger outer thigh muscles, resistance training with weights or equipment -- rather than just your body weight -- is recommended. To build more muscle mass, heavier weights with fewer repetitions are suggested. However, if you're looking for tone in your outer thigh muscles, lighter weights with more repetitions is ideal. Regardless, if you are starting a resistance training program, schedule your workouts for alternate days to provide rest time for your muscles. Resistance training will break down your muscles, and as they repair, they become larger and stronger. Rest periods are needed for the repairing process to take place.
Thigh Abductor Machine
A common piece of gym equipment, the abductor machine can be used to work both the inner and outer thigh muscles. When building the thigh muscles, it's important to work both the outer and inner portions to maintain balance between your leg muscles; unbalanced muscles can place you at greater risk for injury. To use the machine, sit with the outside of your legs against the pads. Place the levers as close together as possible and select your desired resistance. If you're unsure about how much weight to use, start light and build up gradually. Open your legs while holding onto the hand grips at the sides of the seat. Slowly close your legs to return to starting position and repeat 10 times for one to three sets. Most abductor machines can also be reversed, which will change the direction of the resistance and allow you to work the inner thigh muscles.
Side Steps With Resistance Band
Resistance bands are long pieces of rubber that increase the resistance of an exercise; the added tension helps build muscle. Standing with your feet hip-width apart and loop a resistance band around both of your ankles. The band should fit snugly. For a resistance band with handles, hold one handle in each hand and stand on the center of the band, again with your feet hip-width apart. Take a large step to the left, keeping your feet in line. Do a wide-legged squat after you take the step by sinking at your hips and knees as if you were going to sit down. Stop when your thighs are parallel to the ground, rise back up, then step your right foot back to hip-width position. Repeat by stepping to the right and sinking into a squat before returning to starting position. Repeat 10 times per side, for one to three sets.
This exercise also uses a resistance band to build your butt and outer thigh muscles. Lying on your left side with your legs together, tie the resistance band around both your thighs, just about your knees. For a resistance band with handles, you can still tie the resistance band together with the handles on top of your thighs for greater comfort. With your left arm extended and cushioning your head, place your right hand on the floor in front of your chest for stability. Keeping your feet together, lift your right leg up, bending at the knee. Raise your leg as high as you can and hold for three to five counts before returning to starting position. Repeat eight to 10 times for one to three sets before switching sides.