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The Best Ballet-Inspired Moves to Tone Your Inner Thighs

Ladies, it's time to give your inner thighs some love. These babies are a key part of having strong, powerful legs, and help you ace everything from running and jumping to squatting and biking. Contrary to popular belief, you can't spot-reduce inner thigh fat by doing exercises that zero in on this area. (Fat loss comes with losing weight, not torching one muscle group with strength moves.) What you can do, however, is build and tone those inner thigh muscles to create a smoother, tighter appearance, and burn calories (which, in turn, will help you lose fat).

These ballet-inspired moves from fabulous celeb trainer Jeanette Jenkins (aka The Hollywood Trainer) target your legs, thighs, and glutes—all with zero equipment and in not much time at all. Push through these nine exercises for the number of reps indicated, and for a bonus burn, add Jeanette's at-home cardio kickboxing workout.

Plié Squat

A. Stand with feet wider than hip-width apart and toes pointed out to the sides. Lift arms out to the sides, hands soft.
B. Sweep arms forward and bend knees to lower into a squat until thighs are parallel to the ground.
C. Press into heels to straighten legs, opening arms up to the sides.

Do 25 reps.

Plié Squeeze

A. Stand with feet wider than hip-width apart and toes pointed out to the sides. Lift arms out to the sides, hands soft.
B. Lower arms between thighs and bend knees to lower into a squat until thighs are parallel to the ground.
C. Raise arms up to shoulder level and squeeze inner thighs to slide left foot over to right foot. Step out with the left foot to begin the next rep.

Do 16 to 20 reps on each side.

Inner Thigh Sweep

A. Stand with feet wider than hip-width apart and arms outstretched to the sides. Shift weight into left leg and point right foot, balancing on toes.
B. Sweep right leg to the left and forward, flexing foot as if kicking a soccer ball. Return to starting position.
C. For a challenge, try to swing right leg all the way to touch left hand.

Do 25 reps on each side.

Inner Thigh Pulse

A. Start standing in fifth position (right heel next to the left toes, pointing slightly out to the side).
B. Engage the core and lift right foot off the ground, pulsing it forward and back.

Do 25 reps on each side.

Slide Up & Out Combo

A. Start standing in fifth position (right heel next to the left toes, pointing slightly out to the side).
B. Engage the core and slide right straight up the left leg, keeping right knee and toes pointing out to the right.
C. Lower right foot to straighten leg, then pulse the right foot forward and back.

Do 25 reps on each side.

Demi Plié

A. Stand with heels together, toes turned out (in first position).
B. Engage abs to tuck pelvis, and bend knees to squat into a mini plié.
C. Straighten legs to return to starting position.

Do 8 reps with arms extending forward, 8 reps with arms extended to the sides, and 8 reps with arms extended overhead.

Frogs

A. Stand with heels together, toes turned out (in first position). Lift heels off the floor to come onto toes. Lower down into a deep squat and place hands on the floor.
B. Press heels to the floor and straighten legs, folding forward.
C. Drop hips, bend knees, and lift heels to return to squat.

Do 25 reps.

Diamond

A. Lie faceup on the floor with legs extended in the air, soles off feet pointing toward the ceiling.
B. Open legs to the sides, then bend at the knees to touch toes together and press heels up to straighten legs and return to starting position.

Do 15 to 20 reps.

Reverse Diamond

A. Lie faceup on the floor with legs extended in the air, soles off feet pointing towards the ceiling.
B. Bend knees out to the sides and lower feet (toes together, heels apart), then extend legs straight out to the sides, feet flexed.
C. Pull legs together to return to starting position.

Do 15 to 20 reps.

 

Lauren Mazzo

Lauren Mazzo is a digital editorial assistant for FITNESS and SHAPE. She's an Ithaca College alumna, a Rochester, NY, native and an NYC transplant.  More →

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