INNER THIGH STRENGTHENING HELP. Squats and side lunges are commonly recommended to runners and walkers to build lower body strength. One reason is that these exercises recruit and work the inner thigh muscles, the adductors, which assist other muscles in stabilizing the hip and knee to prevent wobbling. Apparently having strong adductors is important for cycling and swimming as well.
But if you don’t like squats and lateral lunges because they aren’t easy on your knees, you might have searched for other routines. I have. The need to strengthen this muscle group is brought to mind when I attempt single-leg balance exercises; they are difficult for me.
Jeanette Jenkins, The Hollywood Trainer, has provided a demonstration video with a number of exercises to work the adductors in “Best Ballet-Inspired Moves to Tone Inner Thighs” written by Lauren Mazzo. The focus by SHAPE.com on these moves being ‘ballet-inspired’ might turn some of you away. And the stated purpose of toning rather than strengthening.
However, if you catch the Nutcracker Ballet over the holidays and check out the legs of male and female dancers, there’s no doubt these athletes have strong legs and great balance. Jenkins includes squat moves, but there are other exercises from which to choose. The ‘diamonds’ can be done lying down (in front of TV!).
*Plie Squat, and *Plie Squeeze
*Inner Thigh Sweep, and *Inner Thigh Pulse
*Slide Up-and-Out Combo
*Demi- Plie and *Frogs
*Diamond, and *Reverse Diamond
Not thrilled with the idea of performing dance-inspired moves? Another article by Susan Lacke published in 2015 by Competitor.com offered a way to assess adductor strength and included exercises. The expert quoted in this piece, Kevin Laudner PhD, identified as a certified athletic trainer and professor of kinesiology at Illinois State University, commented “These inner thigh muscles are very important for a lot of athletic motions, but one of the key functions during swimming, biking, and running is stabilizing the pelvis and knee.” Laudner added, “When working in concert with other muscles, the adductors keep the hips and knees balanced, creating a natural alignment during these athletic motions”.
If you mentally replace the word “tone” with “strengthen”, Jenkins nicely demonstrated collection of adductor muscle exercises can expand the number of moves available to you for keeping hips and knees aligned.
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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