Trim, tone, and strengthen your inner thighs with these effective Pilates-inspired moves.
For this workout, you will need an inflatable 12-inch ball (like this CanDo Inflatable Exercise Ball). If you don’t have one this size, use whichever size you have on hand, or you can even borrow your child's kickball! You just want to be able to squeeze and resist into the ball for the best toning results.
Perform each of the five exercises below for one minute, then repeat the whole sequence three times to make this a 15-minute workout. If you don't have time to complete all three sets at once, just finish them throughout your day when you have minutes to spare. Now grab that ball and get ready to fire up your inner thighs!
Lie on your back and place the ball in between your ankles. Reach your legs out long in front of you and use your core to raise and hold them out. The lower the legs go to the floor, the harder this will be. For an added challenge, peel your head, neck, and shoulders off the floor as well.
Cross the left leg over the right and then right over the left, making sure not to lose your ball. To engage your inner thighs, keep the legs straight so the “cross” comes from the inner thighs and hips and not your knees. (Tight hips? Do these 3 stretches regularly.)
Top Leg Press
Keeping the ball between your ankles, roll onto one side.
Press down on the ball with your top leg, and stabilize with resistance from your bottom leg so the ball doesn't roll back and forth. Keep your feet flexed and legs long, and squeeze using as much resistance as you can without losing control of the ball. Hold here for 30 seconds.
Switch sides and hold for 30 seconds.
Bottom Leg Press
Still on one side with the ball between your ankles, lift your legs and squeeze in on the ball like in the above exercise, but this time really press up on the ball with your bottom leg. Don't let the ball roll. To stabilize you need to keep downward pressure from the top leg and feet flexed. Hold here for 30 seconds.
Switch sides and hold for 30 seconds. (Psst! This barre workout sculpts your butt and thighs in less than 10 minutes.)
Bridge with Squeeze
Return to your back and move the ball between your inner thighs.
Lift your backside up and off the mat, making sure not to lift into your neck. Hold here, actively resisting the ball to keep it tight between your thighs. Pulse in on the ball, always trying to bring the legs closer together and not farther apart.
After a minute of pulsing, lower your backside back down onto the mat.
Keeping the ball where it is, lift your legs into tabletop and bring your feet into a frog position by squeezing your heels together and turning your toes out.
Push the legs out in front of you as far as you can without letting those heels pop apart, then bend the legs back in to start position. Repeat for the one-minute interval, and squeeze in on the ball the whole time. For added core work, lift the head, neck, and shoulders up.