This exercise provides a unique training stimulus for the lower body that will shape your glutes and thighs from every angle, says Jon-Erik Kawamoto, strength coach and owner of JKConditioning.
To do it: Stand with feet much wider than shoulder width, arms relaxed by sides. Squat as deep as possible to the left, while turning right toes up, flexing right foot (right leg remains straight and torso leans slightly forward to maintain balance). Extend arms straight out from shoulders. Return to the starting position and perform on the opposite side to complete one rep. Do 2 to 4 sets of 8 to 12 reps.
Criss-Cross Power Jacks
This move effectively targets the inner-thigh muscles while also engaging your whole body and increasing heart rate (meaning more calories burned!), says Jessica Matthews, exercise physiologist at the American Council On Exercise.
To do it: Stand with feet together and take a deep breath in. As you exhale, jump feet out wide and cross arms overhead. From there, scissor legs, crossing left leg in front of right, as left arm crosses over right at chest level. Immediately repeat, alternating sides each time.
Matthews recommends using this move as part of a circuit, completing the exercise for 30 to 45 seconds before transitioning to the next strength move.
You don't need much time to shape your legs, especially the inner thighs, with this low-impact move from Barre3 instructor Sadie Lincoln, star of the Element: Barre Conditioning DVD.
To do it: Stand forearms distance away from a sturdy chair or countertop, holding on lightly with right hand. Step feet hip-distance apart, toes pointed straight ahead. Place a soft, small ball (or similar sized pillow) between inner thighs. With left hand on hip, lift heels, balancing on balls of feet. Bend knees and lower about an inch (imagine back is sliding down an imaginary wall). Press inner thighs into the ball, keeping shoulders stacked over hips, hips stacked over ankles, and core tight.
Raise hips back up and bring left arm overhead, squeezing the ball with inner thighs. Lower an inch to repeat. Do 30 reps, and then turn around to repeat on other side.
Tree Lean to Side Lunge
"I love this exercise because not only does it target the inner thighs, but it also works your core, hips, and the entire lower body," says Michelle Dozois, certified fitness instructor and owner of Breakthru Fitness. "It works the muscles dynamically while increasing strength, range of motion, and endurance."
To do it: Stand tall with feet together and arms overhead. Laterally flex the spine so that arms and shoulders reach left while hips sway right.
Sweep arms up and over, making a half circle down toward the right as left leg steps out into a side lunge. Land in a deep side lunge with left hand resting on thigh, right hand touching the floor. Push off the floor and circle arms back overhead to return to lateral lean as left foot returns to right. Do 10 reps; repeat on opposite side.
Scissor Legs Plank
In addition to targeting the inner thighs, supporting the scissor movement in this exercise forces your arms, chest, core, and glutes to engage, says Kim Truman, athletic trainer and owner of Kim Truman Fitness.
To do it: Begin in a full plank position with each foot on a folded towel, paper plate, or gliding disc. Keeping upper body stable, slide feet apart, opening legs as wide as possible, and then slowly squeeze inner thighs to slide feet back together. Do 2 sets of 15 reps, resting in between sets as needed.
The frog bend is an ideal exercise for when you're short on time or traveling because you only use gravity for resistance—no equipment necessary, says Vera Musgrove, star of the Shazzy Fitness: In the Beginning DVD.
Slowly bend knees out to the sides, and then straighten, using your inner-thigh muscles to control the movement. Do 3 sets of 12 reps, resting in between each set as needed.