What’s The Best Way To Tone Your Inner Thighs: Curtsy Lunge Or Lateral Lunge?

By Racheal Schultz; Photography by Freepik 

Figure out how to target that hard-to reach spot.

There’s nothing like compound moves—squats, lunges, box jumps—to build strength and work more muscles in your lower body in less time. But while most lower-body favorites will light up the majority of your muscles below the belt, you have to give special attention to the oft-overlooked smaller guys, too—especially if you want to really target hard-to-tone spots like, say, your inner thighs. “There’s no such thing as spot reducing, but muscle isolation will give you better targeted results,” explains Kenny Santucci, CPT, CrossFit Level 2-certified, and programme director at Solace gym in New York.

When it comes to toning and strengthening your inner thighs, what’s your best bet when given the choice of lateral lunge or curtsy lunge? According to Santucci, the lateral lunge is your move. The curtsy lunge does hit your inner thigh, but the move also works your whole leg, meaning the main muscles like your quads and hamstrings are doing a lot of the work here. Your adductors (inner thigh muscles) are involved, but they aren’t the prime movers, Santucci explains. “Lateral lunges, on the other hand, are directly driven by the those hard-to-hit, ever-so-weak adductors.”

To try out both of these moves for yourself, check out the demos above or descriptions below:

Lateral Lunge

How to: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, and lift your right foot to take a big step to your right as you push your hips backward. Pause, then push yourself back to the starting position.

Curtsy Lunge

How to: Stand tall with feet hip-width apart. Step backward with your right leg and place it behind your left, like a curtsy. Lower your body until your front knee is 90 degrees.

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