Squats are great for the legs. The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of a squat is sitting in a chair. So with the legs somewhat close together, the feet about shoulder width apart you then lowering your pelvis/buttocks down as if you are going to sit in a chair. When in reality a squat CAN be with a wider stance. I am vaguely remembering a “conversation” via comments on my blog about squats in Nia. We were talking about Nia squats being different from the squats in my Ten Minute Workout. I believe squats with weights are different from squats without weights. And I think that since I was focused on squats with weights I was not really thinking about side squats. We do side squats in Nia but now I think of that as Sumo Stance. The routine I am looking at right now has many squats in it. The squat works the legs, both front and back. The wider apart the feet the more the movement works the inner thighs. Since I am looking at a routine that has a lot of side squats or sumo stances it had me thinking . . . In addition to squats a way to get the adductors is to do movements where the leg is brought in towards the midline of the body. One exercise you might be familiar with is the inner thigh lift/raise. As with many exercises there are different versions and variations, but the basic of this one is lying on one side of your body with your torso propped up on your elbow. The “top” leg is back behind you with your foot flat on the floor. The other leg is straight down and lying on the floor. Then you lift the leg up toward the sky, keeping it parallel with the earth. So the inner thigh is being lifted toward the ceiling.
Well, this is a great one to use the weighted bar with. I had forgotten about my bar until recently. Then I remembered this exercise. I would recommend using shoes with the bar. I did it without shoes and I had to hold my foot at an odd angle to keep the bar from hurting my foot. I decided to continue my set without putting on shoes – because I didn’t want to stop – but I made a mental note to use shoes in the future.
One end of the bar rests on the foot of your straight leg. The bar runs the length of your body. The other end is up near your hands where you can secure it to the ground. Then you simply lift your leg. Make sure that the bar is resting firmly on your foot so it does not roll off and cause an injury. This exercise really targets the leg/hip adductors, the muscles that pull the thigh towards your body.
As I stated there are variations of this, some could be: dumbbells place on the thigh (and held securely!), instead of using the weighted bar. It can be done without any weights at all. And/or without weight, the upper leg and be in front.
I think it is a great idea to do different exercises to target the same muscles. Especially since when you do a different exercise to target a specific muscle or muscle group there are usually different or additional muscles that end up getting used. So it is nice to switch it up.
Might you switch it up and do thigh raises instead of squats? Are you familiar with the inner thigh lift?