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6 Best (Time Tested) Outer Thigh Exercises for Toned Legs

Strengthen your lower body with 6 best outer thigh exercises. 1.Goblet Squats 2.Dumbbell Curtsy Lunge 3.Lateral Lunge 4.Clamshell 5.Glute Bridge 6.Deadlift.

Daniel Murphy
6 Best (Time Tested) Outer Thigh Exercises for Toned Legs
Table Of Contents

When it comes to leg workouts, most people tend to focus on their quads and hamstrings while neglecting their outer thighs also known as Saddlebags.

However, working on your outer thighs and following a healthy meal plan can improve the appearance of your legs and enhance their functionality.

Strengthening the outer thigh muscles can improve hip stability and mobility, benefiting activities such as running, jumping, and walking.

In this article, we'll discuss the six best outer thigh exercises targeting your abductor’s muscles.

Outer Thigh Muscle Anatomy

Outer Thigh Muscle Anatomy

The outer thigh muscles, also known as the abductor's muscles, consist of the gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, and tensor fasciae latae muscles.

1. Gluteus Medius Muscle

They helps to stabilise the pelvis during walking, running, and other lower-body exercises.

2. Gluteus Minimus Muscle

These muscles work in tandem with the gluteus medius muscle to help stabilise the pelvis and support the leg during movement.

3. Tensor Fasciae Latae Muscle

helps to flex the hip and rotate the thigh outward.

Understanding these muscles' anatomy is crucial in effectively targeting them through exercise.

How to Build Your Outer Thigh Muscles

outer quad workouts

So, how can you build and shape thigh muscles? Well, to gain muscle, you need strength training and healthy eating.

Protein is the primary macronutrient that helps people grow muscle. A higher protein diet will result in noticeably better weight loss and muscle gain than one lower protein consumption.

6 Best Exercises to Target Your Outer Thighs

We'd love to tighten and tone this region, whether the inner thigh, outer thigh, or both. Though they may be difficult to target, some exercises can help you achieve firmer, more toned outer thighs.

1. Goblet Squats

Goblet Squats

Goblet squats are an excellent exercise to target the outer thigh muscles.

It engages the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves, but it also specifically targets the abductor muscles, helping tone and strengthen the outer thighs, improving overall lower body strength and stability.

2. Dumbbell Curtsy Lunge

Dumbbell Curtsy Lunge

The dumbbell curtsy lunge is one of the outer quad workouts that offer the most effective technique to target your outer thighs by working and increasing hip stability to facilitate better movement in your body.

It targets the outer thigh muscles, 10 glutes, hamstrings, and quads,

How to do it:

  • Begin with feet hip-width apart and lift the dumbbell before your mouth.
  • Diagonally extend your right leg back.
  • Perform a single-leg squat, reaching back with your right knee off the floor.
  • Descend with a straight body to your deepest controllable depth.
  • Keep your hips tucked in when you rise.
  • Repeat on the other side as desired.

3. Single-Leg Lateral Lunge

Single-Leg Lateral Lunge

The single-leg lateral lunge involves a side-to-side motion that targets the muscles outside the leg, including the gluteus medius, tensor fasciae latae, and vastus lateralis.

The exercise also engages the hip adductors and abductors, which help to stabilise the hips and strengthen the lower body.

How to do it:

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart
  • Keep your hands on your hips.
  • Step out to the side while raising your right foot off the floor.
  • Lunge with the right knee at 90 degrees, and keep the left leg straight.
  • Repeat on the other side
  • Return to your starting position.

Outside Thigh Workouts to Get Toned Legs

Next, you’ll get to see some exercises that are great if you want toned legs and strengthened outer thighs:

4. Clamshell


Clamshel is a simple yet effective exercise for outer thighs at home that can also help build your outer thighs.

This exercise primarily targets your gluteus medius, the muscle responsible for stabilising your pelvis and helping with lateral movements.

The clamshell exercise involves lying on your side with your knees bent and then opening and closing your legs like a clamshell.

How to do it:

  • Lay on one side, keeping your legs stacked on top of one another.
  • Optionally, wrap a resistance band over your thighs
  • Lift your right knee slowly while maintaining the joint in your feet.
  • Hold for a short while before re-lowering your leg gradually.
  • Perform 10 to 15 reps on each side.

5. Glute Bridge

Glute Bridge

Glute bridge is one of the aerobic exercises for thighs that benefits the glutes greatly and helps in hip abduction.

It is fantastic for elevating your butt and shaping your outer thighs.

Strengthening the glutes gives you better posture and plays a key role in supporting your spine.

How to do it:

  • Keep your feet flat, hip-width apart, and knees bent.
  • Put your hands down on the floor next to you.
  • Raise your hips and tighten your hamstrings and glutes
  • Hold briefly, then return to the starting position by lowering your hips.
  • Complete 3 sets of 10-12 reps, adjust as needed.

6. Romanian Dumbbell Deadlift

Romanian deadlift

The Romanian deadlift is a crucial hamstring and glute exercise that targets the muscles in the posterior chain, especially focusing on the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back.

It also engages your core and gives your core amazing strength.

How to do it:

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart.
  • Bend the knees, hinge at the hips, and grab the barbell.
  • Lift the barbell with a straight back by extending your knees.
  • Return to the previous position by lowering the barbell.
  • Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.


1. What other exercise builds the outer thigh?

Some other possible options for working the outer thigh include lunges, side leg lifts, and squats. Additionally, plyometric exercises like jumping squats can help strengthen and tone the outer thigh muscles.

2. How do you target the outer quad?

You can target the outer quad through various techniques, including specific exercises that focus on strengthening the hips and lower body muscles, engaging in cardiovascular exercise that engages the entire body.

3. Do squats work the outer thigh?

Squats primarily target the muscles of the lower body, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. While squats engage the muscles on the front, back, and sides of the thighs, they primarily work the inner and outer portions of the quadriceps (front of the thighs) rather than specifically targeting the outer thighs.

4. How do you build upper outer thigh muscles?

To build the upper outer thigh muscles, focus on exercises targeting hip abductors, like clamshells. Start with lighter resistance or body weight and gradually increase the challenge as you get stronger.

The Bottom Line

There's no doubt about it: thighs are important. They provide us with a way to move our legs and get around. They also help support our upper bodies and allow us to sit, stand, and walk upright. And, of course, they look pretty darn good in a pair of jeans.

BYou can try different exercises, including goblet squat, Romanian deadlift, curtsy lunges, lateral lunges, clamshell, and glute bridge.

To help you during the exercises, you can find equipment at the DMoose store They'll help you get those thighs you've always dreamed of.

As always, consult a professional before starting any new exercise regimen, and good luck!

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Daniel Murphy

Daniel Murphy is a fitness enthusiast who has been exploring the fitness world for many years and is combining his passion for writing to create well-researched, engaging, and unique content

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