Based on articles on the web, ljk11 is right on. So are Daywalker and SeaSiren.
Inner Thigh Lies
by Stephen Holt
Are you frustrated because you're not getting the results you want although you've tried everything? Read closely and discover how Inner Thigh Lies are holding you back.
The Truth about Spot Reduction
The first myth that you have to eliminate before you can get results is that working your inner thighs directly will magically metabolize the fat that may be covering the muscles below.
This myth of spot reduction makes no sense here's why ...
Assuming that you are right-handed, over the course of your entire life (about 29 years, I’m guessing) you have used your right arm several thousand times more than you have used your left, correct?So if spot reduction existed, your right arm would be ripped and your left arm would be flabby! Is that the case?
No, because fat is genetically distributed.
You have no more control over where you lose fat than you do over where you gain it.
Need more proof?
When people go on diets, they eat less, right? That means that they are using their chewing muscles less, right?
So why don’t their faces get fatter instead of leaner?
Spot reduction does not and cannot happen. Inner thigh exercises will not and cannot specifically target the fat deposits on your inner thighs.
Forget about "Toning"
Second is the myth that many reps will “tone” the inner thigh muscles. There is no such physiological process as "toning."
There are only two factors of body composition that you can control: fat and muscle. They are two separate things like the proverbial apples and oranges.
In general, you probably want to lose fat and gain a little muscle; that’s the best way to improve your body composition.
High Reps Won't Get You There
For most people, high reps will not and cannot build any muscle whatsoever and, as pointed out above, will not selectively burn fat from the inner thigh (or any other body part, for that matter).
For each muscle and for each exercise there is a threshold of weight (or "load," physiologically) below which you get minimal, if any, benefit in strength or muscular growth.
High reps, especially when done with a weight that doesn’t challenge the muscle at all, are a less effective use of your workout time because they neither burn fat optimally nor strengthen and build the muscle.
“Toning,” “firming,” “tightening,” and “sculpting” are all meaningless terms that do not describe any physiological process that exists in the human body.
As mentioned earlier, what you want to do to improve your appearance is build at least some muscle; that’s the optimal way to burn fat.
It’s the loss of muscle as we get older that has been linked to the gradual decrease in metabolic rate and concomitant increase in weight that many of us see.
In order to get back the body you had when you were younger (or at least a reasonable facsimile thereof), you have to get back the muscle.
Inner Thigh Machines Don't Work
Another factor to consider is functional anatomy. What do the inner thigh muscles actually do?
They certainly don’t do the motion that you use on the seated hip adduction machine. Do you know that there isn’t even an official term for movement of the hip in that plane - because it’s unnatural.
The only time that you move your leg like that is when you bring your left leg in when you enter on the driver’s side of the car, and when you pull your right leg out as you exit. That’s about it!
Besides, there are five separate muscles in your inner thigh - each designed to work best when your leg is at different angles.
In the seated hip adductor machine, your leg is positioned in a way that stresses only one of the five adductors - the adductor magnus. The other four muscles are virtually neglected.
The normal, everyday function of the adductors for most people is to pull your thigh back to the neutral position. That is, when your leg moves forward (as in walking), some of these muscles help pull your leg back, and vice versa.
Also, just as important, you use your inner thigh muscles to prevent over-abduction; in other words, you use your adductors to stay balanced whenever you’re on one leg (again, as in walking).
Therefore, the most effective exercises for your inner thighs are those in which you move one leg forward (hip flexion) or backward (hip extension) while standing on one leg (using the adductors as stabilizers).
Direct adductor exercise, however, often has the effect of making the inner thigh muscles adductors discernibly larger - the exact opposite of what most women are trying to accomplish.
Don’t get the impression that seated hip adduction is a complete waste of time; it isn’t. The adductor magnus is a large muscle, therefore the exercise can burn a lot (relatively) of calories.
It just won’t get you the results that you are probably looking for. Be aware of what you are doing and why with this and every exercise that you do.
Here's another article.
Exercise and Maintain Healthy Legs
Legs are frequently the subject of self-recrimination among many people, men and women included, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Your legs are a vital part of your body, carrying you around every day and rarely complaining. It’s important to keep your legs in the best shape possible so that years from now the two of them will still be taking you up stairs and around town. Leg health is also important in case of illness that confines you to bed. Bedridden patients whose legs were not healthy before illness suffer Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) up to twice as often as those with strong legs. You may never end up in a hospital bed, unable to get out, but good leg health will ease your mind just the same.
The legs are made up of six major muscles and muscle groups. Located in the front of the thigh is a group of muscles known as the quadriceps. Opposite the quadriceps is another group of muscles called the hamstrings. The inside thigh is the location of the adductors. The lower consists of the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles in the back and the tibialis anterior muscle in the front. Connecting the leg and hipbone to the spine are the hip flexors and the illiopsoas. All of these muscles must work together in perfect harmony in order for you to be able to walk, point your foot up, straighten your knee, and much more. When these muscles are strong and well conditioned they become firm and well defined, but let them get weak and the muscles will sag. Good muscle tone also helps prevent varicose and spider veins in the legs. While neither type of vein is especially dangerous, they are both unattractive and will rarely disappear on their own. Most varicose and spider veins must be treated by a doctor with either a laser or an injected saline solution. Keeping your legs healthy will prevent 95 percent of all varicose and spider veins.
Deciding to make a point of maintaining strong, healthy legs is a wonderful decision and fortunately many of the muscles in the legs are some of the fastest to respond to conditioning. Aerobic exercise is great for some toning but concentrated work is best to shape the individual muscles. Some of them, like the adductors, are used so rarely that they can be challenging to tone but it is possible. To see maximum results for your legs, you should plan to work out at least three times weekly. Four to five sessions during the week are better and will give you faster results, but if you can only do three for now that’s fine to start.
The granddaddy of all leg conditioning movements is the lunge. Trainers across the nation put their clients through the lunging paces thousands of times every day and there’s a reason for that. The lunge is the one movement that can target most of the major muscles within the leg and shape them up fast. Lunging down requires the use of both lower leg muscles to help stabilize you and then the upper leg muscles to raise your body back up. By performing the same movement over and over you condition the muscle to take on the strongest form possible. If you have bad knees, though, lunging can be difficult and sometimes downright impossible. Rather than trying to force your body through pain, though, try modifying the movement. Instead of dropping your body all the way to the bottom of the movement, go only halfway or as far as you feel comfortable. Don’t step too far forward in the beginning and that will lessen some of the strain on the knee joint. The ultimate solution is simply to not do lunges at all and for some people it may be the only option. There are plenty of other choices that will help strengthen your legs without placing so much demand on your knees.
Squats are another excellent choice for firming and shaping the buttocks and upper thighs. As you squat, you demand a lot of work from the muscles in your buttocks and legs both going down and coming up. That demand intensified by 20 times results in some serious definition after several sessions. To work the inner and outer thighs, lateral raises are wonderful. Begin with your weight on your left foot and your right foot pointed slightly behind you. Hold on to a chair or wall for balance and slowly raise and lower your right leg out to the side. Raising your leg high isn’t so much the issue as just raising it and asking your muscles to make the effort. Do at least 20 repetitions for 3 sets several times per week to tone hips and back of the thigh. The inner thigh is a bit more challenging. Typically only used in climbing stairs or inclines, the inner thigh can get flabby fast without regular exercise. To condition the muscle, stand again with your weight on your left foot, raise and point your right foot in front of you, and slowly move your right foot and leg across your left leg. You should feel the stress in your inner thigh – if not, turn your leg so that the inner thigh is facing the ceiling and slowly sweep the leg back and forth across the other. Repeat for 3 sets of 20 repetitions.
Strong, healthy legs are worth the effort but the best part is that they respond quickly without putting in weeks of work. Incorporate squats and lunges into random parts of your day – brushing your teeth, doing laundry, washing dishes – and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how fast your legs shape up!
Hope it helps.