Build lower body muscle and core stability in this Thighs, Legs and Abs Workout. Sculpt your core and build strong legs at home using minimal equipment. 20 minutes of functional training designed to strengthen the obliques, hips, quads and thighs.
Strengthening the thighs in particular is important for stabilizing your pelvic floor, hips, knees, lower back, and core.
While this lower body workout emphasizes the thighs, it’s a great leg day workout that will challenge your core as well.
Grab your weights – this functional core and leg workout adds a weighted load to build strength and stability throughout your core.
Legs and Abs Workout FAQs
Can I Train Thighs, Legs and Abs Together?
These complimentary muscle groups benefit from being trained together. In fact, your inner thighs connect to the core, so strong inner thighs can improve your core strength!
What Exercises Work The Thighs And The Abs?
Sumo squats, lateral lunges and glute bridges are some of the best exercises to tone these areas. These slight variations in traditional lower body exercises (a basic squat or lunge for example) specifically target the inner thighs, adductors (muscles of the thighs) and outer glutes. Your core will also be challenged throughout these dumbbell exercises.
20-Minute Thighs, Legs and Abs Workout
Strong 20: Day 8
A medium-to-heavy set of dumbbells and optional towel/glider.
I recommend 8-30 lbs depending on your fitness level. We’re using 15-20 lb dumbbells in this workout. The last 2-3 reps of each exercise should be challenging to complete with good form.
Shop My Dumbbells
We’re using 15 and 20 lb dumbbells in this legs and abs workout.
Increased time under tension on the squat hold makes this challenging.
How To Do 2 Squats and 2-Second Squat Hold
Stand with feet hip-width apart, toes pointing straight ahead or slightly angled out away from the body. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at your sides, palms facing your body. Option to hold one dumbbell at your chest for a goblet squat.
With your weight in your heels, sit your hips back, lowering your hips down until they are parallel with your knees and bent at a 90-degree angle.
Then, drive through your heels to return to the starting position, squeezing your glutes to stand tall. Repeat to perform a second squat.
Then, sit your hips back into a third squat, lowering your hips down until they are parallel with your knees and bent at a 90-degree angle. Hold for a two-count at the bottom of the squat.
Then, drive through your heels to return to the starting position.
Lateral Lunge with Glider
Targets: Glutes (gluteus medius), quads, hip adductors (inner thigh muscles), outer thighs, hamstrings and core.
This inner thigh exercise focuses on the outer glutes or hip abductors that assist with side-to-side movements, as well as stabilizing your pelvic floor.
How To Do A Lateral Lunge with Glider
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, holding a dumbbell in your right hand (option to hold a pair of dumbbells in both hands). Place your right toes on an exercise glider or towel (if you work out on hard floors) or paper plate (if you work out on carpet).
Slide your right foot out to the side, bending your left knee while leaving your right leg straight. Think of performing a single leg squat with your left leg while your right leg remains straight. Knees and toes are pointing forward. Range of motion will be different for everyone.
Then, pull your inner thighs together to reverse the movement, standing up to return to center.
Modification: If you don’t have a slider, take a large step out to the side, performing a standard lateral lunge.
3-Second Side Plank Hold and 3 Knee Tucks
Targets: Internal and external oblique muscles (the muscles that run along the side of your core), transverse abdominus and lower abs.
How To Do A 3-Second Side Plank Hold and 3 Knee Tucks
Start in high plank position, maintaining a straight line with your body, gaze slightly in front of you. Place a towel or glider under your toes.
Find a side plank position by rotating your body to the left, scissoring your feet and pulling your left arm straight overhead. Hold this side plank position for three seconds.
Lower the left hand back to the mat and return to your high plank position.
Then, perform a knee tuck by pulling your knees in to meet your chest. Push the feet back and repeat for three knee tucks.
Repeat the side plank hold, this time rotating to the right.
Modification: Option to take the plank and side plank hold from your knees. Rather than performing the knee tucks, hold a modified plank.
Deadlift to Alternating Front Lunge
Targets: Legs, glutes, quads, hamstrings, hip flexors, lower back and core.
How To Do A Deadlift and Alternating Front Lunge
Start standing feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. Hold a dumbbell in each hand in front of your legs (overhand grip, palms face your body).
Hinge forward at the hips, pushing your hips back as you lower the dumbbells down along the front of your body. You should feel a stretch in the back of your legs (hamstrings). Focus on keeping your back in neutral alignment with your neck and shoulders throughout the entire movement (straight line from head to tailbone). Keep a slight bend in your knees to avoid ‘locking out’ the joint.
Squeeze your glutes as you drive your hips forward to return to the starting position.
Then step your right leg forward into a front lunge, dropping your back left knee down towards the ground as you lower your hips until both knees reach a 90-degree angle, front thigh is parallel to the floor.
Then, drive through the front right heel to reverse the movement and return to a standing position. That’s one rep.
Repeat this deadlift and front lunge sequence, alternating the leg that steps out into a front lunge.
Wall Sit and Dumbbell Pass
Targets: The outer glutes, inner thigh muscles, hips and the core.
How To Do A Wall Sit and Dumbbell Pass
Place your back flat against a wall. Plant your feet firmly on the ground, hip width apart. Hold a dumbbell in your left hand.
Slide your back down the wall until your legs make a 90-degree angle, thighs are parallel to the ground, hips in line with knees. Hold this position with your back firmly connected to the wall. Lower the dumbbell in your left hand down so it’s about in line with your hips. Hold the dumbbell in this uneven load for three seconds.
Continue to hold the wall sit as you bring the dumbbell up and over your legs, passing it to your right hand and lowering it down to be in line with your hips. Hold the dumbbell here for a three-count.
Maintain the wall sit throughout the timed interval, alternating the dumbbell pass.
Kneeling Hip Thrust and Adductor Kick Out
Targets: Hips, glutes, quads, pelvic floor and core.
How To Do A Kneeling Hip Thrust and Adductor Kick Out
Start in a kneeling position, knees under hips, core engaged. Keep your left knee on the mat, left toes tucked under. Place your right leg straight out to the side. Hold a dumbbell vertically at your chest (goblet style).
Sit your hips back, hovering your glutes an inch above your heels.
Exhale as you squeeze your quads to lift your hips, driving your hips forward.
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