Exercises for the Stomach & Thighs

Remember to fuel your workout with a healthy diet.

Remember to fuel your workout with a healthy diet.

It is not difficult to create a customized workout targeting your stomach and thighs that fits your schedule and fitness level. Consider what your fitness goals are. If you want to lose weight, you must combine cardio and healthy eating habits, expending more calories than you take in. If you want to tone your stomach and thighs, add strength training to your workout.

Crunches

Crunches are a highly effective exercise for toning the stomach, and they can be done from home or at the gym. For a standard crunch, lie on your back with your knees comfortably bent and feet hip-width apart. Place your fingers gently on either side of your neck. Raise your upper body, leading with your chest and pausing at the top of the move before lowering with control. Use your fingers alongside your neck to be sure it is not tense or strained as you raise. Perform two sets of 20 repetitions.

Crunch Variations

Further your stomach workout by adding variations of the crunch, such as the bicycle and reverse crunch. The reverse crunch targets your lower abs and is done like the standard crunch by lying on your back, except your arms are extended to your sides. For the entire set, your legs stay extended up from the hips and calves parallel to the floor. From this position, lift your hips off the ground while keeping your shoulders rooted to the floor. The bicycle crunch adds an oblique workout to your ab exercise. While lying on your back with your knees bent and hands at gently at your neck, bring your left leg in and twist your right arm as if to meet it. Pause at the top of this movement and lower with control then repeat on the opposite side. Do two sets of 20 repetitions of each exercise.

Lunges

Lunges are an excellent workout for your legs, especially your inner and outer thighs. To perform a lunge, start with your legs hip-width apart and step far forward with your right foot, lowering with the bend of your knee until your thigh is parallel to the floor. Pause and lift back with control, bringing your right leg to meet the left and repeat on the other side. While performing a lunge, keep your upper body erect with your shoulders back and chest forward. Place your hands on your hips and hold your abdomen tight to stabilize your core and gain a workout in your stomach. Do two sets of 20 repetitions of this exercise.

Squats

Squats are also effective for your upper legs, including the hamstrings, quads, glutes and your lower abs. Stand with your legs wider than hip-width apart and place your hands on your hips to stabilize yourself and keep the movement slow and controlled. Lower by bending your knees and sitting back as if into a chair. Keep your chest lifted not bending far at the waist by shifting your pelvis forward slightly. Do two sets of 20 repetitions.

Safety and Tips

As with any new workout, learn to listen to your body's stress signals and take new exercises slowly. Ask a gym trainer to critique and fine tune your form for best results. Consult your doctor, especially if you have any joint or health concerns.

 

About the Author

Grace Bordelon is a public relations professional, teacher and writer. She owns her own boutique public relations firm that specializes in the advertising, gaming and software industries. She also teaches at a major design school for fine artists, commercial artists and graphic designers. Bordelon holds a B.A. in international economics and an M.A. in English from Bard College.

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