If you're looking to burn fat in your thighs but not in other areas of your body, there's bad news: According to "Yale Scientific" and other expert health publications, targeted fat loss is actually impossible. Instead, weight loss occurs across the entire body with diet and exercise, and the exact places where fat loss first occurs is largely determined by genetics. However, you can still perform cardio and eat more healthfully to lose overall body fat; and engage in targeted strength training to increase muscle mass, density, strength and definition in your quads specifically.
Leg press machine
Talk to your doctor before starting a strength-training program.
Engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week, ideally in sessions lasting at least 30 minutes each. Your goal is to burn calories and create a daily caloric deficit, which will directly result in weight loss. Ideal activities include cycling, rowing and stair climbing, because they work the quads in particular. You can perform up to 300 minutes of cardio per week for even more calorie burning and health benefits.
Consume a diet containing 200 to 400 fewer daily calories than you eat normally. This will increase the size of your daily caloric deficit and allow you to lose weight faster. Avoid processed and packaged foods while choosing healthy, natural whole foods like lean meat, chicken, fish, whole grains, nuts, legumes, fruits, vegetables and olive oil.
Perform barbell squats. Stand upright with a barbell resting on your shoulders, approximately at the base of your neck. Grip the bar with your palms facing forward. Inhale while bending at your hips and knees to lower your torso toward the floor, keeping your back straight. Pause for a moment once your thighs are parallel to the ground, then push down with your heels to lift your torso back to the starting position.
Do barbell lunges. Stand with a barbell resting on your shoulders as if you're performing squats. Step approximately 2 feet forward with your right foot, bending at your hips and knees to lower your torso while keeping the ball of your left foot planted. Pause once your left knee is a few inches above the ground. Apply pressure to your left heel to resume the starting positon.
Perform leg presses. Sit on a leg press machine and place your feet against the platform shoulder width apart. Press the platform forward until your legs are fully extended. Inhale as you bend at your knees to lower the platform. Pause briefly once your knees make a 90-degree angle, then apply pressure to the balls of your feet to push the platform back to the starting position while exhaling.
Complete three to five sets of eight to 10 reps for each exercise. Perform all the exercises together as a complete quad-training session two to three times per week.
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Kevin Richards has been a writer and editor since 2009, specializing in fitness, health and nutrition, as well as technology, finance and legal issues. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan.