Many individuals feel self-conscious wearing shorts or a bathing suit because of the size of their thighs. Although thighs can be a difficult area for weight-loss, it's possible to make them slimmer through a combination of cardiovascular activity, healthy nutritional choices and strength-training activities. These strength-training exercises should target the hamstrings and quadriceps -- the two major muscle groups that make up the thighs.
Add a barbell to body-weight squats or freehand jump squats to increase the resistance.
Avoid freehand jump squats if you have back or knee injuries.
Talk to your doctor before starting a weight-loss or strength-training program.
Perform body-weight squats, which target your quads as well as your hamstrings and glutes. Stand up straight with your feet at shoulder-width. Place your hands on the back of your head as if you were about to perform a crunch. Flex with your hips and knees to assume a squatting position, moving your body as low as it can comfortably go. Stand back up straight to complete one repetition.
Perform freehand jump squats, which target your quads, hamstrings, glutes and calves. Fold your arms across your chest while standing straight up. Your head should be up and your feet about shoulder-width apart. Squat while inhaling until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Apply pressure to the balls of your feet to jump into the air as high as you can while exhaling. Return to the squatting position once your feet return to the floor. This is one repetition.
Perform front leg raises, which primarily target your hamstrings. Stand next to a stable object such as a chair to brace yourself, and grab it with one hand. Swing your left leg forward, as high as it can go while keeping your knee straight. Swing the same leg backward from this position, as far as possible. Repeat for the desired number of reps, then switch to the right leg.
Perform approximately three to five sets of 15 to 20 repetitions for each exercise. Rest for as little as possible in between sets, as this will keep your heart rate elevated and increase calorie-burning. Perform the complete workout each day for three days. Following this, perform the workout three to four times per week to continue improving the muscular definition and toning of your thighs.
Perform cardiovascular exercise for approximately 30 minutes before each strength-training session to burn calories and improve circulation. Examples include cycling, rowing, jogging and elliptical machines. This will promote fat loss all over the body, including the thighs.
Eat a reduced-calorie diet to further enhance weight-loss. Focus on nutritious foods with protein, unsaturated fat and complex carbohydrates. While adhering to this eating plan for three days only will not produce much in the way of results, adopting this diet long-term will result in additional weight-loss.
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.