The quadriceps are made up of four muscles located on the front of the thigh. They assist in hip and knee flexion and extension, which are required for sitting, standing, walking, running and other forms of mobility. The thighs can be a problem area for fat accumulation. Getting thinner quadriceps requires a combination of exercise and healthy eating.
Barbell or Body bar
When toning muscle, you should always work opposing muscle groups. Along with working the quadriceps, for example, you should also tone the hamstrings. Do two sets of 12 to 15 barbell straight leg deadlifts by standing with your legs shoulder-width apart and holding a barbell, body bar or two dumbbells. Hinging from the hip, bend forward, lowering the weight toward the floor. Stand up to return to the start position. Keep your back straight to focus the work on the hamstrings and glutes and to avoid back strain. Increase the challenge by adding more reps, sets or weight.
Get a doctor's approval before starting a new exercise routine and diet.
Burn fat with 30 to 60 minutes of cardiovascular exercise five days a week. While thigh-targeted exercises will tone and strengthen thighs, cardiovascular exercise will get rid of fat all over. Running, bicycling, rowing, hiking and inline skating burn fat as well as tone quadriceps.
Do two sets of 12 to 15 squats. Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart and feet facing forward. Push your hips back while bending your knees and then straighten your legs to return to the start position. Your knees should remain behind your toes and your head and chest should be lifted during the squat. As you get stronger, increase the challenge of the squat by adding more reps or an additional set or by holding dumbbells in each hand.
Perform two sets of 12 to 15 forward lunges. Stand with legs hip-width apart and then step forward with one leg. Bend the knee of your forward leg and shift your weight forward without allowing your knee to extend over your toes. Push back with your forward foot to return to the starting position. The lunge can be performed by stepping backward instead to reduce strain on the knee. Increase the difficulty by adding more reps or sets or by holding dumbbells in each hand.
Eat fewer calories than your body needs. You need to burn or reduce calories by 3,500 to lose 1 pound of fat. Cutting out sugar and refined carbohydrates is a fast and easy way to reduce calories. Eat lean proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grains instead. Don't cut your calories below 1,200 if you're a woman and 1,800 if you're a man.
Things You'll Need
Leslie Truex has been telecommuting and freelancing since 1994. She wrote the "The Work-At-Home Success Bible" and is a career/business and writing instructor at Piedmont Virginia Community College. Truex has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Willamette University and a Master of Social Work from California State University-Sacramento. She has been an Aerobics and Fitness Association of America certified fitness instructor since 2001.