While everyone carries a little extra weight in different places, sometimes it can seem like you're the only one fighting the bulge. For many women, their extra weight clings to their thighs, making them feel pear-shaped and dumpy. But fear not -- besides the fact that round thighs give you a lovely, curvy shape, there are ways to slim down and tone up to make the most of your legs. A mixture of cardio and strength training will get rid of extra fat and build sleek muscle.
Perform at least 150 minutes and up to 300 minutes a week of cardio, such as running, swimming, biking or the elliptical machine, to lose weight. Cardio exercise will help you burn fat throughout your body, including the stubborn fat around your thighs.
Lean with your back against a wall to perform static wall squats. Bend your knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor and your knees are at a 90-degree angle. Your back should be pressed against the wall from shoulders to tailbone. Hold this position for 30 seconds to two minutes. Repeat for a total of three sets. This will tone all of the muscles in your thighs, including your quadriceps in the front and hamstrings in the back.
Use an exercise ball to perform a dynamic wall squat. Stand with a stability ball wedged between your lower back and the wall. Slowly squat until your thighs are parallel with the floor, letting the ball roll up your back. When you're in a full squat, the ball should be positioned around your upper back or shoulders. Slowly straighten your legs to return to start. Repeat for 12 to 15 repetitions. This exercise tones your thighs, glutes and abdominals.
Perform a basic squat. Stand with feet hip-width apart, toes forward and arms crossed in front of you. Keep your back straight and stick out your backside as you slowly bend your knees. Imagine you're trying to sit in a chair that is one or two steps behind you. Bend your knees until your thighs are parallel with the floor, and make sure your knees don't extend over your feet. Return to start. Perform 12 to 15 squats. For an added challenge, hold a light weight in each hand at your sides. This exercise tones the thighs and glutes.
Do plie squats. Stand with your legs slightly wider than hip-width apart, knees and toes turned out. Keeping your back straight and your stomach tight, bend your knees and lower into a squat. Return to start. Repeat for 15 repetitions. For an extra challenge, hold two light weights on your thighs or one medium weight between your legs. This exercise takes care of those pesky inner thighs.
Try lunges. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, toes forward, and take a large step forward with your right leg. Bend both knees to perform a lunge. Make sure your right knee doesn't extend beyond your right toes. Straighten your legs. Do 12 to 15 repetitions, then repeat the exercise with the left leg in front. For extra challenge, hold a light weight in each hand at your sides. Lunges will blast your thighs and glutes.
- Perform these exercises three times a week for best results. Also eat a healthy diet that focuses on lean protein, fruits and vegetables to help you lose weight.
- Always consult your doctor before beginning a fitness regimen.
Lindsey Robinson Sanchez, from Bessemer, Ala., has written for the "Troy Messenger," "The Alabama Baptist" and "The Gainesville Times," where her work was featured on the AP wire. She has a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Florida. She writes style, beauty, fitness, travel and culture.