Unfortunately, there is no magic cure to get rid of fat in certain areas of your body. What you can do is lose weight in general and tone up. To get rid of fat all over, follow a healthy, calorie-restricted diet and engage in aerobic exercise for at least 30 minutes three days a week -- more is better. Though Pilates can't help you lose thigh fat, it can tighten and strengthen your thigh muscles, giving you a sleeker look once you lose weight.
Before you begin working to get rid of the fat on your thighs, you need to understand the muscles that make up your thighs. There are four main muscles located in your thighs: hamstrings, making up the back of your thighs; quadriceps, the front of your thighs; adductors, the inner thigh muscles; and abductors, the outer thigh muscles. To tone your thighs, you should focus on Pilates exercises that engage each of these different muscles.
The Saw is a Pilates move that uses your hamstrings as well as your abdominals. To perform this exercise, start by sitting on an exercise mat with your legs extended and your arms at your sides. Sit as tall and straight as possible, and spread your legs until they are shoulder-width apart. At the same time, raise your arms up, keeping them shoulder-width apart. Twist with your torso as far to the right as you can, and lean forward to sweep your left hand over your right foot. Return to center and repeat the movement, twisting to your left and sweeping your right hand over your left foot. The key to toning your hamstrings in this exercise is to keep your legs straight and firmly pressed against the floor. Do three sets of 12 to 15 repetitions for this exercise.
The Pilates exercise known as the Leg Pull Front is a great way to work and tone your quadriceps. Start on an exercise mat with your legs straight out in front of you. Place your hands behind you shoulder-width apart and lift your hips off the floor, so that you are supporting your body with the palms of your hands and your heels. Lift your right leg straight up and hold it there for three to five seconds before returning your heel to the floor. Continue alternating between your right and left legs 12 to 20 times.
A Pilates exercise to work on toning your adductors is called Side Kicks. Start by lying on your side on an exercise mat. Align your hips and shoulders and rest your head in hand, with the other hand on the floor for balance. Then raise your top leg to the level of your hip, swinging it forward and back. Do this between six and eight times before you switch sides. Remember to focus on keeping your muscles and core engaged while completing this exercise.
The abductor muscles, also known as tensor fascia latae, make up the glutes and outer thigh muscles. The abductor muscles move the hip away from you in a sideways directions, also known as hip abduction. When these muscles are tight, it limits your hip mobility. Including a Pilates exercise, such as Leg Circles, can increase the mobility of the abductor muscle. To perform these, lie on your back and extend one leg straight out on the floor and keep the other leg extended toward the ceiling. Inhale and bring the lifted leg across the midline of the body. As you exhale start to lower the leg and circle it around and back to your starting position. Perform five to eight reps, then reverse the direction of the circles. Perform the same sequence on the other leg as well.
- Fitness Magazine: Anatomy of Your Leg Muscles
- Pilates Back Joint Exercise: Free Pilates Online Exercise: The Saw!
- Pilates Digest: Leg Pull Front Pilates Exercise Video
- Pilates Back Joint Exercise: Pilates Side Kicks for Hip Strength and Flexibility
- Pilates Digest: Pilates Mat Exercises to Improve Torso Rotation for Golfers
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