Thunder thighs jiggle when you walk and may even have fat dimples, or cellulite, that make you uncomfortable revealing your legs during the warmer months. You can end the embarrassment and improve your body composition with the right exercises. Meet with your doctor to get his approval before starting any new exercise program and to learn about healthy physical activity.
Thunder thighs are a result of body fat that has accumulated on your legs in combination with a small amount of muscle tissue. This could be from not getting enough exercise, eating an unhealthy diet or genetics. There isn't one magical exercise that will combat both of these, but using a thorough workout program that combines calorie-burning activities with muscle-building movements can help.
Aerobic exercise is a large umbrella that includes countless activities. If most of your body is moving, you're sweating and breathing faster, you are doing aerobic activity. The key to making aerobic exercise lead to fat loss is to pick activities you enjoy that also burn a large number of calories. Focus on activities that use the large muscles of your thighs for even more muscle toning. ACE Fitness recommends mountain biking, inline skating, dancing, skiing, boxing and hiking. Other effective fat burners include running, the elliptical trainer, step aerobics, swimming and cycling. Aim for at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity five to seven days a week. If you have the energy and stamina, push for 60 minutes during each workout.
Resistance training uses your body weight to provide natural tension to build muscle tissue. Examples of exercises that target the thighs include lunges, squats, wall sits and leg raises. To perform wall sits, place your back against the wall with your feet 2 to 3 feet away. Bend your knees to lower yourself into a sitting position; your thigh should be level with the ground. Hold for up to 30 seconds, relax and repeat up to five times.
Weightlifting relies on free weights, weighted machines and exercise equipment to perform muscle-building exercises. This includes the leg extension, hamstring curls, the leg press, hip adductors and hip abductors. To do leg extensions, sit on the seat and place your legs behind the shin pads. Raise your legs as high as you can and slowly lower them back down. Choose three to four exercises for each workout and complete 10 to 12 repetitions. Make sure you use a weight that makes the last two repetitions feel almost impossible to complete.
Warm up for about five minutes before doing any exercise to help your body transition from rest to activity. Do exercises like jumping jacks or jogging in place to increase blood flow to your muscles. Rest your muscles for 48 hours between each muscle-building workout to allow them to recover and rebuild.
Ashley Farley has been a certified personal trainer since 2008. She is also a writer specializing in healthy living, fitness and nutrition topics. Farley has an Associate of Science in mental health services from the Community College of the Air Force and is pursuing her B.A. in English at Wright State University.