The inner and upper thighs are relatively easy to train and get visible results. There are many exercises that target the thighs, and most cardio routines such as biking, running, stair climbing and eliptical exercises also tone the thighs. Here, Sharon A. Gordin, private trainer at The Sports Club/LA in New York City, offers some thigh-blasting moves to get you started. As with any kind of exercise, regular practice makes perfect. If you have knee problems, consult your doctor before doing these moves.
Stand with your back against a wall, feet shoulder-width apart and facing forward. Fold your arms across your chest or hold them to your sides and crouch down so that your legs are at a 90-degree angle, your thighs parallel with the floor. Make sure that your knees do not come over your feet, and keep your weight in your heels with your back planted firmly against the wall. Hold for 15-30 seconds and slowly return to standing position. Repeat three times. This exercise works your quadriceps, adductors and and abductors.
Grab a pair of dumbbells (at least 5-10 pounds, or more if you’re advanced) and stand with your feet hip-width apart, feet facing forward, arms at your sides. Cross your left leg behind your right, bringing it into a deep curtsy and bending at the knees so they track over your feet. Return to your starting stance with feet hip-width apart and pointed straight and this time, bring your right leg behind the left for a deep curtsy bending at the knees. Perform 3 sets of 10-12 reps. This exercise works your abductors and adductors.
Forward Lunge with Arm Curl
Grab a pair of dumbbells (5-10 pounds or more if you are advanced) and activate your abdominal muscles as though you are wearing a corset – bring them in and up. With your feet together and pointed forward, lunge out forward with your right leg, bringing it to a 90-degree angle. Your left knee should drop down but not touch the floor. Curl the weights up to your chest simultaneously. Perform the same move with your left leg and continue alternating throughout the set. If this is challenging your balance too much, either try it without weights, lower weights, or keep the weights by your side instead of curling your biceps muscles. Perform 3 sets of 10-12 reps. This exercises tones your quadriceps and biceps.
Crouch down in a low squat, feet facing forward and shoulder-width apart, with your rear-end is resting on your heels. Your hands can be by your ears or folded across your chest. Take four steps forward in this position. Do the same in reverse. Repeat 10 times going forward and backwards for two sets. If you can stand it, perform a third set. If this position is too challenging for you, stand a little higher. If you have knee problems, please consult your doctor before attempting this exercise. This move works your quadriceps and gluteal muscles.
- Sharon A. Gordin, private trainer, The Sports Club/LA, New York, New York
Based in New York City, Rebecca Jones has been a writer, reporter and researcher for more than 20 years. Her reporting and researching has helped inform the pages of Glamour, Giant, and Ladies' Home Journal among other publications. In addition to her professional work in the editorial departments of magazines, Jones is an avid poet and as yet unpublished fiction writer.