Many men and women find that toning their thighs is difficult. However, with the correct exercises you can have fit and toned thighs that you will love! Many of your major thigh muscles-hamstrings and quadriceps as well as your glutes-are very easy to tone.
If you are working out at a gym, there are a wide variety of exercises you can do at a fitness center or with strength-training equipment. Machines, such as, the leg press, leg extension, and the leg curl are an effective way to get started.
However, if you do not have access to equipment, using your own body weight as resistance during lower body exercises can be very effective in toning and strengthening your hips, glutes, thighs, and calves. For the fastest results try these 7 strengthening exercises to get you started.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
These exercises are sure to help you have toned and fit thighs. If you have a health condition that limits your activity, check with your physician before doing any form of exercise. Other exercises that are great for your upper legs are walking, swimming, biking, and in-line skating.
Lean head, shoulders, lower back, and butt against a wall, with feet about 18 inches in front. Keeping knees hip-width apart, slide down the wall until you are in a chair-like position. Your legs should not go any lower than a right angle to the floor. Hold position for 30 seconds; work up to five minutes. For various squat forms read here.
Muscles it works: Quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings
Stand sideways at the bottom of a staircase. In a scissor-like motion, cross your outer leg to reach the step. Pull your other foot off the floor and place on the second step.
Walk sideways up the flight of stairs; return to bottom normally. Then scissor your way up facing the opposite direction, leading with other leg. Start with one flight for each leg; work up to five.
Muscles it works: Entire leg
Stand with hands on hips, legs hip-width apart. Take a big step forward with your left leg until your left thigh is parallel to floor. Do not allow your knee to extend in front of your toes.
Let your back leg bend and heel come off the floor. Do not lean forward. Push off the left leg, and step back into starting position. Repeat with right leg. Start with eight repetitions on each leg; work up to 20.
Muscles it works: Hamstrings, glutes
Begin standing with your back to a chair, feet hip-width apart. While keeping your weight centered on your heels, draw in your abs and hinge forward at the hips slowly lowering your butt toward the chair.
Pause right before you would sit down and return to standing while keeping the core engaged.
Muscles it works: Glutes and hamstrings
Pivoting Curtsy Lunge
Standing with feet hip-width apart, step your right foot diagonally behind you and into a 7 o’clock position. Bend both knees so you’re in a lunge stance.
Lean your torso forward 30 degrees and pulse up and down 10-15 times. Straighten the body and pivot 180 degrees so your right foot comes to the front. Again, lower into a lunge.
Pulse up and down 10-15 times on each side to complete one set; do 3 sets.
Muscles it works: quads, hamstrings, and glutes.
Begin with feet shoulder-width apart and the arms at your sides. Take a large step backwards with your left leg and cross it diagonally behind the right leg. Meanwhile, extend your right arm out to the side and swing the left arm across the hips. Hop about 2 feet to the left and come back to the beginning stance.
Repeat with the other leg; that’s one set. Do 3 sets of 20 reps.
Muscles it works: the quads, hamstrings, and glutes.
Two-Thirds Jump Squat
Begin by standing with feet shoulder-width apart, arms at the sides. Lower the body into a squat, going two-thirds of the way down. Immediately jump straight up with your arms pointed up toward the ceiling. When you land, go right back into the next rep.
Do 3 sets of 20 reps each.
Muscles it works: Quads and hamstrings