We all want strong, lean legs that we can proudly show off in a mini skirt. But toning your thighs is about more than just having gorgeous gams; it’s also about having a strong foundation that supports your body.
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Having strong legs begins with your thighs. Aside from your glutes, your thigh muscles Here are some tried and tested exercises to make your thighs leaner and stronger — not to mention, sexier.
Squats come in many different varieties. There’s the basic squat, weighted squats, sumo squats, jump squats, barbell squats, and the list just goes on and on. If you’re a beginner, it would be wise to go for the basic squats that you can do right from the comfort of your own home.
What’s great about squats is that you can alter and adjust the resistance as you progress. Once you’ve gotten the hang of it, add weights using dumbbells. Afterwards, you’ll be able to level up to using barbells — preferably in the gym and under the supervision of a trainer.
Adding weights to your squats allows you to burn more calories, so get your squats on and make it more effective with weights.
Lunges also are an effective way of toning the legs, particularly the thighs. Front and side lunges are a favourite among leg day aficionados, since it provides the strengthening with each rep that you do. It also helps in stretching your kneecaps and shins.
Much like in doing squats, even a few reps can already cause that painful yet very rewarding burning sensation on your legs—signalling that you’re doing it right and that your muscles are at work. And to make it more challenging, you can also upgrade by using dumbbells to push your thigh muscles and strengthen it even more.
Standing on one leg (let’s use your left leg first), lean slight forward and raise your right leg bringing it up to hip level. Do it for at least 10-15 reps before switching to the left. Once again, weights can be added to make this workouts more advantageous. But instead of just letting your arms hang, you can also do bicep curls or raise it to hip level to work out your triceps.
There are other variations of single leg lifts as well. You can also raise it while standing upright to activate your thigh’s front muscles. You can also do it sideways for a more thorough thigh workout. The great thing about this workout is that it activates not just the thigh muscles, but also the arms and core.
For a more dynamic approach to leg workouts, you can try doing skater jumps — also known as skater lunges or side skaters. Your quads, hamstrings, and glutes would be put to use, and you are bound to get your heart racing with this one as well.
If you’ve ever seen an ice skater in action, then this is the closest thing you can do to becoming one — but not on the ice. Start by hopping to your right side and then sweep your left foot behind the right leg in a diagonal orientation. As you do this, swing your arms towards the direction you are going to. Do this repetitively by jumping from one side to another, counting one rep as covering both sides.
All the workouts we’ve discussed so far use more bodyweight and do not rely heavily on gym equipment, except for dumbbells. However, it’s impossible to make a list of effective leg workouts and not include spinning or cycling in it. What’s great about this move is that it’s also multi-functional, working out big muscles groups such as your quads, calves, hamstrings, core muscles, and even your arms and strengthen your endurance.
Spinning and cycling classes involve actively engaging your core and leg muscles for a prolonged period of time. Even with just a few classes, you’re bound to notice obvious results with your legs already.
In all of these leg workouts, the key is achieving progression. Don’t just stick to one level or you’ll hit a plateau. To achieve significant and noticeable results, commit to working your legs regularly and increase the resistance to continue challenging yourself. Soon enough, you’ll have strong, sexy thighs that you can be proud of.
About the author: Nancy Moore is the founder and creator of Fitnessgrams. She created Fitnessgrams to be a haven for people looking to get fit, boost their health, lose weight, or improve their well-being. Here you will find experiences, workouts, information from the experts, healthy living tips, and tools to find well-being and balance.