12 Exercises to Firm your Thighs

Summer is right around the corner, and, whether you like it or not, those thighs of yours are going public. Get them ready with these thigh-targeting exercises!

  1. Stairs: Skip the elevator and escalator and take the stairs in your everyday routine.
  2. Dance: It’s fun. It gets your heart rate up. And it firms your legs. What’s not to love about dancing?
  3. Cardiovascular exercise: Hit the streets or trail. Get on a treadmill or bike. Whatever your heart-pumping exercise of choice, do it for 30 to 60 minutes, three to five days a week. For best results, exercise at moderate to high intensity. Add inclines (hills) for more intensity.
  4. Squats: Incorporate squats at least every other day in your exercise routine. Start with feet hip-width distance apart and hands in front of you for balance. Bend knees and lower hips deeply until thighs are parallel to the floor. You should look like you are sitting in a chair. Keep your weight back in your heels. Rise back to starting position. Do 3 sets of 15 reps.
  5. Wall Squats: Stand with your back against a wall. Place your feet about two feet in front of you, hip-width distance apart. Bend your knees and slide your back down the wall until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Keep your knees over your ankles, adjust as necessary. You should look like you are sitting in a chair against the wall. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds and return to start position. Do 3 sets of 3 reps.
  6. Plies: Incorporate plies at least every other day in your exercise routine. Start with feet wide (more than hip-width distance apart) with toes pointing outward. Keeping your back straight, shoulders back and chest out, slowly contract your thighs to lower until they are close to parallel to the floor. Keep your knees in line with your toes. Squeeze your butt to help you return to start position. Do 3 sets of 15 reps.
  7. Lunges: Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Step forward with your left leg. Bend both knees and lower hips toward the ground until your back knee is an inch above the ground. Straighten both legs to raise your hips. Throughout the exercise, keep your torso perpendicular to the floor with your weight evenly distributed between your legs. Keep your front knee over your front ankle and not past your toes. Your weight should be in your heels instead of your toes. Do 3 sets of 15 reps for each leg.
  8. Lateral Lunges: Start in standing with your feet together. Step your right foot to the side beyond hip-width distance apart while keeping your toes forward and your feet flat. Bend your right knee and lower your hips toward the floor while keeping your left leg straight. Lower as much as you can, holding at the bottom for 3 seconds. Push back to the starting position. Do 3 sets of 15 reps for each leg.
  9. Clamshell: Lie on your right side with knees bent and stacked. Heels should be in line with your glutes. Keep your hips facing forward and heels together as you lift your left knee as high as possible, engaging your core and lower body the entire time. Lower leg to start position. Do 3 sets of 20 reps per side.
  10. Leg Lifts: Come to your hands and knees with your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Keeping your knee bent, core stabilized and lower body engaged, lift your right leg out to the side and back until your right leg is parallel to the floor. Lower leg to start position. Do 3 sets of 20 reps per side.
  11. Donkey Side-Kick: Come to your hands and knees with your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Keeping your knee bent, core stabilized and lower body engaged, lift your right knee out to your side to hip level. Straighten your right leg, point your toe and lower the foot to the floor. Lift your right leg back to hip height, bend your knee and return to starting position. Do 3 sets of 20 reps per side.
  12. Single-Leg Dead Lift: Stand with feet hip-width distance apart with palms facing the front of your thighs. As you hinge forward at your hips, extend your left leg behind you so that your body (torso and lifted leg) are parallel to the floor. Return to starting position. Do 3 sets of 15 reps for each leg.

 

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