Squats are an easy, effective exercise for your thighs that you can do at home or at the gym. The best way to describe the proper form for a squat is to stand straight, legs at shoulder-width apart, then pretend you’re sitting down. Just as your knees are bent at 90 degrees, stand back up again. You might want to hold your arms in front of you, or keep them on your hips, for balance. Do three sets of 20 squats. Want to amp it up a little? Rather than rising slowly from the squat, leap up, then land softly in the squat «sitting» position again.
2. FRONT LUNGES
Ah, lunges. Perhaps the most perfect exercise for thighs! They’re easy to do, and again, they can be done at the gym or at home. Stand with your feet together, hands on your hips. Take a step forward with your right leg, dropping your left knee to the ground, then stand back up again in one fluid motion. Don’t over-step, and don’t hit your knee on the ground too hard! Repeat, stepping forward with your left leg and dropping to your right knee. Do three sets of 12 for each leg.
3. SIDE LUNGES
Side lunges are nearly identical to front lunges, only (you guessed it) rather than stepping forward, you’ll step to the right or the left, depending on which leg is your «step forward» leg. Again, repeat for three sets of 12 for each leg.
4. RUNNING OR JOGGING
Running, jogging, or even brisk walking is also an excellent exercise for thighs. Be sure, of course, that you have the right trainers for your feet, and that you stay hydrated.
5. LEG PRESS
Ever wondered what the leg press at the gym was for, exactly, or how to use it? It’s for your thighs (and the rest of your legs) but the key is proper form! And you don’t have to use a lot of weight; start with 20 pounds and work up from there. Be sure that, as you’re pushing up, your knees never go further out that your toes.
6. SINGLE LEG «NAME»
The longer your name, the more… difficult… this exercise will be. Lie flat on your back with your arms at your sides and your legs straight. Lift your left leg in the air, toes pointed at the ceiling (or as close to the ceiling as you can get) keeping your leg as straight as possible. Using your toes as your «pen,» «write» your name on the ceiling. Now switch legs and do it again! Repeat ten times with each leg, and do three sets. Yow!
There are several yoga poses and maneuvers that are excellent exercises for your thighs, including the utkatasana and sun salutation. Find a yoga DVD to do at home, or take a class at a local gym or studio. Who knew yoga could give you awesome buns and thighs?
With so many awesome, effective (and frankly, «feel the burn») exercises for thighs, there’s no reason to have bikini bad-dreams again… at least, not this season! Which of these thigh exercises has you winded, and which are a snap? Or do you have another exercise for thighs that’ll help me tone up? Do share!