7 Moves Toward Tight, Toned Thighs!
Leggings, skinny jeans, and minis are all fashion staples, so toned thighs will help you rock your wardrobe. Firming up the upper thighs with some sculpting exercises will certainly help, especially if you stick to a healthy eating plan and keep up a vigorous cardio routine. Here are a few of our favorite moves for toning those gams.
For a great warmup move that works both the outer and inner thighs try this variation on the basic jumping jack.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and extend your arms straight out to either side with palms facing down. This is the starting position.
- Jump and cross your right arm over your left and your right foot over your left. Jump back to the starting position, then cross with the opposite arm and foot. This counts as one rep.
- Continue alternating sides and repeating this movement until you complete 25 reps. Be sure to keep up the pace and not allow too much time for recovery between jumps; this way you'll be sure to keep up your heart rate and engage your whole body.
Steps-ups work your legs and glutes while making your heart pump! When completing step-ups, be sure to have weight in your heel to work your thigh rather than your calf muscle. Here's how:
- Stand in front of a sturdy chair* (make sure it won't slide out from under you) and place your left foot in the center of the seat.
- Step up onto the chair and bring your right knee forward and up.
- Lower yourself back to the floor, with the foot landing quietly.
- Switch legs, and repeat. That completes two steps.
- Do 20 steps total.
*If a chair feels too high, use a shorter stool or a bottom stair.
Sumo Squat With Arm Raises
Celeb trainers David Kirsch, Jackie Warner, and Teddy Bass all recommend the sumo squat for creating shapely legs. For maximum burn, focus on the inner thighs when straightening the legs, not the quads.
- Stand with legs wide and toes pointed outward slightly. Hold a pair of dumbbells in your hands with your arms straight and your palms facing down.
- Bend your knees until your knees are over your ankles while raising your arms to just below shoulder height. Arms should be in line with your legs — you should see the weights in your peripheral vision.
- Straighten your legs and lower your arms simultaneously.
- Complete three sets of 15 reps.
Pilates Inverted Plié
This simple move really targets the inner thighs. Plus you can do it while watching TV.
- Lie on your back with feet pointed toward that ceiling with legs in external rotation, so your heels are together and toes apart.
- Flex your toes as you bend and open your knees outward, keeping your heels glued together.
- Actively press through your heels as your straighten your legs, zipping your inner thighs together. End by pointing your toes. This completes one rep.
- Do three sets of 20 reps.
This lunge variation tones the lower glutes as well as the inner thighs. Hold a heavy dumbbell, medicine ball, or kettlebell at your chest to increase the difficulty of the move.
- Stand with your feet shoulder distance apart.
- Take a large step diagonally forward with your right foot, planting your foot at the 11 o'clock position. Sink down until your thighs form right angles. Keep the medicine ball stable.
- Extend your legs, then lift your right knee and bring it in toward your chest. Step back with your right leg, this time lunging behind your torso and stepping back to the eight o'clock position. As you sink down into the reverse lunge. This completes one rep. Complete your set, then switch sides.
- A set equals 15 to 20 reps on each leg. Do two sets.
Side-Lying Leg Lift
This simple move targets the outer thighs. But pay attention to detail on this move, you want to move your hip joint not your back.
- Start on your side with your legs extended, flexing both feet. Place your top hand on the ground in front of your abs and your supporting arm under your head. Make sure your bottom leg stays extended for the duration of the series.
- Keeping the energy reaching out through your flexed heels, lift your top leg up about six to eight inches from the floor. From here, make tiny pulses upward 20 times. Holding your leg at the highest point of your lift, draw one-inch circles with your heel for 20 reps.
- Keeping your top leg lifted, bend and straighten your knee. Do this 20 times while not letting your thigh lower as you press through the heel to lengthen your top leg to the straightened position. For an even greater burn, finish this series with lifts in a bigger range of motion, taking the foot all the way toward the ceiling and back down, 10 to 20 times.
Elbow Plank With Leg Lift
Adding a leg lift to your side plank tones the outer thigh while challenging your core. The trick to keep the pelvis high as you lift your top leg is to reach the inner-thigh of your bottom leg toward the ceiling.
- Place your right elbow on the ground. Extend both legs out so that your body is in one straight line, and you're balancing on the outside edge of your right foot. Flex both feet if you can and rest your left hand on your upper hip.
- Keeping your spine lengthened and your abs engaged, lift your left leg up just higher than our top hip. Then slowly lower it back to your bottom leg.
- Keep your waist up and lifted and don't sink into your bottom shoulder.
- Do three sets of 15 to 20 repetitions on each side.