Whether your goal is weight loss or moving with more confidence; whether you want to carve out definition of your thigh muscles: working your legs is the best way to get there.
Toned, healthy thighs are those with fewer fatty deposits, and good blood flow.
Targeted leg muscle workouts not only combat unsightly cellulite, but can also work to prevent cardiovascular disease.
To define and shape your thighs, a customised fitness program would prove much more effective than working out at home, with no particular guidance or fitness education.
Many believe a personal fitness trainer is out of their reach, and even gym fees are too high.
For your overall health and fitness, you must exercise your whole body: from your deltoids to your calves, through your abs and dorsals.
The trick to home workouts is not just to find motivation, but staying motivated.
Let Superprof step in as your home fitness trainer. Coaching you online, our energising fitness professionals will equip you with the best moves to shape and bulk up your thighs.
Safety First, Last and Always in Sports Conditioning
Being physically active is in fact the best way to slim down your thighs and tone your whole body.
However, it is vital that you not overlook certain aspects of physical training, every time you work out.
Warm ups are necessary to get your muscles, joints and connective tissues ready for the strenuous workout ahead.
Avoid torn ligaments, pulled muscles and hyper-extensions by dedicating the first segment of your workout time to stretching and getting a good cardio burn on.
An added benefit to a warm up routine is mental preparation: your mind cues your body that intensive movement is imminent.
Your heart will beat faster, pumping oxygen-rich blood through every vein, engorging your muscles and preparing them for the the upcoming challenge.
This priming is essential to muscular strength, needed for every workout session.
How to Prepare Your Thighs for Their Workout
The inside of your thighs comprises of five muscles, collectively called adductors.
Here is a simple exercise to get them in shape:
- Stand straight, with feet shoulder-width apart
- take one step to the side
- squat with the 'stepping' leg and hold that position
- release the pose and step back to 'home position'
- repeat the move, using the other leg
- Thirty reps – fifteen on each side is sufficient
This warm-up stimulates thigh muscles as well as calves and glutes.
Another simple move is called the glute kick. All you need to do is stand, feet shoulder-width apart and elbows at ninety degrees, pinned to your waist.
Your weight should be more on the balls of your feet, with feet flat on the floor.
Shifting your weight to one foot, kick the other one back so that your heel touches your glute. Repeat, using the other leg.
Thirty or so reps should be sufficient.
You can make this exercise aerobic: kick your glutes in time to stimulating music.
You won't even notice your abs are getting tighter, your whole leg is getting a workout and you are burning calories.
An excellent renewal exercise, practised by many yoga enthusiasts, can serve to warm up the thighs prior to workout.
It is called the Sun Salutation. This effusive, expansive pose involves the whole body; even breathing is regulated and smooth.
You might find that many in the fitness industry advocate for yoga as a way to a healthier lifestyle.
The purpose of this move is to open your body – stretch it thoroughly, not to strain it.
Your fitness instructor will be sure to advise not to reach too far or arch your back too deeply for fear of causing injury.
In fact, stretching is one of the best ways to maintain strong quadriceps – the muscles at the front of your thigh.
Here again, aerobics comes in handy: lunges are some of the best moves to work those muscles. Lunges are good for your hamstrings, too. You can do lunges with dumbbells, to put more stress on your hip flexors.
Another great hip flexor workout:
- kneel as though you were about to be knighted
- the free knee should be in line with the foot below it
- lean your whole body forward, feeling the pull on the back leg's thigh muscle
- switch legs and repeat, 10 times per leg.
The moves listed above are but a few of the exercises available to warm and work your leg muscles.
A certified personal trainer would demonstrate and help you work through an entire fitness routine, including specific resistance training to define leg muscles.
Discover how to develop your back muscles.
Exercise Programs Exclusively for Thighs
Now that your muscles are supple, your heart is conditioned and your blood is pumping, let's get down to working those thighs!
This exercise prescription can be done in-home, by yourself or with mates, every other day for one hour, or every day for thirty minutes.
The deep lunge will cause a pleasant burn in your thighs because that muscle group alone is targeted during this exercise.
To execute it properly, step forward with one foot, and lower the back knee almost to the ground.
Rise up and repeat, this time putting the load on the other leg.
You should inhale on the step and exhale on the raise.
Remember: your knees are not the focus of this move, although they will be working. Be sure that the lunge is deep enough that you feel it in your quads, not in your joints.
A fitness professional would advise no more than ten repetitions for beginners. As your physical development progresses, you can add more reps.
Professional athletes bust out more than 200 of these intensive leg moves without breaking a sweat!
Would you see that as a personal fitness goal?
Jogging and Running
Do you envy the children who squander their energy, running around the neighbourhood as though they would have that capability for all of their lives?
You can rediscover it in yourself, even though you may be long past terrorising neighbourhoods.
Many people consider running functional training: a type of exercise regimen that helps the body cope with everyday activities.
You can start your daily run by jogging in place, ultimately suiting up and running outdoors.
Kinesiology experts recommend running barefooted, in order to avoid improper spinal alignment caused by worn out footwear.
Besides, running barefoot permits faster development of thigh and leg muscles.
However, concrete and asphalt are not conducive to barefoot running – among other reasons: because of the risk of impact injuries.
Should you want to train barefoot, we recommend a running on a treadmill.
You can find such gym equipment at any sports facility or health club. You may even find one for sale at a low price in your local adverts!
As a beginner athlete, a maximum of twenty minutes' running is sufficient to start. As your stamina grows, you can extend your run time, but you should shorten your stride, in order to continuously stimulate leg musculature.
Note: You can get a qualified personal trainer on Superprof.
Be a Chair
With your back firmly pressed against the wall, walk your feet out until your knees form a ninety degree angle.
This pose is a test of muscular endurance. Professional athletes can manage it for up to fifteen minutes!
If you are just developing your personal training program, our fitness management professionals recommend you hold the position for only ten seconds at first, and then release and repeat.
As your muscles get stronger and more conditioned, you can gradually extend the time you maintain the hold.
The Classic Squat
You have been practising this basic fitness move every time you sit down.
Now that you've got your trainers on, with your eye on fitness goals, you will be squatting without a chair to catch you.
And, unlike the move above, you will not have a wall to give you perfect form or posture.
Good posture and form are essential to effective squats.
Bending too far forward at the waist, working your knees instead of your quads, and squatting too deeply all negate the strengths of this exercise.
Follow these instructions for proper squats:
On the inhale, lower your center of gravity – your pelvis. Your back should remain straight, head up and torso slightly bent forward. Your feet should remain flat on the floor, at shoulder width.
The goal is to get your thighs as close to parallel to the floor as you can.
Hold for a second, and then exhale while returning to upright position.
Remember to keep your abdominals flexed at all times, but especially while breathing out, to force all of the air from your lungs.
If you are just starting with personal fitness training, ten squats should be sufficient to get your quads pumping.
If you are more advanced in your personal training sessions, you may find it more rewarding to break up your squats reps, exercising other muscle groups and returning to work your thighs again and again.
The gold standard of this exercise is one-legged squats, where you alternate squatting one one, and then the other leg.
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Squats with Weights
Another way to intensify this move is to curl weights while squatting.
Hold a dumbbell in each hand, and curl your forearms when on the downward trajectory. Release the curl when you stand up.
The ultimate squats workout involves holding a weighted barbell at shoulder height.
Fitness business professionals aver that the amount of weight depends on your level of fitness and ability.
Here we caution you to not reach for that brass ring too quickly.
Plenty of fitness hopefuls have strained their muscles by working them too hard, or taking on weights too quickly.
Overworking yourself leads to setbacks in your overall fitness training program. At worst, you could permanently injure yourself.
It would be best to call on a fitness specialist to conduct a physical assessment before taking your training to the next level.
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Working Your Thighs in a Fitness Center or the Gym
Here we are, at the nexus of strength and conditioning: for working and defining thigh muscles, there is no place better than a gym or health club.
Well, maybe my home is better, provided I have the necessary equipment and can find personal trainers near me to lead my exercise program.
With an exercise physiologist leading my personal training sessions, I will be forever shot of weak, shaky legs!
If you've been wondering just how to work your way into your optimal body, an individualized personal training course is your answer.
Health clubs have all of the needed machines to work your thighs safely and effectively.
A thigh press machine with adjustable weight is a sterling example of musculoskeletal development machinery.
What is that?
It consists of forty-five degree angle seat with a facing plate that you press your feet against.
That plate's resistance is regulated by weights. You should set your desired tension before trying any leg extensions.
Your one-on-one fitness instructor will not only advise you on how much weight to push, s/he will probably set the machine to the correct weight for you.
You could do this type of resistance training at home, too. Simply attach resistance bands to any unmovable object and you're ready to get fit!
If there are no resistance machines currently available in the gym, you could use resistance bands there, too. Let your coach instruct you on how to use them most effectively.
Some people at the outset of their physical fitness training enjoy aerobics routines, and here we highlight another quads move you can do to music: the aerobic step.
Using a step block with adjustable height, set it to thirty centimeters - so that climbing onto it will be a bit of an effort.
You can step up and off of this block, alternating legs, with or without dumbbells.
If you are taking part in group training, your instructor will propose using weights, and how much weight to use.
Whether you want to lose weight, increase your metabolic rate or simply want to prolong the rewards of your fitness programs, working out is a great way to maintain your health.
To engage in your fitness career, you must first be aware of your body composition and take part in training programs, to get yourself into the best possible shape.
The knowledge of how your body's systems – cardiovascular, cardiorespiratory and muscular all work together to guide you to fitness and wellness.
Courage is a muscle that must be flexed from time to time, lest it lose its power. - Anne Dandurand
You can engage a fitness trainer to motivate you, or you could get passionate about fitness and nutrition on your own.
You can look into fitness program design, consult with a gym instructor and brush up on physical education to determine what your exercise activities could be.
You can log on to Superprof to find the training specialist that will help you achieve your goals for personal fitness.
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