Legging it at the gym: Top tips for toned thighs

Many of us seek to work out our thighs, to strengthen, tone and slim them down. (Shutterstock)

Many of us seek to work out our thighs, to strengthen, tone and slim them down.

Here are three tips that can help reduce fat, smooth skin, reduce cellulite and tone muscle.

If you have an office job it is highly likely you will spend much of your time in a seated position, restricting blood flow to your thighs.

Utilizing deep tissue massage, cupping therapy and myofascial release are all great ways to improve the blood flow to the thigh muscles, allowing them to activate and shape up better. Improving blood circulation will also help reduce cellulite, giving your skin a smoother and more toned apprence.

Tip 1: Tone and smooth

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Myofascia release: Below is an example of myofascia release you can do for the front of the thighs (which tend to be tight on most people).

You can use a baseball, medicine ball or a PVC pipe for this.

Step 1) Lie face down with your thigh on a PVC pipe, available at any hardware store.

Step 2) Try to keep the thigh you not rolling on, out to the side

Step 3) Bend your elbows at 90 degrees – they will be used for support throughout the exercise

Step 4) Making sure to get the full spectrum of the of the thigh muscle, start to roll along the PVC pipe, beginning from the top of your thigh to just above your knee for 2-5 minutes

Step 5) Be sure to NOT roll on the knee joint itself

Step 6) Switch to the other leg and repeat the process

2. Build muscle

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Body weight squats: Squats are a key exercise that target the powerhouse muscle in the body - the glutes and also the thighs. This exercise can be done with your own body weight.

Step 1: Stand with your feet pointing straightforward, hip’s width apart.

Step 2: Bend your elbows at 90 degrees and pull back your shoulder blades.

Step 3: Slowly bend down trying to sit your weight back into your heels.

A good tip is to keep your toes lifted off the floor throughout the exercise, which allows you to target your butt and the back of your legs.

It is ok to allow the knees to come forward slightly past your ankles but the key point is that you feel the burn in your butt and back of your legs rather than just at the front of your thighs

Step 4: Keep your chest lifted and upright and your shoulder blades retracted throughout.

Step 5: As you reach the bottom phase, squat at a 90 degrees (or slightly less if you’re a beginner and lack flexibility).

Step 6: Now, hold this position and whilst you do, tilt your pelvis (hips) under like your tucking your tailbone under.

Step 7: As you do this, it is important that you draw your navel in to activate your core muscles which help stabilize the pelvis through this movement.

Step 8: Now slowly come up. As you do so, it is vital that you allow your knees to straighten first before you finish off the end range of movement of the squat at the top.

Complete 3 sets of 15-20 reputations slowly.

You should feel the burn in your butt, core and the back of your legs.

3. Increase the intensity

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The Bosu Ball 2-2-2: This explosive dynamic exercise will increase your heart rate and also works all the muscles in your lower body and your core. To perform this exercise you will need a Bosu ball, which can be found in most gyms

Step 1: Begin with your feet a hip’s width apart, about 2 steps away from the Bosu ball.

Step 2: Bend at your hips slightly, as if you are about to perform a mini squat but not as low.

Step 3: Now, with the foot closest to the Bosu ball take one step laterally (to the side) onto the Bosu ball and then step onto the other side while your other leg follows through.

It is a typical side-stepping exercise that would usually be done on an aerobic stepping block.

Step 4: Once you land on the other side, allow the momentum to take you back across.

Keep your upper back extended throughout the movement and your navel drawn in.

Step 5: Once you have mastered the move, try not to place both your feet on the ground and allow the lead leg on each side to do the work.

You can also speed up the pace to make it more challenging.

You should feel a burn in your legs in the back and the derriere muscles if you are doing the exercise correctly.

Note that it is important that you push off the lead leg to send the body off in a sideways direction.

Complete 30 seconds repetitions for a total of two minutes and then rest and repeat again for another two rounds depending on your fitness level.

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Fitness expert Vahdaneh Vahid can be reached on Facebook and Instagram.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:45 - GMT 06:45
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