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Get fabulous thighs with these home exercises

Written by Admin |Updated : August 6, 2013 11:57 AM IST

fab thighsWant sleeker hips and streamlined, jiggle-free thighs that don't meet in the middle? This simple at-home workout will help you achieve all that and more. Rather than just focusing on the large muscles on the front and back of the thighs (the quads and hamstrings) this workout is multi-directional, working on the hips and inner thighs s well.

Doing thigh exercise right

Here are a few tips to guide you through the workout:

  • Breathe freely during these exercises do not hold your breath.
  • When it says 'pause' it means hold the position momentarily before returning to the start position.
  • Remember your posture! Keep the core gently engaged throughout by contracting the navel to spine and lifting the pelvic floor.
  • Each repetition should take roughly four to six seconds, do not use momentum to carry you through.
  • When no weight is called for, aim to do as many repetitions as you can with perfect form.
  • When a weight is required, opt for one that enables you to perform six to 12 repetitions with good form. If you can do more than 12 repetitions, increase the weight.

For the first week, do just one set of each exercise to get a feel and to prevent muscle soreness. Following that, if your goal is to tone up, go for one to two sets of each exercise, and stick to the higher end of the recommended number of repetitions.So here are the thigh exercises:

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Simple squat exercise

squatsWorks on all the lower body muscles including front and back of thighs and bottom.

Stand with feet directly below your hipbones, your tummy pulled in, spine erect and a dumbbell in each hand. Take your weight back into your heels and lower your body by bending the legs, leading with the bottom, and with knees directly over the middle toes. Don't over-arch the back. Aim to lower to 90 degrees, pause for a moment, then raise yourself back up and repeat.

Knee drive exercise

knee driveWorks the glutes, hamstrings, quads and calves and improves balance and coordination.

Stand with one foot on a step, knee bent and the other foot on the floor behind you. Drive up onto the front foot, bringing the back knee up towards your chest, using your arms in an opposite action (as if you were power walking). Come right up on to the ball of your foot, pause, then go straight back down into a lunge position. Add power by allowing the supporting foot to leave the floor altogether as you drive up with the other leg.

Supine bridge exercise

supine bridgeThis works the glutes, hamstrings and lower back.

Lie on the floor with your body straight, arms by your sides and your feet resting on the edge of the sofa, or a coffee table (or any surface around 40-70cm from the floor). Lift your torso up so that your body weight is supported on the shoulders, head and feet only. Now keeping that straight line, lift the right foot a few inches off the sofa, without letting the pelvis tip to the side. Lower, and then repeat with the other leg. Aim for 12 repetitions in total.

Directional lunge exercise

lungeWorks on quads, glutes, inner thighs, calves.

Start with feet below your hipbones with a dumbbell in each hand. Take a big step forward with your right leg, bending both knees so that the right knee aligns over the right toes, and the left knee travels towards the floor. Keep the torso upright. Pause, then, pushing up through the front heel, straighten the legs and return to the start position. Next, take a big step to the diagonal, again ensuring the knee aligns over the toes. Step back and then repeat the two moves with the left leg. Complete all repetitions. Do not allow pelvis to tip forwards or tailbone to stick out.

Hip abduction

hip-abductionWorks on outer thighs, glutes and hips.

Lie on your side with legs stacked from ankle to hip (directly on top of one another) and your weight supported on your elbow - don't let the body sink into the supporting arm. Raise the top leg a few inches from the supporting one, keeping the toes facing directly forwards and ensuring that the leg lengthens out of the hip socket as you extend it. Lower, repeat all repetitions and swap sides. When this gets too easy, use an ankle weight to increase resistance.

Leg crossover

leg crossoverWorks on inner thighs, hips.

Hook one end of a resistance band around something sturdy and loop the other end around your right leg. Shuffle away from the attachment point until there is enough tension in the band, and your right leg is lifted out to the side. Now bring your right leg in towards the centre, taking it just across the left, toes facing directly forward. Do not allow the hip of the supporting leg to dip, and keep core engaged. Release the leg back to start position and repeat.

Cardio thigh streamlining

  • Tread water when you are swimming, tread water after every four lengths for 30 seconds. Keep legs straight and toes pointed and 'scissor' your legs backwards and forwards as quickly as possible.
  • Breaststroke burns close to 150 calories in 15 minutes.
  • In-line skating is a superb aerobic workout, burning 400 calories an hour. Studies have shown that it works some muscles in the legs more effectively than running - particularly the inner thighs and hips.
  • The diamond-shaped thigh muscle that lies just above the knee isn't dubbed the 'soccer muscle' for nothing. Any kicking action is great for toning and strengthening the front of the thighs, be it soccer or kickboxing.

Enjoyed reading this? Also read exercises for back, biceps.

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