10 exercises to slim thighs just in time for shorts season
High Knees are a plyometric drill.
1. Start standing with the arms extending out straight in front of the body.
2. Keeping your arms parallel with the floor bring one knee at a time to reach the hand.
3. Tap right knee to hand then left knee to hand.
4. Breathe deep!
Administer high knees for one full minute. You will feel your heart rate increase!
Forward lunges target the quads, glutes and thighs.
1. Start standing with your feet together.
2. Next, step about 3-4 feet forward with the right leg.
3. As you lunge forward, bend the back (left) leg deep so that it hovers off of the ground 2-3 inches. (Don't let your knee move past your ankle, keeping it straight over your heel.)
4. Bring the left foot to meet the right.
5. Alternate lunging forward with the left then right leg for two minutes.
Note: To make forward lunges more intense, hold a pair of 4-15 lb weights, depending on your fitness level.
- 1. Begin this plyometric exercise by standing behind a curb or platform that is slightly raised.
2. Tap one foot on the curb then switch to the opposite foot. Make sure to jump as you tap your foot so you can increase your heart rate.
3. Keep tapping and jumping for one minute.
Leg lifts are a strength-training exercise.
1. Start standing with the feet together. Keeping the spine long, raise the right leg straight out in front of the body.
2. the leg out in front for 15 seconds while contracting the abdominals.
3. Make sure to engage the entire leg before returning to standing position.
4. Repeat, lifting the right leg four times.
5. Switch to the left leg, holding 15 seconds each time (4 times).
Jump squats are an explosive plyometric drill.
1. Start with the feet a tiny bit wider than shoulder width. Bend the knees and drop the butt to a squat position. Stick your butt out and raise your chest slightly.
2. Keep your weight in the heels, with your knees over the ankles.
3. From the squat position explode up and jump as high as you can.
4. Use your arms to help you jump high by swinging them forward and above the head.
5. Land in a squat position.
Continue for two minutes. Breathe...your heart will pump fast during this explosive drill!
The modern Heisman is a plyometric, fast-moving drill.
1. Start standing with the feet together. Step the right foot out to the right, left foot meets the right, then again the right foot moves to the right, and then the left knee contracts to the chest. Bring that knee up high!
2. After contracting the knee to the chest continue to the left.
3. Left foot steps to the right, right foot meets the left, then again the left foot moves to the left, then the right knee contracts.
Move quickly and with agility. Continue for 2 minutes.
Curtsy lunge is a strength-training exercise for the thighs and glutes.
1. Start with the left toes slightly angled out to the left. Bring the right leg behind the left while bending both knees.
2. Make sure to step the right leg behind the left, but towards the left of the body about 3 feet.
3. Bring both legs and feet back together.
4. Repeat the left side for 1 minute.
5. Then alternate to lead with the right leg.
Kettle bell squats are a strength-training, muscle-toning exercise. You will need a kettle bell or heavy weight (12-25 lbs depending on your fitness level).
1. Begin with your feet wider than shoulder width's distance. Hold the kettle bell or heavy weight with both hands.
Start with bent knees, hinging forward from the hip just slightly, holding the weight.
2. As you swing the weight from underneath your legs up squeeze your glute muscles.
Make certain that you control the swinging motion of the weight using the strength in your legs and shoulders. Continue this exercise for 1 minute.
Interval sprints are high-intensity cardio. Move as fast as you can!
1. Sprint with a long stride for 30 seconds. Rest for 15 seconds. Repeat sprints for a total of 5-6 minutes. Make sure to pump your arms forward and keep them tucked close to the slide of the body while sprinting. Use the power in your quads and glutes to propel you forward.
As you become more conditioned with your endurance and cardio you may increase the sprints to 45 seconds up to 1 minute.
Plié squats target the inner thighs and glute muscles.
1. Begin standing with the feet much wider than shoulder width's distance. Slowly bend the knees and drop the butt low. Your goal should be to bend your knees 90 degrees, keeping the knees over the ankles.
2. Engage the core and contract the glute muscles as you stand back up.
3. Perform this exercise for 2 minutes with a 30-second hold at the bottom of the squat at the 1 1/2 minute mark.
To intensify plié squats hold weights in front of the body (8-15 lbs depending on your fitness level).
Strength-training exercises to slim thighs, combined with plyometrics, high-intensity cardio and a healthy diet, is the fastest approach to sexy, toned legs. Strength-training exercises will target the thighs and add lean leg muscles. The more lean muscle mass you obtain the more calories you will burn while exercising and even post-workout. Plyometric drills allow muscles to exert maximum force in a short period of time with the goal of increasing power with explosive movements. High-intensity cardio-based exercises burn more calories and fat in a quicker amount of time, so you don't have to run a marathon to get a runner's legs.
Check out these 10 heart-pumping exercises that will help sculpt your butt, hamstrings, quads, calves and thighs. Complete the recommended exercises three times a week and you will build muscle and torch those stray calories--so you can wear your shorts with pride all summer long!
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