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Five Simple Steps To Tone Your Thighs

How to tone your thighs“, that’s been the question on my mind this season as my skinny jeans keep getting tighter and tighter around my thighs.  {sigh}  Thank heaven Mandi, Trainer Momma, is back in our how to exercise series and giving us five simple steps to tone your thighs for shorts season.

To briefly recap, we’ve already learned How To Eat Well and Feel Full Every Time, How To Work In a Good Workout With A Busy Life, and How to Eat Well and Get Control of Your Health.  Man it’s been a great how to exercise series! {high fives}

With warmer weather here (or hopefully on its way), it is time to break out with the shorts and the bathing suit.

Sorry, I mentioned it.

It should would be nice to have some legs that had a little less jiggle and a little less wiggle this summer, yes? An effective way of doing that is to strengthen and tone the leg muscles in your workouts.

Tone Your Thighs

Step ups
Photo credit: www.fotolia.com

I adore working on legs. Perhaps its because I personally have A LOT of leg to work with, but I throw these moves into nearly every workout I do. The leg muscles in general are larger and therefore they burn more calories when we strengthen them. They are our own built in calorie burners!

Let’s get to know them a bit more intimately today:

Quadriceps.
Nickname is “quads”.
Located on the front of the leg.

Hamstrings.
Nickname is “hams”.
Located on the back of the leg.

Gluteus Maximus.
Nickname is “glutes”.
This is your booty. Your backside. I’ll stop there.

Five simple steps to tone your thighs:

1. Eat well.
Period. No workout can compensate for lousy eating. When you eat well, you will allow your body to shed the fat and let the muscles shine through.

2. Lunges.
Deep lunges are fantastic when toning your quads, hams, and glutes. Step forward, leading with the heel. Step out nice and far, bending front and back knees. Then push off front foot (oof!) and come back to starting position.

Do 15 lunges on your right leg, then 15 on your left. Repeat.
Find a tutoral for lunges here.

3. Squats.
Squats are a supreme quad and glute toner. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, toes facing forward, standing tall, chest open, hands on hips or down by your sides. Bend your knees, stick your booty WAAAAAY out, and squat down. Tada!

Do 15-20 squats. Repeat.
Find a tutorial for squats here.

4. Step Ups.
Step ups are awesome for strengthening the glutes and quads. They are just what they sound like — stepping up on an elevated surface. Start at a low level, then work your way up to a dining room chair or piano bench.

Do 15 step ups on your right and left side. Repeat.
Find a tutorial for step ups here.

5. Wall Sits.
This is THE move for the quads. Don’t skip this one! Lean up against a wall with your feet shoulder width apart. Move your feet slightly in front of you. Sit down.? Keep your back on the wall and scoot your feet out if necessary so your knees stay behind your feet. ?Make a 90 degree angle with the legs. Imagine there is a chair there. Then just sit tight for a while!

Hold the wall sit for 30 seconds – 1 minute. Repeat.
Find a tutorial for wall sits here.

You don’t need plastic surgery, new genetics, or expensive toning shoes to tone your lower half. Just be sure you use these five steps consistently and you will be well on your way to toning your thighs.

How To Exercise Series:

Step 1:  How to Eat Well and Get Control of Your Health
Step 2:  How to Work in a Good Workout
Step 3: How To Eat Well and Feel Full Every Time
Step 4:  How To Tone Your Thighs

Feel free to ask Mandi any fitness or exercise questions you might have!  You can leave your question in the comments or on the Tip Junkie Facebook page.

IMG_2704_2Mandi Reading is the author of Trainer Momma at www.trainermomma.com, a fitness and nutrition site for busy women and their families. Trainer Momma dives head first into the nuts and bolts of effective exercise, and provides healthy recipes that you will actually want to eat, and endless ideas on how to work in the workout.  She is a fitness and nutrition writer, speaker, certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant specializing in weight management. Her favorite workouts include doing wind sprints to catch her three children, running stairs with armfuls of dirty laundry, and impatiently watching her core as expand as Baby #4 develops (due in the fall!).

13 comments

  1. Lindsay

    Great article! So glad to see #1 is to Eat Well. Wall sits do wonders for me!…and my tush I really swear by those 🙂

    Delighted Momma

  2. mandi

    Plyo is awesome and is definitely the next step up when it comes to strengthening legs.

  3. Monica

    I love this. now I need to do them. what about flabby arms? 40+ and my arms are waving back all of a sudden!

  4. Jane T in NW Louisiana

    I want someone to tell me how to tone up my thighs when I have had two knee replacements and am 66 years old. I long to do these excercises, but know I cannot. If I get down on the floor, it is almost impossible for me to get up. I have a lot of arthritis in my shoulders which makes it very difficult to use my upper body to get myself up from the floor. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Oh, I am also recovering from a fall that broke my upper arm right under the ball. 🙂

  5. mandi

    I would definitely work with a physical therapist first off. While you are doing that, your eating is #1 when it comes to toning any muscles. Your eating is 80% of your success. With the direction of a PT, I’d next starting working in the pool. Water aerobics does do strength training, but also takes a lot of the pressure off the joints. Lastly, I’ve had the most success with clients such as yourself working primarily on the hamstring curl, leg extension, and leg press machines. They seem to get more range of motion there than with the lunges, squats, etc. Good luck! Remember, doing something is far better than doing nothing. You are in the exact stage of life to keep moving, limber, and it will help so much for years to come!

  6. mandi

    #1 — EAT RIGHT! I can’t emphasize that enough. Also, here’s a link for how to combat those flabby arms: http://www.trainermomma.com/2011/02/fit-momma-question-flabby-arms/.

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  8. How To Tone Your Legs

    Great informative article. I have had a lot of cellulite on the legs and found that walking every day and also exercising on my bike does wonders for my legs. Also try to eat a well balanced diet that contains all the food groups.

  9. tesis

    gracias por compartir
    hace tiempo no veia un blog tan util.
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  10. Sarah

    This is excellent info thanks.

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