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The 20 Minute Thigh Toning Exercise Regimen
Toned thighs look great, and let’s face it, we all want them. And all it takes is 5 minutes of your time, in between chores, or whenever it suits your convenience, to have them. You may not end up with noticeably thinner thighs, but a flabby, big thigh is just not the same thing as a toned, big one.
Here are a few exercises to help build your self- confidence by getting rid of unsightly flab on thighs:
Okay, we are not looking to be gymnasts here. But anyone can try and do a split, which involves stretching one’s legssideways, preferably on a smooth surface, with the body going down towards the floor. In this position, the legs would align in a triangular shape to the body, and the back would remain straight.
No-one who has not done this before can go down completely for the first time, so that the inner thighs rest horizontally on the floor, but one can master it slowly to get some real and visible benefits in terms of toning up of the inner thighs. One can hold on to a sturdy table or counter for balance while performing this exercise.
The trick is to try and go down as much as one can comfortably manage, and hold the position for a count of ten, and then repeat a couple of times. Done just a few times a day will lead to stretching and toning of the adductors or inner thigh muscles.
Side Leg Lifts, Or Lateral Leg Raises
These can be done almost anywhere, as all they require is for one to lift one’s leg sideways, up in the air, till it is parallel to the ground. Do repetitions of about 20 each, to begin with, on either side. This exercise will also work the obliques, the muscles on the sides of the abdomen which lead to unsightly flab on the sides of the stomach and back (also called love handles) when unexercised.
Squats are a form of strength training, which exercises not only the muscles of the thighs, but also those of the hips, buttocks and hamstrings. They are easy to do, though, like the split, they take time to master completely.
One can start off by simply bending the legs from the knees while keeping the torso straight and vertical to the ground, akin to lowering oneself in a chair, without the back being bent. Lower yourself slowly till the backs of your thighs are almost parallel to the ground. Hold for a count of ten. Slowly raise your body back to standing position. Repeat the exercise about 10 times.
The Stepping Exercise
This involves doing exactly what the name suggests: stepping up and down from a slightly higher surface as if one was climbing a step, and then retreating. This exercise is great for the legs and thighs, and can be quite tiring, but hugely rewarding.
It also has the same benefits that a cardio exercise would give. Any hard, stable surface can be used to perform this exercise. One should start with the same foot for about 50 repetitions, and then alternate with the other foot.
Side Leg Lifts While Lying Down, Or Outer Thigh Lifts
This is the same as the side leg lifts performed while standing, except it is done while lying sideways on the floor, on a firm rug or exercise mat. Lie down sideways so that your torso and shoulder are sideways on the floor, and rest your head on your arm stretched out flat.
Put your free hand on your hip and lift up the leg which is resting on the one below it, till it is almost vertical to the ground. This exercise should be done slowly but in continuous motion and fluidly, for the best results. Do not stop at the top, or allow the leg to come back to rest on the other one while on the way down. Do the exercise for about a minute continuously, with each leg.
The Squeezing Exercise
This is one of the simplest exercises you can do while lying down comfortably, anywhere, even on your bed. Just take any firm object which will fit between your thighs, and place it between your inner thighs.
Squeeze to bring your inner thighs close together. Hold for a couple of seconds, not reducing the pressure. Repeat about 20 times. This firms up the inner thighs without too much effort.
Forward Leg Lifts
This is also an extremely simple exercise, similar to lateral leg lifts, except in this case, the legs have to be lifted slowly in front of the body, reaching almost horizontal to the floor, toes pointing away from the body. Hold for a count of six, and then bring the leg down. Repeat about 20 times for each leg.
The Inside Stretch
Lie down in a position similar to the one for leg lifts while lying down on the floor. If lying on your right side, support your head with your right hand, and keep the head, back and neck aligned. Bend your left leg till your left foot is almost in front of your left knee.
In this position, lift up your right leg slowly till it is about 6 inches above the floor. Hold for a count of 6, and then bring it down slowly. Repeat about 10 times for each leg. Remember to do each exercise without jerky movements, which can strain the muscles and even damage them.
Be consistent and patient. About 20 minutes a day is all that it should take to get more toned thighs. Keep up the above regimen and you should definitely be able to see a marked improvement. Also remember the following: walking is the best exercise for the legs and thighs.
The old clichès about not taking the lift and walking up, walking for groceries to the market while ditching the car and the like, actually work. In the end, it is all about a lifestyle change, which also includes diet. However, these exercises are definitely simple, easy-to-do, and require no special equipment, while delivering great results. Good luck with working out those thighs!
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