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Great Workouts for Chunky Thighs

By: Sarah Knowles BA, MA - Updated: 26 May 2010 | comments*Discuss
Thighs Exercise Ball Muscles Flabby

It’s a sad fact of life that many women who get older without taking regular exercise have what is referred to as chunky “thunder thighs”. Even women who maintain a healthy body weight might still find their thighs are a bit flabby and wobbly, and may kiss their bikinis good-bye.

Having and maintaining a healthy body weight is important, but having stronger and leaner thighs can usually only be achieved with rigorous upper-leg toning and definition exercises.

The good news is that there’s no real need to go to a gym to do these exercises, which may sound scary but really aren't. Most can be done at home – with a minimum of equipment and not really all that much effort! In fact, getting started is usually the most frightening bit of all...

What You Will Need

To achieve the best results, investing in a few items can make all the difference. Try to have:

  • Comfortable work-out clothes. These don’t have to be fancy, but make sure they are made of breathable cotton and are loose-fitting.
  • A body ball. Many shops sell these large plastic exercise balls, which are also useful as an ante-natal exercise aid.
  • A yoga mat or soft carpet to lie on. You might just want to put several blankets down on the floor, but if you plan to build up a sweat it’s recommended to put a towel on top.

Getting Started

A short warm-up is recommended before embarking on any exercise regime, so warm those muscles up first with some simple stretching and toning techniques first. Then try these workouts:

  • Squat with ball. Place exercise ball between the natural curve of your lower back and the wall, with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend knees and lower into a squat up to 10 inches (less in the beginning if this feels uncomfortable). Make sure shoulders are level and your hips are square and hold for three seconds, then come back up. Repeat several times, slowly working up to 12 repetitions.
  • Single-leg circle. Lie on ground, hands by your side. Lift one leg and with pointed toes, rotate slightly outward. Exhale and “draw” a circle on the ceiling with your leg, keeping hip still and on the floor. Draw five circles in one direction, five in another, then switch legs. Repeat five times.
  • Chair lift. Stand straight with chair in front for support. Slowly lift one leg to one side as far as it will go. Hold in position, then come back to original position. Switch legs, repeat.
  • Thigh lift. Lie down on one side, placing elbow below head. Place one leg over the other leg, then lift the thigh a bit in the air, and lift the other to meet it. Slowly come back to your original position using your hand to balance. Do other side.
  • Lunge slide. Stand up with both feet hip-width apart, then bend right leg while sliding left into a lunge position. Make sure your abs are in and your torso is upright. Slowly slide left foot back and repeat as many as 12 times. Switch legs.
  • Thigh squeeze. Train your inner thigh muscles using your exercise ball. Sit down with ball in front of you and put legs half-way up ball, as if you are straddling it. Then roll down slowly, putting hands laced behind your neck if necessary, and do moderate crunches. Do a full crunch and as you sit up squeeze your thighs together, inhaling as you go down and exhaling as you go up. Make sure to hug ball with ankles with toes turned in slightly so thighs get best effect and pressure is not placed on knees.

A Word of Caution

Women with certain medical conditions or who are pregnant or think they may be pregnant should not start any exercise regime without consulting their GP first. If you have not exercised in a long time, it’s also a good idea to talk it over with your GP before you begin.

Having stronger and leaner thighs isn’t rocket science, but it does require regular effort. If you do regular exercise to strengthen the thighs several times a week, you’ll be well on your way to making flabby or chunky thighs simply a distant memory.

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