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Top 10 Simple Exercises to Tone Your Thighs

Looking to shed that extra layer of fat from your lower portion and get well-toned thighs? You are just in the right place. Here are the top 10 exercises which are designed to give you those well-sculpted thighs:

1. Ball Leg Lifts: To perform this exercise an exercise ball is required. Using an exercise ball in strength training workout adds a little bit more challenge to basic exercises as you will require working hard to keep the ball in place which makes a use of more muscle groups. This exercise will tone your thighs, especially your inner thighs and also your core.

Ball Leg Lifts- Lie on your side on the floor with your arms crossed in front of your body. If this is uncomfortable, bend your bottom elbow and rest your head on your hand.

- Place a large exercise ball in between your feet and slowly lift the ball up toward the ceiling using only your hips and butt. Return to the start position.

- This counts as one repetition.

2. Pilates Inner-Thigh Leg Lifts: Pilates is a form of exercise which emphasizes on core strength and flexibility. This exercise is a form of Pilates for thigh region. Since the knee is straight while performing the exercise it works on all the muscles of the inner thigh group.

Pilates Inner-Thigh Leg Lifts- Lying on your side, lengthen your bottom leg and cross your top leg over it. Rest either your knee or foot on the floor. Prop your head up with your hand or rest your head on your arm.

- As you exhale, lift your bottom leg up, and inhale as you lower it back down. Your torso should stay still while you do this.

- This count as one repetition of one side and then repeat on the other side.

3. Pilates Circle Leg: Drive down into your mat as you are doing this Pilates exercise to concentrate movement to your inner thigh.

Pilates Circle Leg- Start by lying flat on your back on a mat or rug.

- Extend your right leg straight into the air, pointing your toes.

- Keep your arms by your side, pressed into the floor for support.

- Open your right leg to the side, leading with your toes.

- Make sure your hips stay down while your back remains connected to the floor.

- Draw your right leg down toward the opposite leg while keeping it lifted from the floor.

- Extend your toes back up toward the ceiling and continue the circle motion for a minute or 30 to 40 times before reversing.

- Stretch your leg, lower, and repeat on the other side.

4. Sumo Squat With Side Arm Raises: If you are a beginner you can do this exercise without the dumbbells. Focus on the inner thigh while doing this exercise.

Sumo-Squat-Side-Arm-Raises- Stand with legs wide and toes pointed outward slightly. Hold a pair of dumbbells in your hands with your arms straight and your palms facing down.

- Bend your knees until your knees are over your ankles while raising your arms to just below shoulder height. Arms should be in line with your legs – you should see the weights in your peripheral vision.

- Straighten your legs and lower your arms simultaneously.

- This count as one repetition.

5. Narrow Squat With Overhead Press: In this exercise standing with a much narrower stance while you squat targets the inner thigh, inner quad, and inner hamstring.

Narrow Squat With Overhead Press

- Begin standing with your legs together, arms raised to shoulder height with elbows bent, holding weights by your ears.

- Squat toward the floor by bending your knees and reaching your bum backward, as if you were sitting in a chair. Keep your legs squeeze together. Focus your weight into your heels. While squatting, raise your arms overhead into a parallel position.

- Return to starting position by pressing through your heels while bending your elbows to lower the weights back to shoulder level.

- This count as one repetition.

6. Side Lunge: The side lunge works on the muscle on the side of the pelvis as well as the inner thighs. This will also help you in toning your buttock portion.

Side Lunge- Holding a 5 to 10 pound weight in your left hand, stand with your feet and knees together, hands on your hips.

- Take a large step with your right foot to the right side and lunge toward the floor.

- Make sure your right knee does not extend past your toes and keep your left leg relatively straight.

- Push off through your right foot to return to the start to complete one side lunge.

- This count as one repetition.

7. Glider Side Lunge: This exercise works on the legs and glutes muscles but as you slide your leg back to center, your inner thigh does all the work. You will require a disc to perform this but if you don’t have one, just use the lid of a plastic container and do this move on a carpet or wear socks and try it on a wood floor.

Glider-Side-Lunge

- Stand with your feet a few inches apart, with your right foot on the plastic lid. Make a fist with one hand and cup your other hand over it. Keep your hands in front of your chest throughout the exercise to help you stay balanced.

- Put weight into your left leg, and as you slowly bend your left knee and squat down, slide your right foot out to the side. Then as you slowly straighten your leg, slide the right foot back in. Most of your weight remains in the leg that’s not moving.

- This is count as one repetition.

8. Crossover Lunge With Medicine Ball: This exercise will help you to tone the lower glutes as well as the inner thighs. Adding arm work makes this a time-saving full-body move.

Crossover Lunge With Medicine Ball

- Stand with your feet shoulder-distance apart, holding a medicine ball.

- Take a large step diagonally forward with your left foot, planting it at the 11 o’clock position. Sink down until your thighs form right angles. Keep the medicine ball stable.

- Extend your legs, then lift your left knee and bring it in toward your chest. Step back with your left leg, this time lunging behind your torso and stepping back to the 8 o’clock position as you sink down into the reverse lunge.

- This completes one repetition. Complete your set and then switch sides.

9. Bridge with Squeeze: Adding an inner thigh squeeze to your basic bridge will tone your inner thighs.

Bridge With Squeeze

- Start on your back with your knees bent and your feet hip-distance apart. Place a pillow, a ball, or a toning ring between your knees.

- Push up into a bridge. Keep your ribs aligned with your pelvis.

- Without raising or lower your pelvis, slowly squeeze your pillow 20 times. Lower the pelvis and bring your knees to your chest to round and relax your back.

- This count as one repetition.

10. Chair Pose: It is a yoga-inspired exercise especially for inner thigh muscles. It helps in strengthening and toning of thigh and buttock muscles. 

Chair Pose

- Stand with your legs together and soften your knees. Reach your arms overhead and touch your palms together as you fold your chest down toward your knees.

- Hold this position as you drop your tailbone down in a small pulsing motion 10 to 15 times.

- Keep your legs squeezed together for support.

- For an advanced version you can lift your toes in this position and try to hold there for 15-20 seconds.

See the complete list of thigh exercises with videos.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo
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