In your quest to tone up, one of the trickiest areas to target is that pesky pudge on the inside of your legs. Even as your arm and ab muscles emerge, that unwanted flab on your legs just won't budge. But fear not! The right combination of cardio and strength training will help get your gams into their best shape. While it's not possible to lose weight from just one part of your body, regular exercise and a healthy diet will help reduce fat from all over -- including your legs. Exercise your legs three times a week for best results.
1 Squeeze a firm pillow or stability ball for toned thighs. Lie on your back with your legs extended up and your knees straight. Place your ball or pillow between your inner thighs. Take a breath, exhale, squeeze in with your thighs and hold that contraction for 30 seconds. Continue breathing normally, then relax. Work up to three sets.
2 Do medicine ball glute bridges to target your glutes and the inside of your legs. Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor and legs bent at a 45-degree angle. Place a medicine ball between your knees and squeeze it firmly. With your arms at your sides, press your palms into the floor and lift your glutes and back up. Lower and perform 12 to 15 reps.
3 Lie on your right side to perform inner thigh leg lifts. Place your elbow on the mat and rest your head in your right hand. Straighten your right leg and bend your left knee with your left foot planted firmly in front of your right leg near the knee. Take a breath, exhale and lift your right leg off the floor without bending your knee. Lower your leg and repeat for two sets of 10. Do the same on your left side. You can make this more challenging by setting a dumbbell on your inner thigh as you lift.
4 Stand with your feet about one foot apart, holding one end of your resistance band in each hand. Step on your resistance band with both feet so that the band is stretched from your right hand down your right leg, under your feet and up to your left hand. Take a large step to the right with your right foot, then follow with your left foot so that your feet are once again a foot apart. Perform 12 to 15 side steps to the right, then to the left.
5 Perform single-leg Romanian deadlifts. Stand on your mat with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand at your sides. Bend forward at the waist, letting your arms hang in front of you, and lift your left leg off the mat straight behind you. Engage your core and train your eyes on the floor to help with balance. Keep your right leg straight and press your right heel into the floor as you lower your weights to about mid-shin level. Return to start. Perform 12 to 15 reps, then repeat with your left leg.
6 Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and toes forward to perform lateral lunges. Take a large step to the side with your right foot. Bend your right knee to a 90-degree angle and keep your left leg straight, foot firmly planted on the floor. Push up with your right leg to return to start. Perform 12 to 15 repetitions on each leg.
7 Try basic squats with a dumbbell in each hand for added resistance. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, arms at your sides and elbows bent at a 90-degree angle. With your back straight, bend your knees and stick out your bottom like you're trying to sit in a chair. Hold for three seconds and return to start. Repeat 12 to 15 times.
8 Modify your squat by doing wall sits. Stand with your back about one foot away from a sturdy wall. Lean against the wall and lower by bending your knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor and your back is pressed against the wall. Hold for up to 1 minute. For additional resistance, squeeze a medicine ball between your knees.
9 Perform at least 150 minutes of moderate cardiovascular activity, such as running, cycling, swimming, jump rope or elliptical machine exercise, every week. In addition to keeping your heart healthy, cardio will help you shed excess weight all over your body since you can't spot-reduce fat from your legs alone.
Items you will need
- Firm pillow or stability ball
- Medicine ball
- Medium resistance band
- 2 medium dumbbells
- Exercise mat
- Incorporate a diet of lean protein, fruits and vegetables adding up to about 2,000 calories a day to maintain a healthy weight and slim physique. An appropriate nutrition breakdown would include about 600 calories from lean protein, about 400 calories from fat and about 1,000 calories from carbs -- primarily fresh fruits and vegetables -- to build muscle and trim off pounds.
- When training with resistance, choose a weight or tension that allows you to perform the necessary repetitions while leaving your muscles fatigued after a set.
- Always consult your doctor before beginning a new exercise regimen.
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