Exercises for your inner thighs

June 16, 2008 5:07:23 PM PDT
Fitness expert Shermineh Jafarieh has some easy and effective exercises that will get your legs toned in no time!

Thigh exercises that use all the major muscle groups in your lower body will increase your metabolism hours after exercise. Your thighs include some of the biggest muscles in your entire body. Effective exercises for your thigh muscles will work all the major thigh muscle groups, including:

  • Your hamstrings, which are located at the back of your thigh. Your hamstrings extend from the back of your knee up to your butt and basically work to bend your knees;
  • Your adductor or groin muscles--the inner thigh muscles that work to bring your thighs together;
  • Your quadriceps at the front of your thighs, which help straighten your knee and;
  • Your hip flexors at the front of your pelvis, which help you raise your thighs.

    These muscles should be worked hard when performing exercises for your thigh muscles. The more effective upper leg exercises will work all the above muscles at once resulting in much better fat burning, toning and firming. Five Floor exercises you can do at home:

    1. Hip-Lift Progression
      Targets: Lower back, glutes, abs and hamstrings
      This is an awesome way to relieve tension in your lower back and work your butt at the same time.
      Lie on your back with your arms at your sides with your knees bent and your feet on the floor.
      Lift your hips toward the ceiling. Hold for 1 count, and then lower back down.
      Repeat the lifts for 60 seconds, squeezing your glutes and hamstrings at the top of the range of motion. Be careful not to overarch your spine.
      To make this exercise more difficult, extend one leg at the top of the lift. Keep your thighs parallel and hold the lifted position for about 5 seconds.
      Keeping your hips up, place your foot back on the floor and then lower your hips.
      Repeat this exercise for 30 seconds; switch sides and do the move for another 30 seconds on the other leg.

    2. Thigh Mastering
      Targets: Lower back, abs, and inner thighs
      Lie face up on floor with hands under hips, palms facing down for lower back support
      Knees bent at 90 degrees with feet off the floor
      Engaging abs, bring feet together keeping knees out to sides as far as possible
      Return knees to center and out again, repeat.
      Keep feet together and hips tucked under
      Quick repetitive movement for 30 seconds (repeat 3-5 sets)

    3. Outer Hip Rotations
      Targets: Gluteus medius and minimus (hip abductor muscles)
      Lie on your right side with your head cradled in your right palm.
      Bend your knees in front of you 45 degrees.
      Lift your left leg up to the ceiling at about 90 degrees, keeping your hips stacked without rocking backwards and with your elbow pressed into your side.
      Hold at the top for 2 seconds before returning to start. Repeat for 1 minute, then switch sides.

    4. Butt Burners
      Targets: Abs, glutes, and hamstrings
      Begin on all fours, knees under hips and hands under shoulders, back straight, abs tight and head in line with spine.
      Without arching back, raise right knee to right side. Extend leg straight back so toes are in line with hip.
      Bend knee to bring heel toward butt; lower and repeat.
      Do 16 reps; switch sides.
      Always start and end thigh exercises with isometric and static stretching.

    5. Hamstring Strap Stretch
      Lying on back, raise left leg and place the center of a yoga strap or towel around arch of left foot.
      Keeping right leg on floor, slowly extend left leg toward the ceiling, or as high as you comfortably can. Don't yank on the strap or allow right leg to lift off the floor.
      Hold for 8 breaths; repeat on other side.


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