Lean and Mean Thighs: Inside and Out

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by Nick Christe, Mountainside Fitness

azfamily.com

Posted on October 1, 2010 at 10:02 AM

Updated Friday, Oct 1 at 10:02 AM

As your personal trainer, you’ll notice that I tend to work your large muscle groups whenever we take part in exercise.  Your quads, glutes, chest, and back make up some of the largest muscles in the body and burn the most calories when worked.  To get you to your goals, especially when fat loss is a major concern, working these large muscles will get you there faster than working your smaller muscles alone.  We shouldn’t, however, lose sight of these smaller muscle groups for they play a vital role in muscle balance and body functionality all while supporting the tissue around the muscle itself.

Some very important smaller muscles which have no problem being worked in the gym are the adductors and abductors or the inner and outer thigh.  We’ve all seen the equipment in the gym commonly referred to as the “good girl” “bad girl” machines!  Funny as that sounds, these are the machines responsible for working these inner and outer, thigh muscles.  Ahead our workout is going to involve working these important, smaller muscles along with some other, often neglected leg muscles when the gym isn’t an option or if maybe your gym doesn’t have the equipment necessary for your workout.

Remember when it comes to actually seeing your beautiful thighs, you need to incorporate exercises that not only tone, firm and strengthen your thighs, but also burn the fat.  If we don’t burn that layer of fat off the surface, we’ll never see how good your thigh muscles actually look!

Effective exercises for your thigh muscles will work all the major thigh muscle groups, including:
- your hamstrings, which are located on the back of the leg. Your hamstrings start at the base of your butt and extend to the back of the knees and work to assist in bending at the knee;
- your adductor or groin muscles or the muscles that work to bring your thighs together;
- your abductor or outer, upper muscles that brings the hips away from the body;
- your quadriceps at the front of your thighs, which help to straighten your knee and;
- your hip flexors at the front of your pelvis, which help you raise your thighs. 
Now these muscles need to be worked hard for the more effective the workout, the better results in fat burning, toning and firming!  Time to walk the walk and talk the talk!

Dumbbell Plie Squat (Inner Thighs, Quadriceps and Hamstrings)                                                                                       
• Start with feet very wide with toes pointed out
• With a straight back and shoulders back, hold dumbbell in front and close to body
• Squat down till upper legs are parallel to the ground
• Complete 8 to 16 repetitions
• Complete 3 to 5 sets

Resistance Band Outer Thigh Raise (Outer Thigh)
• With resistance band wrapped firmly around ankles, squat down and walk side to side or for balance, place hand on chair or counter and lift with a single leg
• Complete 12 to 20 steps or raises on each side
• Complete 3 to 5 sets

Bodyweight Laying Leg Raise (Outer Thigh)
• Laying on your side and feet together, raise upper leg 6 to 24 inches
• Complete for time starting at 30 seconds up to 3 minutes *commercial breaks work great!*
• Complete 3 to 5 sets

Bodyweight Lying Leg Raise (Inner Thigh)
• Lying on your side with upper foot rested on a chair or pointed towards your front, raise lower leg 3 to 6 inches
• Complete for time starting at 30 seconds up to 3 minutes *commercial breaks work great!*
• Complete 3 to 5 sets

Bodyweight Front Lying Leg Raise (Hip Flexor)
• Lying flat on your back while sitting on your hands, raise your legs together 6 to 12 inches from the ground being sure not to touch legs back to floor throughout movement
• Complete for time starting at 30 seconds up to 3 minutes*commercial breaks work great!*
• Complete 3 to 5 sets

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