You've lost weight (or you're naturally thin), but those jiggling thighs are the only thing preventing you from wearing those short-shorts or swimsuit. As a part of your body that is used most, it's easy to wonder how your thighs can be so flabby and untoned. When your thighs seem to keep jiggling long after you've stopped moving, it really does a number on your self-confidence and body image. If this all sounds familiar, there are some super-easy moves you can do that will banish the "jello" on your thighs in no time flat.
Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to run, jog, or even walk to have sleek, toned thighs (although cardiovascular exercise does offer many health and fitness benefits). The fact is, you can tone up those flabby thighs (including the inner thigh, a particularly problem area for women) doing these 5 simple moves from the comfort and privacy of your own home. All you need is an exercise mat and some light hand-held weights, about 3 to 8 lbs. each depending upon your fitness level.
One of the most effective thigh exercises, squats tone up your quadriceps (front of thigh) and hamstrings, calves and glutes. Begin your exercise regimen by performing 2 sets of 10 squats without dumbbells. Squats should be performed by placing feet shoulder-width apart, then lowering your body until thighs are parallel with floor. Look to make sure that your knees do not go farther forward than your toes. As your fitness level improves, work up to performing 3 sets of 12-15 squats using dumbbells.
2. Sliding side lunge
If you really want to target the flabby inner thigh area along with outer thighs, this exercise rocks! On a tile or wood floor, place a towel under your right foot. Slide your foot straight out to the side, then "lunge" or squat down so that your thigh is parallel to the floor. As you are sliding your right leg back toward your body, consciously squeeze your inner thigh. Perform 2 sets of 10 reps and repeat on left side. You can also perform this exercise using dumbbells as your fitness level and strength improve.
3. Pilates leg circles
After the squats and lunges, give your back a rest while giving your thighs a real workout with this pilates move. Lie flat on your back, arms straight down at sides. Lift one leg 12-18 inches from the floor, then point toe and draw imaginary small circles in the air. After a few reps, reverse the direction of the circles. Repeat with other leg. Try to perform 2 sets of 15 reps on each side, building up as strength increases.
4. Plie squat
A ballet position, the plie squat is an extremely effective move that targets inner thighs. Standing with legs spread apart in a wide stance, turn toes outward at an angle, placing arms straight out in front of you or on hips. As in the squat move, bend your knees and slowly lower toward the floor until thighs are parallel with floor, then return to starting position. Perform 2 sets of 10 reps.
The lunge works out the hamstring/glute muscles on the front of the thigh, as well as the quads on the back of the leg. Standing with legs shoulder-width apart, step forward with one leg so that you land on the heel first. The front leg should go down to a 90 degree angle, keeping knee directly above toes. When the knee on the back leg is nearly touching the floor, the move is complete. Continue by repeating the lunge on the same leg, or alternate back and forth from one leg to the other if desired. Lunges can also be performed using dumbbells to increase difficulty.
Always be careful not to over-do it, and stop immediately if you feel pain. It is best to start out slowly, then build repetitions and add weight as you become more fit. Perform these thigh exercises at least 3 days each week, and you'll be well on your way to those sleek, firm thighs (with no jiggle in sight) that you've been dreaming of.