Toning Your Body -- and Your Thighs
Tips for Slimmer Hips
Going for It
There are a wide variety of exercises you can do at a fitness
center or with strength-training equipment. Using machines such as the leg
press, leg (knee) extension, leg (knee or hamstring) curl and the hip
abductor/hip adductor are great ways to get started.
If you don't have access to equipment, you can use your own
body weight as resistance during lower body exercises, which can be very
effective in toning and firming calves, hips, and thighs.
Below are a few strengthening exercises to get you started. If
you have a health condition that limits your activity, check with your
physician before doing any form of exercise. You might also want to consult
with an expert trainer at your gym, who can show you how to use the machines
safely and effectively.
- Muscles working: Front and back of thighs.
- The position: You will need a stable staircase for this exercise. Stand
close to the bottom stair and use the handrail for support with your head up,
looking straight ahead.
- The Move: Step completely onto the first stair with one foot. Keeping your
weight supported on the front leg without letting your knee come over your
toes, bring the other leg up and tap the toes of the back leg on the step and
then slowly return to starting position. Repeat while alternating the starting
leg until you have completed eight on each leg (one set), rest for a couple of
minutes and then repeat one to two more sets.
Side Leg Raise
- Muscles working: Hips and thighs.
- The position: You will need to lie on the floor on your side with your legs
straight and together for this exercise. Bend your bottom leg up behind you
slightly (keeping your hips stacked) and put your outside hand out in front of
you for balance using your inside hand to support your head.
- The Move: With toes pointing straight ahead, slowly lift your top leg as
high as possible, while maintaining straight hips. Then slowly return back to
starting position and repeat eight times. Then switch to the other side and do
eight repetitions. This is one set. Repeat for a total of two sets.