August 26, 2017 | Categories: Fitness
Even if you haven’t been hitting the gym as much as you’d like, you can still rock tight thighs with some strategic moves from ACE Fitness exercise physiologist Jessica Matthews.
Add these five moves to your cardio and sensible eating plan 2 to 3 times a week on nonconsecutive days—aim to do each set 2 to 3 times, with 10 to 15 repetitions each—for toned thighs in no time.
Standing Gate Openers
Stand with your feet hip-width apart, toes pointing forward, arms by your sides. Engage your abs to stabilize your spine. Shift your weight to your left leg and lift your right knee up toward your chest. Maintaining this leg position, bring your right leg across your body so your right knee crosses your left leg, making sure to keep the right knee up and level with the hips. Then move your right knee toward the right side of the room. Return to starting position.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Keep your left leg straight and planted while stepping with your right leg to the right side, bending the right knee and pushing back the hips. Continue to lunge until your shinbone is vertical to the floor and your right knee is aligned with the second toe of your right foot; your body weight should be distributed into the right hip. Push off firmly with your right foot, returning to starting position. Repeat on the opposite side.
Side Lying Hip Abduction
Lie on your side on the floor in a straight line, keeping abs tight to support your spine. On an exhale, slowly raise the upper leg off the lower leg to a 45-degree angle. Keep the knee straight and the foot in a neutral position. Gently inhale and return the leg to your starting position in a slow, controlled manner. After completing your set, roll over and repeat with the opposite leg.
Side Lying Hip Adduction
Lie on your side on the floor with your legs starting off in the same position as the Side Lying Hip Abduction. Slowly bring your lower leg forward until it lies in front of your upper leg, keeping both legs straight. Exhale and gently raise the lower leg off the floor without allowing your hips to roll forward or backward. Inhale and return the leg to your starting position in a slow, controlled manner. Complete your set, then roll over and repeat with the opposite leg.
Stability Ball Hamstring Curl
Lie on your back on the floor, placing the backs of your lower legs and heels on the top of a stability ball, arms out to the sides, palms down. Keeping your abs tight, lift your hips up off the floor, pressing the legs and heels into the ball for additional stability. Continue to press upwards until your body is in a straight line from your heels to your shoulder blades. Exhale and slowly bend your knees and pull the ball toward your hips until you can rest the soles of the your feet on top of the ball. Inhale and slowly press the ball away from your hips until the knees are straight, stabilizing with the core, hamstrings, glutes and arms.
See the article on Prevention.com.
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