15 Exercises To Tone Your Thighs – Get Rid Of Cellulite September 12, 2017

The right balance of fat and muscle in your thighs can make you look really attractive in any outfit – be it an A-line skirt or a pair of boyfriend jeans. But you don’t have to have skinny thighs for that. Your thighs can look toned and sexy if you do the right exercises. Doing exercises that will target your calves, quads, hamstrings, glutes, tensors, adductors, and other thigh muscles will build lower body strength, improve posture, burn calories, and build lean muscle. Also, you don’t have to train for hours to get shapely thighs. Do these 15 thigh toning exercises for 20-30 minutes a day and tone your thighs in 2 weeks.

But, before you start toning your thighs – Warm up! Here’s why you should never ignore it.

 Warm Up

It is extremely important that you warm up before you start doing thigh toning exercises. This will prepare your body and mind for the exercises. A warm up will increase blood flow to your muscles, improve the flexibility of your muscles and bones, activate the central nervous system, and reduce the risk of sore muscles and injury.

Click on the video below to warm up with Joanna Soh.

Now that your body is prepared, you can start doing thigh toning exercises right away. Here are 15 exercises that will help you get rid of cellulite and make your thighs shapely.

 15 Effective Exercises To Tone Your Thighs

1. Squat – Exercise For The Thighs And Hips

Target

Squats target the quads, hamstrings, glutes, lower back, and calves.

Starting Position

Stand straight with your feet slightly apart (more than shoulder-width distance). Keep your core engaged and shoulders relaxed. Extend your arms in front of you. Flex them and bring them in front of your chest as you squat.

Duration

2 mins

Steps To Do

  1. From your starting position, flex your knees and go down as if you are going to sit on a chair. Make sure to keep your knees behind your toes.
  2. Hold for a second and then come up.

Repetitions

Start with 10 reps. You can go on to do 2 sets of 10 reps, 3 sets of 10 reps, or 1 set of 20 reps.

Variation

Keep your knees shoulder-width apart and squat.

Precaution

If your knees hurt, you are not doing it right. Make sure you follow the video or have an instructor oversee you when you are squatting. Also, do not overtrain as you might injure your knee.

2. Jumping Squat – Exercise For The Thighs, Hips, And Calves

Target

Quads, hamstrings, calves, adductors, and glutes.

Starting Position

Place your feet shoulder-width apart. Keep your knees straight and slightly flexed forward, core engaged, and shoulders relaxed. Keep your hands to your side so that you can use them to propel yourself up when you jump.

Duration

30 sec

Steps To Do

  1. Flex your knees and squat down. Make sure to keep your thighs parallel to the ground and do not overshoot your knees beyond your feet.
  2. Now, move your arms to propel your body up, and jump and land. When you land, make sure that you absorb the shock through your muscles so that you do not injure your knees or feet.
  3. Again, go down and squat.

 Repetitions

2 sets of 10 reps

Variation

You can bring your legs together as you jump or put your hands behind your head when you jump to make the workout more difficult.

Precaution

Slow down as you land.

3. Outer And Inner Thigh Kick – Exercise For The Thighs And Hips

Target

Quads, adductors, and glutes.

Starting Position

Stand behind a chair. Hold the back of the chair. Relax your shoulders and keep your abs engaged.

Duration

15 seconds on each leg

Steps To Do

  1. Lift your body on your toes. Move your right leg forward.
  2. Slowly swing your right leg towards your left and then to the right. Make sure you raise your leg high on the right side.
  3. Do this 10 times and then lower your body.
  4. Repeat the same with your left leg.

Repetitions

2 sets of 10 reps

Variation

None

Precaution

Make sure to keep your knees straight.

4. Single Leg Circles

Target

Quads and adductors.

Starting Position

Stand straight. Relax your shoulders and keep your core engaged. Put your right foot forward, with the toes pointing out.

Duration

15 seconds on each leg

Steps To Do

  1. Lift your right foot about knee high. Keep your arms on your waist, and shoulders relaxed.
  2. Move the right leg outward and make a circle.
  3. Repeat this 10 times.
  4. Do the same with the left leg.

Repetitions

2 sets of 10 reps

Variation

You can hold a wall or a chair when you do this exercise.

Precaution

Do not bend your knees or bend to the side while doing this exercise.

 5. Plie – Exercise For The Thighs And Calves

Target

Quads, adductors, calves, and glutes.

Starting Position

Keep your legs a little wider than hip-width apart. Keep your toes pointed out at 45 degrees, core engaged, and shoulders relaxed.

Duration

1 min

Steps To Do

  1. From your starting position, without bending forward or backward, flex your knees and lower your body.
  2. As you do this, use your palms to push your knees back so that you can feel the thigh rotation.
  3. Move both your hands to the sides, like a ballerina, and slowly stand up with your heels flat on the floor.
  4. Repeat this 10 times.

Repetitions

1 set of 10 reps

Variation

Lift your ankles and balance on your toes. Hold in that position. You can also pulsate by going up and down.

Precaution

Do not bend forward as you would in a normal squat.

6. Scissor Kicks – Exercise For The Thighs And Lower Abs

Target

Hamstrings, quads, adductors, and lower abs.

Starting Position

Lie down flat on your back on a mat. Keep your hands straight, palms under your hips, and toes pointed out.

Duration

30 seconds

Steps To Do

  1. Lift both your legs at a 45-degree angle with the ground.
  2. Now, move your right leg up and left leg down.
  3. Bring them back up and this time, move your left leg up and right leg down. When you do this at a faster pace, it looks like a scissor.
  4. Do this for 15 times.

 Repetitions

2 sets of 15 reps

Variation

None

Precaution

Do not bend your knees.

6. Inner Thigh Circles – Exercise For The Thighs And Hips

Target

Adductors and glutes

Starting Position

Assume the cat position. Your palms must be flat on the ground, and toes pointing outwards.

Duration

1 min

Steps To Do

  1. Lift your right leg out to the side. Slightly flex your knees. Make sure you balance your body on your left knee and two hands.
  2. Move your right leg in small circles, first clockwise and then anticlockwise. Do this 5 times.
  3. Now, move your right leg in bigger circles, clockwise and anticlockwise. Do this 5 times.
  4. Do the same with your left leg.

Repetitions

2 sets of 10 reps

Variation

You can flex your knees and keep your toes pointed backward if you are not comfortable keeping your legs straight for a long duration.

Precaution

Make sure you keep your knees soft and comfortable.

7. Side Kick – Exercise For The Thighs And Hips

Quads, hamstrings, adductors, and glutes.

Starting Position

Lie on your right side on a mat. Keep your core engaged, head resting on your right hand, your left hand in front of you, and left palm resting flat on the floor to support your body. Your body should be aligned from the head to the tailbone. Move both your legs out so that your lower body is at 45 degrees with your upper body.

Duration

1 min

Steps To Do

  1. Raise your left leg up to your hip.
  2. Now, without moving your upper body and right leg, kick your left leg forward and inhale.
  3. Kick your left leg back and exhale. As you kick back, lift your upper body. Your body should be supported by your right elbow.
  4. Do this 10 times.
  5. Do this on the left side as well.

 Repetitions

2 sets of 10 reps

Variation

When you kick your leg forward, you can pulsate it so work your inner thigh muscles and glutes.

Precaution

Make sure you lift your legs till your hips and not beyond that.

 8. Lunges – Exercise For The Thighs And Hips

Target

Quads, hamstrings, and glutes.

Starting Position

Put your right leg forward, relax your shoulders. Keep your chest up, core engaged, and hands on the side. Make sure your legs are not directly in the same line as it would make lunging difficult.

Duration

15 seconds on each leg

Steps To Do

  1. Keeping your body weight on the front heel, lower your body and drop your left knee to the ground.
  2. Now, stand right back up.
  3. Do this for 10 times.
  4. Now, put your left leg forward and repeat the same.

Repetitions

2 sets of 10 reps

Variation

You can do forward or backward lunges by putting your leg forward or backward and lunging.

Precaution

Do not stretch the leg in the back; it should be perpendicular to the floor.

 9. Lateral Lunge Side Kick

Target

Adductors, glutes, quads, and hamstrings.

Starting Position

Stand with your feet together, shoulders relaxed, and core engaged. Your hands should be close to your chest as if you are boxing.

Duration

30 secs

Steps To Do

  1. Move your right leg out to the side and do a side lunge by lowering your body. Your left leg should be fully stretched, and the weight of your body should be on the right heel.
  2. Raise your body back up and kick your right leg out.
  3. Do the same with your left leg.

Repetitions

1 set of 10 reps

Variation

You can hold 2-pound weights when you do this exercise.

Precaution

Make sure to maintain the rhythm of lunging and kicking to avoid falling and injuring yourself.

 10. Standing Forward Bend – Exercise For The Thighs, Hips, And Calves

Target

Quads, hamstrings, and glutes.

Starting Position

Stand with your feet together, core engaged, shoulders relaxed, chest out, and hands on your waist.

Duration

2 mins

Steps To Do

  1. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and inhale. Bend your upper body forward and slowly go down.
  2. Keep your palms on your shins or the mat.
  3. Touch your head to your knees and hold this position for 2 seconds.
  4. Now, slowly come back up to the starting position.
  5. Do this 10 times.

Repetitions

1 set of 5 reps

Variation

None

Precaution

Keep your weight on the heels. If you have a balancing problem initially, you can keep your feet shoulder-width apart.

11. Downward Dog Split – Exercise For The Thighs And Hips

Target

Hamstrings, glutes, and quads.

Starting Position

Assume the Cat Pose. Keep your palms flat on the floor, and hands shoulder-width apart.

Duration

1 min

Steps To Do

  1. Gently lift your hips, stretch your arms and legs, roll your shoulders down and forward so that there’s enough space for your neck to move.
  2. Inhale and extend your left leg up so that your leg and upper body are in line. Make sure your toes are pointing out.
  3. Exhale and slowly go back to the starting position.
  4. Do this on the other side as well.

Repetitions

1 set of 10 reps

Variation

When your leg is in the 2nd step, flex your knees and hold for a second.

Precaution

Make sure your heels are touching the floor.

12. Flamingo Balance – Exercise For The Thighs, Hips, Abs, And Lower Back

Target

Hamstrings, glutes, quads, biceps, lower back, and abs.

Starting Position

Stand straight with your legs shoulder-width apart. Hold a 2-pound dumbbell in your right hand and keep your left hand on your waist.

Duration

1 min

Steps To Do

  1. Take the left foot behind you and rest it on the toes.
  2. Lift your left leg till your hips. Keep your left leg straight and slightly flex your right knee.
  3. Simultaneously, bring your right arm forward, with the palm facing the ceiling.
  4. Hold this position for a second and then flex your right hand to do a bicep curl.
  5. Now, lower your left leg for a second and then repeat this.
  6. Do this with the right leg as well.

 Repetitions

2 sets of 12 reps

Variation

You can also do this exercise without the dumbbells.

Precaution

Do not use a dumbbell if you are not aware of the right way to do a bicep curl.

 13. Straight Leg Lifts – Exercise For The Thighs And Hips

Target

Hamstrings, quads, and hip flexors.

Starting Position

Lie down flat on a mat. Keep your right leg straight, left knee flexed, left foot flat on the floor, and your arms on the side.

Duration

30 secs for each leg

Steps To Do

  1. Lift your right leg till you reach the height of your flexed left leg.
  2. Slowly lower your right leg.
  3. Repeat this 12 times.
  4. Do this with the left leg as well.

 Repetitions

1 set of 12 reps

Variation

Lift both the legs together.

Precaution

Do not do this exercise if you have a knee injury.

 14. Kick Back – Exercise For The Thighs And Hips

Target

Hamstrings, quads, and glutes

Starting Position

Assume cat pose with your knees and hands on the floor, palm flat on the floor, keep your back straight.

Duration

30 seconds for each leg

Steps To Do

  1. Support your body with your palms and left knee while you straighten your right leg.
  2. Now, raise your right leg slightly above your hips. Keep your toes pointed.
  3. Do this 10 times and then change your position to raise your left leg.

Repetitions

2 sets of 10 reps

Variation

After you kick back, flex your knee and bring it close to your chest before kicking back again.

Precaution

Keep your toes pointed and core engaged and do not hunch down.

15. Curtsy Lunge – Exercise For The Thighs And Hips

Target

Hamstrings, quads, and glutes.

Starting Position

Stand straight with your feet together, abs engaged, and shoulders relaxed.

Duration

1 min

Steps To Do

  1. Keep your right leg back to the side of the left leg.
  2. Flex your right knee and drop down so that your right knee is close to the ground.
  3. Now, rise and keep your right leg back in the starting position.
  4. Keep your left leg back to the side of right leg.
  5. Flex your left knee and drop down so that your left knee is close to the ground.
  6. Now, rise and keep your left leg back in the starting position.

 Repetitions

2 sets of 10 reps

Variation

While changing the legs, you can jump to make the exercise more challenging.

Precaution

Lunging incorrectly can injure your knee, so make sure you follow the best method to lunge.

 These were the 15 exercises to tone your thighs. Do them regularly, and you will see a visible difference in your thighs as well as energy levels. Good luck!

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Charushila is an ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition and a full-time contributor to Diet & Weight Loss at Stylecraze. She believes that food has healing powers and eating good food is the best way to lose weight. A binge eater-turned-fitness enthusiast, Charushila likes to share her knowledge and experience with the world. When she is not working, she loves to cook healthy food, watch movies, travel, workout, and read Bengali literature.