Legs are considered as the building blocks of the body. According to many bodybuilders and gym instructors, legs and thighs are the most important parts of the body that need proper toning and exercise. A body is said to be well shaped if the legs and thighs are well toned. Strong legs help in the overall balance of the body. Thus in the bodybuilding universe, leg day is considered as the most important day. It should also be noted that leg exercises mainly consist of exercises meant for the thighs. So, to tone the legs, we need to know about thigh workout. So this article will provide the ways and the importance of the various thigh exercises in general.
Now, before talking about the various thigh exercises, we must talk about the different thigh muscles. The thigh of human beings consists of various muscles. The thigh has three sets of muscles namely the hamstring muscles, the quadriceps and the adductor muscles. The hamstring and the quadriceps help in the movement of the leg while the adductor muscles pull the legs together. These sets of muscles require a lot of maintenance. So let us now discuss about the various thigh exercises and the proper ways of doing those exercises.
Thigh exercises can be performed anywhere. The best thing about leg exercise is that they do not require special equipments every time. We can do these exercises in the gym or at our homes. So, some of the most common thigh exercises are as follows:-
- Squats:- Squats are the most common of the various thigh exercises. Squats require nothing at all. It is considered as one of the most basic of all exercises. Though basic but it is very much effective in producing good results. The proper way of doing a squat is as follows:-
- Bend the knees keeping them aligned with the toes.
- Keep the back straight and the spine neutral.
- Now slowly go downwards till a pressure is felt at the back of the thighs. Hold on to that position for a few seconds. Inhale during this process.
- Now move upwards at a fast pace till you are fully upright. Inhale during this phase.
- Repeat these for the reps.
Squats can be done at any time. They can be also done for warming up. Generally, squats are done in 3-4 sets with 10-12 reps in each of them. For more strengthening, barbells can be used for doing squats.
- Lunges:- Lunges are another set of exercises which are good for the legs. Lunges strengthen the quads, glutes and hamstrings. They are also helpful in shaping the butt. To do lunges,
- Keep one leg bent forward and another straight. The bent knee should not cross the toes.
- Feel the pressure on the back of the legs .
- Now slowly go downwards till you can touch the ground with the knee of your straight leg.
- Now go upwards with inhaling.
- Repeat the steps for the sets and follow these steps for the other leg too.
Lunges are somewhat same as squats. They can be done in sets of 3-4 with 10-12 reps in each set for each leg. Barbells and weights can be used for putting extra pressure.
- Plank Leg Lifts:- This exercise is a multi-strengthening exercise. It strengthens the thighs, the core, the back and the hips. This is a simple exercise and it does not require any machinery. The process of doing it is as follows:-
- Start of in the plank position with your hands right below your shoulders.
- Now lift one leg by keeping it straight till pressure is felt in the back of the thighs.
- Lower the leg.
- Do the same with the other leg and keep on repeating.
Plank leg lifts are easy and very engaging. They should be done at a regular basis. This exercise can be done in 2-3 sets taking 30-60 seconds in each set.
- Box Jumps:- Box jumps are very popular. In every gym we can people perform this exercise. This exercise only requires a box or some object which can be used as a box. The way of doing box jumps is also very simple. All you need to do is get a box or any object that reaches your hips. Now take a squatting position and jump on the box. Get upright when get on the box, then jump down and do it again. Do these for 10-12 repetitions for 3-4 sets.
Box jumps require a lot of energy. They can also be categorized as a full body workout. Box jumps target the thighs, calves, hips and the core.
- Dead lift:- Though dead lift is considered as an exercise for the back but dead lifts are good for the thighs too. This exercise is a little bit risky compared to the other exercises mentioned. It requires a perfect posture. The dead lift is considered as the king of all exercises. It is one of the major strength-building exercises. In dead lift, you have to lift a weighted barbell with equal weights on both sides. The back should be kept strong and the spine neutral. Inhale while lifting the weight and hold the position after reaching the upright position. Now put down the weight keeping the body strong without any jerking movement.
Dead lifts should be done in 2-3 sets with 3-5 reps in each set. A gym belt is strongly recommended for this exercise.
It helps to tone up your thighs and legs and also helps to strengthen it. This exercise has many variations and one of the most common is to balance the body on the feet and hands. It strengthens your butt muscles as well as the muscles of the thighs. It also strengthens your core abdomen.
Apart from these exercises there are some stretching exercises which will help you to tone up your thighs-
- Downward facing dog
This helps to stretch the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, arms and arches. It also relieves the stress and calms the brain. In addition to all this, it also strengthens the arms and hands and energizes your body.
- Seated toe touch
This stretches your thigh muscles and strengthen it. It also stretches your back and boost circulation. It enhances your flexibility and tones up your thighs. You must try to reach as far as you can and try to touch your toes but don’t do it forcefully.
- Chair pose
This stretching exercise helps you to strengthen your hamstrings, calves, hips and back. It has a great advantage of reducing the symptoms of flat feet. Stimulates the heart, diaphragm and abdominal organs.
- Warrior I
This is another leg stretching exercise and is very effective in strengthening your arms, legs and thighs and energises the entire body. It promotes good circulation and respiration, it improves your body balance and stability.
You may also perform the following activities which will help you to tone up your thighs faster and will also help to make them more stronger.
- You must walk more whenever you can. Walking is one of the best exercise to tone thighs and legs. As you get use to of walking longer, you must start walking faster and then prefer jogging and running.
- Another way to tone up your thighs is to do cycling. It is a high intensity workout and best way to tone your legs faster and strengthens your muscles.
- Dance, is the most fun and loveable activity to perform and an easy and fun way to tone up your thighs faster. It improves heart rate and improves body balance.
- Another way to tone up your thighs is to do jumping rope.
Summary:-These are the exercises that are commonly performed all over the world for the strengthening of the legs and thighs. These exercises are greatly beneficial and should be done regularly. Other than the mentioned exercises, several other thigh exercises are prevalent in the world of bodybuilding. But these above-mentioned exercises are common and productive.
It should also be taken into notice that thighs can also be exercised through our daily activities. Walking, running, cycling, taking stairs all work on the toning of the legs.