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Sleeker Thighs in 3 Moves

  • Chris Fanning

    Beginner: Bent-Knee Extension

    Targets: Hamstrings (back of thigh)

    • Lie faceup on floor with arms at sides, knees bent 90 degrees and heels shoulder-width apart on a stability ball.
    • Lift hips toward the ceiling, being careful not to overarch back.
    • Hold for 3 counts and lower.
    • Repeat for 8 to 10 reps.
     
  • Chris Fanning

    Beginner: Seated Leg Raise

    Targets: Quads (front of thigh)

    • Sit on floor with your back pressed into a wall, legs extended in front of you with feet flexed.
    • Raise right leg off floor as high as you comfortably can, keeping foot flexed.
    • Lower to floor without touching; do 20 continuous reps.
    • Repeat with left leg.
  • Chris Fanning

    Beginner: Scissor Kick

    Targets: Adductors (inner thigh)

    • Lie faceup on floor with arms at sides, palms down and legs extended.
    • Lift legs about 45 degrees, pointing toes.
    • Quickly open and close your legs, crossing the right thigh over the left and then reversing the movement.
    • Continue scissoring legs; do 12 to 15 reps per side.
     
  • Chris Fanning

    Intermediate: Extended Leg Curl

    Targets: Hamstrings (back of thigh)

    • Lie faceup on floor with heels placed shoulder-width apart on a stability ball, arms at sides on floor, palms down.
    • Lift hips toward ceiling and hold for 2 counts.
    • Slowly pull ball toward body, keeping hips lifted, then roll it back toward start.
    • Do 8 to 10 reps.
  • Chris Fanning

    Intermediate: Single-Leg Wall Extension

    Targets: Quads (front of thigh)

    • Stand with your back pressed into a wall, feet shoulder-width apart. Bend knees 90 degrees.
    • From this position, straighten right leg, pointing toes.
    • Hold for 3 counts and lower.
    • Repeat for 8 to 10 reps; switch legs.
     
  • Chris Fanning

    Intermediate: Ballerina Squat with Knee Bend

    Targets: Adductors (inner thigh)

    • Stand with feet wider than shoulder-width apart, toes pointed out. Bend knees 45 degrees and hold.
    • From here, shift your body weight to the left side, keeping left knee bent while straightening right leg.
    • Hold for 1 count; switch sides, straightening left leg and bending right knee.
    • Repeat; alternate legs for 8 to 10 reps per side.
  • Chris Fanning

    Advanced: Single-Leg Hip Curl

    Targets: Hamstrings (back of thigh)

    • Lie faceup on floor, legs extended, arms at sides and heels shoulder-width apart on a stability ball.
    • Raise hips toward ceiling and hold.
    • Lift your right leg off the ball, pointing toes toward ceiling.
    • Slowly pull the ball toward your body using your left leg; keep hips lifted.
    • Roll back to start and repeat; do 8 to 10 reps per leg.
     
  • Chris Fanning

    Advanced: Flamingo Squat

    Targets: Quads (front of thigh)

    • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart.
    • Raise right leg about 3 inches off the floor and squat down with left leg, bending knee about 45 degrees.
    • Straighten leg and repeat, balancing on left side; keep right leg elevated.
    • Do 8 to 10 reps per side.
  • Chris Fanning

    Advanced: Single-Leg Knee Adduction

    Targets: Adductors (inner thighs)

    • Standing with feet shoulder-width apart, lift right leg off the floor, bending right knee 90 degrees; keep hands on hips.
    • Bring right leg 45 degrees away from body, balancing on left leg.
    • From this position, bring right knee toward right side and back toward center.
    • Do 8 to 10 reps; return to start and repeat on opposite side.

    Originally published in FITNESS magazine, December 2006.

     
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