5 Best Lower Body Toning Tips & Tricks
by Kathy Smith
Women ask me about trimming their inner thighs almost as much as they ask about banishing belly fat, whether or not it’s okay to eat carbs, and the true meaning of life. Let’s start with your thighs because there are easy things you can do to really firm up this stubborn area. And when you combine thigh toning with a killer butt workout, you start loving your lower body like never before.
1. Squeeze it.
Your “adductors” are the inner thighs – an area often overlooked in normal workouts (unless you’re a speed skater). Adductor machines (found at most gyms) are great for targeting this area, but you can also activate this area whether you’re standing in line at the bank or doing squats at home.
Try this now: Stand normally, feet parallel and hip-width apart, abdominals tight, and shoulders back. Without changing the angle of your feet, try to slide your feet together simply by using the muscles in your inner thigh – and simultaneously try not to tighten your glute muscles. Your feet won’t move. As you practice this, you can actually feel the action beginning all the way down in the soles of your feet and moving up through the entire inside of your leg. This activates the inner thigh muscles and also helps you stand a little taller!
And try this later: Next time you’re doing a set of squats, use a slightly wider stance than you usually would (roughly a few inches beyond your wider-than-hip-width position). Turn the toes outward slightly, and as you lower down into the squat, you’ll feel all the normal lower body muscles firing (glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and core) – but this time you’ll notice a little extra emphasis on that hard-to-reach inner area!
2. Lift it.
Once upon a time, leg lifts were invented for women who wanted to work the inner and outer thighs – but after the hundredth lift, they didn’t find their happily-ever-after. Adding some resistance to those classic moves helps you take results to the next level.
In fact, utilizing resistance tubes requires you to maintain constant tension throughout a movement.More muscle fibers light up, which results in quick toning results. Plus, tubing allows you to target areas that aren’t as engaged when you’re doing simple front/back movements.
Take your newfound inner thigh awareness into your everyday life. The same way you can work your abdominals from your desk, you can also engage your thigh muscles right now, as you read this.
3. Live it.
Squishy balls are terrific – I like to keep one under my desk so that I can do some extra thigh squeezes when I’m sitting at the computer. It’s like a stress-relief ball for the legs – one that helps you power up your lower body.
4. Balance it.
Balance exercises not only strengthen your core, improving your stability and overall health – but they also engage muscles in the lower legs, including stabilizing muscles like your inner thighs. Many yoga moves, such as tree pose or dancer pose, are perfect for a late afternoon balance challenge. What could be better? You can calm the mind while strengthening your inner thighs!
5. Burn it.
The lower body plays a major role in maintaining your cardiovascular systems – since you can’t walk, run, or step very far without it. And the fat-burning benefits of cardio are a key component to trimming down your thighs.