Fitness

Body basic: Thighs

Author: Canadian Living

Fitness

Body basic: Thighs

Trim thighs aren't easy to come by. To get trimmer thighs you need to do regular cardio workouts and eat a healthy diet. And you also need to do the right exercises, like the Power Lunge. Once you've strengthened your thigh muscles, you'll be ready to try this Advanced Power Lunge.

Begin this exercise with one to three kilogram weights and progress gradually once you are comfortable with the exercise and confident in performing it. The weights help you and challenge you at the same time. The extra resistance that you are holding in your hands means more effort required performing the exercise and will make you stronger. You can't lose.

Advanced power lunge
1. Stand straight with your arms at your sides, your feet hip-distance apart, abdominals pulled in and chest out. Do not lock your knees. Holding weights bend your elbows so that you can place the dumbbells, palms facing front, at your shoulders; your thumbs, or the dumbbell itself, should lightly touch the front of your shoulder, helping to keep your elbows in close to your body. When the dumbbells are held in this higher position, your entire core, abdominals, back and shoulder muscles will have to work harder just to keep you standing stable and upright.

2. Take a long step forward with your left leg, landing first on your heel; exhale as you go. Your right heel should lift off the floor as your left heel strikes the floor. Lower your hips straight down until both your left and right legs form 90-degree angles. Your left knee should be above the centre of your left foot, without going past your toes. Your right knee should be level with the top of your right ankle.

3. Pause for a breath; then push your hips up using your front leg to return to the starting position. Maintain a smooth rhythm in both the lowering and powering-up stages.

Change legs and repeat the action.

Repetitions and sets
Aim to complete 10 repetitions on each side or 20 in total; alternate from one side to the other and progress gradually to three sets of 10 repetitions for a total of 30 repetitions on each leg. Include the power lunge in your exercise program at least three times per week. Your thighs will thank you!

Physio fire drill
At least once a week perform the exercise all on one leg at a time, that is, perform 10 repetitions on your right leg, then switch to the left and repeat. When you target one leg at a time, your thigh muscles will be challenged differently, leading to faster results.

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Fitness

Body basic: Thighs

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