When bathing suit season arrives, the upper thighs are a source of dread for many women. Suddenly the body bits that have spent the winter shrouded in jeans and long sweaters are forced onto public display. To make matters worse, even the most diligent exercisers sometimes find upper thigh tone to be elusive. By combining three key upper thigh exercises with a healthy diet and regular cardiovascular workouts, however, anyone can improve the appearance of their legs and boost their bathing suit confidence.
One of the most effective upper thigh exercises is the plié, which targets the area just below the buttocks. To begin this move, stand with the toes pointing outward, the feet spread slightly more than hip-width apart, and the arms held out to the front at shoulder level. Keeping the torso straight, dip down into a squat position. Avoid letting the knees extend beyond the toes. Return to the starting position and repeat for one minute, continuing to keep the arms raised for the duration of the exercise.
The lunge is one of the best upper thigh exercises for tightening the frontal thigh area. To perform this move, stand with the feet spread slightly and the hands at the waist. Keeping the torso straight, step forward with the right leg, bending the knee until the thigh is parallel to the floor while allowing the left leg to drop until the knee is nearly touching the floor. Pushing off with the right heel, return to the starting position. Repeat for 10 to 15 repetitions before switching sides.
To challenge the inner and outer areas of the upper thigh, try the side lift. Begin by standing approximately two feet behind a chair with the feet slightly more than hip-width apart. Bend at the hips until the back is nearly parallel to the floor, placing the hands on the chair back for support. Now lift the left leg out to the side, attempting to bring it to hip height. Lower and repeat for 10 to 15 repetitions, then switch sides.
Remember that even the tautest upper thigh muscles can be hidden beneath excess fat. To show off the results of these upper thigh exercises, get plenty of cardiovascular exercise, which raises the heart rate and burns calories. In addition, maintain a diet rich in nutritious, unprocessed foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and try to avoid taking in more than 1,500 to 2,000 calories per day.