Tip of the Week
The functions of the muscles of the outer thigh are for knee extension and hip flexion. While toned and strong legs with nice side dimples at the glutes are desirable, spot reduction by exercising alone is not realistically achievable. Spot reduction is the idea that you can lose fat from a specific area of your body by performing exercises targeting that particular area. Unfortunately, you cannot spot reduce (with the exception of liposuction!), but you can: follow a healthy nutrition, incorporate regular cardiovascular exercise such as running, swimming, bicycling and kickboxing, and complete a circuit strength training program 4-5 days a week to reduce your overall body fat and eventually reduce the adipose layer deposited on top of your Outer Thigh Muscles.
You can also incorporate the following strength building and sculpting exercises in your daily routine...and always remember to stretch after a workout for increased flexibility.
Build your strong outer thigh muscles
Begin by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Squat down, bending your knees to 90 degree, keep your chest up by looking straight ahead of you and keep your back in a neutral position. Do not curve your spine. Engage your core muscles and contract your abdominals. Now jump up and land softly again in the squat position. Use the strength in your legs and butt to jump up explosively and use your core muscles for balance and stability. Remember to land as softly as you can with your knees bent; keep your weight back, over your heels. Do 3 sets of 15 repetitions.
(Photo courtesy of mybodybeats.com)
The Single-Leg Circle
Begin by lying back on the mat with your arms by your sides and your palms facing down. Point with your left foot, as if reaching out with your toes toward the ceiling, and rotate your leg slightly outward. Inhale, and trace a circle on the ceiling with your left leg, moving your whole leg, but keeping your hips still. Don't lift your left hip off the floor. Trace the circle on the ceiling 10 times in a clockwise direction. Repeat in a counter-clockwise direction. Switch legs and repeat 5 times.
(Photo courtesy of athleta.net)
Lying-down leg lift
Begin by lying on your left side, flat against the floor. Rest your head on your left upper arm. Rest your right arm on your right hip. Keep your legs straight. Using outer thigh muscle (abductor), lift right leg 6 inches off floor. Keep right toe in flexed position (not a pointed position). Exhale (breathe out) as you lift your leg. Using resistance with the outer thigh muscle (not gravity), slowly lower your leg. Inhale (breathe in) as you lower your leg. Repeat exercise for 3 sets of 25 repetitions. Then, switch leg and repeat the entire sequence on your right side. Remember to breathe regularly throughout the exercise keep your body straight and your hips aligned (one on top of the other).
(Photo courtesy of womenshealthmag.com)
Stretch your outer thigh muscles
Crossover sit leg stretch
Sit on the floor with legs stretched out forward and together. Feet should be flexed. Bending at the knee, cross the right leg over the flat left leg. Slip your left arm across your chest and touch your left elbow to your right knee. Fingers should be touching the floor with a straight arm. Use the resistance created by your elbow pressing against your knee to stretch your outer thigh muscle. Hold this stretch for a 15 count. Perform 5 reps on each side.