I have been doing a number of exercises for a while now. My upper abs look great, but now my hips and thighs are huge! I was a size 3 last summer, now I’m an 8. My waist is not the problem, my shorts wont go over my legs and huge hips! The muscle in my thighs are firm, but too big. My hips are also too big! I was 125 pounds, now I’m 135. I diet and exercise every day by running and lifting weights. How do I tighten up my hips and thighs to make them slimmer?
Unfortunately, the hips and thighs can be a trouble area for many women. Most of us have to work hard to achieve the slim hips and thighs that some women are blessed with, but with a little hard work and dedication, you can look slim and fabulous! And luckily, you don’t have to spend every day or night at the gym, because most of these exercises can be performed right at home. However, a combination of both home and gym workouts will help you reshape your lower body. Here is a list of exercises that target the hips and thighs.
Try to start out with at least 3 sets of 12 to 15 repetitions for each exercise and increase the amount of repetitions based on your comfort level. Performing these exercises may seem simple enough, however, it is very important to warm up properly and familiarize yourself with the gym equipment to prevent an injury. If you are unsure how to properly use any machinery, just ask a staff member to assist you.
If you are at the gym, the low cable hip adductions and abductions are great exercises to start with because they target both the hip and thigh area at the same time. The leg press is another important machine to use because it targets the overall lower body including the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes and calves. There are several different exercises you can use to work the entire thigh area like leg curls, which work the hamstrings (back of the thighs) and the leg extensions which targets the quadriceps (front of the thighs). Here are some great exercises for your hips, thighs and butt:
Although you can do many of these exercises using just your own body weight, when you add the additional weight of dumbbells or barbells it makes your muscles work harder. This resistance helps to build more lean muscle tissue which helps to burn additional calories and body fat. Try holding a set of dumbbells or weights while doing squats, lunges, one leg hip extensions and all stepping moves. These exercises will activate the muscles in the hips and thighs at the same time. Mix and match a few of your favorite exercises, completing 10-12 sets, 1-2 times a week. Try adding 45-60 minutes of cardio after your weight training workouts so you can stimulate all of the muscles in your lower body while burning lots of calories and fat. Just be sure to choose activities that work your troubled areas such as swimming, biking, jogging, and sprinting.
The great thing about cardio is that it will raise and elevate your heart rate, therefore you burn more calories. However, there is very little EPOC or Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption with slow and steady state cardio. When you engage in intense cardio your body uses up a lot of oxygen. This is one reason it is difficult to catch your breath after exercise. High intensity interval training or HIIT will effectively burn more calories than just basic slow and steady cardio like walking on the treadmill. HIIT is when you alternate between intense activity and less intense activity. For example, you can run or bike as fast as you can for about two minutes, then walk at a slow pace for another two minutes. You should continue to do this at least five times for a 20 minute workout. Doing HIIT will force your heart rate to adjust to changing conditions, therefore kicking your metabolism into high gear which makes an even better fat blasting workout!
Last but not least, do not forget to maintain a healthy diet. There is one main difference between eating to build up muscle mass and eating to burn off fat in order to slim down and that comes down to your overall calorie intake. Avoid empty calories like junk food, sodas, snacks and candy as much as possible because they contain tons of fat and sugar. Replace them with more fruits, vegetables and lean protein. The best tip I can give you, however, is to stay positive and don’t give up because if you stick with it you will be on your way to a happy and healthier you!