Thick Thigh Solutions
My students know that when I call them to center court to discuss the activity for the class period, they are expected to listen quietly and wait until the end before raising their hand to ask a question. That being said, they also know that if they have an emergency situation, like a snotty nose, a queasy stomach, or a bladder that won’t wait, they can raise their hand to ask.
So last school year when a third grader was frantically waving his arm in the air for an extended amount of time, I decided that an emergency was at-hand. Before calling on the student, I asked him if the situation was something that could wait since it was interrupting. He readily assured me that it was imperative he talk to me, so I invited him to proceed. And then he said what had been on his mind, “gym teacher, you have thick thighs.” I actually giggled a little in my head before responding with one of my token phrases, “thank you for noticing, buddy.”
And while this comment in my younger years may have triggered a more disappointed reaction, my thighs continue to be an area of my body that I am not entirely pleased with. They certainly aren’t as toned as other parts of my body. Growing up, thin legs were in, and to be honest, my legs have never been thin.
I remember my dad reassuring me that my legs and rear end weren’t chubby, they were the legs of an athlete. “you can’t spring and jump with stick legs, Michelle.” Easy for him to say, his jeans fit well. When I gain a few extra pounds, they head to my thighs and booty. It’s often difficult to find jeans that fit correctly. If they fit around the waist, I can’t get them up over my legs and butt. When I choose a larger size that fit in the lower body, they gap at the waist. This is why I was ecstatic when leggings came back into style.
So a few months ago when I was approached to participate in an eight-week fitness challenge targeting a certain area of the body, I agreed and opted to focus on my inner thighs and booty. So in addition to my normal workout routine, I also completed a sixteen minute exercise regimen solely focusing on those areas. Did I achieve stick thin legs by the end? Absolutely not, but were my thighs and booty more toned and sculpted, definitely!
So, if you’re in the same boat I am, here are my top three at-home exercises with modifications to target those areas of concern.
Squats – I know what you’re thinking…everyone tells you to do squats to strengthen the lower body. I’m certainly not reinventing the wheel here, but there are some different squat positions and arm modifications that can diversify your program and help you target other possible muscle groups. For regular squats, stand with your feet shoulder width apart with your toes pointing forward. Bend your knees as you go down and stick your posterior out. Then lead with it as you stand into an upright position. Don’t bend at the waist, and make sure to squeeze your glutes at the top. For a stance variation, position your feet a little wider than shoulder width and point your outward. This is sumo squat position. Once you are comfortable with these positions, you can add hand weights. You can add curls, presses, or tricept extensions into the exercise to include your upper body. Jumping squats can also add variation to your routine.
Lunges – Another effective lower body exercise is lunges. Begin with your feet together. Take a regular sized step forward bending your back knee and your front knee. Keep your balance and push yourself back up. Then switch legs. To challenge yourself, you can combine forward and backward lunges. This means you will stay on one leg for one set and use the other leg the next rep. You can even try balancing on one leg in between. Side lunges are another variant that can be helpful. Lunge from side to side, bending one leg while keeping the other straight. Again, include your arms when possible. You can lunge and curl, lunge and press, or lunge and fly. Additionally, jumping lunges can get your heart pumping combining strength with cardiovascular.
Kicks – Let’s face it, kicking is fun, and it’s a great way to tone and sculpt legs and booty. There are almost unlimited options here, but one of my personal favorites is a forward kick, balance in the middle, and the back kick. This means you’ll use the same leg for one set and then switch legs. Hold the position at the top of the kick and really squeeze your muscles. And as always, you can include weights to make it more difficult. Kicks can be done in a kneeling position as well. You can kick the same leg backward and sideways. If you lift one arm off the ground and put it straight out in front of you, you can add additional difficulty to the move. Again, at the midpoint of the movement, make sure to contract your leg and glute muscles. You’re working toward that coveted butt dimple, right?
If you’re like me, your body is always a work-in-progress, so keep working at it. I’ve learned to embrace my “thick thighs.” They’ll never be small, but curvy isn’t bad. Healthy is what counts.
And as always, I’d love to hear from you. Let me join your fitness journey @fitmodelmom.