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Exercises to Get Rid of Big Thighs

Overview

Big thighs have the potential to lead to big problems when it comes to your self-esteem. You may avoid wearing shorts and swim suits or other clothing that exposes your legs, but avoidance is not the solution. To get rid of your big thighs, you need to do exercises that burn calories and build leg muscle. Promoting weight loss throughout your entire body, while sculpting your muscles, will give your legs a longer, leaner appearance.

Aerobic Training

Aerobic exercise elevates your heart rate and causes you to sweat. Not only does this improve your aerobic capacity, but it also burns significant calories. Perform any type of aerobic exercise that you enjoy, such as walking, running, stair-stepping, elliptical training, inline skating or kick boxing. All these exercises involve leg movement as well. Aim for at least 45 minutes of aerobic training, and do it three to four days a week.

Wall Squats

Wall squats require the use of a stability ball. Pinch the ball against the wall with your mid-back, step forward slightly and space your feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping your core tight and back straight, lower yourself down by bending your knees. Once your thighs are parallel to the floor, stand up, and then repeat 10 to 12 times. This exercise works your quads on the front of your thighs, your hamstrings on the back of your thighs and your "glutes," your butt muscles.

Plie Squats

Plie squats target your inner thighs and butt. Stand with your feet spread wide, your toes turned out 45 degrees and your arms extended in front of your body. Slowly lower yourself down by bending your knees. Once your thighs are parallel to the floor, rise back up, and then repeat 10 to 12 times. If you are not able to get your thighs parallel to the floor, just go as far as you can.

Alternating Lunges

Alternating lunges work your quads, hamstrings, butt and hips. Step forward with your right foot, lower yourself down by bending your knees and stop when your right thigh parallels the floor. Your right knee should be bent 90 degrees at this point, and your left knee should be an inch above the floor behind you. Slowly rise up, bring your foot back to the starting position and repeat with your left leg. Continue to go back and forth for 10 to 12 repetitions.

Leg Curls

Leg curls isolate your hamstrings, and you do them with a leg-curl machine. Lie face-down on the machine with the backs of your lower legs hooked under the padded lever arm and your hands grasping the handles near the bottom of the machine. Steadily lift the lever arm toward your body by bending your knees and contracting your hamstrings. Once your heels are close to your butt, slowly lower your legs. Repeat 10 to 12 times.

Jump Squat

Jump squats work your hamstrings, quads and butt simultaneously, and you do them in a succession of fast motions. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms at your sides. Slowly lower yourself into a squat position and then jump as high in the air as possible. As you jump, reach your arms above your head. Upon landing, go right into a squat. Repeat 10 to 12 times.

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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.