Ways to Flatten Your Stomach & Tone Thighs

The muscles in the areas of your stomach and thighs can be worked together to save time. Exercises that require you to balance on one leg, for example, challenge your abs to keep you from falling and also work your legs. For a complete workout, do exercises that use your quads and hamstrings in the front and back of your thighs, but don't forget your inner and outer thighs, too.

Two women are exercising in a studio. (Image: undrey/iStock/Getty Images)

Single-Leg Opposite-Arm Reach

The single-leg opposite-arm reach works not only your abs, but also your glutes, quads and hamstrings. The exercise is performed standing on one leg at a time, so do it on both sides. Start standing on your right leg and reach your right arm forward at shoulder level. Lift your left leg straight behind you and lean forward at the waist. Maintain a straight spine, and keep your hips and shoulders facing forward without letting your torso twist. Hold for one second, and then place your left foot on the floor next to your right.

Single-Leg Squat

The single-leg squat is a balance exercise recommended by the National Academy of Sports Medicine. It works the thighs and engages your abdominal and core muscles to maintain balance. To do a single-leg squat, place both hands on your hips so your arms cannot be used to keep your balance. Stand on your right leg and lift your left knee in front of your body. Squeeze your stomach in tight. Then, bend your right leg and incline forward at the waist. Move your hips back as you lean forward as if you were about to sit down. Squat as low as you are able or until your right quad is parallel to the floor. Stand back up to complete one single-leg squat.

Side Lunge

The side lunge hits the inner and outer thigh muscles while working the quads, too. The abdominal muscle called the transverse abdominis assists to perform the side lunge as it helps stabilize your spine. Keeping your spine straight and your chest lifted are important to maintaining good form during a side lunge, and the abs help with that.

Begin by standing with your feet hip width apart. Hold your hands in front of your chest with your elbows bent as if you had a medicine ball between your palms. Now, step your right foot to the right and land with your foot pointing forward. Bend your right knee and shift your hips to the right, but keep your back straight. The left leg straightens as your weight shifts. The right knee should be directly above the right ankle when you lunge if you have stepped the correct distance. This will be different for everyone. Step your right foot back to the starting position and then lunge to the left.

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