You worked hard and now have the slim, shapely thighs you wanted. But the work does not stop just because you look good. To maintain your slim thighs you need to consistently train your body -- for the rest of your life. Exercise is a habit and a lifestyle. If you don't keep working at it your legs will get bigger and body fat will increase. Keep up your cardio and perform challenging resistance leg workouts to maintain those slim thighs.
Fat Blast Cardio
Perform cardiovascular exercise three to five times per week. This is adequate if you did not have a lot of body fat to lose to get thin thighs. If you were overweight or obese at one time, do cardio five to seven times per week, according to Dr. Len Kravitz of the University of New Mexico.
Keep cardio sessions between 30 and 60 minutes. If you are maintaining significant weight loss, stay closer to 60 minutes per session. This will ensure that you are burning enough calories to maintain slim thighs.
Exercise at a moderate to vigorous intensity. The harder you exercise, the more calories you burn to maintain your shape. Choose activities that you enjoy, but are challenging. Running, cycling, elliptical or stair machines are a few examples that will really challenge your lower body.
Perform HIIT cardio to challenge your body. High-intensity interval training alternates short bursts of vigorous work with longer bursts of less intense work. For example, alternate 30 seconds of all-out sprinting, with 90 seconds of jogging at your normal pace. Always warm-up for at least five minutes before you begin your HIIT workout, and end with a cooldown.
Show a Little Leg
Perform step-ups while holding a set of dumbbells after you warm up for at least five minutes by walking or cycling. Choose a step that bends your knees no more than 90 degrees. Step up to a knee lift, step down and switch legs. Perform two or three sets of eight to 12 reps per leg.
Perform a squat jump next. Plyometric activities such as squat jumps burn a lot of calories and really challenge your legs for slim thighs. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hands behind your head or on your hips. Squat down and push yourself up quickly, jumping straight into the air as high as you can. Land softly and immediately squat down for another rep. Perform two or three sets of eight to 12 reps.
Hold a medicine ball and do side lunges next. Stand upright with the ball at chest height. Step out to the side with your right foot so that when it touches down your feet are wider than shoulder-width. Keep your left leg straight and bend your right knee, lowering your body toward the floor. Lean your torso forward to maintain balance. Stop when your thigh is parallel. Press back up and step to center. Alternate for two or three sets of eight to 12 reps per leg.
Perform an alternating split squat jump, or jumping lunges, with your body weight. Start with your right leg forward and left leg back. Lunge down, lowering your body toward the floor by bending both knees. Push back up quickly so that you jump in the air. Switch your legs and land with your left foot forward and right foot back. Immediately lunge down and jump back up. Alternate for two or three sets of eight to 12 reps each leg.
Add isolation exercises such as hamstring curls and leg extensions to target the front and back of thighs. Start with just one or two sets of the plyometric exercises if you have never done them before. Perform your leg exercises in a circuit to increase calorie burning and really challenge your legs. Always speak to your doctor before you begin any exercise program.
Don't add weight to any exercise until you can perform it with correct technique. Stop any exercise if you feel light-headed, nauseated or pain. Avoid plyometrics if you have any joint issues until you speak with a doctor.
- Harvard Health Publications: Calories Burned in 30 Minutes For People of Three Different Weights
- American Council on Exercise: What Is High-Intensity Interval Training and What Are The Benefits?
- American Council on Exercise: Upper Leg Exercises
- Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning; National Strength and Conditioning Association
- University of New Mexico: Physical Activity, Weight Loss and Weight Regain