Saturday, June 21, 2014

5 Moves To Trim Those Hips and Thighs

Question Please help me shape my thighs and hips!
Question The lower body is a big trouble spot for most women. Hips and thighs are where chocolate ice cream and cheesecake come home to rest. That's because thousands of years ago, we needed fat storage to survive droughts and long winters. Women with more lower-body fat tended to survive harsh conditions and famines, and consequently passed on their genes to their children, and so on and so forth for generations. Of course, now that we have food at every corner, we no longer need this reserve. But our bodies have not caught up with the times.

Fortunately, by cutting back on super-size portions and snacks, you can shed the excess fat, and with the simple exercises described below, you can firm your lower-body muscles for toned, sleek legs. Do two sets of 10 to 12 reps on each leg, two or three times a week (leave a day of rest between workouts).

1. Single-Leg Squat Standing with your feet together and arms by your sides, shift your weight onto your right foot. Rest the toe of your left foot next to your right foot for balance.
Keeping your back straight, bend at your hips and knees, and slowly sit back onto your right leg, raising your arms straight in front of you as you lower (hold onto the back of a chair for balance, if you need to). Stop when your thighs are almost parallel to the floor, and hold for a second. Then press into your right foot through the heel and stand back up.

2. Bent-Knee Crossover Get down on all fours, keeping your back flat and head down in line with your back.
With your left knee bent at a 90-degree angle, lift your left leg up and back so the sole of your left foot is facing the ceiling. Then cross it over the calf of your right leg. Keep your buttocks tight at all times. Return to the starting position. Do one set, then repeat with the other leg. (You can add 1-pound ankle weights to make this exercise more difficult.) 

3. Standing Abduction Hold onto a wall with your left hand for balance, and stand straight up with your knees slightly bent.
Keeping your right leg extended (knee soft) and right foot flexed, lift the right leg out to the side. Lift as far as you can without moving your upper body. Pause for a second, then return to the starting position. Complete a set, then repeat with the opposite leg.

4. Double Leg Lift Lie on your left side with your legs stacked on top of each other. Prop yourself up on your left elbow. Rest the fingertips of your right hand in front of you for balance.
Raise your right leg about 12 inches, then slowly raise your left leg to meet it. Hold for 2 seconds, then lower each leg separately. Repeat.

5. Lunge Standing with your feet together, hold dumbbells down at your sides with palms facing in toward your thighs. Take one big step forward with your right leg. Plant your right foot, then slowly lower your left knee toward the floor. Your right knee should be at a 90-degree angle, and your back straight. Press into your right foot, and push yourself back to the starting position. Repeat with your left leg.

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