10 Best Thigh Exercises for Stronger Legs

The best thigh workouts not only build muscle, but, by training some of the largest muscle groups in your body, they burn an incredible number of calories.

“By working our thigh muscles and strengthening them, we end up building more muscle in that area which gives our thighs a toned, leaner look as we reduce our total body fat percentage,” says Learjon “Logan” Fisnicu, CPT. , a Chicago-based personal trainer.

This means that it is impossible to lose fat through thigh workouts alone, spot-profit Muscle is 100% possible.

Upgrade your thigh workouts and strengthen your quads, hamstrings, glutes, adductors, and abductors with these expert moves.

Perform them in the order with the sets and reps listed. Or, you can integrate your favorite thigh exercises from this workout into your own routine.

Note: For some movements you will need a pair of dumbbells.

1. Toy soldier

This dynamic thigh stretch targets the hamstrings.

  • Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart and core braced.
  • With your knees straight and legs flexed, swing the right leg forward and up to feel a stretch in the back of your thigh.
  • Lower the right foot to the floor with control, step forward and repeat with the left foot.
  • Continue walking forward, alternating swinging legs with each step.
  • Do 2 sets of 10 reps per side. Rest 30 seconds between sets.

2. Attitude

As you balance on one leg, this leg exercise strengthens your glutes and hamstrings while it improves your posture and core stability.

  • Stand tall with your heels and toes slightly turned together. Place your hands on your hips and brace your core.
  • Place your right leg slightly behind you. Touch the floor lightly with your big toe, letting your heel drop slightly inward.
  • Keeping your torso tall, squeeze your right glutes to lift your right leg up and behind you as much as possible.
  • Lower your feet to the floor under control and repeat.
  • Do 2 sets of 10 reps per side. Rest 30 seconds between sets.

3. Squat Jack

Squat Jack |  Thigh Exercise

This mash-up of squats and jumping jacks will strengthen your lower body, fire up your core, build stamina, burn calories and more.

  • Stand tall with your legs together, arms by your sides and core braced.
  • Keeping your back neutral, push your hips back and bend your knees into a deep squat. Reach your hands next to your ankles.
  • Jump up and out, raise your arms above your head and spread your legs out to your sides. At the top of the movement, your body should form an “X” in the air.
  • Immediately reverse the motion to land back into a deep squat, and repeat.
  • Do 2 sets of 15 to 20 repetitions. Rest 30 seconds between sets.

4. Dumbbell swing

Grab a dumbbell for this intermediate move that works your hamstrings and more.

  • Stand tall with your feet hip- and shoulder-width apart and engage your core. Let a dumbbell hang in your left hand in front of your thigh.
  • With your back neutral, arms straight and core braced, push your hips back to “hike” the dumbbell between your legs. Bend your knees slightly and place your right arm at your side for balance.
  • Drive through your hips Push your hips forward and stand as tall as possible. Allow your hips to swing the dumbbell up to shoulder height; Do not work your arms to raise the dumbbells.
  • Once the dumbbells begin to lower naturally, push your hips back to direct the weight between your legs and repeat.
  • Perform all reps, then switch sides.
  • Do 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions per side. Rest 60 seconds between sets.

5. The frog jumps

The frog jump is one of those double-duty thigh exercises. They increase strength in your hips and thighs and they also help improve hip mobility.

  • Stand with your feet wider than your shoulders, toes turned out to the sides. Tie your core.
  • Keeping your chest up and back neutral, push your hips back and bend your knees to lower into a deep squat. Reach your toes on the floor between your feet.
  • Drive through your legs to jump as high as possible, swinging your arms forward and up as you do so.
  • Land softly to immediately lower back down into a squat and repeat.
  • Do 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions. Rest 30 to 60 seconds between sets.

As a unilateral thigh exercise, the pistol squat isolates the muscles of one leg at a time. This forces them to work on your other leg without the help of their opponent.

  • Stand in front of a sturdy chair, bench or box (with your back) and hold a dumbbell with both hands in front of your chest.
  • Extend your right leg in front of you, keeping your heel a few inches off the floor.
  • Keeping the brace on your chest and core, push your hips back and bend your left knee until your glutes touch the chair.
  • Drive through your left heel to stand back up.
  • Do all the reps, then switch sides.
  • Do 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions per side. Rest 30 to 60 seconds between sets.

The dumbbell deadlift works your hamstrings, glutes and lower back.

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold a pair of dumbbells in front of your thighs, palms facing you. Tie your core.
  • With your back flat, shoulders back and core braced, push your hips back so your torso teeters toward the floor and the dumbbells drop to the front of your thighs. Bend your knees slightly.
  • Continue until your torso is almost parallel to the floor and/or you feel a deep stretch in your hamstrings. Always keep the dumbbells near the front of your feet.
  • Pause, then drive through your heels to push your hips forward and stand as tall as possible.
  • Do 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions. Rest 30 to 60 seconds between sets.

Lower Body Workout - Side Lunge

Side lunges really stretch your inner thighs, and adding optional weights amps up the strengthening aspect.

  • Stand tall with your feet together and brace your core. You can hold a dumbbell in each hand at your side.
  • Take a giant step to the side with your right foot, making sure your feet are parallel. Keep your chest up and back flat, push your hips back and bend your right knee to that side. Place your right knee over your right heel and in line with your second toe. Keep your left leg straight and both feet flat on the ground.
  • Pause, then drive with your right foot to bring your feet back together.
  • Repeat all, then repeat on the opposite side.
  • Do 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions per side. Rest 60 seconds between sets.

9. Cross-legged forward bend

Cross leg forward turn  Stretching for beginners

Start off your thigh workout with this stretch, which targets your hamstrings as well as your iliotibial band (IT band).

  • Stand tall with your feet together and cross your right leg over your left.
  • Hinge at your waist, hang your upper body in front of your thighs.
  • You should feel a stretch in the back of both legs. To deepen the stretch, grip your calves or ankles and gently pull your torso toward your feet.
  • Hold, release the stretch, then repeat on the opposite side.
  • Hold for 2 30-seconds on each side.

10. Standing quad stretch

Extending the permanent quadrant  Thigh Exercise

Don’t forget to stretch your quads. Don’t be a hero if your legs are shaking after all those thigh exercises. Hold onto a chair or wall for balance.

  • Stand tall with your legs together and place one or both hands on a chair or wall if necessary.
  • Bend your right knee to raise your leg behind you. Grab the top of that leg with your right hand.
  • With the pelvis tucked and both thighs in line with each other, pull the heels toward your glutes until you feel a deep stretch in the front of your thighs.
  • Hold, release the stretch, then repeat on the opposite side.
  • Hold for 2 30-seconds on each side.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.