Two words: thunder thighs. Most of us are blessed with them. Sure, they make us look like we could do some serious damage between our thighs. But in real life, we know how uncooperative they are while we walk (read chaffing), and how they like to chew their way into our favorite jeans.
And the fact that women tend to have more fat hanging around the hip and thighs, doesn’t help. Did you know that losing hip and thigh fat is more difficult than losing belly fat?
To get killer thighs and hips, we should dig a little deeper, and understand how this fat differs from the fat found on the rest of our body.
Understand your hip and thighs
When you start working out, you would realize that you have no control over where fat chooses to first reduce on your body. It could be your belly, your arms, or your thighs. Your body makes that decision.
The fat around your hips and thighs are known as subcutaneous fat. This sort of fat lie right under the skin and they are not harmful. But they are stubborn to move out. Unlike visceral fat (found in your belly) that reduces at a quicker phase with exercise and a healthy diet. Though visceral fat is unhealthy for your body.
Now that you know the fat you’re dealing with, here are a few ways to tone your hips and thighs.
1. Make water your favorite drink
If you have made the decision to lose weight, you need to up your water game. Drinking water has proven to help with burning calories. One research tells of how overweight women lost an extra of 2 kilos in 12 months, just by drinking an extra 1 liter of water a day.1
You could have a glass of water before each meal. This helps to reduce your appetite and you end up eating lesser.
Also, replace your reach-out drinks with water. Cutting down on soda, sugary drinks, and alcohol speeds up losing weight. Try to drink at least 2 liters of water daily. Remember, you can get water from tea, coffee, and fruits.
2. Squat your way to slim thighs
Squatting should be made part of your life. It requires you to use every muscle from the waist down. It helps to tone your hip and thighs, strengthens hamstrings and gives you slimmer legs. And the best thing is you can do them anywhere. You could even squat during chores. Imagine doing laundry and burning calories at the same time!
If you are new to squatting, begin with 15-20 times for 2 or 3 sets. Your thighs and hip will thank you. Once you get the hang of doing it correctly, you could squat holding a set of a dumbbells or weights.
3. Sculpt your lower body with yoga
As most of us know, yoga makes the body flexible, while improving muscle tone, and helping with weight reduction. But there are specific yoga asanas that works wonders for your lower body. These asanas help to reduce the fat that’s clinging onto your thighs and hip. They concentrate on strengthening your hamstrings and improving blood circulation as well.
4. Power up with HIIT
High intensity interval training (HIIT) has been gaining popularity for the right reasons. It involves short, intense bursts of physical activity, followed by intervals of quick rests. This form of workout has proven to be effective for weight reduction (especially abdominal fat), cardiovascular fitness, cholesterol profiles, and healthy blood pressure. It works on the principle of pushing your body for a few minutes, rather than doing a 45-minute or an hour’s work of moderate level exercises.
A research done by McMaster University in Canada revealed that a 10 minute intense workout and a 50-minute moderate workout gave out similar results.2
Pick out explosive jump movements as part of your HIIT regime. They are an excellent way to firm your thighs, hip and legs.
Word of advice, if you are a beginner to HIIT, there are chances of injury. You could start on a low-intensity aerobic workout before going on a full blown HIIT workout. Build your way up.
5. Tweak up your lifestyle
You could squeeze in easy exercises during any time of the day. We know you’ve heard it a dozen times. But pick the stairs over the lift, already! Climbing on an incline gets your lower body muscles working. This gets your heart-rate to increase and you burn more calories compared to walking on a flat surface. An incline-based activity focuses on strengthening hamstrings and tones your hip and thighs.
6. Eat right
Eating the right food and adequate exercise are needed to get your body in proper form. Hitting the gym daily and ordering in junk food is not going to cut it. Remember, the fat that’s accumulated on your hips and thighs are stubborn to move out. If you feed them junk, they will cling onto you for years to come.
Avoid junk food, foods high in sugar, and refined carbs like the plague. Replace them with lean protein, fruits, and leafy greens.
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||Stookey, Jodi D., Florence Constant, Barry M. Popkin, and Christopher D. Gardner. “Drinking water is associated with weight loss in overweight dieting women independent of diet and activity.” Obesity 16, no. 11 (2008): 2481-2488.|
|2.||↑||Gibala, Martin J., Jonathan P. Little, Martin Van Essen, Geoffrey P. Wilkin, Kirsten A. Burgomaster, Adeel Safdar, Sandeep Raha, and Mark A. Tarnopolsky. “Short‐term sprint interval versus traditional endurance training: similar initial adaptations in human skeletal muscle and exercise performance.” The Journal of physiology 575, no. 3 (2006): 901-911.|