When you have no time to hit the gym and no patience to work your legs, then try this high-intensity thigh workout. This dynamic, time-based workout will raise your heart rate and get the blood flowing to your thigh muscles for some extra definition — all in five minutes flat.
How this workout works: Perform each exercise one after the other for 30 seconds each, with no rest time in between exercise. Once you’ve completed a circuit, rest for 30 seconds and repeat the circuit for a secon time. Work up to 5 circuits, three times a week for maximum results. Good luck.
1. Ball Leg Lifts
Using an exercise ball when strength training is a great way to add a little bit more challenge to basic exercises. Since you have to work hard to keep the ball in place, you end up using more muscle groups. This exercise will tone your thighs, especially your inner thighs, and also your core.
- Lie on your side on the floor with your arms crossed in front of your body. If this is uncomfortable, bend your bottom elbow and rest your head on your hand.
- Place a large exercise ball in between your feet, and slowly lift the ball up toward the ceiling using only your hips and butt. Return to the start position. This counts as one repetition.
2. Sumo Squat With Side Arm Raises
- Stand with legs wide and toes pointed outward slightly. Hold a pair of dumbbells in your hands with your arms straight and your palms facing down.
- Bend your knees until your knees are over your ankles while raising your arms to just below shoulder height. Arms should be in line with your legs — you should see the weights in your peripheral vision.
- Straighten your legs and lower your arms simultaneously.
3. Inner Thigh Leg Lifts
This exercise might remind you of Jane Fonda’s workout videos from the ’80s, but it’s been a staple of the Pilates mat repertoire for decades. Since the knee is straight, you work all the muscles of the inner-thigh group.
- Lying on your side, lengthen your bottom leg and cross your top leg over it. Rest either your knee or foot on the floor. Prop your head up with your hand, or rest your head on your arm.
- As you exhale, lift your bottom leg up, and inhale as you lower it back down. Your torso should stay still while you do this.
4. Elbow Plank With Leg Lifts
Adding a leg lift to your side plank tones the outer thigh while challenging your core. The trick to keeping the pelvis high as you lift your top leg is to reach the inner thigh of your bottom leg toward the ceiling.
- Place your right elbow on the ground. Extend both legs out so that your body is in one straight line and you’re balancing on the outside edge of your right foot. Flex both feet if you can, and rest your left hand on your upper hip.
- Keeping your spine lengthened and your abs engaged, lift your left leg up just higher than your top hip. Then slowly lower it back to your bottom leg.
- Keep your waist up and lifted, and don’t sink into your bottom shoulder.
5. Side Lunge to Curtsy Squat
If lunges are new to you, don’t add dumbbells to this exercise until you are comfortable with the leg positions.
- Holding a five- to 10-pound weight in your right hand, side lunge to the left, bringing your right hand to your right foot. Lower your butt as much as possible while sinking back into your heels. Keep your toes pointed forward and your left knee bent to no more than 90 degrees.
- Push off gently with your left foot, and come into a curtsy position with your left leg crossing behind your right as you press your weight overhead. Keep your hips square and your curtsy tight. Both feet should be pointed forward. This completes one rep.
- Repeat by stepping immediately into a side lunge from the curtsy.