2 Great Exercises for Slimmer Hips and Thighs

Photo Credit: Mauritsvink Public Domain
It can be difficult to lose fat and build muscle in your hips and thighs. You can lose fat, firm and tone your muscles with a whole body exercise regime, but you may need to do a little extra work by spot training to slim your legs and hips. The hips, thighs and stomach area tend to store more fat than any other part of your body. Two great exercises that can help burn more fat, tone and strengthen hips and thighs include dumbbell step-ups and dumbbell squats. Don’t start a new exercise program until you see your doctor and get a complete physical. A personal fitness trainer can help you stay motivated and offer instruction on how to perform exercises to get maximum benefit and avoid injury. 
Step-ups require an exercise step block and a set of dumbbells. Start with a low block and gradually increase the height of the step as you gain strength and stamina. Start by standing in front of the step block with your feet apart about hip-width. Hold a 2 to 5 pound dumbbell in each hand in an overhand grasp with your palms facing inward. Drop your shoulders, squeeze your shoulder blades and stand up tall and straight. Step up on the block with your right foot. Keep your body straight and push your body up with your left foot. Place your left foot next to your right foot on the step block platform. Shift your weight to your right foot and step backwards off the step block with your left foot. Place your left foot firmly on the floor and then bring your right foot back to the floor in the start position. Alternate legs and repeat the exercise. Try to do 10 repetitions leading with your right foot and then alternating and leading with your left foot for 10 more repetitions. Increase the number of repetitions and add a heavier dumbbell as your gain strength and endurance. 
Dumbbell squats help tone and firm your arms as you exercise your hips and thighs. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold a 2 to 5 pound dumbbell in each hand. Grasp the dumbbells in an overhand hold with our palms facing your thighs. Squeeze your abdominal muscles and inhale. Raise the dumbbells to your chest until they rest on the front of your shoulders. Lift your chest and squeeze your shoulder blades together so that you are standing tall. Slowly lower your body in a sitting position from the hips. You may need to shift your weight to you heels to maintain your balance. Try to bend your hips and knees at the same time for a smooth downward motion. Keep your feet planted firmly on the floor. Stop lowering your body when your heels begin to lift off the floor. Exhale and smoothly push your body back to the upright position using your feet. Try to do 5 to 10 squats. Increase the number of repetitions and add more weight when your strength and endurance increase.

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