Slimmer Summer Hips

Photo Credit: Nicu Buculei CC-BY-SA-3.0

Summer means short skirts, short pants and skimpy swimsuits. It’s never too late to get started on a fitness program. Add some thigh-trimming exercises to your regular workout and healthy, low-fat diet. Walking, swimming, bicycling, jogging and running are great ways to burn calories and trim down overall. Walking, stair climbing and bicycling are especially good aerobic exercises for burning fat and for toning and trimming the hips and thighs. In addition to your regular workout routine, add a couple of easy-to-do exercises that target the muscles of your hips and thighs. 
Strength training is an excellent way to tone and firm the muscles of the hips. Women are sometimes reluctant to strength train because they are concerned their muscles will get too big. Bulking up big muscles requires a high-calorie, high carbohydrate and protein diet combined with heavy weight lifting.  It is unlikely that a woman eating a nutritious, low-fat diet will “bulk-up.” Strength training for the legs, hips and thighs will firm the muscles and give you a toned, strong appearance without the rippling, bulging bumps of huge muscles under your skin. 
The step-up exercise works the front and back of the thighs. The back of the thighs can be a trouble spot for many women. Use a step aerobic stool or stand in front of some steps or a staircase. Stand close to the stool or stairs. Hold the stair rail or use chair for stability. Hold on to the chair and stand up straight. Step up onto the stair with your right foot. Push your body upright using your right foot and bring your left foot beside your right. Step back down from the stair on your right foot. Bring your left foot back beside your right foot. Once you get the rhythm it’s step up, step down, step up, step down leading with the same foot. Do 20 repetitions leading with the right foot and then 20 step-ups leading with your left foot. 
The side leg raise works your hips and your thighs. Lie on the floor on your side with your legs straight out in front of your body. Keep your legs close together and one foot on top of the other. Lean on your elbow and support your head with the bottom hand and place the top hand on the floor in front of your belly for balance. Point the toes of your top leg and slowly lift your leg straight up toward the ceiling as high as possible without causing pain. Hold the stretch for 5 seconds and then slowly lower your leg back on top of your other leg. Repeat this exercise 10 times on each side. 

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