Achieve a tight tummy and thighs by targeting specific muscles.
If you've spent too much time sitting in front of your TV or your desk, a sedentary lifestyle can often lead to flabby thighs and stomach. A flat tummy and toned thighs are the fitness goals of many women who crave a healthy body and slim appearance. To achieve this goal, implement strength-training exercises that specifically target your abdominal muscles and your quads into your weekly exercise routine. Keeping up regular cardio exercise along with a healthy diet will help keep your core muscles tight and trim.
Strength Training for a Tight Stomach
Your stomach is made up of your abdominal muscles, including your rectus abdominis, also known as a six pack, and your internal and external obliques, located at your sides. Crunches are perhaps the most common strength-training exercise that targets these muscles. To add variety to your workout and to include your upper, lower and oblique abdominal muscles, try the reverse crunch by bringing your legs up to your chest while lying on your back, or the bicycle crunch, which will help work your obliques. Standing side bends also help tighten your oblique muscles. Implement strength training for your stomach two to three times a week, allowing your muscles to rest and recover after sessions.
Strength Training for Tight Thighs
Your thigh muscles, or quadriceps, are located at the front of your upper leg. Strength-training exercises that target your thighs include wall sits and lunges. To work on tightening your inner-thigh muscle, try a hip abduction machine at the gym. The plie is another exercise that targets your inner thighs and requires no extra equipment. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, pointing slightly outward. Lower your hips to the floor until your legs reach a 90-degree angle. Hold, then slowly push back up. For an added challenge, hold dumbbells or a medicine ball, increasing the resistance to help you achieve your fitness goals more efficiently. Work your thigh muscles two to three times a week, allowing them to recover between sessions.
On top of your targeted strength training, you will need to keep up a basic level of fitness to keep off the pounds. Regular cardio exercise is a great way to stay active and keep burning calories. Cardio, or aerobic, exercise works your heart and lungs as well as the major muscle groups of your body. According to MayoClinic.com, you should aim for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week. Running, swimming and biking are all great forms of cardio that can help you keep the weight off so your toned muscles will begin to show through for that sleek, sexy look.
A Healthy Diet
Exercise alone does not help you keep off the pounds. You will only lose the extra flab around your stomach and upper legs if you are burning more calories than you are taking in. In addition to your strength training and cardio fitness plan, you will need to keep an eye on your diet. Cut sugary snacks and drinks while eating a balanced diet that includes grains, fruits, veggies, protein and dairy products. Don't get sucked into quick-fix diet plans. Instead, get the nutrition your body needs to support your new exercise regimen.