November 30, 2016

Get Rid of Fat Thighs

Cave woman

How do you get rid of fat thighs? While there is no magical way to spot reduce fat, you can target areas of your body to build up and tone, while you lose overall body fat. The result will be a leaner, sexier look in that area.

Prehistoric goddess figurine

Prehistoric goddess figurine

Thighs are a big problem area for lots of people, especially women. It’s been theorized that carrying fat below the waist, the classic pear shape, was a benefit to our cave-dwelling ancestors. The idea being that the extra calories stored there provided nourishment during cold winter months and aided in child birth.

So, over the milennia, the gene pool rewarded those with generous thighs. Great, huh? Way back in the day, fat thighs would have qualified one for goddess status. Today….

Plus, cellulite is often a problem in this area as well.  Cellulite forms when fat pushes its way through the thick connective tissue just below the skin. Resistance training will help by leveling out your hormone levels and increasing blood flow to your thighs, which will help to make that connective tissue healthier. Greater blood flow will also help to remove excess fluid. And as you lose fat, there will be less of it to press against the tissue.

So, let’s look at a training method that can help get rid of fat thighs and control cellulite.

First off, diet. You have to eat right or nothing will help. Protein, fruits, vegetables and good fats. Easy to say, often hard to do. But start there.

white_clothes_in_snowNext, build muscle. Muscle is your body’s engine. It burns calories and fat up to 38 hours after you’ve worked out. Nothing is better for burning away fat than resistance training. It beats cardio hands down.

Building muscle. No, we’re not talking about hulking out. We’re talking about building lean, sexy muscle. In order to do that, we need to create a situation called ‘hypertrophy.’

Cutting to the chase, this means applying enough resistance against the muscle that we cause microscopic damage to the muscle fibers.  You will feel this working when you get that slightly sore “pumped” feeling in the muscle. That’s blood rushing in with nutrients to repair and build. As you rest, the muscle becomes a bit stronger. 

So, you’ll know you’re using enough resistance if while doing a set of an exercise your muscle poops out after 8 – 12 repetitions If you can do lots more than that, you need to increase the resistance to bring it back to 8 – 12 reps.

You want to do smooth reps without cheating or forcing things. Just keep tension on the target muscle through the range of motion. No pain! Just a pumped feeling. Focus on the specific area of muscle you are working as you do it. Try to have a Mind/Muscle connection.

How do you create resistance? Lots of ways:

Resistance bands are an inexpensive alternative to gym memberships. You can acquire a set that will allow you to do a full body workout for under $40. Add a few dumbbells and ankle weights and you’ve pretty much covered every possible exercise. Machines and weights are a tried and true method as well.

To work on thighs and lower body, you can use the following as a starter list. I would recommend training lower body no more than once or twice per week. Remember, rest is a key ingredient in making it all work. Work on other areas of the body over 4 – 5 total work out days per week. If this is all new to you, start slowly.

If you have a home gym or belong to one, by all means use the free weights and machines available. Here are some suggestions for those who do not have access to a full range of equipment.

Remember, your goal is to feel a little bit sore as result. Not pain, just a ‘pumped’ feeling that tells you the process is working and your muscles are responding. It’s a good thing.

The ideal amount of rest time between sets is brief — 30 seconds. If you’re just starting out, take the time you need and work up to a more brisk pace. Remember, we’re trying to exhaust these muscles, not try out for the Olympic weight lifting team. We want to keep this workout brief and manageable in your lifestyle — 30 – 40 minutes is ideal.

lunges-2-2 LUNGES: a great exercise for the entire lower body, especially butt and thighs. From a standing start, you lunge one foot forward in front of you. Focus on your thighs (quadriceps) as well as your glutes (butt) and hamstring biceps (back of thigh). Try it with no resistance at first. Then add dumbbells or resistance bands to increase resistance as needed. Start standing straight up, then lunge forward on one leg at a time.

Work up to 3 – 5 sets of 8 – 12 reps each.

 

wide-stance-squat-2wide-stance-squat-1SQUATS: another great move for the entire area. Again, use dumbbells or Bands to increase resistance as necessary.  The illustration shows a traditional barbell being used. If you use dumbbells, hold one in each hand down to your sides.

Do 3 – 5 sets of 8 – 12 reps each.

 

leg-extensions-2-672x1024EXTENSIONS: Great for the thighs. Can be done on a machine, or with Bands or with ankle weights while seated in a chair. You want to feel this in your “quadriceps,” a group of 4 muscles on your upper thigh. If using bands, you will anchor them behind you in a sturdy door. Kits come with everything you need. It’s easy.

Do 3 -5 sets 8 – 12 reps.

 

one-legged-kickback-1GLUTE KICKBACKS: Great for the butt. Can be done on a machine, or with Bands, or with ankle weights. You want to feel it in your “glutes,” a group of 3 large muscles that make up your butt. This is a large muscle group and therefore burns a lot of fat and looks great when toned on a woman or a man. Again, if using bands, you will anchor them in a door, this time in front of you. Per the illustration, support yourself by pressing against the door or wall.

Do 3 -5 sets 8 – 12 reps.

HAMSTRING CURLS: Very similar to Kickbacks, but instead of extending the leg straight back, you curl it straight up toward your butt. You want to feel this in your hamstring “biceps femurs.” It’s a two-muscle group, not unlike the biceps in your upper arm. Machines, Bands or ankle weights as above.

    Do 3 -5 sets 8 – 12 reps.

To see more about Resistance Bands, please click here.

If you’d like to know more about Women and Resistance Training, please click here.

As always, please add your comments or questions below. I’ll get back to all. You can also drop me a line at Brian@BoomerMuscle.com.

 

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