How to tone your thighs in three moves

The founder of Barre Body shares the top exercises for leaner, longer legs. They’re not easy – but nothing worth doing is. 

Photo: iStock

If you’re looking to tone your pins, these are the Barre moves they’ll respond to. Generally speaking, the more toned your legs are, the longer and leaner they look. Plus, these core-strengthening and endurance-boosting exercises can also kickstart your and your metabolism, reduce the appearance of cellulite, and, most importantly, will release those feel-good endorphins.

These exercises are designed to work your thighs in several different positions, and will also train up your calves and glutes, too. The best bit? You can do them anywhere, at anytime.

RELATED: Barre Body shares the top three moves for the best arms of your life

Exercise 1: Thigh dancing

As fun as this sounds and as easy as it might look, this exercise is killer for strengthening your core and thighs.

Set up:

  1. Kneel with ball or block between thighs at hip distance and your toes together
  2. Stack shoulders over hips, hips over knees
  3. Lower hips to hover over heels (but not touch), then press back to starting position
  4. Repeat 10 times slowly and then do 10 small pulses at the bottom
  5. Hold for five counts

Technique tip: try not to lean forward as you lower the hips to the heels – keep your spine upright; it’s much harder and more effective this way!

Photo: Barre Body

Photo: Barre BodySource:BodyAndSoul

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Exercise 2: Tendu devant

This is a very balletic exercise that really targets the hip flexor group in a way that they are not used to moving. Be prepared to feel the burn.

Set up:

  1. Stand with back towards barre or chair, arms stretched out, hands holding barre
  2. Bend both legs, extend R leg to front and lift at least 45 degrees, working up to 90 degrees
  3. Keep supporting L leg bent
  4. Raise and lower the R leg an inch
  5. Repeat this 10 times slowly and then do 10 small pulses
  6. Hold for five counts
  7. Repeat on the other side

Technique tip: keep your lifted leg in a parallel position. For an extra challenge, repeat the whole series with the lifted leg in a turned out position.

Photo: Barre Body

Photo: Barre BodySource:BodyAndSoul

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Exercises 3: 90/90 lunge

A variation on an old favourite, the 90/90 lunge is far stronger and more fun.

Set up:

  1. Stand with feet parallel
  2. Step R leg back and lower knee to floor
  3. Stack L knee over ankle, R hip over knee in the back
  4. Tuck back toes under and lift up, hovering knee 2 inches from floor.
  5. Lower and left an inch from here
  6. Repeat 10 times slowly and then do 10 pulses
  7. Raise the front heel and hold for five final counts
  8. Repeat on the other side

Technique tip: the lower you stay in your lunge, the stronger this exercise is. If you want to take it a little easier, work with your back knee higher from the floor.

Photo: Barre Body

Photo: Barre BodySource:BodyAndSoul

To avoid post-workout muscle soreness, stretch your quadriceps gently following this series. Try it three times a week for two weeks and take note of how your body changes – and feels.

This is a post by the founder of Barre Body, Emma Seibold. Connect with her on instagram as @emmabarrebody or @barrebody.

If you like these barre exercises, visit Barre Body Online for over 100 barre videos that you can do at home or from anywhere in the world.

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fitness | body+soul