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Bodyweight squats are an excellent way to tone your thigh muscles.
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For women looking to reduce thigh fat and build muscle, the best plan of attack is a combination of cardio exercise to burn calories, strength training to build muscle and a healthy diet. The P90X workout program includes these elements and incorporates several of the top thigh workouts recommended by fitness professionals.
P90X Leg Workouts
The P90X workout includes a variety of leg exercises that target the thighs, including strength training exercises and plyometrics. You'll engage the legs with every P90X exercise session, but most specifically during the "Plyometrics" and "Legs and Back" sessions performed once per week each. The "Legs and Back" session includes strength training thigh exercises like bodyweight squats, wall squats and lunges. For the "Plyometrics" session, you can expect to perform jump squats, tuck jumps and leapfrog jumps to engage and target your thigh muscles.
The Experts Say
When it comes to sculpting your thigh muscles, going back to basics is all you really need. The American Council on Exercise surveyed a sample of 36,000 ACE-certified fitness professionals to see what they considered the best exercises for shaping the glutes and quadriceps. Overwhelmingly, squats with or without weights took the first place position, with lunges coming in at a close second. Both lunges and squats require you to isolate and strengthen the thigh muscles through controlled and repetitive movement. Luckily, with the P90X program you'll have the opportunity to perform bodyweight squats, wall squats and lunges during the "Legs and Back" session. If you don't own P90X, you can perform the same exercises at home or at the gym.
During the P90X program you'll practice plyometric exercises that target the entire lower body, including the thighs. Plyometrics are jumping exercises that train your muscles to contract eccentrically, which can increase your overall explosive speed and power. Performing plyometric exercises can be a great way to strengthen your thigh muscles, since the resistance of gravity forces your muscles to work harder to propel your body upwards. The higher you jump, the more gravitational force is placed on your thigh muscles. Two of the plyometric exercises that you'll perform with P90X are squat jumps and frog jumps; these are also listed as the top plyometric exercises for targeting your lower body muscles in Vern Gambetta's book "Athletic Development: The Art & Science of Functional Sports Conditioning."
Things to Consider
You don't need to own a copy of P90X to gain the same results, as most of the exercises in the P90X program are basic bodyweight, cardio, yoga and strength-training exercises, explains the "New York Times" article "The Fitness Revolution Will Be Televised (After Leno)." In fact, if you are a woman who is new to fitness or has health issues, the P90X program might be too intense for you. The best thigh exercises recommended by fitness experts -- squats and lunges -- can be performed at home, with or without the P90X program. But if you have a healthy fitness level and need some external motivation to get your thighs in shape, the P90X will require you to perform the best thigh workouts for women at least twice per week.