FIT TIP: Don’t Neglect Your Quads
Thunder thighs. Ever heard of ‘em? Harsh, we know. But thighs are a common problem area for men and women alike. The culprit? Glute obsession. Most people are so concerned with their glutes that they completely neglect their quads in the gym. But our quadriceps (the front part of our thighs) are the last thing we should neglect.
This very important muscle is crucial in walking, running and jumping. If you feel like your thighs need a little extra help, here are three simple exercises you can start doing today:
The classic squat is exactly that – classic. It’s one of the most effective lower body exercises ever. Take a shoulder-width stance, point your toes outward slightly. Keep your abs contracted, spine long, and chin up as you sit back into an invisible chair. Try to keep your heels on the ground as you lower down so your thighs are parallel to the floor. Push through your heels to bring yourself back to starting position. Do 15-20 reps and eventually work your way to 2-3 sets.
2) Pistol Squat
The pistol squat will help strengthen your quads plus your hamstrings and glutes. Also, since you balance on one leg, you’re core is getting a good workout. Start standing with your arms straight out in front of your body at shoulder level and parallel to the floor. Raise your left leg off the floor, push your hips back and lower your body as far as you can. Pause, then push your body back to starting. Do 10-12 reps before switching to the other leg. Aim for 3 sets. (This is a hard one. Start by holding on to a chair for balance if needed when beginning.)
Lunges are anything but fancy, but they get the job done. With your chest lifted, chin up and abs contracted, take a big step forward with your left foot. Sink straight down so your front left knee tracks over the top of your shoe and your back right knee points toward the floor. You are on your back left toe. Now push back to starting position. Repeat on the right leg and keep alternating. A good place to start is 10-12 lunges on each leg and work your way up to 3 sets.
Add these exercises into your workout three times a week and wave hello to strong, lean quads and goodbye thunder thighs!