Thigh fat is a major concern for most people. Jobs that require long hours of sitting, genetic factors, diet and stress are the major reasons that cause fat accumulation in your thighs.
Reducing thigh fat alone is not possible, as the process of fat loss takes place from all over the body. Although you cannot spot reduce fat, there are exercises you can do to work out your thigh muscles, which may help in strengthening and toning them.
Low impact cardio exercises protect your knees and joints while helping you lose thigh fat. These are especially beneficial for obese or elderly people who wish to begin exercising after a long time or for the first time.
Low Impact Cardio to Burn Thigh Fat
Check out these six low impact cardio exercises to help burn thigh fat:
Walking is one of the best low impact cardio exercises that can help you lose calories and burn thigh fat. As the activity is largely carried out by your legs (although your core and back are involved in providing stability), walking tones and strengthens your calves, quads and hamstrings and helps lift your glutes.
Walking raises your heart rate slower than most other cardio exercises and keeps you in the fat-burning zone. You can begin with 20-minute walking sessions three times a week, and work your way up to a 30-minute schedule every day.
It's easier to do the exercise in a park or garden than on a treadmill or at home. Try to maintain a consistent walking speed, and slowly increase it every day.
A popular leg-strengthening exercise, the cardio component in lunges generally comes from adding a jump to it. However, for a low impact cardio exercise, you can avoid the jump, and perform only the lunge. It's an excellent exercise to strengthen your calves, quads, hamstrings and glutes.
Here's how you do lunges:
- Standing upright with your feet hip-width apart is a good place to start.
- Placing one leg in front of your torso and the other behind, take a step forward that's longer than a walking stride.
- When you place your foot on the ground, it should do so flatly and stay that way. Your back heel should lift from the surface.
- As you lower yourself, bend your knees to around 90 degrees. Keep your core tight and trunk upright.
- To return to the starting position, vigorously push off with your front leg.
3) Glute Bridge
Another excellent low impact exercise, the glute bridge can tone your legs and glutes while also strengthening your back muscles. It's especially beneficial for your thighs and glutes.
Here's how you do a glute bridge:
- Start out flat on your back, with your feet flat on the floor and legs bent at a 90-degree angle.
- Ensure that your thighs are parallel to one another and your toes point directly ahead.
- Drive up through your feet while lifting your hips, which will make your inner thighs fatigued.
- Make sure that throughout the exercise, your knees should be above your toes.
- Allow your hips to slowly descend towards the ground to complete one repetition.
- Perform three rounds of 30-second holds or three sets of 15 repetitions.
4) Side Lunge
Side lunges are an excellent exercise to target your inner thigh fat. They strengthen your quads, abductors, glutes, adductors and hamstrings, giving your legs a good workout.
Here's how you do a side lunge:
- Place your hands by your hips, and stand with your feet hip-width apart.
- With your left leg, take a large step to the side as you swing your hips back, and bend your left knee. Ensure that your left knee is parallel to your left foot.
- Leaning to the right while performing a lateral lunge with your right leg, push off with your left leg.
- Push off with your right leg to return to your starting position.
- Do eight repetitions on each leg.
5) Lying Lateral Leg Lift
Another great low impact cardio leg exercise, the lying lateral leg lift strengthens and shapes your hips, thighs and backside. It improves your range of motion, gives you better body stabilisation and generally helps the muscles that get affected by long sitting hours.
Here's how you do a lying lateral leg lift:
- Lie on your right side on a mat or the ground. Your feet should be stacked on top of the other. Keep your legs extended, and your body should be in a straight line.
- You can support your head by resting your arm straight on the ground or by bending your elbow and cradling it. For more support, extend your left hand in front of you, or place it on your hip or leg.
- Lift your left leg off the lower leg as you breathe slowly. When you feel your lower back or obliques flex, stop elevating your leg.
- After taking a breath, bring the leg back down to touch the right, and stack your feet.
- Switch to the opposite side after repeating 10 to 12 times.
Swimming is an excellent low impact cardio that works out your entire body. It's especially beneficial for burning thigh fat, as you have to rely largely on leg kicks to propel yourself through the water.
Swimming is one of the best exercises, as it has almost zero chance of injury. The buoyancy of water supports your body weight and protects you. It increases your range of movement and improves your mood as well.
Start off slowly, as instructed by your trainer. Swim regularly, and try to include other bodyweight workouts in your training to help you burn that thigh fat.
Although the aforementioned exercises will work out your leg muscles and help you lose thigh fat, you need to follow a calorie-deficit diet to see results. For sustainable weight loss, it's imperative you follow a healthy diet along with doing regular workouts.
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