The biggest problem areas for many women are their hips and thighs. This is rooted in biology: Women of childbearing years store most of their body fat in these areas. But don’t despair! The good news is that fat deposits on the hips and thighs are easily burned. Why? Because the large muscle groups of the body burn calories more efficiently.
Lunges are one of the most effective exercises you can do to work the entire leg. If the only exercises you did for your legs were lunges, your legs would look terrific! Lunges can be done with no weights at all, while holding dumbbells or with a bar on your shoulders. It is a difficult exercise, so start without any weight. After you do add weights, increase their size gradually.
- Start with one foot in front of the other as though you are taking a giant step (use a chair, if necessary, to help keep your balance).
- Lower yourself, bending both knees, but make sure your knee stays in line with your ankle. Try not to bang your back knee on the floor.
- Your weight should be on your back toes and on your front heel.
- Straighten legs until you are standing, and lower yourself again.
- Repeat with the opposite leg.
- Watch your form.
- Keep your back straight.
- Don’t let your front knee extend over the front of your toes. If you have bad knees, modify this lunge and only bend your knees slightly — you’re still firming those thighs!
Begin with one set of 8-12 reps and gradually progress to two sets of 8-12 reps. Rest for 15 seconds between sets. I recommend that you increase the number of repetitions gradually. Your goal should be to aim for 16-24 repetitions every time you do these exercises. As soon as you can do this relatively easily, add the second set with weights (either holding dumbbells or holding a bar on your shoulders).
Do your lunges at least four days a week and you will see a noticeable improvement in three weeks!