Exercise 101 : squats for your thighs

Exercise 101 : squats for your thighs

The back of the thigh can be hard to tone. Noone likes the orange peel effect. Fortunately, we have a solution. Targeting the back of the thighs is what squats do best, and there are many variations that you can try for extra impact.

What are squats?

Squats are great for training your lower body and your core. They can help to create definition of the thighs and buttocks.

What do I need?

Nothing. You use your own body weight to perform squats, unless you want to add an exercise ball to lean against.

What are the benefits?

Quadriceps, gluteus maximus, hamstrings, hip adductors, hip abductors, gastrocnemius (calf), soleus, tibias anterior, rectus abdominals and erector spinae  are all worked hard in squats. Aside from the benefits to thighs and buttocks, squats are a low impact exercise and can also improve your posture, digestion and circulation.

How do I do them?

Stand up straight with your feet hip-width apart. With arms down by your side, lower your body as if you were about to sit down on a chair, by bending the knees and pushing hips back.

As you lower, bring your arms out to the front to act as a counter balance. The lower body should be parallel with the floor and then pause before lifting back up to a standing position.

Who can do them?

Squats are a low impact exercise so anyone can do them.

What variations can I try?

With an exercise ball behind your back, lean back slightly against the ball as you squat low, and let the ball roll up your back.

Try a dumbbell in each hand and keep them down by your side once you are well versed at the squat.

Lower yourself further each time you try squats so that you are going into a deep squat for best results.


The Author

Laura Briggs

Laura is a fitness writer who loves running, strength training, Pilates and Yoga. When she's got time to herself you might find her knitting, or in the kitchen trying out an elaborate recipe - healthy of course!.


Tanya M.
11 March 2016

Tanya M.

Can't live without squats! They're worked into every gym session I do - not sure I could manage 100 a day like Sasha mentioned but I'd like to think I could give it a good go.

Clare R.
9 March 2016

Clare R.

so simple and so effective - and as they fit into a spare moment, this is a definite habit that I need to get.

Emma C.
9 March 2016

Emma C.

Sasha - I do around 60 a day, and space them out so I do around 12-15 each time just whenever I remember. I get through more that way and it doesn't seem to take up much time.

Sasha B.
8 March 2016

Sasha B.

Do 100 squats a day and you will see a huge difference by the time you get your shorts on in the summer!!

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