What are hips and thighs? The anatomically correct answer is “major muscle group of a lower body”, but most frequent response is still: “it is a common problem area”. The problem with excess weight – it arrives at a “bad time” and accumulates in “bad places” – usually on and around belly area for men and hips and thighs for women. You don’t get to choose where the body fat will be burned first; but with targeted exercises you have control what muscles will get toned up first.
Below is a detailed review of the best aerobic exercise to tone hips and firm thighs.
One of the most powerful, least expensive, rarely advertised and, as a result, usually overlooked exercises is old-fashioned walking. If it has been a while since your last visit to the gym – walking is the perfect exercise to start getting in shape. The beauty of walking exercise is – it’s very easy on the joints (compared to running), you need no equipment besides your willpower and it can be done literally anywhere.
Don’t dismiss it because of its apparent simplicity. Everyone should start walking exercise at their own pace, based on the individual fitness level and after recommended consultation with a doctor. The general goal is to walk 3 miles every other day. Your walk should be brisk – imagine that you are heading somewhere important and you are a little bit late. Your breathing should be challenged (you should not be able to keep a casual conversation) but make sure you inhale with your nose and exhale through your mouth.
Once you break a 3 miles a day barrier – you can always upgrade to “power walking” by holding weights in your hands or even strapping ankle weights on.
Step exercises are more intense and a more targeted way (based on a particular routine) to tone hips and thighs. Step classes are very popular and are offered at most gyms – you may check out a few of them before you make a final choice as the personality of the trainer and the atmosphere in the class are crucial to your success. Every trainer will try to motivate you but finding a trainer with a right combination of motivation and charisma that resonates with you is very important – as it may become the last straw that will make you go to the gym.
If group exercise does not thrill you – you may opt out for a step class home edition. You can find step equipment with an instructional video in most sports stores or buy it online. Best step is the one with adjustable height – it will allow you to gradually increase exercise effectiveness, because the higher the step – the more challenging the workout is.
Cardio kickboxing is probably the most challenging exercise for hips and thighs. High kicks, explosive movements, working out leg muscles and joints at their widest range of motion – all of these makes cardio kickboxing a very effective exercise not only for hips and thighs but for the entire body. In order to utilize the most benefits of cardio kickboxing you have to be pretty flexible – the high kick is called “high” for a reason.
Cardio kickboxing classes are offered in MMA (mixed martial art) studios or you may find Billy Blanks’ “Tae Bo” DVDs as a do-it-at-home alternative.
If walking is too boring and kickboxing is too extreme – you may consider aerobic dancing as a fun and easy, yet very effective work out. Salsa is one of the most dynamic dances with, naturally, demanding hip movements. It will not only tone your hips and thighs but will also make your movements more elegant. Dancing exercises are probably the most entertaining way to get in shape.
As with any other exercises, if you decided to try Salsa – it is very important to pick “your” instructor, whether for live classes or a DVD.
Regardless of which exercise you choose, whether it is low-cost walking, intense step routine, cardio kickboxing, fun Salsa aerobics or a healthy mix of them all, keep in mind – the most effective exercise is the one that you are actually doing and not just reading about.