How to sculpt without bulk

Top four exercises for toning your thighs

Story by Scott Blakey + Story by Mike Ritterbeck


Danielle Galella is originally from Long Island, New York, but has enjoyed life in the Lowcountry for the past 10 years. She is an aspiring world traveler whose passion for adventure has led her to pursue a freelance lifestyle working in production. At 22, her entrepreneurial spirit led her to start her own business, Rosey Rapps, a vintage-inspired head wrap company.


Just about everyone has one or two areas on their body that they would love to tone up a little. Whether you would like to work on your core, your arms, or your thighs, there is always an abundance of exercises that can help you. For those keen to focus mainly on their thighs, these workouts are always a good option:

Try these workouts: Feel great by getting low

1) Squatting With An Exercise Ball Simply place the ball between the wall and your lower back, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and squat as you normally would. Lower yourself 6 to 8 inches while keeping your hips square and shoulders level. You should then hold this position for 2-4 seconds. Try to start off with around 5 reps. Before long you should be able to sustain 10+ consecutive reps without issue.

2) Lunging With Dumbbells Lunging with some light weights can be a great way to tone those thighs. Grab a pair of 5-pound dumbbells and hold one in each hand. Next, lunge forward with your right leg and then straighten your left leg. Make sure that your back knee doesn’t touch the ground during the lunges. Repeat these lunges for around 30 seconds and then switch legs. Your thighs will be feeling stronger in no time.

3) Practicing Your plié The plié has the double benefit of toning both your thighs and your butt, so this option is always popular. Simply stand with your feet a little bit more than shoulder-width apart with your toes pointing outwards. Next, bring your arms out in front of you (make sure to keep them straight) and lower yourself into a squatting position. Go as low as you can and repeat this motion for around a minute – though you can go for longer after you have had some practice.

4) Performing A Dumbbell Pick Up Squat As you may have noticed by now, quality squats are the best way to some toned thighs. For this exercise, grab some light dumbbells (5 pounds should suffice) and hold them in your hands by your side. Next, squat down (just as you normally would) and lay them on the ground next to your feet. Lift yourself out of your squat, then lower yourself back into it and pick up the weights again. You can start out by doing this for around 45 seconds but can increase to around 2 minutes with some practice.

There are no shortcuts to fantastic thighs. However, by performing these wonderful thigh toning exercises, you will be sure to have your legs looking great for the next time you want to show them off.