Bathing suit shopping has the potential to be, hands-down, the worst ordeal. First, there’s that florescent light in the dressing room you have to deal with. Then there’s the fact that designers have all banded together to charge more for less material. And of course, who can ignore the possible cellulite or windowless thighs staring back in the mirror. But before we swear off the beach, or worse-grab a skirted, all-black maternity suit-there are ways we can get our thighs fit enough for a string bikini.
The foundation of good muscle tone in the legs (read: sexy definition) lies in the strong muscles that need to be constantly challenged. Celebrity fitness trainer Andrea Orbeck says that muscle strength has a metabolic advantage: calories are constantly being burned and metabolism is torched to create “cut” muscles. In order to raise your metabolism a “burn” needs to be created. Sprinting on an incline, exercises that use multiple muscle groups like squats, Pilates movements and plié jumps are all moves Orbeck recommends.
If you want some serious concentrated thigh and butt toning action, her favorite move is the Squat to Lunge to Jump. “It’s a series of moves that will tone the muscles of the thighs and butt, elevate the heartrate to incinerate the fat and provide the power which further creates sexy tone,” says Orbeck. Here is how to do it:
1. Start with feet shoulder width apart, toes turned forward and perform a slow tempo squat. (Lower the weight into the heels so that the legs and butt are receiving the weight. If you’re strong enough, try holding at least 5 lb handweights in each hand)
2. When you return from the above squat, go in to a brisk single reverse alternating lunge. (Again, to keep form make sure to keep the front weight bearing leg doing the workload and the knee safely behind the toe).
3 After both legs have performed a single reverse lunge, perform five power jumps where the land is softly absorbed by the thighs and the legs.
4. After the 5 jumps are complete, start at #1 all over again! Do this routing of the squats, single leg reverse lunges and the five squat jumps for eight sets minimum. (Yes, that really does end up being 40 jumps. Trust us, your short shorts will thank you.
Celebrity trainer David Kirsch’s favorite move for thighs that rub together is his signature Platypus Walk. It tones and slim your inner and outer thighs.
Here is how to do it: Start in a plie squat position, with your hands behind your head and your thighs parallel to the ground. Then, waddle forward, right foot in front of the left, while staying engaged in that plie squat. Now reverse- (Make sure your knees stay out and your weight stays back in your heels throughout the movement). Do it until you feel that burn.
Of course it goes without saying that you need to eat well and exercise regularly to see results from toning moves. And unfortunately, if cellulite is your main concern, diet and exercise can help, but can only do so much. Anti-cellulite treatments like Cellulaze and Apollo by TriPollar (used off-label) can help even out dimples so bumps and lumps are less likely, but results are temporary at best. “You need to keep doing these treatments to keep up the results because there is no magic cure to fully eliminate cellulite,” says New York plastic surgeon Alan Matarasso, MD.
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