Emme Menopause

Exercises for your thighs to do either in the gym or at home

January is the perfect time to get fit! It’s your chance to hit the reset button and get to work on those New Year fitness resolutions!

Whether you’re new to fitness or had a break for a while, you might be wondering where exactly to start.

As a fantastic starter for New Year exercise, our fitness expert Dino Bonwick shares with us four quick and easy exercises to help tone the thighs at the gym or at home

Going through the perimenopause and menopause it can be quite common to put on weight on the thighs, and abdominal area of the body, due to a change in hormone levels. Here are some of my top exercises to help keep your thighs in good shape.

Walking lunges

These are really useful way of challenging your body from a stability perspective. There are loads of ways to do these weighted in the gym, but for a bodyweight walking lunge, we take a nice stride forward and decelerate controlled down towards the floor, then pushing up through that front leg and stepping through to the next side. Put your foot down in the middle before you take that second stride, if you need to for balance.

Tempo squats

These are a great way to train your quadriceps muscles through stability and strength, working longer and harder: tempo squats mean a certain time under tension in each movement. So I’m going to squat with a 3-1-1 tempo, I’m taking a breath and as I slowly move down into my squat I’m counting to 3 slowly instead of just dropping into it. Then hold the tension in the squat on the quads for 1 second and then stand up to your starting position for 1 second also. For a more challenging tempo increase the pause hold phase and even slower down into the squat (4-2-1).

Hip thrusts

These can be done on the floor or off the edge of a stable surface if I was in the gym it would be a bench or a sofa if I was at home. You are going to want to keep vertical shins in your starting position off your bench and how much of yourself to have on your bench, well we want your shoulder blades above the surface you are on so you’ve made a nice bridge position already with your feet under your knees and shoulder blades in that surface. As you drop towards the ground to perform your hip thrust movement keep your upper torso with you as a unit (No flared ribs) and thrust your hips back up to starting position.

Leg extension machine

Thought I could throw a gym machine in here as you’d be surprised some people think this is bad for your knees which it is not, or you might not have known what I’m about to say. When you sit into the machine you want your knees just off the seat with the cushion behind them comfortably not your knees too high or too far away from the seat – adjust your back seat position based on that. Perforce the basic extension movement and don’t worry about your foot position wether you think internal rotation or external is going to make a huge difference it’s minuscule at best – you’re going to hit all heads off the quadriceps muscle – so keeping yourself in your seat holding your body straight upright right into seat perform your extension keeping control of both paths of movement up and controlled on the way down.

Thank-you so much to the fantastic Dino who will be sharing more tips over the coming weeks.

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