When it comes to effective thigh slimming workouts many people think about those funky looking inner and outer thigh machines at the gym. While these machines are believed to strengthen and shape the muscles in the thighs, hips and buttocks, in reality they’re better suited for taking “active” rest periods between sets.

How many times have you observed people using inner and outer thigh machines while simultaneously engaging in gym chatter, reading, text messaging, talking on the phone, or even clipping their nails?

Contrary to popular belief, in spite of the immediate but temporary “burning” sensations felt when using inner and outer thigh machines they have no real thigh slimming effects. Slimming the thighs requires targeted resistance exercises that work the entire lower half, which will ultimately strengthen and sculpt the thighs from all angles for an overall shapelier appearance.

Lucky for you, such exercises can be performed in the comfort of your own home without any weight training equipment whatsoever. Here are five quick and easy maneuvers that get the job done!

1. Single Leg Half Squats

Single leg half squats are great for targeting the muscles of your inner and outer thighs as well as the buttocks and quadriceps muscles located on the front of your thighs. While this exercise is quite simple, it does require some balance on your part. To perform single leg half squats, start by standing with your feet about shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent.

To work the right leg, you’re going to put all of your weight on the heel of your right foot and then lift up your left foot bending it behind you.

To carry out the movement, lower your hips to the floor reaching your arms straight out in front of you as you squat and be sure not to let your knee go in front of your toe. Your body should be leaning slightly forward and your back should be arched. Once your hips are just at the level of your right knee, or slightly above it, slowly return to the starting position.

You can perform right leg half squats for 10-20 repetitions and then repeat the sequence on your left leg.

2. Plain Ole Squats

Squats are one of the most effective exercises for giving your thighs a slimmer, sleeker, shapelier appearance as they work the muscles in the inner and outer thighs, hips and buttocks. Generally speaking, to perform squats, stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart and your hands either on your hips or your arms extended straight in front of you.

To carry out the movement, squat down while looking straight ahead with your back slightly arched. Do not let your knees go in front of your toes. Once your thighs are parallel to the floor or even slightly above, straighten your legs to return to the starting position.

By placing your feet in different positions, you can really stress the different muscles groups of your lower body. Placing your feet close together stresses your quadriceps muscles while placing them farther apart (wider than shoulder-width) shifts the emphasis to your inner thighs and buttocks.

For maximum results, perform 12-15 repetitions at each foot placement (standard shoulder-width, narrow and far apart).

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3. Lunges

Lunges are by far one of the top thigh-slimming exercises. Similar to squats, they work the buttocks and quadriceps but lunges also target the hamstring muscles located on the back of your thighs making them the perfect exercise for all around sleekness.

To perform lunges simply place your feet about shoulder-width apart, put your hands on your hips and then take a step forward (approximately 1½-2 feet) while keeping your torso as straight and upright as possible. Lower your body to the point that your front thigh is essentially parallel to the floor and then return to the starting position. It’s important that you don’t let your knee go in front of your toe at any point during this exercise.

You can perform 12-15 repetitions of lunges either one leg at a time or in an alternating sequence. I should mention, however, that performing alternating lunges while walking is the absolute best way to really shape up your thighs.

4. Step-Ups

Step-ups are perhaps one of the most effective exercises you can perform for your thighs and essentially all your lower-body muscle groups. To perform this exercise, you’ll need a bench, an aerobics step, or some other stable stepping surface. Once you’ve secured your stepping surface, place your hands on your hips, step up on your surface with your right foot, return to the starting position, and then step up with your left foot.

That’s it!

For maximum effectiveness and safety, you’ll need to carry out this movement in a slow and controlled manner. To maximize the sculpting effect of step-ups, try performing them continuously for 1-3 minutes at a time.

5. Sliding Side Lunges

Sliding side lunges are excellent for working the muscles of the inner thighs in addition to several other lower-body muscle groups. To perform this exercise effectively, you’ll need to position yourself on a smooth floor surface (linoleum, tiled or hardwood) with either a paper plate or a hand towel. Once you’ve secured one of these items, stand with your feet about hip-width apart and then place the ball of your left foot on the plate/towel. This is your starting position.

With your hands on your hips, bend your right knee, sitting back into your heel while sliding your left foot out to the side. Keep your hands on your hips and don’t let your right knee go in front of your toe.

While you’re pressing into the plate/towel, contract your inner thigh and slide your left foot back to the starting position. As you’re completing the movement, keep your torso upright and your abdominal muscles real tight. The cool thing about sliding side lunges is that you’re putting your inner thigh muscles to work on the sliding leg while simultaneously working your hip and quadriceps muscles on the lunging leg.

For maximum results, perform about 12-20 repetitions of single side lunges on each leg.

So there you have it—Quick and easy ways to slim your thighs without weights. By incorporating 2-3 sets of these exercises into your workout routine 2-3 days per week, you’ll start seeing noticeable results in absolutely no time.

Related Article: How to Build Strong, Lean Legs and a Shapely Butt