This is How to Tone the Thighs (For Real)
This week I’m launching my latest addition to the Express series, and it’s all about the thighs. The thighs are by far one of the most complained about areas of the body my clients like to target. But in order to get perfectly sculpted and toned thighs, you need to first ensure that your thighs are perfectly healthy and working to their fullest potential. OK, P, but what the heck does that mean? The first step is to understand how the thighs actually work, so let’s get into that.
Typically when you think of working the legs, you automatically think of going after exercises like squats and lunges in addition to running and plyometric workouts. But what I’ve found in my many years of training is that when you only do these kinds of workouts you’re not only gradually building up inflammation in the leg muscles, but you’re also limiting so much of what the legs can actually do by restricting them into very limited, basic motions.
When I set out to find more ways to work the legs, I wanted to focus on the crucial parts of the legs that these other exercises seem to forget about-- the joints. The motions in the hips, knees, ankles, and foot will dictate what happens in the muscles they’re attached to. Each of those joints have 6 motions they can go through, meaning that all together there are 24 total motions that can be paired in unlimited combinations to create a single muscle reaction in the leg. Once you understand this concept, you start to learn to put them all together to create a multitude of reactions to target the legs from all angles.
For example, you can put the foot into eversion (flexed), the ankle into internal rotation, the knee into flexion, and the hip into adduction to get one hell of a reaction. We can then add resistance to the motion to make things even fancier and really get the muscles going. There are what it seems to be endless combinations of motions we can put the joints through, allowing us to constantly stimulate the muscles in all different ways. It is with this thinking and methodology that I like to build my workouts; the motions of the skeletal system are the first and fundamental part to understanding the muscles.
The second major component to understanding the thigh muscles is that every single muscle in the leg is responsible for both decelerating and accelerating motion in the joints and bones. This is what I like to call “loading and exploding”; every time a bone moves, the muscles attached to that bone either lengthen out (loading energy) or contract back like a rubber band (exploding). It is this chain reaction that make up the fundamentals of human chain biomechanics—the fancy name for what ultimately allows our bodies to move and generate power.
The major powerhouse in the body for propulsion is the glutes; secondary to the glutes are the muscles in the thigh propelling us forward. And this is indicative of how we use our glutes and thighs to take us through various motions: the glutes power the legs, the legs take impact from the ground force, and transfer that energy back up into the glute, then back down into the legs… wash, rinse, repeat. This fundamental understanding is the secret to achieving the insane results I’ve gotten with so many clients, in and out of the studio, all over the world.
Think about it-- when the glutes (the main engine) turn off, the legs have to make up for all that lost work. This results in what we commonly refer to as quad dominance, and this always leads to excess pressure on the joints, inflammation and bulking in the thighs, and ultimately injury. When you correct this disfunction, I guarantee you will be pain-free, injury-free, faster, stronger, and more sculpted into your natural shape with all the fine definition that you’ve been striving for.
Once you understand all the functions of the muscles (quads, hamstrings, adductors and abductors) and the joint motions that lengthen them, you can then create functional exercise that mimic and reinforce the motions they go through in your everyday life—and that is the P.volve workout. We then add resistance and weight to counteract those movements, forcing the muscles to work harder while building up mobility in the joints, and that is when the results that are unique to this method shine through.
In the Express Thigh series, I have used these exact principles to carefully curate my favorite tightening, toning, and sculpting moves to target the thighs. This program will give you max results in minimal time, without the risk of pressure and inflammation that typically come with short, explosive workouts. Crush one a day, back to back, or mix and match—the when & where choice is yours, I’ll take care of the how. See you on the streaming!
PS- Did you know we have a college student discount on streaming?