Pilates Exercises for the Thighs

Pilates is a popular form of exercise that was developed in the 1960s by a man named Joseph Pilates. The exercises in Pilates target the group of muscles that wrap around your midsection, which is called your powerhouse. Your powerhouse keeps your body stabilized. The thigh muscles also contribute to your balance and posture and thus many Pilates exercises strengthen the thigh muscles, too.

Leg Curl and Back Hyperextension

The leg curl and back hyperextension exercise is two exercises in one. The leg curl targets the hamstring and glute muscles on the back of the thighs. The back hyperextension works the lower back muscles. To perform the leg curl and back hyperextension exercise, begin by lying on your stomach with your legs straight on the floor. Place your hands on your lower back with your palms facing upwards and your elbows bent. Then, raise your head and chest off the floor and extend your arms straight over your buttocks. Follow the back hyperextension with a leg curl by lying your head back on the floor and bending your knees toward your buttocks. Also, bend your elbows and place your hands back on your lower back.

Double-Leg Stretch

The double-leg stretch is a classic Pilates exercise that works your inner thighs and abs. The double-leg stretch also stretches your lower back muscles. The starting exercise is done by lying on your back and hugging your knees to your chest. Squeeze your legs together and lift your head and shoulders off the floor. Then, extend your legs straight at a 45-degree angle to the floor. Also, raise your arms straight over your head with your biceps next to your ears. Swing your arms open wide and then circle them back to grab your knees as you bend the knees back into your chest.

Leg Pull Front

The leg pull front exercise works the front of your thighs, which are your quads. The abs adn back are also strengthened doing a leg pull front. The leg pull front exercise begins in a reverse plank position with your body face up, your hands on the floor with your arms straight and your hips lifted toward the ceiling. The legs are straight and the hands are in line with your shoulders. Your body forms a straight line from head to heel and your feet flexed. Then, squeeze your abs and glutes as you lift your right leg toward the ceiling. After your lower your right leg, lift your left leg.

About this Author

Sarka-Jonae Miller has been a freelance writer and editor since graduating cum laude from Syracuse University in 2003. She was a personal trainer for four years with certifications from AFAA and NASM. Miller also worked at 24 Hour Fitness, LA Fitness and as a mobile trainer. Her career in the fitness industry begin in 2000 as a martial arts, yoga and group exercise instructor.