Want healthier, firmer legs? Try this series of classic thigh calisthenics and mat leg lifts. These exercises are from the Pilates method and require no equipment whatsoever.
For a while, these retro thigh conditioning exercises fell out of style – and that’s a shame because they work.
This pilates mat series improves joint mobility and helps to give you stronger, well-shaped legs and a firmer, rounder booty.
It’s effective for men or women and can be easily modified to match any age or unique circumstance. Refer to the video lower within this article to see how each calisthenic is performed.
Why Is It Important to Have Strong Legs?
These leg lifts help make your thighs stronger.
Having strong legs is crucial for a number of reasons. Strong legs help you perform everyday activities more easily, such as walking, climbing stairs, and lifting objects.
Strong thigh muscles can also help to improve your balance and stability, which helps prevent falls and injuries.
Additionally, strong legs can help to improve your athletic performance and help you to be more physically active.
Strong thighs contribute to your overall good health and well-being!
Hip Mobility = Better Health
These classic leg lifts from the Pilates method also help you to improve the mobility of your hip joints.
Good hip mobility is absolutely vital, especially after the age of 50.
Mobility within the hips allows you to move your legs freely and perform everyday activities without discomfort – and without tripping or falling.
Hip mobility also helps you maintain proper posture and alignment, which can help prevent back pain and other musculoskeletal issues.
Good hip mobility gives you greater power and control.
A Healthy Thigh Comes From Exercise Variation
Squats, lunges, and deadlifts will continue to be the foundation of your lower body training.
However, in resistance training, there is a fundamental principle, and that is the principle of exercise variation.
That means that changing variables can impose a unique stimulus for adaption, density, and shape, such as:
- range of motion
- the number of sets
- the number of repetitions
- the length of rest between sets
- and, especially, angles.
Since variation is essential, doing these isolation moves now and then will train your leg and core muscles differently, and – because it’s new and different – your body will respond with visible, positive results.
Besides, doing back squats every leg workout gets boring after a while.
Get Firmer, Better-Shaped Legs with Thigh Calisthenics
Some exercises improve the health and conditioning of your lower body. I suggest the following exercises.
Thigh calisthenic tips:
- Do 20 repetitions (on each thigh), per exercise.
- It’s all about form and breathing. Keep your body long, your belly button pulled in tightly, and your glues activated.
- When your legs are supposed to be straight, ensure they’re straight (but without hyperextending the kneecaps).
- Don’t flop your thigh like a wet noodle; keep it taut. Imagine laser beams of energy shooting out your toes – like your thigh should be registered as a lethal weapon!
This video showing examples of Pilates leg exercises on the mat (no equipment needed) has a running time of 54 seconds:
Another advantage to this workout is that you can do it absolutely anywhere – outdoors, indoors, or even in a hotel room while traveling.
For purposes of warming up and avoiding injury, start out gently with the movements. You can always increase the range of motion and speed as your body temperature rises and you begin to feel more limber.
These Movements Improve Your Thigh Flexibility
Performed correctly, the Pilates calisthenics shared here will make your lower body muscles more flexible.
Improved muscular flexibility in the lower body has a number of benefits, including:
- Improved physical performance. Increased muscular flexibility can improve your range of motion and allow you to perform physical activities more efficiently and effectively.
- Improved posture. Tight muscles can contribute to poor posture. By increasing flexibility in the lower body, you can help improve your posture.
- Reduced risk of injury. Tight muscles are more prone to strain and injury. By increasing flexibility, you can help reduce your risk of injury, including lower-back throwouts.
- Better balance and coordination. Improved flexibility can also help improve your balance and coordination, which can be vital as you age.
- Enhanced relaxation and stress reduction. Stretching relaxes and calms the mind and body, making it a valuable tool for reducing stress and promoting relaxation.
In general, increasing flexibility in the lower body can help you feel stronger, more agile, and more capable in your daily activities.
Joseph Pilates Believed Mat Work Was the Most Important
Joseph Pilates believed that his mat exercises, also known as “Contrology,” were even more important than using gym equipment.
Pilates believed mat exercises could improve posture, balance, flexibility, and overall physical fitness.
Pilates also believed his mat exercises could help correct imbalances in the body and improve overall well-being.
Pilates developed his system of exercise in the early 20th century as a way to rehabilitate soldiers returning from World War I.
He believed that by strengthening the core muscles and improving overall physical control and coordination, his exercises could help to prevent injuries and improve overall performance.
Pilates also believed that his exercises could help improve mental focus and concentration, and he emphasized the importance of proper breathing and body alignment during the exercises.
Pilates was determined to help others experience the benefits of focusing on the mind-body connection and achieving proper form and control during mat exercises and leg lifts.
Additional Sources for Thigh Conditioning:
Variety in Strength Training Is Essential – https://projectsports.nl/en/is-variation-of-movement-important-in-strength-training/
Warm-Up Proven to Reduce Injury – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16679062/
Stronger People Live Longer – https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2022/03/05/health-study-live-longer-30-60-minutes-weight-training-weekly/9389339002/