The Best Workout for Upper Thighs

Struggling to find the right workout to target your upper thighs? You’re not alone. Our guide will help you get the toned thighs of your dreams with the best exercises. Get ready to kick start your leg day!

Quick facts: Best Workout For Upper Thighs

  • ✅ Squats are one of the best exercises for targeting the upper thigh muscles – Harvard Health Publishing
  • ✅ Lunges are a great exercise for working the quads and glutes – American Council on Exercise
  • ✅ Bulgarian Split Squats are a great way to increase strength and stability in the upper thigh – Shape Magazine
  • ✅ Banded Hip Thrusts are one of the best exercises for activating the upper thigh muscles – Muscle and Fitness
  • ✅ Jump Squats are an excellent way to improve power and explosiveness in the upper thighs – WebMD

Warm Up

Any good workout routine should start off with a warm-up. Getting your body ready for the demands you’re about to place on it helps you perform your exercises better and can also lower your risk of injury. Warming up for upper thigh workouts can help you get the most out of your exercises and get better results. Let’s explore a few warm-up exercises to help you get the most out of your upper thigh workout:


Stretching is a vital part of any workout routine, but it’s especially important for upper thigh workouts. Before you perform any exercises for your thighs, it’s important to warm up your muscles and increase their flexibility. This will help prevent muscle strain and injury, as well as allow for maximum flexibility and range of motion during the workout. Stretching can also help improve your balance and coordination.

Some common stretches for the upper thighs include:

  • Standing hip flexor stretches
  • Seated inner thigh stretches
  • Prone hamstring/quadriceps stretches on a stability ball.

When performing these stretches, be sure to take deep breaths while concentrating on keeping your torso straight. Hold each stretch for 10-15 seconds before slowly releasing the pose. Additionally, make sure you are stretching all four sides of each major muscle group (front, back, inside and outside).


Cardio exercises are ideal for warming up your upper thighs before high-intensity exercises or starting your own workout routine. Cardio increases your heart rate, making it easier to kickstart those muscles and burn calories.

A warmup for the upper thighs can include jogging, bicycling, walking on an incline, or climbing stairs. Jogging is often the most effective because it provides a good cardiovascular workout that increases blood flow to the thigh muscles and helps them to get used to working harder as you move through your exercise routine.

Stretching is a great way to prepare the body and mind for upcoming activity. Stretches like squats, lunges, and side steps help increase flexibility in the hips, activate the glutes, and open up the hips ready for more strenuous movement. Including dynamic stretches will help reduce muscle tightness while increasing flexibility in those upper thighs.

Targeted Exercises

When it comes to toning and strengthening the upper thighs, targeted exercises are the best way to go. Effective exercises for the upper thigh area can help you improve your overall posture and reduce injury risk.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the best exercises you can do to target your upper thighs:


Squats are a tried-and-true exercise for toning, strengthening and firming the upper thighs. Squats can be done as part of any fitness routine in order to target the upper thigh muscles. By standing with feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart and squatting down by bending the knees until thighs are parallel to the floor, tension is placed on the quadriceps muscles, gluteus maximus, and hamstrings.

When squats are done correctly in combination with other targeted exercises for the upper thigh, these muscles become more toned, defined and can even become shapely. Squats can also be modified by adding hand weights or a barbell to increase intensity or difficulty. For maximum results, incorporate squats into a regular workout routine

  • along with other targeted exercises for the upper thigh muscles.


Lunges are a great exercise for targeting the upper thigh area. Lunges are a compound exercise because they engage multiple muscle groups at once, in particular the quadriceps and hamstrings. They also involve other parts of the body like the core muscles aiding in balance, and glutes for stability.

To do a basic lunge, stand with your feet together and then take a step forward with one foot so that your legs create a 90-degree angle when you lower down into the lunge position. Your rear foot should stay flat on the ground with your heel lifted off during the movement. Additionally, ensure that your front knee does not go beyond your toe while lunging—this will help protect your knees from any shock or strain during this exercise. Lastly, keep your torso upright and prevent arching or rounding of both shoulders throughout each rep.

Do 8-10 repetitions on one leg before switching to complete evenly toned legs.


Step-ups are an excellent exercise for working the upper thighs. This exercise primarily targets the gluteus maximus, which is the largest muscle in the buttocks, as well as the quadriceps femoris and other muscles in the thigh.

Step-ups can be done with hand weights or body weight and can range from light to heavy intensity depending on the desired outcome.

To perform a step-up correctly, start by placing one foot on a bench or step of your desired height. Step up onto the bench with both feet and then step down again with one foot only until you have both feet back on the ground. You can begin with lighter weights and progress to heavier ones as you become more comfortable with this exercise.

Step-ups are a great way to effectively target your upper thighs.

Leg Press

The Leg Press is a staple exercise for targeting the upper thighs and improving overall strength. It works the quads, hamstrings and glutes.

To execute the Leg Press properly, sit in the machine with your back against the padding. Place your feet shoulder-width apart on the platform a few inches away from your hips. Push down with both feet, and keep them in line with your knees as you press up, then slowly lower back to starting position.

Depending on your goals and skill level, you can either do high repetitions of lighter weight or lower reps of a heavier weight to get maximum benefit from this exercise. Be sure to keep form in mind for best results, as improper form can lead to knee injury or other strain.

Leg Extensions

Leg Extensions are one of the most effective exercises for targeting the upper thigh muscles. This exercise is performed while seated on a leg extension machine, with your feet pressed against a calf pad while gripping the handles on either side. To complete the exercise, extend your legs from a bent position until they are completely straight. Doing this activates the quadriceps, or thigh muscles, and puts them under tension.

It is important to keep all other parts of the body still when performing leg extensions, and to take slow controlled movements rather than quick ones. Leg extensions can be done with light weights as a warm-up before heavier exercises such as squats and lunges, or with heavier weights as more intense muscle building exercises.

Leg extensions should always be completed in sets of 10-15 repetitions at a time to get maximum benefit from them.

Cool Down

Cooling down correctly after a workout is just as important as warming up before your session. It helps to get your heart rate back to normal while preventing injury and soreness in your muscles. It is especially important to cool down after an upper thigh workout as your quadriceps, glutes, and hamstrings can easily become tight.

Let’s explore the best cool down exercises to do after a workout for your upper thighs:


When it comes to working out your upper thighs, stretching is an important factor in optimizing your performance and avoiding injury! Stretching helps reduce tension in the muscles and can even help with joint flexibility. Stretching after a workout also helps with reducing post-exercise soreness and can play a role in improving balance.

A few stretches that are especially helpful for the upper thigh area include:

  • Hamstring stretch
  • Quadriceps stretch
  • Seated knee extension stretch
  • Hip flexor stretch
  • Standing inner thigh clench

All of these exercises involve holding each position for at least 10 seconds and repeating 2-3 times.

Stretching is an important part of any workout routine, but especially so when targeting your upper thighs! By incorporating regular stretching into your exercise program you will see improved muscle tone, enhanced flexibility and improved range of motion.

Foam Rolling

Foam rolling is a great form of self-myofascial release for the muscles of the upper thighs. This type of stretching helps to reduce tension and stiffness in the muscles, improving flexibility and helping to prevent injury.

When foam rolling your upper thighs, use slow, controlled movements over the area for about 30 seconds. You can also use specific movements such as pinning a muscle and then actively stretching it, or you can circle the area with either slow or quick motions. Additionally, you can stop on any tender spots for about 10-15 seconds to help release those areas before continuing onward.

Foam rolling isn’t just limited to working on specific muscles; it can be used all throughout your body to improve mobility and reduce muscle tightness.

FAQs about: Best Workout For Upper Thighs

Q1: What is the best workout for upper thighs?

A1: Squats, lunges, and step-ups are some of the best exercises for toning and strengthening the upper thigh muscles. Additionally, using a resistance band or mini loop band is great for adding extra resistance to squats, lunges, and other exercises.

Q2: How often should I be doing these exercises?

A2: It is recommended to do these exercises 2-3 times per week. Make sure to give your body time to rest and recover between workouts.

Q3: Do I need any special equipment?

A3: No special equipment is needed, but you may want to use a resistance band or mini loop band to add extra resistance to your exercises.

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