The following program combines strength training moves to boost tone in the hips and thighs, but also use yoga moves to help stimulate lymph flow and blood circulation. Some of the moves say to use dumbbells or weights: this isn’t essential, but it will improve your results.
Warm up. Spend ten minutes walking, jogging, skipping, dancing or, if you have a mini-trampoline, rebounding, to warm up the body.
Squats. You will need a dumbbell (or other suitable weight) – about 4-7kg (9-15lb) is best. Standing up straight, with your feet hip-width apart, hold the dumbbell between your legs, with your arms straight. Keeping your arms as they are (they move with you), squat down as if you were going to sit in a chair. Make sure that you do this with your bottom muscles, not by widening your legs; your knees mustn’t go further forward than your ankle. Now use your thigh/buttock muscles to push yourself back up to a standing position. When you reach the top, clench your bottom and hold for one second. Do this 12 times; then repeat the whole sequence four times.
Wide squats. Stand in the same position as before, but this time take your legs wider and turn your feet out to a 45-degree angle. Perform exactly the same movement as before, watching your knees again. Do four sets of 12 repetitions.
Lunges. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, resting your arms by your side. Now take a step forward and, as you do this, dip down so the other knee bends towards the floor, and your body goes with it. Focus on ensuring your knee does not go further forward than your ankle and that your feet don’t turn, which reduces the effect. Push up from the foot on your bent leg (you should feel it in your bottom and inner thigh) and come back to the standing position. Do 12 movements, then repeat on the other leg. Do the whole sequence four times.
Leg vibrations. Lie on your back and put your legs in the air. Open them so they are hip-width apart, then tense your legs and try to find a point at which they naturally start to vibrate. Let yourself ‘wobble’ for up to two minutes.
Thigh stretch. Stand up straight, then lift your right ankle up behind you, bending your knee. Grasp your foot and gently try to pull it so it touches your bottom. You will feel this stretch your thigh. Hold for 30 seconds, putting out your other arm for balance if you need to. Lower, then repeat with the other leg.
Calf stretch. Step forward with your right leg and bend your knee. As you do this, your left leg will straighten and your heel will come off the floor. Keeping this leg straight, try to push your heel back down gently. Hold for 30 seconds when you feel the stretch. Release and swap legs.