thigh exercises

Photo: Courtesy of Pure Yoga

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The Move: Crossed-Legged Extension
The "4" in Figure 4 classes by Pure Yoga refers to the areas of the body targeted: abs, arms, glutes and, of course, thighs. Madeline Day, the creative coordinator for Figure 4, says that you'll really feel (and see) this move in the top of the thigh—right about where a miniskirt would end and self-consciousness would usually begin.

1. Sit in a chair with your back straight, your core engaged. Grip the seat of the chair lightly for support.
2. Cross one leg over the other, at the ankles. Exhale and extend your bottom leg until it is completely straight and parallel to the ground. (The top leg will lift as well, but keeping it relaxed will allow it to act as a "weight" for the active leg.)
3. Do 5 reps of lifting and lowering, then hold at the top for 10 seconds. Repeat 5 times.
4. Straighten both legs and lower to the ground, pause, then re-cross with the opposite leg on top. Repeat exercise with opposite leg.