how to get skinny legs

Are you wondering how to get skinny legs? Over the past few years, I have met with hundreds of girls who all face the same problem. They all want to look elegant, feminine, with lean legs, but don’t know how to get the skinny legs that they are looking for.

You want your legs to look like the girls you see in magazines and like the fashion bloggers you see on Instagram. You want to feel amazing at the beach, not self-conscious about your butt and thighs. You want to feel comfortable in shorts and leggings. You don’t want your legs getting bigger and too muscly so that you can’t fit into your jeans, or so that your legs rub together when you walk. Trust me, I know what that’s like.

The problem is not easy because there are many contradicting opinions about it.

Working as a personal trainer, I found that most women wanted to do cardio and try to slim down their legs, but were always pushed to do weights and lift heavier and heavier. Cardio was usually out of the question.

Whenever a client would tell a trainer that they wanted to know how to get thinner legs, the trainer would tell them why this shouldn’t be their goal. That wanting skinny legs isn’t healthy. And whenever someone complained about getting bulky, the trainers would say “you can’t get bulky, women don’t have enough testosterone to get bulky.” I am so sick of hearing that! If a woman thinks she is getting bulky, who are you to tell her that she is wrong? It is her body and her idea of “bulky” might be different to yours.

So I made it my mission to help other women understand how to get skinny legs and how to do resistance training to get toned without getting bulky.

EXACTLY HOW TO GET SKINNY LEGS

If you want lean and toned legs, you need to:

  1. Adjust your life for changes;
  2. Do effective cardio; and
  3. Do the RIGHT type of resistance training.

SO many people want to make changes to their lifestyle, exercise regularly and eat better, but they never do. Preparing yourself mentally for these changes is just as important as actually doing them. This is really the first step to getting the body of your dreams, and making sure that you get long term results.

Cardio should be a really important part of your training program. So this blog post will focus only on the cardio side of things and how to get lean legs with the right type of cardio.

Have a read of this blog post for details on how to do resistance training without getting bulky.how to get skinny legs

HOW TO GET SKINNY LEGS WITH CARDIO

Technical stuff (bear with me)

Learning how to get skinny legs starts with knowing how your body works. So try to stay with me for the science.

Your body creates energy in two basic ways:

  • Anaerobically (without oxygen); and
  • Aerobically (with oxygen)

When your body uses the anaerobic pathway, it uses creatine phosphate and stored glycogen (carbohydrates) to produce energy.

Your body will use the anaerobic pathway for:

  • High intensity exercise (including high intensity cardio such as running);
  • Weight training; and
  • Interval training

When your body uses the aerobic pathway, it uses stored fat, stored glycogen (carbohydrates) and on occasions, protein to produce energy.

Your body will use the aerobic pathway for:

  • Low intensity exercise (including low intensity cardio, such as walking).

Low intensity exercise burns FAT, and this is why it is super important when understanding how to get skinny legs.

Do you think I need an infographic for this? It seems hard to put into a picture without being confusing

What is Low To Moderate Intensity Cardio?

When I say low to moderate intensity exercise, essentially I’m talking about walking. Walking is the best type of exercise for getting rid of excess fat on your legs and leaning them out. And walking burns a surprisingly high number of calories.

However, long, slow cardio (i.e. walking) is NOT the most effective way of losing weight. This is because it only uses your aerobic system, and it doesn’t burn as many calories as other types of exercise. It is important to understand that when you are trying to lose weight, you should be trying to burn more calories than you are eating. So burning more calories during a workout is a good thing!

Walking is very specific to getting rid of fat from your legs. But to lose weight from your entire body, you should be using both your aerobic and anaerobic systems to increase your overall fitness, increase your metabolism and burn more calories. This means doing some higher intensity exercise such as running and resistance training, as well as the walking.

Running burns a LOT of calories. And resistance training will increase your metabolism. A higher metabolism means that your body will burn more calories throughout the day just to keep itself functioning.

A good workout program for overall fat loss should include a combination of all of these types of workouts –

  • Walking
  • Running
  • Resistance training

Getting the balance right between walking, running and resistance training is very specific to your body type. Some women will need a lot more walking than others because of their body type. I’ll get to body types a little further down.

How Does Walking Help You Get Lean Legs?

When you do cardio at a low to moderate intensity, your body burns stored glycogen (carbs) first, and then fats. However, the longer you exercise, the more fat your body will burn. So by doing longer power walks, your body will burn more fat and it will help you get lean legs.

You can however accumulate periods of cardio over the day. For example, you can do 6 x 10 minute walks throughout the day, which equals 60 minutes of cardio. However, as discussed above, the longer you walk in a single period, the more fat you will burn, and the quicker you will get skinny legs.

Personally though, I have experienced significant fat loss from my legs by both accumulating cardio over the day, and doing my walking all in one hit. They both seem to work for me.

Buy 3 Steps To Skinny Legs Program now

SUMMARY OF WHAT WE HAVE LEARNT SO FAR

  • The best type of exercise for getting skinny legs is walking (low intensity cardio); and
  • Low intensity cardio is one of the only exercise that burns fat.

How To Get Skinny Legs With The Correct Walking Technique

It is very important to make sure that you are doing your cardio on a flat surface. Walking uphill will use your quadriceps and glutes and this will cause bulkiness.

Try to avoid the cross trainer / elliptical machine and incline walking on the treadmill. I see a lot of women doing this and while it may burn more calories than walking on a flat surface, you will build muscle and it won’t help you get lean legs. There are better exercises you can do to build muscle and benefit your whole body, and there is a better way of doing your cardio.

You should also avoid the stair machine and spin bike as these will build muscle in places you may not want.how to get skinny legs

How To Get Skinny Legs With Fasted Cardio

Walking works if you do it at any time of the day. But to get the best results, try to walk first thing in the morning before you have eaten anything – this is known as fasted cardio. When you first wake up, you have not eaten anything for at least 10 or so hours. This means there is not much stored glycogen (carbs) in your body to be used up for energy. As a result, when you do cardio first thing in the morning, you will end up burning more fat instead.

BONUS TIP

Fasted cardio works best if you are depleted of glycogen (i.e. you don’t have many stored carbohydrates). So to make your fasted cardio workout really count, try to eat a low carb dinner the night before.how to get skinny legs

Ideal Heart Rate For Burning Fat

When you are walking, your body is in the “fat burning zone” and this is the best place to be to get skinny legs. The fat burning zone is when your heart rate is between 60-70% of your maximum heart rate. Your maximum heart rate is a simple equation: 220 minus your age. I will show you an example of how to calculate your maximum heart rate and fat burning zone heart rate range using my age. I am currently 29 years old.

Maximum Heart Rate

  • 220 minus your age

Fat Burning Heart Rate Zones

  • Maximum heart rate x 0.6 (60%)
  • Maximum heart rate x 0.7 (70%)

My Examples

  • My maximum heart rate is 220 – 29 = 191 beats per minute (bpm)
  • 60% of my maximum heart rate is 191 x 0.6 = 115 bpm
  • 70% of my maximum heart rate is 191 x 0.7 = 134 bpm

My maximum heart rate is 191 bpm; so my heart rate should be between 115 and 134 bpm to burn fat. When I power walk, my heart rate is usually between 65-68%; and this is 124 to 130 bpm.

I know this seems technical, but honestly, the speed doesn’t matter TOO much. If you just aim to walk at a medium fast pace, your heart rate will be in the right zone. You don’t need to go full speed and feel really puffed out. It should be a fast pace, but you should able to maintain this speed for at least 1 hour.

Ideal Walking Speed For Lean Legs

I walk at the speed of 7 km/hr. Occasionally I will walk a little slower or faster, but it will always be between about 6.6 – 7.2 km/hr. You don’t need to walk at the EXACT same speed as me – this is just to give you a guide. Your speed will depend on your height and the length of your legs. Obviously taller people will be able to walk a bit faster.

How Often Should I Walk To Get The Best Results?

The more walking you do, the better your results will be. So my suggestion would be to do it every day if you can, or at least 5 times per week at a minimum. Most health guidelines specify that you should try to walk at least 10,000 steps per day and this is a good guide to go by. However, as I mentioned, the more the better! So I always try to aim for at least 10km per day.

A good way to fit in the 10kms per day is to start your morning off with a walk. Set your alarm a little bit earlier and go for a walk as soon as you get up. Not only does this get it out of the way early, but it is more effective for burning fat as you are doing fasted cardio. I try to do a 5km walk in the morning (sometimes I’ll do 6 or 7km) and then I try to make up the remaining 3-5kms throughout the day just by doing as much walking as I can. If you make a really conscious effort to do lots of walking throughout the day, it’s not as difficult to reach 10kms as you might think!

I use the free Health app on my phone, which tracks my steps and kilometers, and I love it! There are also lots of free pedometer apps that you can download onto your phone to help you track your distance and reach these goals.

How To Get Lean Legs And Have Fun At The Same Timehow to get skinny legs

One of the most common complaints I hear about walking is that it is boring. And I will admit that sometimes it is. Here are some tips that I use to help keep me entertained during my daily cardio:

  • Whenever one of my friends wants to do something, I will always see if they want to catch up over a walk. It really is a great way to catch up, and it makes the walk go so quickly. You honestly don’t even feel like you’re exercising! It’s even better if you can get yourself a regular walking buddy. I always try and get my fiancé to come for walks with me.
  • If I’m by myself, I CAN NOT do cardio without music. I use Spotify and I download my walking playlist so that it is available even if I don’t have the internet or wifi (which is sometimes an issue for me when travelling a lot). Whenever I add new songs to my playlist, I’m actually excited to go for a walk and listen to them (but I do LOVE music!). I pick upbeat songs so that help me walk at a good pace.
  • If I am walking on a treadmill, I download a TV show and put it on my phone and watch it while I walk. It’s better than watching the TV show sitting on the couch or lying in bed.

HOW TO EXERCISE TO SUIT YOUR BODY TYPE

If you want to know how to get skinny legs, understanding your body type is important. There are 3 main body types, which I will briefly explain:

  1. Ectomorph – this body type is naturally very thin (think Victoria’s Secret models). They are tall with long arms and legs and find it difficult to put on muscle and fat. They probably already have quite skinny legs.
  2. Mesomorph – this body type is not super thin like an ectomorph and is not overweight, they’re just average size. They can usually gain and lose weight quickly, and can pack on muscle quickly too.
  3. Endomorph – this body type is naturally bigger. They are usually short to medium height with shorter arms and legs (but not always). They can put on muscle and fat quickly, and find it difficult to lose weight.

A lot of women ask me what my body type is, and I would say I am a mesomorph.

It’s important to exercise (and eat) according to your body type so you can get the best results. If you are an endomorph body type and you’re doing lots of heavy lifting and eating a moderate to high amount of carbs, you’re not going to achieve the best results, or get results as quick as you can. Endomorphs need more cardio and a low carbohydrate diet. So you really should know your body type, and tailor your program to both your body type and your goals.

This is a summary of how to do cardio to suit your body type:

How To Get Skinny Legs When You Are An Ectomorphhow to get skinny legs

Most ectomorphs are probably already thin so they don’t really need to know how to get lean legs. They should focus on getting toned, rather than losing fat. Ectomorphs don’t really need to do any cardio. But in saying that, cardio is great for your body and your heart, so there are still other benefits!

Ectomorph women should focus more on resistance training and only do cardio if they want to (but it’s not necessary).

How To Get Skinny Legs When You Are A Mesomorphhow to get skinny legs

Mesomorphs should do a combination of cardio (both low intensity and high intensity cardio) and resistance training. Walking should be something that they do every day if possible.

How To Get Skinny Legs When You Are An Endomorphhow to get skinny legs

A lot of women ask me how to get skinny legs if you are an endomorph body type. It will be more difficult for endomorphs because of their body shape, so cardio should make up the majority of their program, and they should also try to do as much walking as possible. I would recommend walking at least 5 times per week and try to run a few times per week too.

Endomorphs should also do some resistance training and their workouts should be intense to try and burn lots of calories. But they should be careful not to overdo it on resistance training as they can bulk easily.

If you are a short endomorph, you may experience your legs getting bulky with running. If this is the case, I would avoid running and just do walking instead.

DOES RUNNING BURN FAT FROM MY LEGS?

Well not necessarily. Running is an anaerobic activity (remember I discussed it above). This means that when you are running, your body will burn glycogen and creatine phosphate, not fat. But at the start when you are building up speed, it might burn fat.

If you run really slowly so you aren’t really puffed out, your body might use some fat. But you are better off getting the full benefits from running by running faster. This will help you increase your fitness and it will burn LOTS of calories.  If you want to burn fat and get lean legs, walking is better than slow running.

Some women have told me that they get overly muscular just from running. This is because running does build some muscle. I know that a lot of Victoria’s Secret models don’t run for this reason.

As I mentioned above, if you are shorter and are an endomorph body type, your body might get bulky from running. If you find that this happens to you, I would avoid running. You can still get great results from walking so focus on that!

DOES RESISTANCE TRAINING / WEIGHTS BURN FAT?

No. Resistance training is also an anaerobic activity. However, resistance training can help improve your metabolic rate, which in turn increases the number of calories you burn. This is important for losing weight overall.

Resistance training does build muscle though, so you need to be careful. You need to do the right type of resistance training so you don’t pack on too much muscle in the wrong places.how to get skinny legs

Why Should I Still Do Resistance Training?

You might be tempted to avoid resistance training all together, but it is still important. As I just mentioned, it increases your metabolic rate so that you burn more calories throughout the day. And it also helps shape your legs – without resistance training, they won’t look very toned. Cardio only can give you the “skinny fat” look, so you should do some form of resistance training.

DOES HIGH INTENSITY INTERVAL TRAINING (HIIT) BURN FAT?

Not immediately. While high intensity interval training does cause weight loss, it doesn’t typically burn fat while you’re doing it. Like resistance training, HIIT burns stored glycogen and creatine phosphate.

The biggest benefit of HIIT is that you will burn lots of calories in a short workout, you will still continue to burn calories after your workout, and it builds muscle which improves your metabolism and helps you burn more calories throughout the day. To give you an idea, I will usually burn the same number of calories in a 25 minute HIIT workout as I will during a 1 hour power walk.

HIIT is not necessary for getting lean legs and can often cause your legs to bulk up (especially the endomorph body type). So you just need to be careful when doing HIIT workouts, and avoid overdoing it on leg exercises such as burpees, jump lunges, jump squats, box jumps, etc. If you are trying to reduce muscle on your legs or you bulk up easily, it might be best to avoid HIIT altogether.how to get skinny legs

How To Get Skinny Legs With HIIT Cardio

I mentioned that HIIT doesn’t really burn fat. BUT you can do HIIT cardio in a way that causes you to burn more fat and lean out your legs.

My favourite type of HIIT to lean the legs specifically is interval running. Most people do sprints at their maximum pace for around 30 seconds and then rest for 30-60 seconds. This type of sprinting is going to make you fit, but may cause bulky legs.how to get skinny legs

I like to do my HIIT cardio by doing 2 minute fast pace runs (not an all out sprint) and then walking for 1 minute. I then repeat this 5-10 times, depending on my fitness level. I usually do these fast pace runs around 13-14 km/hr.

This type of workout burns a LOT of calories and is great if you want to push yourself. But it is really difficult and if you are not already fit, I would not recommend it. If you are fit and would like to do it, I would do this once per week at a maximum.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How Can I Reduce Muscular Legs?

Unfortunately, the only thing that will help you to reduce muscular legs is time and avoiding using these muscles.

Walking doesn’t build muscle, but it doesn’t make you lose muscle either (unless you are eating suuuuper low calories and low carb, which I don’t recommend). Running actually builds some muscle, but not as much as resistance training and high intensity interval training.

I know that sounds a bit confusing, so I have written a much more detailed blog post on how to reduce muscular thighs. Have a read if you need more information on this topic.

Can You Really Get Rid Of Fat Just From Your Legs (i.e. spot reducing fat)?

OK so I know a lot of you are probably thinking that you can’t spot reduce fat from certain body parts. And this is true to an extent. However, my legs get a lot slimmer when I do low intensity cardio and a series of exercises described in my 3 Steps To Skinny Legs eBook, even when my diet is not perfect.

I can’t choose exactly where the fat comes off from my legs. But most girls, including myself, store most fat around the inner thigh area. And this is where I tend to notice the most difference.how to get skinny legs

I do believe that you can’t really spot reduce fat from a certain body area, especially your stomach, arms, face, etc. But you can reduce the fat from your lower body specifically, you just can’t pick whether that comes from your calves, thighs, butt, etc.

I have done a lot of cardio in my time including walking, running, cycling, swimming and aerobics classes such as body step and body attack. The most effective cardio for slimming my legs has always been walking.

Diet also plays a part in helping slim down your legs, but cardio will always play the major part. In my own experience, doing lots of walking and eating a moderately good diet is better for getting lean legs than eating a perfect diet and not doing any walking.

Is Anaerobic Exercise Good Or Bad For Me?

Anaerobic exercise (running, HIIT, resistance training) is fantastic for you and your overall health! The only issue that a lot of women have with these type of workouts is that it causes them to get bulky and build too much muscle in their legs. That’s because these workouts are designed to do that.

You can still do these workouts in a specific way so that you don’t get bulky. I have posted a few free skinny legs workouts on my blog – these are resistance training workouts that you can do to tone up your legs and butt, without getting overly muscular and bulky.

How To Get Skinny Legs Fast

Proper change takes time. But if you are committed, this is how to get skinny legs fast. First of all, you need to get off your butt and actually do something about it! You can do all the reading you want, but if you don’t put it into practice, you’ll never get the legs that you want.

Walking is great for getting lean legs, and I recommend that you do lots of it! BUT it is not the most effective way of losing weight from your entire body. You should be using both your aerobic and anaerobic systems to increase your overall fitness, increase your metabolism and burn more calories. This means doing some higher intensity exercise such as running and resistance training, as well as the walking.

A good workout program for overall fat loss should include a combination of all of these types of workouts –

  • Walking;
  • Running; and
  • The right type of resistance training

If you want results fast, you need the right type of program, so that you don’t waste your time testing and trying different things. Something that is tailored to give you the EXACT results you are looking for, a plan that has been tried and tested by others, written by someone who has been where you are right now. So are you really ready to get lean legs? If the answer is yes, my 3 Steps To Skinny Legs eBook is the answer!

TAKE HOME MESSAGES

  • Low to moderate intensity cardio (i.e. walking) burns FAT;
  • Running, HIIT and resistance training do not burn fat while you are doing them, but still lead to overall fat loss;
  • Walking is by far the best type of exercise for getting rid of excess fat on your legs;
  • Aim to walk every day, and on a flat surface;
  • The more walking the better – 10km per day is a good goal; and
  • There are 3 main body types (ectomorph, mesomorph, endomorph) and your body type will determine how much walking you should be doing.

START NOW WITH MY 3 STEPS TO SKINNY LEGS GUIDE!

I created my Skinny Legs eBooks to help women understand how to do resistance training without getting bulky, and how to get skinny legs with the right type of cardio.

My eBooks include a full workout and nutrition program which will help you get a lean and toned body, and amazing legs!

Because all of us are different, I have created separate eBooks for each of the 3 main body type.

Click here to find out more about my ebooks.how to get skinny legs

SKINNY LEGS CASE STUDY

Casey, 23 years old, from Brisbane, was a previous client of mine. Casey first came to see me with the goal of getting skinny legs. Unlike other trainers, I didn’t tell her that this was a bad goal and that her goals should be more focused on strength, not what you look like.

Casey had started her fitness journey by following online programs based around weights and HIIT training, with the goal of building a booty. But what the programs didn’t mention was that when growing your booty with these type of exercises, you will also end up growing your legs too.

She went to see a personal trainer in the hope that they would help her slim down her legs and lose weight. The personal trainer told her that heavy weight lifting would slim her down, so that’s what she did.

After 8 weeks, Casey came away unhappy and frustrated because she now weighed more than she had before, and she hated looking at her legs in the mirror. I completely related with her because the same thing had happened to me years ago. I did heavy lifting in the past because that’s what everyone said I should do; and while it made my upper body look good, my legs became so big and they felt heavy and uncomfortable. I didn’t understand why everyone kept telling me that heavy lifting was the best type of exercise.

Poor Casey had tried everything, and had starting googling how to get skinnier legs, when she found me! I designed a program for her, very similar to my 3 Steps To Skinny Legs guide. After just 2 weeks, she noticed her legs slimming down. She was so hopeful and it made her even more determined, so she put in the hard work. After 8 weeks, she had lost weight, gotten rid of the bulky look from her legs, and she could fit back into her old clothes again!

She was like a changed person. I could tell that she was happier and more confident. And best of all, she knew what type of exercise to do to tone up (and get a perky booty!) without getting bigger legs.

Related Post

213 comments on “How to Get Skinny Legs: Why You Need Cardio For Lean Legs”

  • Emily says:

    I do a mixture of cardio usually running on a treadmill or on a stepper and I walk at least 40 mins most days to and from work and uni and also doing Kayla Itsines BBG almost finished and I eat well too, I’m developing definition in my stomach and arms and have lost weight overall I’m 5ft4 and now about 8 1/2 stone but my legs are still much larger than the rest of my body with visible cellulite and seems like lot of fat on top of some muscle. I absolutely hate them but they just don’t seem to get any smaller or have any less fat and don’t know what else I can do, any tips? I really hate them!

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Emily,

      I’m so sorry to hear that you feel that way about your legs! It seems like you’re doing everything right. I’m sure Kayla’s BBG program will help you get rid of some fat as that’s what the program is designed to do. Perhaps try to be a bit more consistent with the cardio and once finished BBG you could incorporate some weights to help tone up. But just be persistent! Everyone’s bodies are different and it sounds like you store most of your body fat on your legs, which is the hardest place to lose fat. Just stick it out and you will see results! Even if it is slowly. I’m posting another blog in this how to get skinny legs series on Monday morning which may help you so keep your eyes out for that. All the best! xx

      • Dany says:

        Rachel,

        When you say be patient, what does this mean? Like I’ve been hard core working out for three months and I eat extremely healthy. I don’t really do much cardio though. It’s taking a while for my arms and legs to tone. The fat on my outer legs isn’t budging. Can you give me some wisdom?

        • Rachael Attard says:

          Hi Dany, you should have noticed a difference in a few months… You could do more cardio. Otherwise you can still gain weight when eating healthy, if you’re eating too much food. So I would look into your food intake and make sure you’re eating the right amount for your body and exercise level xx

          • Dany says:

            Is 45 min to an hour of light jogging sufficient cardio? I mean I have seen a change in my arms since I first started but I want them to be even more toned. My legs still just have a lil cellulite

          • Rachael Attard says:

            Hi, yes that is sufficient cardio. But remember to do some power walking too! xx

  • Emily C says:

    Rachael! thank you so much for this information! everything seems so clear now 😀 compared to last time where i was still blur and confused cause i find it really hard to lose fat on my thighs and hips area and core… |: Really loving all the relevant information on your website <3 <3 omg you should start contemplating on having your own app! xx Thanks BAEE! keep it upp (':

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Happy to help babe! I’m glad you found this information useful 🙂 Haha maybe one day.. but thanks so much xx

  • Paige says:

    Hey Rachael 🙂 just wondering how many kms do you powerwalk on and do you know what your heart rate should be when your powerwalking to make sure your in te fat burning zone? Xx

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Paige,

      If I do go for a power walk it’s usually around 6kms. This fat burning zone varies for everyone, because the fitter you are, the quicker and longer you can be in this zone. For me I would say around 70-80% max heart rate. As a general rule, maximum heart rate is 220 minus your age xx

  • Anon says:

    Hi! Thank you so much for this post ❤️ I know now which body type I am, ectomorph mixed mesomorph. I’m naturally skinny (low bmi and fat %)with toned abs and legs., I don’t put weight on easily,if I gain weight,it’s just water, my Bmi 15-16,fat% 13-15. I can’t gain fat easily, I eat without thinking about the cals, and I’m fitter than ever.Actually I’ve been exercising like your description for a while without even knowing about it. Now I know why ppl tell me that I’ve supermodel body

    • Rachael Attard says:

      You’re definitely lucky with your genetics! But you obviously work hard to keep fit. Keep up the amazing work hun x

  • Clémentine says:

    Your posts are always very instructive and well explained! Reading this article I have to say that cardio is really effective to slim down legs. During summer my diet was not perfect (80% was healthy food but I had some treats every day) but my legs were slimmer thanks to a lot of powerwalking and hiking (some days we went for 20kms hikes). Need to remember that in the future! Weightlifting is great but so is cardio!
    xxx
    C

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Thanks Clementine! Yes both weights and cardio are both important! I always notice my legs slim down when I do more walking too! xx

  • Louise says:

    Rachael! I need a “next post” button ! 🙁

    • Rachael Attard says:

      I’ll get onto it! 😉

  • Sami says:

    Hi Rachael! You are truly inspiring and motivate me everyday to work towards my goal! Thank you so much for your amazing blog post 🙂
    I just wanted to ask when would be the best time to do HIIT cardio and Low intensity cardio for optimum weigh loss ? I’m currently doing workouts from Kayla Itsines guide and trying to incorporate both HIIT running and normal running but dont know how! xx

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Sami,
      You’re welcome! I’m happy to help motivate you 🙂
      There really is no optimum time. You can do them whenever and will still get results. However I always try to do some walking after every workout, including HIIT and normal running. I hope that helps! All the best xx

  • Cassie says:

    Hey! What do u mean by low to moderate intensity? Such as I incline at 6%, 6km/hr on the treadmill for about 20 min each day. My heart rate varies from 140-145bpm. Will that help me slim down my thighs or should u just be walk at a lower incline? Thanks for ur help & love ur blog xx

    • Andrew Brown says:

      Hi Cassie, Rachael here. Low to moderate intensity does mean power walking. If you are trying to lean out your legs, it would be better for you to walk slightly quicker and on a flat surface (no incline). Also 20 minutes may not be long enough. I would aim to do three one hour walks per week, mixed in with some weights/HIIT xx

  • Jessica says:

    Hey! ALL I WANT IS SKINNY LEGS. My legs are not huge to begin with. But I want them really skinny! I’ve been running for a while now and doing daily workouts on my legs. What do I do?!

    • Jessica says:

      AND I’ve also been eating healthy! I have seen a change but I’ve been at it for 3 months and barely any change. I know it takes time. But what will speed up results?

      • Andrew Brown says:

        Hi Jessica, Rachael here. I’m sorry to hear that you haven’t had great results. It’s hard to comment without knowing your exact workout program and diet, but honestly the best thing to do would be to make sure that you have got your eating on point in terms of how much food you should be eating and the types of foods. Also, I would include a combination of HIIT, longer distance running and power walking into your workout program to get the best results! If you stick with it and are consistent, you will definitely get results xx

  • Kim says:

    Hi Rachael! I just wanted to write this because I’m really not sure about something, but how long must my cardio be for it to be considered a cardio? Or how long must I jog for me to get slim and toned legs? However, my problem is not my thighs but my calves instead! 🙁 They are really bulky and ugly I think they are bigger than my thighs even, i would really love to know if theres anything I can do to reduce this. And also, Is it normal for my leg to get bigger when i recently started exercising? Cause I stopped working out for about 2 months now and just recently started again, but when i just checked, my legs actually got bigger and it’s really making me demoralised haha…

    • Andrew Brown says:

      Hi Kim, Rachael here. First of all, anything that really gets your heart rate up and that you can keep consistently is considered cardio so even if you just do a jog for 10 minutes, that is considered cardio 🙂 Getting slim and toned legs will come from a combination of cardio (walking and running), weights and eating well. It’s not really a matter of how long you should jog for, but how consistent you are with all of this. Calves is a really hard one because usually it’s muscle which is hard to lose, but my suggestion would be to make sure that you are only running and walking on a flat surface (no incline or steps) so that you don’t build any muscle here. And when you start losing fat, the remaining fat on your calves should slowly reduce (but it may be the last place you see any weight loss). Yes I think it is normal to see some small increase in the size of your legs if you have never exercised (because of muscle), but you should see this reduce when you start losing fat. Hope this helps! xx

  • Ada Roberts says:

    Hi Rachael,
    I have been going to the gym and eating well for 6 months and I have noticed a change however my legs seem to be bulky rather than slim? I do a lot of HIIT on the tredmill 1min sprint at 16kph, then rest and I also do lots of cicuits involving body weight and weights. How can i slim my legs rather than bulk up?xx

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Ada,

      Congrats on making such a great change! Weights and sprinting will build muscle which can give you unwanted bulk. It is good to have some muscle but I understand sometimes it can be a bit much. I would change to doing 2min fast face runs (maybe around 14-15km/hr) instead of your current sprints. Add in some steady state running and lots of power walking to slim them down. With your weights, I would just use body weight for any leg exercises you’re currently doing and really high reps (15-20) xx

  • Reet says:

    Hi Rachel.. I have one question pls.. My legs are skinny but I want to gain muscles in them. So I have started doing strength training for that. I have a belly fat (upper body fat) which I want to get rid of coz of medical condition hormonal deficiency I am under medications which made my upper body heavier than lower body and it looks weird. I want to tone up now could you please suggest me what exercises I should be doing?? I started doing walking 30-45 mins everyday and joined gym where I do cardio exercise aerobics classes twice a wk, yoga once a wk, and ab exercise. Treadmill is something I do everyday. I wanted to know if I do walk along with the gym 30 mins fast walk will that reduce my fat from legs?? I don’t really want my legs to go more slimmer. Pls suggest I am totally frustrated. Does walking or jogging makes legs skinnier? Many thanks

    • Reet says:

      Recently I have stopped doing extra walk which i used to do after gym everyday as told by my instructor. Does lot of walking makes legs skinnier?? And wat to do to reduce belly fat. Please suggest. Thanks

      • Rachael Attard says:

        Yes extra walking will make your legs skinnier. Best way to reduce belly fat is to eat really well and do cardio and HIIT. Have a read of my blog post on how to lose belly fat x

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Reet, walking does help to get rid of fat from your legs, and so does jogging. Jogging will build also build a small amount of muscle, body weight and weighted exercises such as squats and lunges will build muscle in your legs, so depends what you are after! If you want to build muscle I would suggest focus mostly on weights and perhaps some yoga. If you don’t want to lose any weight then you don’t really need the cardio x

  • Mandy says:

    Hi Rachael
    I have been doing runs and walks for two years now trying to slim down my thighs. But I seem to be building muscle with my resistence training. Should I be using body weight instead of 10 kg bar? And I’m taking your advice on longer runs and not too many HIgh intensity runs – my thighs just get thicker.
    I’m for sure an ectomorph! I’m trying hard to slim the inner thigh and back of thigh

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Mandy, sorry for my late reply. Yes with your resistance training I would tone it down if you think you’re building too much muscle. Do body weight exercises and HIIT. Also incorporate power walking because this is great for slimming down your legs (reducing fat, not reducing muscle) xx

  • Nyasha says:

    Thank you for your concise and very informative blog. I love that you explain why you recommend specific exercises as most trainers just tell you what to do without explaining why. Could you please give a break down of the low to moderate exercise. Someone mentioned that they do 6km/hr and you recommended going a little faster but you didn’t specify exactly what pace you recommend for the power walk. And you mentioned 30mins in one of your posts but in the comments you recommended an hour of power walking 3 times a week. thank you.

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Nyasha! For the power walking I recommend walking at around 7km/hr but a little slower than this is fine too. Obviously shorter people will find it a bit harder to walk at a quick pace. And also, 30 minutes of power walking should be the minimum. The longer the better! For the 3 x power walks per week I recommend 1 hour each xx

  • Anna says:

    Hi! I struggle with a little bit it inner thigh fat, in fact, the picture at the top on the left kind of looks like me. I lost some weight doing a lot of cardio last year, but I was running pretty fast for about 2.7 miles and I noticed I was gaining muscle as well. What specific cardio exercise do you recommend for the tread mill? Like speed wise and time wise

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Anna, running does build a little bit of muscle. The best way to get rid of excess fat is to do power walking. I recommend trying to do a power walk every day if you can. It doesn’t have to be super fast – anywhere from 6 to 7km/hr on the treadmill for around 60 minutes. Otherwise when running I recommend anywhere from 20-30 minutes, at a speed of 12km/hr if you can! xx

  • Meili says:

    Hi I was just wondering. If you jog an hour a day and then walk an hour after, so basically jogging and walking for an hour each a day. Will you be able to make your legs thinner and also even lose weight?

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Meili, yes this would make your legs thinner. But it is quite a lot of cardio and isn’t really the most effective way to lose weight. I would do some running, lots of power walking and a bit of circuit training too! 🙂 xx

  • Kate says:

    If your heart rate is high just from being anxious or having coffee, should you do cardio following your correct level of your heart rate? Or should you do it at a level that you usually do, when you haven’t had coffee?

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Kate, I would still do it at your normal heart rate level xx

  • Kristen says:

    Hi so i’ve joined the basketball team for school and i’ve been doing practices for about 2 months. I’ve noticed that my thighs are getting a lot bigger and that i’m building a lot of muscle, but the fat isn’t going anywhere. The other day i was talking to my sister and she says that my legs got HUGE is there a way for me to reverse this effect without quitting basketball?

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Kristen, what type of training are you doing for basketball? You probably won’t be able to reduce the muscle if you continue the same training that you are doing now. But I would recommend doing power walking every day (preferably first thing in the morning) to help get rid of the fat, and that will at least reduce some of the size 🙂 Good luck! xx

      • Kristen says:

        Most of the training we do cardiovascular wise is a lot of sprinting. So sometimes we run

      • Kristen says:

        Most of the training we do cardiovascular wise is a lot of sprinting. So sometimes we run 16 up and backs during the beginning of practice and a few more up and backs and suicides incoorporated every few drills we do. Also, on Wednesdays and Saturdays we usually have weight room where we do calve raises, box jumps, leg presses, and goblet/swing squats with weights. Do you have any suggestions that will help me build leaner and less bulky muscle while losing fat?

  • Precious says:

    His hun ,thank you so much foir this information ,pliz my question is ,how do I get rid of my stomach fat pliz,it really irritating me ,pliz help

  • Mary Jones says:

    Hi Rachael! I feel like you’re the only person that understand different body types react differently to exercise!! People song believe me when I say i gain muscle very quickly and they think I’m making it up.

    I’m a mix of endo and meso. I want to work on reducing my lower stomach/love handles. But my true problem area is upper (mainly inner) thighs. I can tell there’s fat there, but when I contract my muscle, it looks like my leg is around 80% muscle and the rest is fat that just won’t disappear. I can also feel the muscle under my stomach fat. But like I say, my upper legs are my main problem.

    I walk for an hour 3 times a week. I’m worried about adding any HIIT or bodyweight training Incase I bulk up (I bulked up doing BBG using weights)

    I eat really clean. 50% carbs (mainly fruit and vedg and oats) 40% protein, 10% fat. Some days 50% protein 40% carbs.

    I don’t know where I’m going wrong and getting disheartened and frustrated when I still look in the mirror and i look soft after all my efforts!!!

    Xx

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Mary, I’m sorry to hear that you are having these issues 🙁 Try not to get too disheartened! If what you have been doing isn’t working, just sounds like you might need to change it up. First of all with your diet, I would try to reduce your carbs (to around 20-30%) and increase your fat (to around 20-30%). If you feel like your legs are mostly muscle I would avoid any exercises such as squats etc for now until you reduce some muscle. You can still do exercises for your legs but try to do more that focus on your glutes such as donkey kicks, single leg deadlifts, back extensions, leg raises, hip bridges etc. They are less intense but they still work to help tone up. Pilates is actually great to help give you ideas on exercises to tone up without bulking up your quads. I also recommend walking 5-6 times per day, preferably first thing in the morning. Try to start most of your days off with a walk. I hope that helps hun! All the best xx

  • Jane says:

    Hi Rachael,
    Love reading all of your posts. Think you are the only one who writes honestly about cardio and is aware of legs getting too bulky! I have forever been complaining about this to various pts, etc.
    I used to run a lot and found I was slimmer but then definitely started to bulk up and I didn’t like it (plus then I was at a point of doing too much and it was detrimental to my body so had to stop). I stopped and was only walking, which I am still doing now each morning first thing, but only about 35/40 mins and I saw from some of your comments I should perhaps increase the duration??
    I had also tried out Hypoxi. Not sure if you know heaps about that but I’m really torn as to whether it works well for me or not. I find I’m feeling very much up and down about the bulkiness! I’m sure the size of my thighs have increased! I can see the muscle sometimes but it’s like that’s increased but no fat has gone!
    Once a week I do hot yoga.
    My question for you is, do you think I should just purely stick to some decent power walking, and if so how much, etc? And possibly give away the Hypoxi or at least for a while? (I’m sure I feel bigger!!)

    Thanks,
    Jx

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Thanks Jane! I would suggest stopping the Hypoxi and increasing your duration of power walking. I would suggest anywhere from 45-60 minutes, but the longer the better really. If you don’t want to build any more muscle and just decrease fat, then power walking is great. Let me know if you have any other questions! xx

      • Jayne Bettison says:

        Thanks Rachael! I seem to always feel that i bulk up quickly in my thighs. I have done all sorts – cycling, running, barre classes (which I noticed toned me but before long was just feeling far too thick) and bikram yoga (which I loved but limited myself to one class a week as I nearly felt like I had got bigger after it!) Is this because they are all very much resistance training?
        Is it best to just stop everything and focus on only power walking?

        • Rachael Attard says:

          Hi Jayne, it is probably because you have the body type that is already naturally quite muscular and you build muscle easily. So this means that even light resistance training can build up too much muscle for your body. I would suggest taking a few weeks off all resistance training and do a few weeks of power walking only. And then I would introduce running (running does also build some muscle but not as much as resistance training), yoga and pilates to help you tone up / keep toned without adding too much muscle! xx

          • Jayne Bettison says:

            Hi Rachael,
            I commented ages ago (and thank you for your replies!), am feeling like I’ve been fluctuating yet again though! I can’t seem to keep the consistency! Anyway, I have actually started a little running again (which I so missed, I just need to be conscious not to over do it! So currently rather than just power walking each morning, every second morning I have been walking for a bit, then increasing the speed for a few mins, and doing that say 4 or 5 times. Last week I definitely felt like I noticed a difference in just that week (compared to how I was feeling about the hypoxi, which I swear still just bulks me. It must be just me?!!)
            Reason for my post is though – looking to buy your ebooks, and I can’t work out if I am endomorph or mesomorph. Years ago, I would have told you that I was more mesomorph, now I just feel like I gain weight quite easily / it’s harder to get off.

            Any recommendations??

            Thanks,

            Jayne x

          • Rachael Attard says:

            Hi Jayne, that’s great about the walking! 🙂 I would still say that you are a mesomorph. It definitely gets harder to lose weight as you get older due to a decreasing metabolism. But your body type would still be the same. Anyway if you do buy the eBook and decide that you have bought the wrong one, I can send you the other one. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask! 🙂 xx

  • Reetica Pattanayak says:

    Hi, your blog post was extremely helpful. Thank you so much. I just had one question in mind. Is it more beneficial to do cardio first and then do some leg toning exercises or the toning first and the cardio. I want to lose some inner thigh fat and want quick results, because it’s really uncomfortable sometimes. Thank you.

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi hun, happy to help! 🙂 I would suggest doing weights / HIIT circuits first and then cardio xx

  • ANON says:

    Hi Rachel ! I started viewing your website today and it’s seriously inspiring. If I want slim non-bulky legs should I consider sprinting or distance running? Thanks a bunch ! <3

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi hun, thank you! I would suggest more steady state running and walking xx

  • Michele says:

    Hi, your posts are really interesting and informative. I wonder if you could advise me, both myself and daughter are looking to lose fat, but my daughter has large legs naturally muscly and wants to slim them particularly. I can see that walking looks the best bet for this, but we do have an old exercise bike and cross trainer that we were hoping to use, would either of these be able to help her slim her legs, what would you suggest. thanks michele

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Michele, thank you! 🙂 Both the bike and cross trainer are great forms of exercise to burn lots of calories and can help you lose weight. However, they do build a little bit of muscle which your daughter may not like. I would suggest the cross trainer over the bike. But walking / jogging would be best! xx

  • Josie says:

    Hi,
    I’ve been trying to get slimmer body overall. I eat fairly healthy and exercise 6x a week. I do some type of cardio like running or the elliptical for 20-45 minutes then bbg 3x a week and weight training. Right now I’m 110 pounds and 5’1. I’m 16 and would like to be 105. My legs seems too old a lot of fat on the upper part of my legs. I did let up a bit on my healthy eating during the holidays but I’ve been pretty good for a few months now and don’t see any changes. Do you have any advice? I’m very frustrated I hate my legs touching and jiggling

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Josie, I would try keeping a food and exercise diary for 1 week just to see how you’re doing and have a look at where you could improve. I would suggest adding in a lot more LISS (everyday if possible) to help get rid of the fat on your upper legs and do running 2 times per week and BBG 3 times per week. That is plenty of exercise 🙂 Make sure you’re eating the right amount of food too (read my blog post on this here), because even if you’re eating healthy, if you’re eating too much food, you won’t see any weight loss. I hope this helps! Good luck hun xx

      • Josie says:

        Okay thank you so much!!!!

  • Lilly says:

    Hi Rachel,

    Ok. I honestly don’t know what body type I am. Mix of all. I gain muscle and fat easily. My legs are chubby and I really have been wanting that lean long look for ages. It has been a year where I have started running. Long distance running really helped me tone down my legs. I run upto 10k every alternate day. However, I had gone travelling and have completely lost my tone. My concern is if I jog on the treadmill 7km/hr for 45 mins alternate days, is that good enough to tone down calves and burn fat. I read somewhere doing HIIT for 10 mins (Pyramids – start with 6km/hr up to 13km/hr) and then once heart rate gets extremely elevated, run for 45 mins at a speed of 7km.hr for 45 mins? is that good enough?

    Please let me know. Also, I have need your help to get skinny arms. I hate doing weight lifting it bulks me up. Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Thanks.

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Lilly,

      It’s a bit difficult to say without seeing you, but it sounds like you could be an endomorph, or perhaps combined endomorph / mesomorph. I would recommend that you follow the guidelines for endomorph. I would mix up the running with some power walking, as power walking actually burns more fat. However jogging for 45 minutes every second day would definitely be plenty. I would try to increase your speed a little bit from 7km/hr to somewhere around 9 or 10 km/hr. For your arms, have a read of my Victoria’s Secret arm workout blog post – I love these exercises to tone arms without bulking up. I also love boxing – it gives your arms really nice tone without bulking xx

  • Dana says:

    Hi Rachael! Thank you so much for sharing! I do BBG at the moment, and am thinking of doing 30-35 minutes of LISS after the 3 resistance workouts as well 30-35 minutes of LISS after 2 steady state cardio and 1 HIIT session per week. Would that help slim down my legs? Thanks 🙂

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Dana, yes that definitely would! 🙂 xx

  • Shannon says:

    This is amazing information!! Thanks for sharing. I also struggle with the good old stubborn leg fat! Ugh. I will get there with time! xx

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Thanks Shannon! Happy to help. Good luck! xx

  • Amanda says:

    Hi Rachel,

    Thank you so much for this post! I can say I always come back here whenever I doubt myself and my body!

    I have experienced my legs thinning down while power-walking, so I completely agree. However, I don’t have a treadmill at home, don’t want to pay for the gym just to use the treadmill, and it’s very cold outside (first world problems, I know!). I was wondering what your thoughts are on doing LISS on a stationary bike?

    I do feel resistance on my quads when using the bike, so I have a feeling it’s not as effective as slimming legs as power walking, but I wanted to know your opinion.

    Thank you!

    Amanda

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Amanda, you’re welcome! That’s so nice to hear 🙂 You are right – cycling isn’t as good for slimming your legs as running and walking. However I still do 1 cycle class per week and I don’t notice an increase in the size of my quads so as long as you’re not doing lots of cycling, it’s still great. But obviously not as good as walking 🙂 x

  • Lou says:

    Feel inspired! Can’t wait to start power-walking again. Looking forward to the spring to be able to enjoy it to its full advantage. Wish me luck!

    • Rachael Attard says:

      I’m glad I could inspire you! Good luck hun xx

  • Kim says:

    Hi Rachel,

    Thank you soooo much for this eye opening information! When I was younger I had slim calves but after working out with resistance exercises they have grown!!! I always wondered how my friends got so skinny just by walking for 1 hour every day!

    Just wondering will walking help to slim down the muscle on the calves or only help shed fat?

    Also does jump roping increase calf size? I love jump roping and I try and land on my heels to reduce any calf involvment. Would love to hear your thoughts.

    Kind regards,
    Kim

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Kim, you’re welcome! Jump rope does use your calves so if you do it a lot, it will increase the size of your calf muscles. Walking may help to slim down your calves and is probably the best exercise to try, but unfortunately they’re quite a difficult muscle to decrease in size! xx

  • Lilian says:

    Hey! I am around 15. The weird thing about my body is that the upper top of my body is fine.My legs are a different story. I have really short legs and thats because of my calves. My things are fine but my calves are bigger than my thighs. My calves’ skin are tight but not muscly and i really want to make it smaller than my thighs so it won’t actually look short. Please tell me what to do. Ive been trying everything, diets, cardio, running but nothing seems to help. It is always there and impossible to get rid of. How long do you think it will take to slim it down and wha type of exercises do you suggest?

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Lilian, it is very normal for females to have slimmer upper bodies compared to their legs. Calves are quite a difficult body part to decrease in size and are often genetic. You can’t really target calves specifically. Most exercise tends to use your calves so may make them appear bigger. I think the best thing to try would be walking – I hope this helps! xx

  • Sophi says:

    Hii,
    I gym an hour everyday,however it’s jus the cycling that i do and some exercise for the legs. I used to run on the treadmill but my knees hurt everytim i use the treadmill, would walking on the treadmill help to lose weight on the lower body? I’m not fat but i feel my legs should look a little more propositnate with my upper body 😀
    I love staying fit..

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Sophi, walking is great for getting rid of fat on your lower body, and doesn’t matter if it’s on the treadmill or outside 🙂 xx

  • Fuchisa G. says:

    Hello Rachel, I recently found your blog and instantly fell in love with it, thank you very much for this!
    For a while I got stuck with a trainer who didn’t respect my wish not to get bulky. My training program was full of heavy weight lifting squads and lunges which at the end made me quit exercising completely. Now I’m trying find ways to start over.
    My aim is to get my things thinner and push up my butt and round it up a little bit.
    I’m a terrible runner so my preferred cardio is brisk walking but I live in a very cold climate and walking on a treadmill for long is not so much fun. I was wondering your thoughts about swimming as cardio exercise?
    Apart from cardio I was thinking about 2 days of pilates and 1 day of exercises you mention in Victoria’s Secret leg workout -donkey kicks/lying-standing lifts etc- Does this sound good? I also have access to a gym with extensive workout machines. Would there be some specific machines you would recommend for this kind of workout? I find working with machines much easier than exercises on mat.
    Again, thank you very very much!
    Greetings from Finland 🙂

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi lovely, so sorry I did reply to this but it looks like my reply has disappeared.. Swimming is a great cardio exercise and workouts your whole body. I would definitely try swimming! Walking is still great though, when I’m on the treadmill I’ll listen to my favourite songs to make it less boring! Machines are not as good, just because they provide you with more support so you don’t really have to use your whole body. I would try to avoid them, but if you must, they are OK. I would recommend 2 days of the VS circuits, 1 day of pilates and then the other days cardio 🙂 Good luck! xx

  • Lilian says:

    I do tennis once a week(I started it with big calves) and I do leg workouts that targets my glutes, I think because it my calves are not sore the next day. Does it help? Are there anymore specific exercises other than walking?

  • Laura says:

    Hi Rachael!
    Having had a pretty bad year last year, and a decline in exercise, I put on a bit of weight and have noticed a bit of cellulite on the inner thigh area. I have since drastically improved my diet and I’m looking to get back into a regular exercise routine, however do you have any tips on how to reduce the cellulite? Does it require cardio and/or weights or is it a lost cause?

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Laura! Aww I’m sorry to hear that. No you can definitely make improvements to cellulite and you’re on the right track 🙂 Have a read of my blog post on how to get rid of cellulite xx

  • Tracy says:

    Hi Rachael,

    I need your help please. I’ve been running for about 4 years now and have gradually increased the distance I run for. Now I am running every day for 1 hr in the morning and 30 minutes at night. I probably run at 6-8km/hr on average. It may seem a bit excessive but I enjoy running and find it as a great stress reliever. However my legs are becoming more bulkier/muscly and swollen. I am also putting weight on mostly around my legs mainly in the form of muscle. Do you recommend that I stop running altogether and just power walk instead? I’d like to get my lean legs back but I’m not sure what to do?

    Thanks in advance 🙂

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Tracy. That is definitely a lot of running! I would recommend you cut back to running only 2-3 times per week and add in some power walking too. Other forms of exercises can be just as great for stress relieving so I would try to mix it up a bit! Do some gym classes, yoga, resistance training, etc 🙂 xx

  • Els says:

    Hi, this has been really helpful. I’m freaking out because I barely eat anything and everything I do eat is super healthy, I will only ever eat complex carbs once and evening. Plus for the past year I’ve been exercising everyday, starting with a 20min run 3x a week and swimming the other days or doing a YouTube workout but only for about 20 mins, since Xmas I’ve been doing more running probably four or five times a week for 30mins and then swimming the others but now I’ve noticed my leg muscles are bigger and I maybe have more flesh/fat?! I have no idea how because I restrict my diet so much ( never snack between meals )
    My legs are still thin but not as thin as they were… Will the walking make me slim down my muscles and reduce fat? Will it reduce fat in other places? Should I do other execise(I’m worried that I’ll get bulkier still if I do). I also do at least 20mins of yoga everyday. I hope the walking will work, I do it first thing in the morning, I’ve only done it for 4 days so far, how high should me heart rate be? I’m 17? Please I hope you can help, you might be able to tell I’m freaking out, I can barely concentrate on anything else, it’s consuming me!! Thanks

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Els, try not to stress too much about it! This could make things worse. You probably overdid it a bit with the running, but that’s OK. I would run 2 times per week maximum and do more power walking, which will slim down your legs. Running does build some muscle. You can also keep doing some swimming, youtube workouts and yoga a few times per week too. Also when you are walking, your heart rate should be around 120 to 140. I hope that helps! xx

      • Els says:

        Thank you, I think I’ll stick to the power walking and then add in the running again, I don’t think my hr is high enough, I don’t have access to a treadmill atm so it’s a little difficult, thanks for the advice!

        • Els says:

          Actually really sorry to be annoying but when you say run 2x per week how long for? Should it be about 45 mins to try and lose muscle? I read that fasted cardio can decrease muscle mass but I’m not sure. Thanks

          • Rachael Attard says:

            es 45 minutes is fine, it depends on your fitness level. I usually only run for a maximum of 30 minutes. Running in a fasted state may cause your body to use protein for energy, but will also burn fat and carbs xx

  • Bel says:

    Hi Rachael,
    if i did an hour a day on the treadmill power walking, would that slim my legs faster than if i did it the 3 times a week like you suggest to others?
    kindest,
    Bel

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Bel, yes it would. The more power walking you can do the better! 🙂 xx

  • Veronia says:

    Hello Rachel !!
    EMERGENCY 😮
    i have asthma and cannt go running often , but I really really really want skinny thighs 😭 i have depression because of this manner and I really want to know what exercises help in skinnier thighs ? I tried 30-day squat challenge but my thighs just got bigger and bigger 🙁

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi hun, I’m sorry to hear about your asthma. I would try doing more power walking everyday – this will help you lean out your legs 🙂 And if you can, just run 2-3 times per week xx

  • Maya says:

    Hi Rachel,
    I’m currently doing Kayla’s BBG program and I used to combine it with the squat challenge. I can definitely say my thighs gut bigger, probably because of too much squatting. I’m going to make some changes and keep with Kayla’s program but switch the squat challenge with more cardio, such as running and fast walking. I was wondering, since I was extremely frustrated the past few days (I could tell by my cloths that my thighs got bigger and had no idea why), if I’ll run 3 times a week for about 30-40 minutes each, how long do you think I should see results when it comes to my legs getting slimmer?
    Thank you for your help and your post 🙂

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Maya, it’s really hard to say a time frame because it depends on your current body shape and what you want to get to, how much you eat, etc. I think if you stop the squat challenge and add in some running and walking that you could see changes in a few weeks. But it does vary for each person. Good luck! xx

      • Maya Scott says:

        Hi Rachael,
        Thank you for your reply, I’ve already started adding more walking and running instead of the squat challenge, hopefully I’ll be seeing changes soon. Thank you for your post, I wasn’t aware of the influence of squatting.

  • Jayne Bettison says:

    Not sure if this will reply directly to my comment trail, as there was no “reply” option. Thank you for that though! I will get that one.
    Should I get the flat stomach one to use with it?
    Thanks,
    Jayne

  • Traci says:

    Hi,
    I love your site. I have lost about 40 lbs dieting. I have been completing reformer pilates for about 2 years now. I have osteoarthritis in one of my hips, so I try not to do a lot of power walking and definitely no running, due to possible bursitis flare-up. I do treadmill work for cardio. I began working out with weight training and resistance last year, and leaned my upper body, but now have a fat on my thighs. I did weight training with a trainer and think this may be the result. In my situation, how is it possible to get leaner legs and thighs with my restrictions?

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Traci, what type of cardio work do you do for treadmill? Walking? I understand that you can’t do a lot of walking due to your restrictions but I would do the amount that you can, and perhaps modify your resistance training so that it is lighter and more reps, focusing on bands and weight exercises, rather than heavier weights to help you lean up. Also remember diet is very important. Good luck! xx

  • aneema says:

    hi i want to slim down my bulky thighs and get a thigh gap hopefully im thinking of doing liss *2 week at speed 5.5/6 45 minutes i also need to tone my body as i have loose skin from loosing 2 stone what toning excercies do u recommend which wont lead to bulking ?

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi hun, I would recommend walking 3 days per week if you can, and have a read of my blog posts here and here for exercises that won’t bulk. Otherwise you could always check out my eBooks 😉 xx

  • Jackie says:

    Hi Rachael,
    I just came across your blog, and it makes so much sense! I work out consistently (5-6 days a week) . Have for years. Also follow a low carb meal plan. I am 5’9″ and weigh @143 lbs. my legs carry my weight and bulk up quickly, so I think I’m a combo mesomorph/endomorph. I recently completed a series of training sessions and although I didn’t lose the 5pounds I wanted I was happy with the new definition I was seeing— but then I put on my summer shorts and they are tighter in the legs!!! I am not happy, as I work so hard to stay fit. Now I think I know the answer. Too much lower body strength training. I was doing multiple reps of squats and lunges, probably close to 150 total. Just using my own body weight, but clearly too many! I have 3 questions for you:
    1. I’ve never been a big runner. I have been trying to run your suggested 8mph for 1-2 min, walk 60 sec. Way too fast for me! Even running @5.6 mph., I find my heart rate at 144 or so. Isn’t that too high for fat burning?
    I am 47 years old. Please advise.
    2. Will rowing machine cause legs to bulk? I like this as an alternative to running and power walking. FYI- my heart rate power walking is again @138 or so…
    3. I also enjoy jazz/hip hop dancing. Will this exercise bulk up my legs?
    4. After reading some of your posts, I think I should hold off on any lower body resistance training until I lose some leg mass. How long should this take and where would you begin once I start back?

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Jackie, I’m so sorry for my late reply. I need to approve all messages before they appear on the website so that’s why you didn’t see it. And I haven’t had much access to internet as I’m travelling. Anyway to answer your questions! 🙂 Also, it sounds like you are the mesomorph body type hun.
      1. In the 2 minute run, you are supposed to get your heart rate up very high (the fitter you are, the more fat you can burn at a higher heart rate – but walking is better for fat burning). Having a heart rate of 144 for your age is great for the long distance sprints so keep doing what you’re doing! If you find it too hard, you can slow it down a bit, or just do 3-5 sprints, and build your way up.
      2. Rowing is great for burning lots of calories but may cause your legs to bulk up. Running is better.
      3. I love hip hop dancing too! No this shouldn’t bulk up your legs. Keep doing what you love!
      4. Losing muscle takes quite a bit of time. I would suggest 4-8 weeks. I would avoid any weighted exercises and things like squats / lunges. But you can do some other lighter lower body exercises – check out this blog post for some ideas. Once you start back again, I would start back with 2-3 sessions per week and do lighter resistance training, with perhaps 1 HIIT session per week (just using body weight for lower body exercises) xx

  • Charlotte says:

    Hi Rachael, i do a lot of walking but i also like to use bikes/cross trainers at the gym. I was wondering if my legs will get smaller alternating between level (0-1) intensity or whether i should stick with 0 intensity and do it for longer? Thank you xx

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Charlotte, sorry for my late reply. If you’re talking about intensity on the treadmill, I would stick with 0 and do it for longer. The longer you walk, the better your results will be xx

      • Charlotte says:

        Thank you for the advice! Would you recommend staying with level 0 on bikes etc too? At the moment I alternate between 0-1. Thank you xx

        • Rachael Attard says:

          Hi Charlotte, cycling won’t get the same results as walking / running unfortunately. But I wouldn’t cycle at 0 as it is a bit of waste of time. I would cycle at the highest resistance you can maintain xx

  • Kimberley says:

    Hey Rachael,

    So i’m feeling really down about how much weight i’ve put on recently. It’s just my thighs that seem to be the problem and a bit of tummy fat. I’m a petite girl, therefore I have short legs so they always look bigger. I’ve always had quite muscular thighs from being an athlete and team player throughout school/university. I just want to really slim them down so they make me feel so disgusting when I wear anything.
    If I am aiming to shed maybe a whole size how long do you think it would take? Plus what do you recommend is the best for me??
    Thank you !! X

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Kimberley, I’m so sorry to hear this 🙁 It’s hard to say how long it will take, because it really depends on your starting point. But if you’ve recently gained weight, I would estimate it would take 1-2 months. The best exercises would be running (burns lots of calories) and lighter resistance training so you don’t bulk up your legs. Also don’t forget that when you are trying to lose weight, diet is the most important thing. So make sure you’re eating healthy but also eating the right amount of food for weight loss. Good luck! xx

  • Deirdre says:

    Hi Rachel, I lost weight from walking briskly on the beach most days for 1 hour. Some days I added an other 30 minutes walk around the town. For the first time (and I’m no spring chicken) my thighs did slim down. I’m 5″4″ in height and my thighs went from 22 1/2 inches to 19 1/2 inches but recently I have being eating more and only doing the beach walk so I have regained a little weight. Now my thighs are 20 1/4 inches. But my upper body looks better with the little extra weight, I was 110lbs now I’m 115lbs. What I’d like to know is should I do extra walking (I don’t run) and if I do, is the weight going to come off my upper body first. I would like my upper body to stay as it is but I really want to lose the weight from my thighs again. Thanking you in advance. P.S. first time I ever posted a comment.

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Deirdre, congratulations on your hard work! If you do lose more weight then unfortunately you will lose it from your upper body first. I used to have the same problem! Whenever I liked how my legs looked, my upper body didn’t look healthy. The best way to fix this is to do some resistance training for your upper body so it looks more toned and not skinny. I would keep doing the walking to slim down your legs and do some resistance training for your upper body. Also, I’ve found boxing is the best exercise to get your upper body toned quickly and without adding bulk xx

      • Deirdre says:

        Hi Rachel, thank you so much for your speedy reply. Now I feel motivated to get started again. I will take your advice and see how it goes. Just an other question if you don’t mind, I eat porridge every morning and I also eat 1 slice of wholemeal bread with lunch, is this too many carbs? While I was on my weight loss plan I continued to eat wholegrain carbs and I still lost weight, what is your opinion on this. Thanks again

  • Elly says:

    Hi Rachel,

    I stumbled across your blog today its great!

    my fitness journey is a bit of a long one haha.. i lost quite a bit of weight on my own and now i weigh around 56kg and i am about 159-160cm tall.

    I have been on holiday with my family and have completely gone off the band wagon in terms of diet, i also had an episode of binging the week before. probably due to the fact that i have been tracking calories and macros for a very long time. I saw a sports nutritionist and he had be on 1600cal training days, with a 50%carb, 20%fat and 30% protein split and 1400cal on non training days with 40%c, 30% fat and proteins. this seemed to work pretty well.

    i have a personal trainer and have fallen in love with heavy resistance training. i weight train around 4 days a week and i do not do a lot of cardio. basically my point is, after this week of terrible eating i truly feel i have gained weight in my stomach area and face excessively. i was thinking of when i get home to try a 40% protein, 30% carb and 30% fat ratio. my legs are pretty slim and have definition. i hold most of my weight in my back/arms and stomach therefore i dont really know what body type i am. do you suggest me to add in cardio or HIIT workouts? Whilst being on holiday i have done fasted hiit cardio twice. 30 second sprint and 30 second rest for 20 mins.

    let me know what you think. i just want to start a fresh and lean out to get back to the way i was and maintain! xxx

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Elly, I love long stories 😀 I’m sorry to hear about your binging and falling off the bandwagon. Honestly the macro split doesn’t really matter, but it would be good to keep carbs under 50%. The main thing is to watch how much you’re eating in general. If you’re trying to lose weight or get back to normal, you need to be at a calorie deficit. It’s hard to know your body type with the description – perhaps if you gave me your weight / height I might be able to help further 🙂 I would definitely add in some HIIT cardio or HIIT weights sessions to burn lots of calories and get you back to feeling your best! Good luck! xxx

      • Elly says:

        Hey Rachel,

        Thanks for your reply:)

        My weight is 57kg and I am about 159-160cm tall!

        Hope this helps:) Looking forward to hearing from you:) I have began to add in 10 mins of HIIT sprints after my strength training sessions. 30 seconds off and 30 seconds on too!

        • Rachael Attard says:

          Hi Elly, I would say you are probably the mesomorph body type. I would also try to do longer sprint sessions – read this blog post here for a full explanation as to why xx

  • Vidisha Chawla says:

    Hey Rachel,
    I love the way you write and you really explain your methods in a detailed way. I’m a mesomorph and i’m not fat but i’ve got bigger thighs compared to the rest of my body. I used to walk and run in intervals on the treadmill for an hour and past 1month i’ve been running for 45mins on the treadmill , which is around 6km. But my weight is stagnant and the fat does not seem to budge around my thighs much. Please suggest me a good cardio routine. It’ll be really helpful.
    Thank you!

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Vidisha 🙂 When trying to lose weight, diet is THE most important thing. So if you’re doing lots of exercise but still not losing weight, it is most likely your diet. As for your cardio, I would try and run 2-3 times per week (45 minutes is plenty), and do as much walking as you can 🙂 Good luck! xx

  • Hazel says:

    Hi Rachael! I forgot whether I have posted my comment, so here I am posting again. I really love the way you write! It’s so informative and I can feel that you really yearn to help the readers achieve their ideal body! Thanks so much 🙂 I tried out the “Fat burning HIIT workout to get lean legs” yesterday. During the workout, my calves start to ache quite badly! After the workout, I did some stretches to warm down, mainly focusing on stretching my calves. So I was wondering whether I am doing the workout (are my calves suppose to ache that much?) the right way as I want to achieve leaner calves instead of bulkier ones. And also, does stretches focusing on calves help to achieve leaner calves? Your reply will be much appreciated!! Thanks in advance!!:)

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi lovely, aww thank you so much! I’m glad you enjoy my blog 🙂 Do you mean you did the 400m fast face runs? Running does use your calves, but if you do not have good running technique, you may feel them more than other people would. A lot of people run on their toes and there is a lot of debate as to whether this is the best method but I think your foot should strike the ground heel to toe action (heel hits the ground first). Running on your toes will use your calves more. Also, running on a treadmill with even a slight incline, or running outside on incline will use your calves. So I recommend trying to run on a flat surface if you can. Stretching won’t really lean out your calves, but I definitely recommend stretching them after each workout! xx

  • Charlotte Clare says:

    Heya. Just wondered how tall are you? Being 5 ft 3 i find it even harder to get lean legs, even doing lots of cardio and reaching a size 6. My upper body tones really well, but my legs are my problem area. Any tips for us shorties? x

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Charlotte, I am 5 ft 6. The shorter you are, the shorter your legs are going to be unfortunately. I’m not sure what your workout program consists of, but for shorter frames (especially if you are having trouble leaning out your legs), I would recommend very light resistance training for your lower half and focus on exercises to tone your butt rather than bulking up your legs (this means avoiding squats, lunges, and HIIT exercises such as burpees – even though these exercises are great, they will bulk you up). I hope that helps! xx

      • Charlotte Clare says:

        Thank you! I do quite a lot of HIIT and burpees so you recommend leaving those out? Would it be better then for me to do a 30 min run on the treadmill etc than doing sprints for 10 minutes? I also walk to and from work which is 30 mins of brisk walking each way. Thanks for your help x

  • Archi Agrawal says:

    Plz help me !
    I really really need to shed thigh and hips fat within a month !
    For me cycling is better option or whisk walking !
    Plz help !
    I atleast need to shed 2-3 inches in one month of my hips and thighs ! 😢

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Archi, when you’re trying to lose weight, diet is SO important! I would make sure you get your diet 100% and just use exercise to help you get your results quicker. But diet should be your main focus. Cycling should be fine – anything to burn maximum calories and cycling does this! xx

  • Patricia says:

    Hello,
    Im 67 years old and need to lose 15 to 20 pds.
    most of this weight is in my thighs and hips.
    Most of my life I have been fit with a curvy body and
    perfect weight and muscular legs. However, I cannot run or power walk for more than 45 min without my knees being sore. I take a spinning class once a week,
    with no problem except more than that makes too much muscle. Would your program be ideal for me?

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Patricia, yes I do think my program would be ideal for you. There is a bit of power walking in it, but you can do it for 45 minutes maximum or split it up over the day. Also none of the running is longer than 30 minutes, but if you find running difficult, you can substitute it for another type of cardio or walking. If you do buy it, I can help you modify it to suit you 🙂 Spin class is also a great type of cardio so I think doing this once per week is still OK xx

  • Adeline says:

    Hello Rachael!

    Please ignore my previous comment as I’ve made a mistake.

    I’m 21 years old with height and weight of 153cm and 41.5kg, respectively.

    For my diet, I have asked a nutritionist to calculate my macros (60%C, 20%F and 20%P) because I’m trying to gain weight to gain lean muscles. I have been eating 70% clean. Just wonder if I am eating too much carbs?

    Also, I’m currently doing BBG (week 11), weight lifting and rugby. I’ve seen improvement for my arms and abs however, my thighs seem to become bigger.

    I know that power walking will help with the slimming of thighs as it helps to burn fat. My percentage body fats is 18.9 and it’s in the normal range. How long should I power walk and what speed would you recommend?

    Hope to hear from you soon. Thanks x

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Adeline! Power walking is great because it really just gets rid of excess fat on your lower half and doesn’t cause much weight loss. So I would recommend walking for about 45 to 60 minutes, and around 6km/hr should be a good speed for your height. You don’t need to be puffed or anything, just slightly elevated heart rate. Also, if you don’t have time to do walking for an hour, you can accumulate this over the day. Both will work! I use the health app on my iPhone to track how many kms I’ve done during the day 🙂 With your carbs, it might be a little bit too much. If you have eaten low carb in the past, jumping up to high carb might result in weight gain. But if your body can tolerate carbs, it might be fine. I would just monitor and see how you go and if you need, drop it down xx

      • Adeline says:

        Thank you so much for your reply (:

        I’ve a few quick questions though:
        1. How many times a week should I power walk?
        2. Is my body considered ectomorph even though my thighs are bigger? Or am I a combination of ectomorph and mesomorph?

        Yep, that’s all. Have a lovely day ahead x

  • Alex says:

    Hi Rachel! I LOVE your website. I have started my weight loss journey recently since I got into rowing at a local rowing club and I am absolutely loving the workout. Mostly is indoor rowing on the erg and I was wondering if this type of workout will help me slim my legs, I don’t really want to put on extra bulk on them.
    Thanks in advance!
    -Alex

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Alex, good for you! Unfortunately, rowing probably won’t help you slim down your legs. But rowing is still a great full body exercise so it is great for your weight loss journey. I would add in some cardio to help slim down your legs. Good luck! xx

  • Lisa says:

    I run approximately 4 days a week. About 3 to 4 miles ea. I also do weights 2 times a week. I’m a petite person 4’11. Well I have gained about 5 lbs and my thigh have gotten big. To wear it’s hard to find jeans. What should I do to slim the thighs down?

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Lisa, running does build a bit of muscle so it could be because of this, or because of your weights, or both. I would reduce the running down to maybe twice per week and do more power walking to slim them down. With the weights, I would try to avoid too many heavy leg exercises and do more lighter resistance style workouts (higher rep, lighter weight with body weight only or resistance bands). Have a look at this blog post for some exercise ideas. Good luck! xx

  • Millie says:

    Hi Rachael, your posts are so great!
    Just wondering about a few things:
    Well, I have a skinny/slim body type. I’m 177cm and 56kg (17 years old).
    I have done lots of exercise the last 5 years or so – with at least 2-4 hours a day of ballet, swimming and my own exercises (sorry I have to tell you all this it’s just I think it might be better if there is more background to understand!)
    Recently, I have started to not do as much, just ab and arm exercises daily – floor work and little weights with lost of repetitions, and going to the gym at least 3 times a week and doing TRX and some form of cardio – elliptical, treadmill, sometimes bikes

    Just after I stopped doing do much I realized my body had changed, I looked slightly less toned in my arms, so I started to go to the gym to do the things I just mentioned and train for cross country on the treadmill most days. Now that cross country is over and I haven’t had anything specific to work towards my legs seem to have got bulkier and I don’t know why, could it be I’m not used to running as I am used to doing swimming and ballet?
    I am not running as much as I was now because I have been really put off using any equipment at the gym and have just started doing floor work, but I know it’s not enough, I just don’t know what I should be using to get my body looking how it did before?

    Before I started running I never noticed my legs, but know they feel more heavy to me and I don’t know why? The more I run the bulkier they feel, which is such a shame because it makes me feel good while I’m doing it. I have recently tried using a foam roller and stretching before and after every time I exercise to avoid a tight and bulky feeling. But this week I feel bulkier than ever.

    In September this year – I thought my body was the best it had ever been and I wasn’t trying too hard. I my legs were looking skinny, slight definition but really good proportions. I was eating the same as I normally do and generally feeling better about things. My legs felt really light and I think my clothes looked better! At this point I had started just come back from my first every time off doing my daily exercises (after going away for 2 weeks) and had just started to try some new daily exercises! Maybe it was the changing up of routines that helped or the time off, I don’t know?!

    To most people I probably look skinny/slim, but I just don’t feel as light. I have also been sitting studying a lot for the last couple of months – I suppose that could have something to do with it – perhaps?

    I am so excited to be done with exams so I can start to exercise lots everyday – I have been thinking of swimming everyday again, using TRX at the gym, daily floor exercises (like some of the VS ones – especially for arms and Izabel Goulart videos – I love!) – with resistance bands, sliding plates and 1kg hand weights and maybe running (longer distances maybe a bit slower than before)! And a bit of boxing, maybe skipping? And going to the outdoor gym.

    Throughout the year I have been really looking forward to going on long beach runs in the summer but I am worried that bulky feeling will come back. I have to admit, when I was running previously, particularly training for cross country, I was running at 10-12km/h for only 20/30 mins each time, most days (always no incline) then once a week 10km (about 40 mins on elliptical) once a week. So would you recommend running for a longer amount of time at a slower speed for leaner looking legs?

    Sorry it’s a lot, I just want to know what other people think

    I have an event coming up very soon and I want to feel/look my best for it (it’s in 20 days) so I was thinking if I start my new idea for a plan then I will be in better shape?

    This probably sounds like I’ve gone a bit overboard but I am really interested in nutrition and health and hope I can study it one day because I find it really interesting! I have written down what I have eaten everyday since July so I can track my progress and make sure I’m eating enough of the right things. I have also been eating super clean (including drinking lots of water and sometimes coconut water) for the past few years, particularly the last three years with no refined sugar or refined carbs, dairy free, lots of lean protein (do I need more for more definition in muscles rather than bulk?), vegetables and some fruit, good fats and legumes and more carbs like spelt, quinoa, sweet potato, brown rice and buckwheat. Really foods like sushi, quinoa salads, soups, green juices are my faves.

    What do you think of the new plan? Do you think it sounds like it will put me back to where I was earlier this year in September or better? Also are there any other types of cardio that you recommend, like things I could do at home (to burn fat and keep my body looking toned while I study before I can get into a proper exercise routine again)? And tips for generally feeling more lean when I don’t. Sorry I feel like I just need to tell someone all of this because recently I have been thinking about what to do! I think I’ve been doing lots of things right but haven’t recently seen results but I am willing to work hard to see some!

    I am really willing to put in lots of time to see some great results I just don’t want to spend time doing types of exercise that will make my feel bulky! – instead lean and ready for anything!

    Thank you so much, Millie

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Millie, thanks for your comment! I might respond to you via email 😉 xx

  • Alexa says:

    Hi Rachael,
    Have been reading your articles and comments and I find them eye opening. I will just share a background below:

    I have always been overweight and most of the fat has been concentrated on the thighs. I am 35 and I have put on 10 kilos in the last two years despite now going crazy in eating and exercising on and off. My fat zones have also expanded as I find that now suddenly my arms are bigger, bat wings etc.
    I hired a personal trainer a month ago and he’s been only focusing on weights. 15 reps and a lot of machines. We also do squats, lunges , the works.
    I have had no visible change and weight hasn’t come down either.

    I need your help to understand what should be my diet and exercise basics. I am very motivated and want to invest in myself and become fit. I have body fat all over and need to lose about 18 kilos.

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Alexa! If you want to focus on weight loss, I would suggest that your workouts include HIIT weights (no heavy weights, more high intensity and body weight stuff) and cardio. You should lose weight quickest with these types of workouts. In terms of diet, you need to be eating at a calorie deficit to lose weight. Have a look at this blog post which will help you workout how much you should be eating. I would just try to eat healthy 80% of the time, don’t go too crazy. And to keep yourself from exercising on and off, stick to a workout schedule that you can manage. If 4 times per week is all you can do, that’s great and just stick with that! Good luck xx

      • Rachael Attard says:

        Oh and have a look at this blog post here for the type of HIIT that I recommend! xx

  • Sam says:

    hi Rachael! I came across your page while looking to make a few changes in my current workout routine. I wouldn’t say I’m a fitness expert but I’ve been working out for about 5 years now consistently, trying different things to see what works best for my body. I have a hard time identifying with body types as I have a naturally long, lean and skinny upper body (arms, chest and stomach) while my legs, hips, thighs and even calves are where my fat is stored. I know I work really hard both in the gym and in the kitchen to maintain a healthy lifestyle, however, no matter how strict I am, my legs are thick and fatty with visible cellulite. I’ve been lifting for about 2 years now and am happy with my upper body results (Lean, muscular and toned arms and back.) but my legs, although strong, are still not where I need them to be. I’m just stuck!!! I feel as though running and Pilates was great for my lower half and core, but lifting is best for my upper body!!! Just not sure where to go from here… any advice?

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Sam! You are right in that the lifting is great for your upper body (and core), but won’t help you lean down your lower half. You need cardio for that! I used to be the exact same as you. Now I have changed my way of training to include lighter resistance training like this which will help keep your upper body and core toned, but won’t add size to your legs. And I also do cardio to keep my legs slim. I would recommend the same for you! xx

  • Ying says:

    Hi Rachel,

    I’m wondering, I’m not a big fan of running/jogging. Could I do dancing instead? Would that work as the low-moderate cardio to get lean legs?

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Ying, I don’t think dancing would work as well as running/jogging, but if you enjoy it, you should do it! And I would also try do to lots of power walking to slim down your legs xx

  • Carolina says:

    Hi . First i want to say that i’m from argentina so my english isn’t good . I started cardio classes weeks ago .I see good results with cardio , my stomach is more flat . I ‘m not too fat but my legs and thighs are bigger and i noted that with cardiothese parts of my body are like before and I feel more muscle . I don’t know why i can’t lost weight in my legs . Do you recommend me stop cardio dance ? I dont want stop cardio because this works for other zones but i dont want keep with cardio and have more and more muscle .

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Carolina, your English is fine 🙂 Perhaps you could keep doing the dance classes but reduce how much you are doing it per week. Replace some of the dance workouts with running/walking to help slim down your legs and other types of lighter resistance training like this, to help keep your whole body toned without building too much muscle! xx

  • Hanna says:

    Hi Rachel! First of all, I just discovered your site and I’m in love! I’m going to read every single page, I feel it 🙂
    Having skinny toned legs was always my dreams. Well, I’m a bit over-weight but I always had the lower part of my body skinnier than the upper part, and when I lose, I lost first from the lower part as well. I wanted to use your advice and start power walking in the morning before going to university, but I don’t know how much is enough. I have about 2 hours and a half free before classes start so I was thinking of going power walking every second day for about 1 hours and a half and the other days try weight training stuff for about 30 min to build the muscles. If combined with a healthy diet, would it be enough? And is it necessary to have a rest day during the week?
    Thanks for you answer ! 🙂

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Hanna, aww glad you love my blog! You seem to be the opposite of most women, which is probably a good thing! That would definitely be enough to help you make some changes and lose weight. You don’t necessarily need a rest day but I would just see how your body feels and if you need one, take it. Good luck! xx

  • Tori says:

    Hey Rachael!
    Just discovered your blog a couple days ago, and I have to say that I am very impressed!
    Quick question: do you think barre workouts are excellent for getting slim, toned legs? Like vs models? I’m asking because a ton of models like barre, and I also like it too. At the same time though, i don’t want to bulk up my legs. Thanks girl! ❤️

  • Canaria says:

    Hi! I saw a comment mentioning like “can i still get slim legs without quitting basketball?”
    I searched the reply but i cant.. So can you please reply? I really need to know because i m dying to play bball and yet on the other hand i hav to worry abt my calves which is not too big yet not slim.. I really need your advice.. Thank you

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi hun, I don’t think you would get bigger legs playing basketball, but I’m not too sure what the training is like. Definitely play it if you want to! And just see how things go but I think you’ll be fine xx

  • Calla says:

    Hi there!

    Ever since I started ice hockey around 4 years ago (I’m 12) my thighs have gotten noticably more muscular and big. I’ve been doing pilates, barre and running, but they’re not slimming down. How can I have lean but still muscular legs fit for hockey but without quitting any of the sports I love?

    xx,
    Calla

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Calla, I saw your other comment too. I will reply to you via email 🙂 xx

  • Anna says:

    Hi Rachael, great blog! I’m quite petite (5.3″) with relatively muscular legs (even without exercising at all) and I don’t have much fat although I suppose I could still lose more around my thights. I would like to reduce the size of my quadriceps and harm strings to make my legs look leaner. Each time I try aerobics or even jogging I feel it’s making my legs bulkier. Therefore I’m wondering what kind of exercise/cardio I could do to make the muscles leaner… Does power walking tone muscles as opposed to build muscles? Also thought about yoga to elongate the muscles. Would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks!

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Anna, thank you! By the way you describe your body, it sounds like you are the endomorph body type. I would avoid jogging if that makes your legs bigger – jogging does build some muscle but not as much as weights. Walking will definitely help you lean out your legs. And yoga and pilates are great exercises that you could try to help you tone up without building too much muscle. You could also have a look at some of the free skinny legs eBook workouts I have on my blog. I think these exercises will also help you tone up without building too much muscle, and could be worth a try. Good luck! xx

  • angel says:

    Hi rachel,can you please help me I have big calves and I don’t know what to do…and that makes me hate my legs which looks bulky and I hate it…people are already laughing at me because of this that’s why I want to do something to make it thinner..

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi hun, I’m sorry to hear this! Have a read of this blog post on how to slim calves xx

  • Fara says:

    Hi rachel. I would like to know if jump rope is effective for slim down thighs and butt? As i really hate my lower body so much. Also, ive always do running for 6 miles++ a week, there is sometimes i dont want to go out of my place and decided to do cardio at home. So i would love to hear your opinion about jumping rope moderate way for slimming down thighs and butt

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Fara, nothing will slim down your legs like walking and running. Jump rope is good for helping you lose weight, but not necessarily for slimming down legs sorry 🙁 xx

  • Aimee says:

    Hi there Rachael! Thank you for helping to clear things up.. I was pretty confused on how to start but it’s been a good month now and i can start to see some small changes! I just have a few things i need to get clarified:
    I’m quite young, 15, and in between a mesomorph and an ectomorph, tho i think that I am quite skinny fat ( my calves and thighs fluctuate very easily depending on what i eat and during morning and night) I am generally quite slim in the upper body but quite large on the lower body – my hips (bones) are pretty wide too.I think this has been the case for a few years now especially when i reached the start of puberty because before I never really had much exercise nor sufficient food and nutrition. As a teen, ive recently seemed to gain more fat and weight especially in the lower half, so ive started doing morning or afternoon power walks/light jogging for at least 30 minutes everyday combined with HIIT (targeted area e.g. legs) on every other day. Apart from a few changes, I dont see much of a ‘permanent change’ as in the same form for more than a few days as my legs seem to fluctuate during the day. Most results are only very very short term and it is so hard to control my snack cravings/ have a healthier diet.
    Im very sorry for writing such a long comment, Rachael, but if you have any advice or tips it would be greatly appreciated! Thank you! xx

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Aimee, it’s hard to tell because you are so young, your body will still change in the next few years. So I would try not to stress too much about not seeing permanent change. I would focus more on full body HIIT rather than just lower body HIIT. This is because too much HIIT for your lower body can actually cause you to bulk up and build too much muscle. Have a look at this blog post for a full body hiit workout that won’t add bulk. This will also help balance out your lower and upper body. Just keep doing what you’re doing babe, eat well, do hiit and cardio and keep healthy while your body is still changing and developing xx

  • Page says:

    Hi Rachel… I am 4’11 and weigh 100 pounds but I just want to be more slim and toned in my butt an thighs and no matter how much I run, speed walk, intervals , cut calories … I’m a vegetarian I only drink water my upper thigh and buttocks will just not slim and get tight like the rest of my. Body.. I just don’t know what to do, if you have any advice .., please and thank you

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi hun! Aww I’m sorry to hear this. If it’s just your butt and thigh area, then I would suggest doing walking and running (on a flat surface) to get rid of excess fat, and then doing some specific exercises to tone your butt, such as this and this. Just keep on going hun! It takes a long time to change your lower body and it is the hardest part to change, so you really need to be consistent and stick at it! xx

  • Grace pensiero says:

    Hello Rachael,

    So excited I found you!! For years I have been telling people that my legs get bulky with spin classes and everyone looks at me like I’m crazy. I’ve been told for years also that you cannot build muscle in your legs unless you left a very very heavy weights. I have found this to be untrue even 10 pound weights I feel like my legs get a little bulky .
    I definitely noticed when I walk at a fast pace of 4.7 on the treadmill that my legs definitely slim down a bit. I was wondering what you think of a rowing machine. Are used to use the rowing machine when I belong to a gym it made my arms look fantastic just wondering what you think it will do to the legs I’m not using any weight on it it would just be the air resistance.
    Also, I think I’m a short/petite version of a endomorph- or in between a meso & endomorph. Which program do you suggest I buy?
    Thank you!!!
    Grace

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Grace, aww I’m glad you found me too! I think a little bit of rowing is fine, but rowing will bulk up your legs too, so just be careful not to overdo it. Boxing is amazing for your arms and won’t bulk up your legs so you could try that! Also, when people are between body types, I usually get them to follow the harder guide, which would be endomorph 🙂 xx

  • Grace says:

    Do you give a vegetarian option for the meal plan?
    Thanks!!

    • Rachael Attard says:

      The meal plan isn’t suitable for vegetarians sorry hun. But what I do for anyone who is vegetarian or vegan and buys my eBook, is send them through a list of alternative foods and recipes. Plus I’m always here for help! 🙂 xx

  • Mandi says:

    Do you know supermodel Elena Kurnosova? She must know some secrets too… Her legs are not only skinny and perfect but super long!!!! Just check her insta @kurnosova.

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Thanks Mandi, I’ll check her out! xx

  • Christina Gordon says:

    I only have an elliptical and use it for an hour each day with 0-1 resistance level. My calves seem bigger but I also do the “tone it up” workouts and some HIIt workouts during the week. Could the elliptical contribute to bulky calves and thighs even at a slow place and low resistance or do U think it’s more from the toning workouts. I’m 5’3 and about 110 lbs. I’d say mesomorph type. Would I be better off getting a treadmill for walking or a “gazelle machine” for cardio? I don’t really have an area to walk outside

    • Christina Gordon says:

      I forgot to mention The elliptical I use is the pro form 16.0 mme. There is no incline on this machine.

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Christina, it is probably a combination of both. Yes a treadmill would be better than the elliptical, but you could always just try reducing the HIIT workouts first and see if that makes a difference! xx

  • Jane says:

    Would power walking for 10,000 steps or more for 6 times a week slim down my muscular calves? I sometimes feel it sore, but does that mean it is a sign that it is getting bulkier? I am 5’2″, 16 years old, I am 128 pounds, and I don’t know what body type I am but I think I am a mesomorph/endomorph. I know I need to lose my entire weight because my BMI is in the higher end of the healthy range. Do you know how I can diet in order to lose weight? Honestly, you motivate me so much honestly. Like I comment a lot on your blogs, and I feel like you are so informative. Because whenever I see your blogs, I see a woman that also went through these daunting experiences that we are going through right now, but you persevered and made through it! Feel free to advise me any other methods to slim muscular calves, and thank you so much!

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Jane, I actually have a blog post on how to slim calves so have a read of that! Walking should help you slim down your calves, but it is hard to lose muscle here. The blog post will give you some better info. I think perhaps you are a combined meso / endo too, but your body will still probably change a little bit in the next few years (mine definitely changed for the better from 16 as I got older!). With your diet, you need to reduce sugar (easier said than done!) and also eat at a calorie deficit. Have a look at this blog post to calculate your daily calorie intake, and then this one which is a free diet plan I wrote for my blog. Otherwise just type “diet” into the search bar of my blog, and all the diet blog posts will come up! xx

  • Mel says:

    Hi Rachel, I stumbled upon your site and am so happy I did as I totally agree with what you are saying about “skinny legs”. I’m mesomorph now (35) but was very thin when I was younger without any exercise or diet. Once I turned 30 I noticed I became “skinny fat” due to diet (alcohol mainly haha) and less time to exercise as working more! I definitely also agree with people saying “don’t focus on that area, focus on overall strength” it’s frustrating when that’s the only visible problem area and you want to change it! Interval running and walking definitely worked for me, low resistance weights, and less carbs at night, high protein diet, and also aqua jogging was great. What are your thoughts on aqua jogging and swimming for lean legs?

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Mel, I’m happy you found my blog too! I’ve actually never even heard of people doing aqua jogging but it sounds fun. I don’t think it would be as good as walking and running for slimming legs (because you’re pushing against resistance, it will build more muscle). But it is a good alternative if you have any injuries and it wouldn’t hurt to do it 1-2 times per week. I love swimming and it is great cardio. I don’t know if it will really help you get leaner legs specifically, but it will help you slim down all over xx

  • Lynne says:

    Hi Rachael! Great website; glad I found you. I’ve got a question. What do you think about kettlebells as a way for resistance training but for also slimming down? I am thinking of doing kettlebell workouts 3x a week. I usually follow those workouts with Jessica Smith’s walking DVD’s. (BTW, is that a good alternative for walking? I get home late in the evenings and can’t do walking outside, plus her workouts are a lot of fun. 😀 ) On the days, I’m not doing kettlebell work, I’ll do an hour to hour and half of dance cardio or power walking dvd’s. Is that a good alternative for slimming up? Mostly I wanted to know what you thought about kettlebells. Thanks!

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Lynne, kettlebells can be good, but it really depends on what exercises you’re doing with the kettlebells.. Squats, deadlifts, lunges, etc won’t slim down your legs (if that’s your goal). I had a look at the Jessica Smith walking DVDs and they sound good! Nothing will be as effective as actually walking outside, but these sound like a great alternative xx

      • Lynne says:

        Hi Rachael! Thank you so much for replying. It’s awesome that you answer all your comments, even from old posts! Yes, I will be careful about the squats, deadlifts and lunges. I will either limit the reps or use no weights when I do them. And when the weather gets better, I’ll walk outside more. But in the meanwhile, I will hit up the Jessica Smith walking dvds. Thank you for all you do with help the ladies slim down our legs! 😀

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