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I know that some people want to grow the size of their legs, but my blog is mostly focused on getting slimmer, more feminine looking legs, rather than the bigger and musclier look. So this post will focus on reasons your legs aren’t changing in terms of getting slimmer.

These are the most common mistakes I see women making when they complain that they aren’t getting results in their legs.

1. YOU DON’T DO ENOUGH OF CARDIO

I know a lot of trainers won’t agree with me, but cardio is the best exercise for slimming down your legs, especially low intensity cardio such as walking. Walking somehow seems to get rid of excess fat on your thighs much better than any other form of workout. But the thing with walking, is that you need to do a lot of it.

If you’re adding walking into your workout program but not seeing results, it’s probably because you’re not doing enough. Aim for at least 10,000 steps per day!

Also, many people do their walking on a incline or using hills or stairs. To get the best results, I suggest walking on a flat surface (either outside or on the treadmill).

lose weight quicker

2. YOU DO THE WRONG TYPE OF WORKOUT

A lot of women want to slim down their leg muscles and make their legs smaller, but aren’t willing to give up heavy lifting. It’s very hard to change your mindset when you’ve been doing lots of heavy lifting and high intensity interval training.

Changing to lighter workouts makes you feel like you’re not doing enough and you fear that you need to be really pushing yourself to get the best results. I’ve been through this too.

Unfortunately when you want to reduce muscle on your legs, less is more. Doing too much for your legs, lifting heavy and doing lots of squats, lunges and deadlifts will make your muscles bigger (especially if you are an endomorph or mesomorph body type) or at the very least, will make you maintain the muscle size.

You will never slim them down if you continue to train this way. Please have a read of this blog post for some tips on how to slim down muscular thighs.

It’s up to you! But don’t just do exercise because someone tells you to (even if that person is me!). You need to do exercise that will actually give you the results you want. Make sure you think about the workout program and whether or not it’s suitable for you before jumping straight into it.

Ultimately, the results you desire and how you go about getting them are up to you. If you don’t want to reduce muscle size on your thighs and you just want to reduce fat, you can probably keep doing heavy lifting.

3. YOU AREN’T HEALTHY ON THE INSIDE

If you’re doing lots of the right type of exercise and are eating healthy but the weight won’t budge, something else could be at play.

1-2 years ago I gained some weight and did absolutely everything to try and lose it. In the past, I had always been able to get rid of fat on my thighs relatively quickly with lots of walking. So I did lots!

And the legs fat wouldn’t go away not matter what I did. It turns out I had all sorts of issues with my gut health and hormones that were affecting my ability to lose fat (and causing me to gain weight).

A lot of people think that this could never happen to them (I didn’t!) so I didn’t really ever consider it as a possible cause. Looking back, I wish I had looked into it much sooner.

Please have a read of this blog post as it goes into much more detail about some of the potential issues that could be causing you to gain weight or not being able to lose weight. I would highly recommend seeing a doctor and/or naturopath.

If one of your fitness goals is to slim down your legs and tone them without getting bulky, my Lean Legs Program 1 may be the right program for you :)

It contains lighter resistance training which will help you lose extra body fat and get toned. And if you grab the Next Level You Package, it also has a complete 8-week meal plan so you can be sure you’re eating healthy while you train. Having a great diet is extremely important if you want to get great results :)

Rachael is an Australian born certified personal trainer and nutritionist who holds a Bachelor degree in Science.

After struggling for years to find an exercise and diet program that is tailored to women striving for lean and toned body with no bulk she designed her Lean Legs Program. This program is tailored to each body type and focused on helping women get toned but feminine bodies, without getting bulky.

Her mission is to empower women and help them stay in shape in a healthy and balanced way.

9 Responses

  1. I do 25 mins of hiit cardio every day and walk 10-15000 steps each day. What can I do to get more toned. I eat like 1800-2000 calories per day. I just want some toned legs. Please I need some advice.

    1. Hey lovely! It depends on your goal. If you want to get lean and toned without any bulkiness, Rachael recommend that you do 3-4 resistance workout per week and incorporate cardio 5-6x a week. It’s also important that you follow your ideal daily calorie intake and macros. :)

  2. will 10,000 step aerobic workouts make legs bulkier? Amidst covid, it had been a better alternative to walking outdoors.

  3. Hi! Iv just read about your skinny leg advice and I’m defiantly going to start walking rather than running! This might help slim my legs down more and get the results I want! Thank you!!

  4. Hi Rachel

    I started to take your advice about doing lots of walking to slim my legs, however why is it that so many trainers at my gym keep telling me to do weights? I just feel so confused I really want to slim them down and feel like whatever I do I don’t feel or see a difference. its so frustrating, any other advice you can give.

    1. I have had the exact same issue Maria!
      For years I’d been trying to tone my legs but doing the wrong exercises
      My legs were seriously bulking and I hated it. The thing is, so many trainers hate the idea of ‘skinny legs’ they don’t ever listen to what a client wants, and they seem to think muscle is everything, when it isn’t, and it can look unattractive.

      I have been looking over Rachael’s blogs for years! I wish I started it soon to be honest, I have noticed major results in my thighs and I actually feel much more confident than I ever have – I still have 4 weeks left of the plan.
      I can even feel it when I walk, they don’t rub anymore!
      I’m on the ectomorph plan btw! XxX

      1. Hi Hope, aww I am so happy to hear that you are noticing results and feeling confident! Your comment made my day :) You definitely explained the way trainers think perfectly! Thanks so much for your comment and good luck with the next 4 weeks on the ectomorph plan! xxx

    2. Hi Maria, most trainers will say to do weights.. You don’t necessarily need to do what they say. How long have you been doing the walking? Legs are the hardest part of your body to change so it takes quite a long time and you need to be consistent and patient! It took me 6-12 months to change my legs xx

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