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You guys probably know by now that I am an advocate of cardio, which is unlike most other trainers that focus mostly on heavy lifting (Nothing wrong with that! It’s just not for me).

I’m always asked a lot of questions about cardio, but more specifically, the best type of cardio to lean out your legs and avoid making them bigger and musclier. So thought I would answer all your questions here! If I haven’t answered your question, please feel free to ask below in a comment and I’ll add it to the blog post! xx

DO I NEED TO WALK ON AN EMPTY STOMACH?

Not necessarily. Any walking is great and the more steps you can accumulate during the day, the better! But it is possible that you might burn a higher percentage of fat if you do your walking fasted (i.e. before breakfast).

Walking burns stored carbohydrates (stored in your muscles as glycogen) and fat. If you don’t have as much stored carbs, your body might burn more fat. Also, it will be more effective if you have eaten a low carb meal for dinner the night before.

cardio q&A

It can be beneficial to do your walking on an empty stomach, but it’s not necessary. Walking any time of the day is good!

WHAT SPEED SHOULD I WALK AND RUN?

These speeds should be used as a guide only. Speeds will also vary depending on your height (obviously taller people will be able to walk / run faster).

  • I would suggest aiming for a walking speed of 6-7km/hr or 3.7-4.3mph.
  • I would suggest aiming for a running speed of 10-12km/hr or 6.2-7.5mph.

WHAT INCLINE SHOULD I WALK / RUN AT?

I suggest zero. Walking and running is best done on a flat surface if you don’t want to bulk up your quads. Any uphill walking and running will use your quads more and can make your legs bulkier.

If you are on the treadmill, you can set your incline to 0.1% to replicate walking outside. But if you have trouble with shin splints (like me), I would keep it to 0%.

IS THERE A DIFFERENCE WALKING / RUNNING ON THE TREADMILL COMPARES TO OUTSIDE?

No, they will both have the same results. It’s just more of a personal preference.

Sometimes I prefer doing my cardio on a treadmill because I can track my speed and see if I’m improving (especially for running). But it just feels good running outside!

cardio Q&A

And I also don’t mind walking on the treadmill because I can watch a TV show on my phone as I walk ;) Another great benefit of having access to a treadmill is that you can do your cardio regardless of the weather conditions.

IS IT BETTER TO RUN SLOW OR FAST?

A lot of women tell me that run slowly for 45 minutes and are confused as to why this isn’t better than walking for 45 minutes, or running faster for 20 minutes. I’ll try to explain.

When you are jogging slowly, the action of your legs means that it is the same as running. Running does build muscle. The action of walking actually really helps to get rid of fat on your legs, not running or jogging. So slow jogging for 45 minutes means you will build muscle, without really getting rid of the excess fat that walking will. So you’re probably better off walking.

When you are running faster, your body is burning lots of calories and you’re pushing yourself so your fitness is increasing, which is great. But jogging slowly isn’t really that challenging, and you’ll burn less calories. It may even bulk up your legs because you are overdoing the running. You’re not getting the full benefits of running if you’re just slowly jogging.

I think it’s better and more effective to either run faster or just walk. That is my preference. Slow jogging is still better than nothing though so you can do it – it’s up to you. But I don’t think it’s as effective as the other two.

If you really want to slim down your legs, I have a 3 Steps to Lean Legs Program that will help you get lean and toned legs without the bulkiness :)

I FEEL LIKE RUNNING BULKS UP MY THIGHS. IS THAT POSSIBLE?

cardio q&A

Yes this is possible. Running does build muscle (but not as much as other forms of cardio or strength training). Usually only people who are shorter or are the endomorph body type (or both) have issues with building too much muscle with running. If running is a problem for you, I would avoid it.

HIIT CARDIO – SHOULD I DO IT?

I wrote another blog post on the best type of HIIT cardio to do to avoid bulking up your legs. As I mentioned, running builds muscle and HIIT running will build even more. If you’re interested in doing HIIT cardio, please have a read of this blog post!

Whether or not you do HIIT cardio depends on your body type and to a certain extent, your fitness level.

If you are short or an endomorph body type (or both), HIIT cardio may not be the best exercise for you. It will build some muscle and with a shorter frame, more muscle may not be your goal. It could make your legs look bigger. If you know that running makes your legs bigger, then I would avoid HIIT cardio.

I mention fitness level because HIIT cardio is hard, and you need to have a good base cardio fitness first to do this exercise effectively and get the benefits. Being able to run at a medium fast pace for at least 20 minutes would be a great start. After that, I think you would be fit enough to add in some HIIT cardio.

As I mentioned above, if you have any cardio related questions, please feel free to ask in the comments section or send me a message on Instagram and I’ll add them to the blog post :) xx

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.

125 Responses

    1. Hey lovely! Running is only one of the options for cardio. You can do any of my programs without it. I suggest that you out more focus on power walking instead. :)

  1. Hi! I understand that slow jog doesn’t provide too much weight loss. However, what about slow jog of 60-90 min?

    1. Hey hun! Any type of aerobic activity will still help you burn lots calories but if you want to slim down your legs, I would stick to power walking on a flat surface. :)

  2. Do you do cardio/walking and a resistance workout in one day ? Or do you split it up for two days ?

    1. Hey lovely! You can combine these two workouts in one day but I recommend that you only do the circuits 3-4x a week. :)

  3. If i walk for about an hour 5 days a week, then in how many days can I see results. My BMI is 19.8
    Height 165 cm
    Weight 54 kgs

    1. Hi lovely! Everyone gets results at different rates so we can’t really determine when you’ll get to see progress. Power walking will definitely help burn thigh fat and slim down your legs but you also have to follow the right resistance workouts for your body type and adjust your diet for weight loss to get faster results. If you need more guidance, feel free to email us at info@rachaelattard.com ;)

  4. Hi Rachel, I just came across your programme and really excited to get started. I did my first 45 minute fasted walk on the treadmill at the fastest speed I could but my HR kept going below my fat burning zone (112-131), so I had to keep light jogging a few times to bring my HR back into the FB zone – is that okay or should I just stick to walking only regardless on my HR? I had naturally muscular thighs and want to slim them down. Thank you :)

    1. Hi lovely,

      It would be best if you stick to power walking. Your speed can be adjusted based on the length of your legs and fitness level so going a little bit slow is fine. while power walking, you should be feeling a little bit puffed but still be able to hold a conversation.

      I also recommend that you incorporate light-resistance workouts and adjust your diet for weight loss to get the best and fastest results. :)

    1. Hi lovely,

      I don’t suggest walking at home or in place because based on the experience of our customers, it just isn’t as effective as walking on a treadmill or outside. If you are unable to walk outside for any reason, I suggest that you practice our indoor cardio workouts:

      FREE AT-HOME CARDIO VIDEO

      FREE AT-HOME CARDIO VIDEO (BOXING)

      Again, keep in mind that it’s not as effective as walking is but it will be way better to practice these than skip your daily cardio routine. <3

  5. Hey, pamela reif have home workouts and i oftne do the “dance” workout since its free. Do u think it is a good programme if i am 159cm, 54kg. Rlly want to lose weight especially on my thighs!! Ur programme sounds so amazing but i dont have the money for it :-(

    1. Hi lovely,

      Her dance workouts are a great form of cardio that could help you burn a lot of calories but if your main goal is to slim down your legs, you should combine the right type of resistance workouts and cardio for your body type and you should also adjust your diet for weight loss (eating at a calorie deficit). I have a very detailed blog post that will help you learn how to slim down your legs so please go give it a read. I think you’re going to find it very useful. :)

  6. Hi Rachael, thanks for maintaining such an amazing blog! I have a question regarding the power walking speed. I’m pretty short (5’1) so in an hour I’m able to cover 4.4km as opposed to the 6-7km/h speed mentioned. I don’t think I can walk long enough if I go any faster than this. Is this speed okay? Will it still help in slimming down my legs?

    1. Hi lovely,

      6-7km/hr is just a guide. Your speed will still depend on your height and the length of your legs so feel free to make some modifications. :)

      To burn more calories effectively, you can also try to aim for your fat-burning zone and adjust your heart rate accordingly. You can learn more about it in this blog post. :)

      I hope that helps.xx

    1. Hi lovely,

      If you’re referring to walking-in-place workouts, they are not really as effective as power walking outside or on a treadmill based on our customers. It can be a temporary substitute when you can’t walk/run outside but not as a permanent replacement. :) I hope that helps. xx

  7. Hi Rachael! Any thoughts on workouts using vertical climbers (eg. Maxi Climber)? Will that bulk up mesomorph body types? Thanks love!

  8. Hi, so if i have an endomorph body type and have noticed that I quickly bulk up, will it be fine to just Walk at 6.5 km/hr just fr starters? Or will I hv to walk at least near the max of 7km/hr to see results quickly?

    1. Hi lovely,

      When power walking, the recommended speed is between 6-7km/hr so 6.5km/hr is okay. You should feel a little bit puffed but still be able to hold a conversation. :)

      I hope that helps. If you need more help or tips, feel free to email us at info@rachaelattard.com

      Love,
      Len

  9. So running fast for a short amount of time won’t cause bulk but you will put on some muscle? And can all body types run without bulk?

    1. Hi lovely,

      Running is an amazing cardio workout because it burns a huge number of calories and helps you to slim down all over. But you also engage your quads a lot that’s why you can also build muscle while doing it. If you are the type who can bulk up easily, like endomorphs (especially the shorter ones), you could just substitute it with more power walks. For example a 20-min run should be replaced with a 40-min power walk. :)

      I hope that helps. If you have more questions, feel free to email us at info@rachaelattard.com

      Love,
      Len

  10. Thank you for the great post, your explanation of running faster for shorter periods of time was very helpful. I was wondering if one can achieve the same results by splitting up walking over the course of the day into multiple, shorter periods (eg 4 times 15min). My job can make it difficult to find an hour during the day to walk within daylight hours.

    1. Hi lovely,

      Don’t worry, cuz every step counts! :) What’s important is to walk around 10,000 steps each day so you can split your walks into shorter ones if it is easier for you to organize the rest of your day in that way.

      I am so happy to have you on board! Keep me updated on your progress. :)

      If you have any questions, feel free to email us at info@rachaelattard.com

      Love,
      Len

  11. Hi
    Thanks for the informative post!

    I’m a runner with an injured foot trying to stay in shape indoors on a stationary bike which I’ve been using for two months now, six days a week for an hour. I use the heart rate monitor on my garmin to vary the paces I use. I’m a mesomorph and want to avoid bulking up my legs.

    Should I stick to steadt state workouts in the lower hr zones or focus on higher intensity…the focus is slimmer legs.

    Thanks so much!

    Kristina from Italy

    1. Hi lovely,

      If you’re still recovering from an injury, I suggest that you take a break from any type of workouts just to be on the safe side. Please wait until your doctor gives you a go signal before exercising again. I know you’re excited to achieve your goals but your safety should be our priority. :)

      Love,
      Len

  12. Hello! Thanks for your informative post. Since I’m stuck inside with a foot injury I can’t run or even walk. I’m a runner trying not to bulk up my legs. I’ve been riding a stationary bike at different speeds about 6 times a week for an hour. What type of bike workouts should I stick to to avoid bulking up?

    I’m a mesomorph.

    Thanks, Kris

    1. Hi lovely,

      If you are a mesomorph, you may or may not be able to get away with cycling. Some mesomorphs are OK with it, while others aren’t. However, either way, I would still only do it 1-2 times per week maximum because overdoing it with cycling will most likely make your legs bigger. If your goal is to slim down your legs, I recommend that you replace them with light-intensity cardio like power walking. :)

      If you have more questions, feel free to email us at info@rachaelattard.com

      Love,
      Len

  13. Hello!
    I read on the Q&A that a shorter body frame (I’m 159cm) should avoid running or cardio HIIT. What alternatives do you suggest for intense cardio to help slim the legs?

    1. Hey lovely,

      Running can burn a lot of calories and the same goes for HIIT but they can also cause some unwanted bulkiness and make your legs bigger especially if you’re an endomorph. I suggest that you stick to light-intensity cardio such as power walking and light resistance workouts. :)

      This will also depend on your body type. Feel free to take Rachael’s body type quiz to know yours. :)

      If you have more questions, you can email us at info@rachaelattard.com

      Love,
      Len

  14. Hi, I’m a 13 year old mesomorph. I’m currently taking prednisone for medical reasons, and since I started taking it, I’ve become pretty chubby even though I used to be quite small and skinny before taking it. I also am 151 cm tall and I don’t think I’ll grow any taller because it’s been almost 19 months since I had my first menstrual cycle, so I’m pretty short. I don’t know whether these exercises will help me get leaner. Will running and HIIT workouts help me get leaner? If not, what else can I do to get leaner? Thank you. :)

    1. Hi lovely <3,

      Thanks for reaching out!

      Since you're only 13 years old, that means your body is still developing and you shouldn't be on any kind of strict regime. I suggest you visit a doctor or another professional with your parents and see what type of activity would be healthy for someone your age. I understand you feel chubby and maybe have some goals you would like to pursue, but please know there will be plenty of time for that once you're old enough. <3

      Love,
      Sara

    1. Hi lovely,

      thanks for reaching out!

      Rachael hasn’t reviewed that workout yet so I am not able to comment. It seems to me it’s high-intensity so if you try it out, you need to observe your progress closely. However, If you are looking for a full-body workout program that focuses on building a lean & toned body overall and slimming down legs, then you might want to check out Rachael’s 3 Steps To Lean Legs program. :)

      I hope this helps, please let me know if you have any questions! xx

      Love,
      Sanja

  15. It’s getting to be really cold where I live, walking outside is not going to be an option in a few weeks. I don’t have a treadmill but I do have an elliptical, I am an endomorph. Would an elliptical work for getting my “walk” in if I leave it on zero resistance and zero incline?

    1. Hi lovely,

      thanks for reaching out! <3

      I don’t think this machine will really cause bulkiness, but it won’t slim down your legs like running and walking will. The pushing down motion means you engage your quads more so it will build more muscle here. But it’s not the style of workout that will necessarily cause bulkiness. If you can’t walk or run for some reason, the elliptical is the next best thing. :)

      I hope this helps, please let me know if you have any questions! xx

      Love,
      Sanja

  16. Will hiking (uphill incline) 2 or 3 times a week cause legs to bulk up? This has been a regular work out for me because I live close to some hiking trails, but would like to slim down my legs following Rachel’s program. Thanks!

    1. Hi lovely <3,

      Hiking might bulk up your legs depending on your body type. <3

      If you're unsure of your body type, please do this quick quiz, it will only take a couple of minutes.

      Once you have your results, and if you have any other questions regarding this or any other matter, feel free to email us at info@rachaelattard.com

      Love,
      Sara

  17. Hi, I have very weak hips so running is a problem for me. How long do you suggest I walk for instead? Thank you in advance. (:

    1. Hey lovely,

      You can feel free to power walk instead. :)
      It would be best if you’d double up on the time invested. If the run was supposed to be 20 minutes long make sure that you do a 40 minute power walk.

      Love,
      Ana

  18. Hey I’ve been trying to lose some muscle, specially in my legs since they are naturally very muscular but also a bit on my arms due to many years of competitive swimming. In order to do so I’ve been walking at least 10,000 steps everyday and cardio workouts like tae bo, but I would like to know if doing tae bo is a good way to reach my goal of losing muscle (more specifically in the legs).
    Could you advice me on that and maybe suggest better ways to do cardio in order to reach my goals?

    1. Hi lovely,

      thanks for reaching out! <3

      Tae Bo isn't really a great way of losing muscle in the legs. But it is a great type of workout to tone up and shouldn't cause bulkiness. The best way to lose muscle is outlined in this blog post.

      I hope this helps! xx

      Love,
      Sanja

    1. Hi lovely,

      Thanks for reaching out!

      The elliptical is a good for when you can’t run or walk :) But Rachael encourages running and especially walking if you can!

      I hope this helps! xx

      Love,
      Sanja

  19. Hello, I am curious about the pace you suggest running. When you recommend running faster at like a 10-12 km/p pace, for how long is this? Because this is actually pretty fast. And I am wondering at what setting do you achieve this on a treadmill. I am asking because I have been training for 1/2 marathons for a couple of years but also lifting really heavy. I follow the run faster program of running 3 days a week. Sprints, tempo, and long run. I have been running at a fast pace but my life circumstances are changing things for me and I need to slow down. I am also wanting legs more like yours instead of my thicker legs. I am just wondering how fast I still need to run to get the benefits you talk about. I am also changing my lifting routine to look more like yours. I have you program, I am a mesomorph. I am also now counting my calories, which I was not doing when I first purchased your program, as I now understand that this is a major component. Thank you

    1. Hi lovely,
      We recommend running for about 20 minutes at this speed. If this is too fast for you, you can either decrease the speed or run in intervals (combine running and power walking) until you get more used to it. The important thing is to maintain your fat burning heart rate. Please refer to page 11-12 in the main ebook for some extra tips! :)
      If your legs are too muscular from running, I would avoid sprinting, doing cardio at incline and heavy weight lifting.
      Wishing you all the best! xx

      Love,
      Diana

  20. Thank you :) so as a mesomorph, can I ONLY do walking 60 mins powered at 7- 7.5kmh, or add in jogging? I feel like walking and not running would be cheating ! But yes walking really worksorry for me – I was a skeptic!

  21. Hi! I have been power walking on my treadmill for a week and I feel like my calves are kind of getting big. Does power walking 60 minutes each day on a 7 days period non stop can make my calves bigger?

    1. Hi lovely,
      Power walking is one of the best workouts for slimming down the legs and it doesn’t build muscle, so the more you’re able to walk the better!
      We also recommend walking on a flat surface to avoid the strain on your calves. :) xx

      Love,
      Diana

  22. Hi! I recently purchased the program and started the workout. I find it challenging to fine the time to workout twice a day so I am combining the workouts back to back. EX. Power walk 60mins and circuit training right after that.

    But on Tuesdays and thursdays it’s the running day.. so if I were to combine those, is it okay to
    Walk for 60mins and run for 20mins all at once?

    If I combine the workouts this way (all at once, no two separate workout times) does it make it less effective then spreading it apart?

    Lastly, how many times a week am I allowed to take boxing classes?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi lovely!
      It’s perfectly fine if you need to combine the two workouts in one, it will be just as effective and you will still get results! :)
      You could do a boxing class once or twice a week, whenever you have more time. All the best! xx

      Love,
      Diana

  23. Hi so just to confirm- walking ONLY for 60 mins everyday at speed is the best way to skinny down legs? I do find running builds muscle for me.

    1. Hi lovely,
      We always recommend walking as much as you can because it’s one of the best ways to slim down your legs. You can also substitute running with extra power walking. However, walking should be combined with proper resistance training that will help you lose fat and get more toned without bulking.
      If this is what you’re looking for then I would definitely recommend giving our program a go. :) You can find out more about it here:

      Lean Legs Program

      Love,
      Diana

  24. Hi there! I’m looking to get this program as I have been trying to get thin thighs for a while through cycling but am feeling more bulky for some reason. Does cycling tend to create some bulk in women? Should I stop cycling after starting your program?

    1. Hi lovely,
      If you are an endomorph then yes, cycling will most likely make your legs bigger so I would avoid it completely.
      If you are a mesomorph, you may or may not be able to get away with cycling. Some mesomorphs are OK with it, while others aren’t. Either way, I would still only do it 1-2 times per week maximum because overdoing it with cycling will most likely make your legs bigger.

      You can find out more about our Lean Legs Program here:

      Lean Legs Program

      Love,
      Diana
      xx

  25. Hi,
    How many times per week and per day should I walk and do resistance traininig? Should I do it more than once to get faster results or will this increase my muscle mass? And,does your Lean Legs Program includes exercises to slim down arms and shoulders too?

  26. Im 153 cm . Walking at 3.7 mph will look like a power walk for me , so shall i reduce it to 3.5 mph if im aiming for a slimmer leg ?

  27. Hi,

    I’ve really been wanting to do the lean legs program but I’m a vegan and I don’t know what I’d do about the meal plan. Is there an option for vegans or are there substitutions included in the meal plan?
    Thank you!

  28. Hi guys,
    I’m about to start your mesomorph program this week but I also do regular ice skating session. If I ice skate will this have a negative effect on the program? Can I skate instead of one of the walks or should I just do your routine with skating on top of that?

    1. Hi lovely,
      That’s awesome news! :) Ice skating shouldn’t affect your results negatively, so keep going. I wouldn’t recommend skating instead of power walking, but you can definitely do it on top of your usual routine or instead of one running session if your schedule is tight.
      All the best! xx

      Love,
      Diana

  29. Hi there!

    Is it true that if I purchase your program and send a before and after pic after the 8 weeks is done that you get your money back?

  30. With all the new style incline treadmills available is there any benefit to investing treadmill which negative incline options and if so what % negative incline?

    1. Hi lovely,
      There aren’t any special benefits to doing cardio on a negative incline. It’s good for strength training and condition, but it won’t be more effective in slimming down your legs than walking on a flat surface. xx

      Love,
      Diana

  31. Hello,

    I am 23 years old, and I have a mesomorph body type. I’ve been struggling with my thighs, specially upper/inner thigh area for a few years now, and I want to start walking more (thanks to your blog haha). However I have a problem, the country where I live in has a lot of hills (really a LOT, right when I get out of my house) and I think this might bulk up my legs even more if I walk those hills everyday. I also don’t have a treadmill and the gym is veryy far away from my house. I’m a bit sad about this because I used to run and do a lot of HIIT workouts without the desired results (they would slim my upper body and bulk up my thighs) I really think walking more could save my legs and change them the way I would want them to. I have found Leslie Sansone’s youtube videos and other indoor walking videos on Youtube and I would like to know what you think of those ? Are those a good alternative ? (although I am aware walking outside would be better).

    Regardless of the answer, thank you so much for all of those advice !!! :)

    1. Hi lovely,
      The best option would be to save up for a treadmill. Until then you can either walk outside or follow these indoor walking videos. I don’t think they’re as good as power walking on a flat surface, but it’s better than not working out. All the best! :) xx

      Love,
      Diana

  32. Hi Rachael, this was very helpful content.
    I am an endomorph and rather short, and had been doing a lot of HIIT, weights and functional training and got bigger hips now. I will follow your advice.
    What about swimming? Is it also not recommended for endomorphs?
    Thanks!

    1. Hi lovely,
      If you’re an endomorph, it’s best to focus on cardio and resistance training. :)
      Swimming is another great cardio workout. It won’t slim down your legs as much as walking will, but it’s really good for your upper body so I would definitely recommend it! xx

      Love,
      Diana

  33. Hi, im currently doing jillians micheal wirkout 5 nights a week. Im short abd have muscle with bit of gat on my thigh but really tones on upper body. Is it okay if I add 45 mins of power walking 5 morning a week or is it too much all together?

  34. Hi Rachael,

    I have your lean legs program and generally love it! I’m in between ectomorph and mesomorph and have generally been my slimmest when running. However, I just developed some pelvic floor problems that have made it so I can’t run. I’ve figured out how to modify my HIIT to keep my HR up without being high impact, but for steady cardio, other than walking, what would your number one running alternative be? Arc trainer? Swimming? Asking for anyone who might have an injury that eliminates running. Thanks!!

    1. Hi lovely,
      The best alternative to running is power walking. Another great option would be swimming and boxing. :) You could also do elliptical training as a last resort – it won’t help slim down your legs like walking and running, but it could be a good alternative until you recover fully.
      Wishing you all the best! xx

      Love,
      Diana

  35. Hi, I want to lose weight on my thighs and bum in particular? Is spinning good for this? I don’t want to build muscle or look muscular. And how often can we go for a spinning class and not build too much muscle?

    1. Hi lovely,
      If you are an endomorph, then spinning will most likely make your legs bigger so I would avoid it completely.
      If you are a mesomorph, you may or may not be able to get away with spinning (some mesomorphs are OK with it, while others aren’t).

      Either way, I would still only do it 1-2 times per week maximum because overdoing it with cycling will most likely make your legs more muscular.
      For more helpful tips please have a read of these blog posts:

      https://www.rachaelattard.com/how-to-get-skinny-legs-cardio-for-lean-legs/

      https://www.rachaelattard.com/cycling-dancing-barre-make-legs-bigger/

      https://www.rachaelattard.com/slim-down-your-hips/

      Love,
      Diana
      xx

  36. hello.
    I’m 15 and I went on a diet when I was on a healthy weight (50 kg) I had a low body fat percentage and the diet made me lose a lot of muscle. I gained all the weight back from fat. I look skinny fat now (especially around the belly) and I don’t know what to do. I would like to increase lean muscle and lose fat but I heard that cardio can make you lose muscle which is the last thing I want. Should I do cardio anyway? Or only focus on body weight training, Pilates etc.

    1. Hi lovely,
      I recommend doing more resistance workouts and weight lifting than cardio. Also eating more whole foods rich in protein.
      You will be able to maintain your weight if you eat as many calories as you burn! :)

      I would also suggest downloading our free 7 Day Slim Legs Diet and checking out our YouTube channel with lots of great workout videos :).
      Here are some samples of workouts from the Lean Legs Program:

      Lean Legs workout – Day 1
      Lean Legs workout – Day 2
      Lean Legs workout – Day 3

      Love,
      Diana
      xx

  37. Hi there I am an athlete and have just stopped due to acting work, and I have bulked up my legs to much for my requirements.
    I run a lot but tend to get injured, is walking still good

    1. Hi lovely,
      Yes of course! Power walking is one of the best workouts to slim down your legs, so I would highly recommend it. :)
      If you’re getting shin splints or other injuries from running, getting orthotic supports will really help. A lot of shoe shops will analyse your walking/running gait and will then give you a shoe with the right support. I would also suggest seeing a podiatrist who will give you orthotics to specifically suit your foot – they are amazing!

      We have designed the Lean Legs Program to include the perfect type of resistance training and cardio to give you a lean and toned look, without making you bulky.

      It’s an 8 week workout and nutrition plan that will help you slim down your legs, but will also help you slim and tone your upper body and core too (the workouts are full body).

      It also includes a full meal plan, a separate recipe ebook and demonstration videos.

      If this is what you’re looking for I would definitely recommend giving our program a go. :) You can find out more about it here:

      Lean Legs Program

      Love,
      Diana
      xx

  38. Hello!

    I’m 18 and am currently not working out. I used to work out all the time few years ago but noticed that I did a huge mistake; only doing cardio and no resistance training whatsoever. I have now thought about working out again and read many articles about being skinny fat. My arms are pretty skinny but my thighs and stomach are what troubles me.
    So, do you have any workout plan I could follow? As a starter?
    Thanks regards

    1. Hi lovely,
      We would love to help you as much as we can :) So that’s why we have created the Lean Legs Program!

      The Lean Legs Program is an 8 week workout and nutrition plan designed to help you get lean and toned without bulking.
      It will help you slim down your legs, but will also help you slim and tone your upper body and core too (the workouts are full body).

      It also includes a full meal plan, a separate recipe eBook and demonstration videos. The workouts are 5-6 days per week and they only take about 20-40 minutes, plus walking.

      You can find out more about the program here:

      Lean Legs Program

      Love,
      Diana
      xx

  39. hello, i just started exercising. i go to the gym almost every day. i want to reduce muscles on my legs. what about treadmill and ARC trainer? do they work?

    1. Hi lovely,
      I would recommend walking and running on a treadmill without an incline. This machine may or may not cause bulkiness, depending on how easily you gain muscle. However, it won’t slim down your legs like running and walking will. The pushing down motion means you engage your quads more so it will build more muscle there.

      We have designed the Lean Legs Program to include the perfect type of resistance training and cardio to give you a lean and toned look, without making you bulky.
      It will help you slim down your legs, but will also help you slim and tone your upper body and core too (the workouts are full body).
      It also includes a full meal plan, a separate recipe ebook and demonstration videos.

      You can find out more about the program here:

      Lean Legs Program

      For more helpful tips please have a read of this blog post.

      Love,
      Diana
      xx

  40. Hi! I’m a short mesomorph (around 153cm) and I’m trying to get slimmer less muscular. For some reason the gym at my school has no treadmill, but the do have an elliptical. Can I use it as cardio to lean me out and how can I do that? Or will it just bulk me up?

    1. Hi lovely,
      I don’t think this machine will really cause bulkiness, but it won’t slim down your legs like running and walking will. The pushing down motion means you engage your quads more so it can build more muscle there. But it’s not the style of workout that will necessarily cause bulkiness. If you can’t walk or run for some reason, the cross trainer is the next best thing! xx

      Love,
      Diana

  41. Hello! I loved reading all your blogs about lean legs, I have an issue similar to a lot of girls here. I have been going to the gym for half a year now, in the beginning I liked the way my legs looked, but my trainer did not understand me when I asked her to not let me get too bulky. Now i look in the mirror and i am not happy with how big and muscular my legs have gotten! I want to get leaner legs as soon as possible but I also dont want to lose my butt (I was pretty flat down there before training), what can I do to get the victoria secret thighs AND butt?

    1. Hi lovely,
      I recommend doing the booty exercises from the Lean Legs program and start incorporating (heavier) ankle weights or resistance bands to make the exercises more challenging. You need workouts that will target your glutes without making your thighs bigger.

      We have designed the Lean Legs Program to include the perfect type of resistance training and cardio to give you a lean and toned look, without making you bulky.
      It will help you slim down your legs, but will also help you slim and tone your upper body and core too (the workouts are full body).
      It also includes a full meal plan, a separate recipe ebook and demonstration videos.

      You can find out more about the program here:

      Lean Legs Program

      Love
      Diana
      xx

  42. Hello Rachael,

    I hate my legs, I feel that they are very fat and bulky.
    What do you suggest for having leaner legs?

    1. Hi lovely,

      We know that reaching your fitness goals can be hard and that you probably have a lot of questions about how to get that lean and toned body.
      We’d love to help as much as we can :) that’s why we have created our Lean Legs Program and our Lean Legs Training Club.

      The program in the eBook is an 8 week workout and nutrition plan designed to help you get lean and toned without bulking. It will help you slim down your legs, but will also help you slim and tone your upper body and core too (the workouts are full body). It also includes a full meal plan, a separate recipe eBook and demonstration videos.

      You can find out more about the Lean Legs program here:

      https://www.rachaelattard.com/lean-legs-program/

      If you need any extra support, please join our Lean Legs Training Club where you can ask Rachael any questions you want and how to modify the program to suit your needs. Being a member of the Club while doing the Lean Legs program will ensure that you get the best possible results as you get a more personalized fitness and nutrition advice.
      And you also have access to a community of like-minded and supportive women to help you too!
      Here’s the link to the Club:

      https://www.rachaelattard.com/lean-legs-training-club-up/

      For more helpful tips please have a read of these blog posts:

      https://www.rachaelattard.com/how-to-get-skinny-legs-series-summary/

      https://www.rachaelattard.com/how-to-get-skinny-legs-cardio-for-lean-legs/

      Love, Lean Legs Club support xx

  43. Hi Rachael! I love your blogs. The house I currently live in has lots of staircases, and I was wondering if you knew if climbing stairs would make my thighs bulky and muscular. I try to avoid the stairs as much as possible, but it seems impossible and I constantly worry if my legs are getting bulkier.
    I also want to know if walking up hills makes my thighs bigger, since my neighborhood has a hilly terrain. Thanks!

    1. Hi lovely,
      Yes, it’s possible that a lot of stairs and uphill climbing make your legs bulky.
      We would love to help you as much as we can :) that’s why we have created the Lean Legs program and Lean Legs Training Club.
      The program in the eBook is an 8 week workout and nutrition plan designed to help you get lean and toned without bulking. It will help you slim down your legs, but will also help you slim and tone your upper body and core too (the workouts are full body). It also includes a full meal plan, a separate recipe eBook and demonstration videos.

      You can find out more about the Lean Legs program here:
      https://www.rachaelattard.com/lean-legs-program/

      For more helpful tips please have a read of these blog posts:

      https://www.rachaelattard.com/how-to-get-skinny-legs-cardio-for-lean-legs/

      https://www.rachaelattard.com/slim-muscular-thighs-skinny-legs/

      Love, Lean Legs Club support xx

  44. I like to get all my exercise done at the same time so if I run fast for my cardio for around half an hour would it then be benefitcial to slow down into a walk for a couple of km’s? Would the walk still start to burn fat instead or will my body continue in aerobic respiration due to the initial running? Ie will the walking after the cardio help to slim my legs or will it just do the same as the running.

    1. Hi lovely,
      Power walking is more beneficial for slimming down your legs than running.
      Of course you can cool down by power walking after the run if that suits you better :)
      Rachael would love to help you further on your journey :) that’s why she has created her Lean Legs program and Lean Legs Training Club.
      The program in the eBook is an 8 week workout and nutrition plan designed to help you get lean and toned without bulking. It will help you slim down your legs, but will also help you slim and tone your upper body and core too (the workouts are full body). It also includes a full meal plan, a separate recipe eBook and demonstration videos.

      You can find out more about the Lean Legs program here:
      https://www.rachaelattard.com/lean-legs-program/

      Love, Lean Legs Club support
      xx

  45. Hi! This post is really helpful but I have a question. What is the pace for walking and jogging how different and cuz of my diet I can’t walk at the pace 6-7 km/h. Is it okay for walk at 4.5 km/h as I do not have to burn so many calories but want lean legs?

    1. Hi lovely,

      Of course you could walk 4.5km but the longer you walk the better it is for slimming down your legs :)
      If you need any extra support, please join our Lean Legs Training Club where you can ask Rachael any questions you want and how to modify the program to suit your needs.
      Being a member of the Club while doing the Lean Legs program will ensure that you get the best possible results as you get a more personalized fitness and nutrition advice.
      And you also have access to a community of like-minded and supportive women to help you too!

      Here’s the link to the Club

      Love, Lean Legs Club support
      xx

  46. Hi
    Just wanted to know if the walk at home videos are any good as I can’t always manage to go out for a walk especially during rains.

    1. Hi lovely,

      If you don’t have a treadmill at home it’s a good idea to consider a gym membership to avoid bad weather conditions :) Power walking proved to be even better than running for slimming down your legs!

      Love. Lean Legs Club support
      xx

  47. Hi Rachael,
    Thank you so much so the helpful info provided. I hit the gym 5-6 times a week. I always start off with walking on a thread mill with maximum incline with speed 5.6-5.9 for 30 mins, I burn around 400-450 cal in the process. Then I go on to do the machines; legs, weights, etc depending on the day. I barely take protein supplement. So far, I look a lot bigger than I used to. I’m about 166cm tall and I used to weight 46-47 kg, I wanted to look healthier so I started taking gym very seriously and have been for a year. Now I weight about 52-53 kg and I have lost my thigh gap and my shoulders are broad which I don’t really like, although, I like the way my butts look now. I was wondering how I should approach my gym routine so I can still look healthy as not so bulky? And when and how often should I do cardio? Should I start taking protein everyday?

    Thank you so much,
    Betty

    1. Hi lovely,
      Rachael would love to help you as much as she can :) that’s why she has created her Lean Legs program and Lean Legs Training Club.
      The program in the eBook is an 8 week workout and nutrition plan designed to help you get lean and toned without bulking. It will help you slim down your legs, but will also help you slim and tone your upper body and core too (the workouts are full body). It also includes a full meal plan, a separate recipe eBook and demonstration videos.

      You can check out the Lean Legs program here

      If you need any extra support, please join our Lean Legs Training Club where you can ask Rachael any questions you want and how to modify the program to suit your needs.
      Being a member of the Club while doing the Lean Legs program will ensure that you get the best possible results as you get a more personalized fitness and nutrition advice.
      And you also have access to a community of like-minded and supportive women to help you too!

      Here’s the link to the Club

      Love, Lean Legs Club support
      xx

    1. Hi lovely,

      I know that reaching your fitness goals is hard! And that you probably have lots of questions about how to get that lean and toned body :)

      I would love to help :) So that’s why I have created 3 Steps to Lean Legs program whch you can find here.

      Love Rachael xx

  48. HI Rachael I have been doing your hit cardio run and love it but wanted to know how many times a week I need to do it and how that balances out with the power walks. I bought your skinny legs e book which was great and now I add resistance weights for my upper body and don’t go over 2kg leg weights on my leg days and glutes. I stopped running for a while as it really affected my hips and so only did it once a week but much more like the 30 on 30 off HIIT run which certainly didn’t have the amazing affect your version does.
    So how few of the HIIT runs you suggest should I do per week interspersed with cardio swims as well as the power walks.
    Finally on the day I do the HIIT runs your style can I reduce the length of the power walk later in the day otherwise its a helluva lot with the resistance training.
    Thank you so much for all your great advice x

  49. Hi <33
    I have a mesomorphic body type, and therefore gain muscle easily. I've done track and field for 6 years (mostly sprinting), so my legs are pretty muscular. I usually run 2 times a week and power walk 4-5 times a week, in an attempt to slim down my legs. Because I've trained track for so many years, I need to run at least 13.5 km/h (for 4-5km or so) in order to challenge myself – but will it bulk up my body (particularly my legs) to run at this pace? is it too fast?

    Thank you for all your amazing blog posts – and thank you in advance <333

  50. Thank you for all this amazing advice. I’ve struggled with my legs gaining too much muscle from exercise for years. I’ve run distance — 1 marathon and many half marathons. But even with that, I still build muscle too quickly. After reading all of your posts, I’ve decided to take a break from my running to try the power walking. I started today — walked the suggested 10k on an empty stomach. My question is about pace. You make suggestions above, but those felt slow to me (probably b/c i’m a runner!). So I sped it up. My concern was if I walk faster, is that not as slimming? Should I stick to the suggested pace?

    1. Hi Jackie, wow good for you! 10km is a very decent walk. Walking faster is OK and if you’re a bit taller or have longer legs, you may be able to walk slightly faster. If you could maintain the same pace for 10km and weren’t out of breath, then I think this is fine :) xx

  51. Hi Rachael,

    I’m a long time runner and run long distances. It’s never been effective in slimming my legs and after reading your blog posts I’m understanding why! I’ve also take Body Pump classes (weighted bar, tons of squats) and Barre. Seems like all of these have added to my legs getting thicker. I will start power walking on treadmill b/c that seems like the best solution. This may be silly, but I’m curious HOW to power walk. I’ve never done it! Do i squeeze leg or butt muscles as I stride?

    Thank you!

  52. Hi! I have been running a lot recently (around 3-5 miles per day, and usually in the morning before eating). However, it still feels as though my legs are not slimming down as much as I would have thought. Is it possible that I have water retention due to increase in running after not for a bit of time or should I be doing something else? ( I am shorter and have had problems with bulking up muscle very easily)

  53. Hi. Do i have to sweat like crazy for my workout to be effective?
    I don’t sweat easily unless i run for 60 mins. When i walk on the treadmill, i don’t sweat much even when i walk for 60 mins. My speed is also not too slow based on my heigh. I’m 5.2 and on average i walk 3.5 mph. Sometime 4 but i can’t do 4 consistently for 60 mins.

  54. Hi Rachael! Do you do all your workouts at home or at a gym? Also, so if I run relatively fast, 20 minutes before a resistance session is sufficient? I’ve been thinking at least 30 minutes, but if running faster is better for cardio, 20 should be good?

    Whats your exact workout weekly routine right now anyway? I’d love to know :)

    Emily

    1. Hi lovely! I usually do them at home unless I have access to a gym. I just joined a gym for a month though so going there at the moment! I just started my eBook this week so that’s what I’m doing at the moment :) And yes I’d say 20 minutes is enough, but 30 is fine too! xx

  55. When I go walking I push my double stroller, does it couse me to build muscle on my legs cuz it definitely feels like a workout!

  56. So if we are endomorphs and do walking for cardio, what do we do for resistence traininng or muscle training?! Should we avoid it alltogether or is there any exercise that works on muscles for endomorphs but not make it bulky?

    1. Hi! No you don’t need to avoid it altogether, but just need to be careful with the type of workouts you do. I recommend lighter resistance training and the style of workouts on my blog and in my eBook :) xx

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