A lot of women find that their legs tend to get overly muscular when they do too much HIIT (myself included). But since HIIT is such a great way to increase your metabolism and tone up all over,I want to be able to do it but without bulking up. And I’m sure many of you agree :)

This is a full body HIIT workout that will help you burn a lot of calories (even after exercising). And it won’t cause bulkiness in your lower body.

I have posted two already – here’s the first one and here’s the second one. And they have been very popular, so I thought I would continue posting these workouts for you :)

Oh and check out my HIIT ab workout too!


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  • Do 20 reps of each exercise (10 each side) without any rest.
  • The only exception is exercise 3 (punching / high knee combo) – I would just do 5 reps of this one.
  • After 1 round, rest for 1 minute.
  • Complete 3-5 rounds, depending on your fitness level.



hiit workout that won't cause bulk


hiit workout no bulk

Complete 10 reps in this position (pictured), and then 10 reps with your other leg in this position. 


hiit workout no bulk


hiit workout no bulk
hiit workout no bulk

Do 10 punches and 10 high knee runs (5 each side). This is one rep. You then do this 5 times.


hiit workout that won't add bulk

Good luck! Let me know if you try it! :)

I should also mention my 3 Steps to Lean Legs Program for all of you who want to get lean and toned legs without the bulkiness.

My program has a complete 8-week workout and nutrition plan so you can be sure you’re eating right while you’re training :)

Hope you like it!

Love Rachael xx

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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.

19 Responses

  1. Hello, I just bought the lean legs video course that is 8 weeks and it has me doing them on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I also walk around 18,000 steps a day. should I be doing cardio on the off days or all 5 days or is too much? I think I am a Mesomorph body type or should I jog instead? thanks!!

    1. Hey lovely! To get the best and fastest results, we usually recommend that you power 5-6x a week. You may also incorporate running on the days that you don’t have resistance training. Just try to always listen to your body and give it rest if needed. :)

  2. Hi Rachael
    I like your workouts and did them in combination with pilates and some brisk walking, which was great. then Pilates closed during Covid and I was back lifting weights at home…now I have bulky shoulders and arms …they are awful:((…On the positive side my pilates place has reopened and I have a spot once a week at the moment. My question is will I get flabby arms if I stop the weights now! I bought the yellow resistance band you suggested a while back.

  3. Hi Rachael!!
    I’m a second-year university student from India, and I guess I have what you may call a genetic skinny fat body (my mother has the same body type). I’m also a mesomorph because I’m ‘5″11 in height, so my figure looks kinda even in clothes, but uneven, and heavier, on the lower part of my body. I try to walk as much I can, but I’m stuck on the question of diet. You see, a basic Indian meal is full of natural carbs, fats, fibre and proteins. But where and how much should I control when comes to the diet plan for one whole day?? Please, help!

    1. Hi lovely <3,

      Thanks for reaching out!

      I believe this post can help you a lot when it comes to macros breakdown for your body!:)

      Also, this is a post that tells more about calorie intake and how to calculate it!:)

      Please let me know if there’s anything else I can help you with!


  4. Okay so I did 1 round of these workouts (40 sec on an 20 sec rest) and I’m already swamped! 5 mins later and I’m sweating buckets. The problem with past HIIT workouts I followed was that they only incorporated intervals of resistance training (ie squats, pushups, planks, donkey kicks, etc…) as opposed to cardio intervals that get your heart pumping. Although they did help me build nice muscle tone I didn’t notice much fat loss. I can imagine that once I can do Rachael’s HIIT workouts effectively with less and less struggle I’ll definitely see my desired results (the fact that I currently find them to be challenging shows that I can make physical improvements with time). My goal is to do 3 rounds. Thanks for sharing these workouts!

  5. Hi rachel im ectomorph. One of your posts I read you said if you are an ectomorph you should do hiit twice a week. I want to do it more than twice a week . Is there a problem if I do three times or four times a week? Please reply I love you ?

  6. I love these workouts when I’m pressed for time! Have you ever considered making one (just one) that is good for pregnant chicks who want to keep fit? I only ask cuz I’m 24 weeks and this is the only bodyweight hiit workout left that I can do! And I know I’m in the minority of pregnant girls that I can even do that! Just a thought, since I think your program has a lot of elements that are great for preggo ladies!

    1. Hi lovely,
      Yes, we will consider posting about it in the future! The majority of workouts from the Lean Legs Program are safe during the first few weeks. After that I suggest seeking professional guidance from your doctor or physio before resuming the workouts. I’d also recommend trying out yoga that is specifically geared to pregnant women. It’s also great for lowering your stress :)

      Wishing you all the best hun! xx


  7. Hi there! Such an interesting site and I love the fact that you address something that most trainers will not. I believe I am a combo between meso/endo as I gain all of my weight in my lower body and I build muscle quickly/easily. I’m 5’4 and about 117 lbs (was 112…), so definitely not overweight and thin by most peoples’ standards; however, I started working out for the first time in a while and bulked up way too quickly from doing weighted hot yoga. None of my clothes fit anymore and my legs no longer look slim as they did before I started working out. Now, I have stopped doing anything except for walking around as much as I can during the day running errands and am finding myself in this weird stage where now all of the muscle is flabby- especially right above my knees and my calves. Is this inbetween stage normal? I was trying not to use those muscles much so they could get smaller again. Also, do you have any instagram accounts of followers of your program who I could follow and read their transformation?


    1. Hi lovely! Oh I’m sorry to hear that happened to you. In terms of the flabbiness, this isn’t muscle, it’s fat. It was probably there before (when you had more muscle) but since you are starting to lose the muscle you can see it more. I would continue doing lots of cardio to get rid of the fat and start incorporating more of these style of workouts on my blog :) Good luck! xx

  8. Hi, Rachel:

    I am so glad I found your blog!!

    I believe I have a endomorph body type with having a hard time losing mucles and fat on my lower parts (legs). I knew running would be a great help as I did a body fat lost challenge before where I went crazy on sprint running on treadmill plus heavy weight plus very restricted diet, so I was able to slim down the legs plus lost 10 pounds. However, I couldn’t maintain the weight or the crazy workout schedules so of course everything came back. I then joined and fell in love with Les Mills BodyCombat and became certified instructors and had taught BC for the past three years and in which, my arms did developed very nice definition (legs were still about the same and I did some on and off running). Few months ago I decided to reorganize my priorities and as much as I love BC, I gave up teaching to focus more on my business. I also started to do my in home exercise (like BodyRock TV). I thought I needed more tone up by doing heavy HIIT (with burpees, push up, squat etc, all those that as you mentioned, did not help slim down my legs), also I noticed that my arms or my upper body is getting wider and wider!! So it was when I discovered your blog (it was like, last week, really). Anyway, I can commit to do less resistant training or take off the heavy weight and add back running (walking is a challenge for me because honestly, I am very used to HIIT style or anything that get me sweaty hard and fast. To me exercise needs to come with lots of sweat. Maybe I had developed high endurance level so walking just doesn’t seem to cut that for me). My question to you has two parts: 1) pre and post workout food. I can do fasted cardio/running (with must-have coffee before it), but I am confused on what I can eat afterward (like it is better to eat high protein, like greek yogurt or egg whites, or more good carbs like oats)? Also, does sugar do a lot of damage to holding on the muscles on legs? 2) muscular upper body/arms. I know now I need to do more Bodycombat or just boxing to shape my arms, what other exercises can I do that help tone down overly wide/muscular upper body? And lastly, I do like jumping ropes a lot as it is easy to bring up my heat rate, but I guess it’s a NO NO to slim legs? Thank you for listening!

    Linda from AZ, USA

    1. Hi Linda, thanks for reaching out! I hope I can answer all your questions:
      1. It is best to eat both carbs AND protein after a morning workout. Something like a protein smoothie with fruit, toast with eggs, oats with protein powder, etc. Also sugar won’t help with anything so the more you can reduce it, the better :)
      2. Have a read of this blog post for some ideas on what exercises you can do that won’t cause bulkiness for your upper body (if you haven’t already). But it’s the same as losing muscle in your lower body, you just need to give it time to reduce and try to avoid using them too much, plus stop whatever exercise it was that caused them to bulk up. Jump rope is good for burning calories but won’t really slim down legs. I know walking can seem pointless as you don’t feel like you’re exercising hard, but in my experience, it’s the best exercise for getting rid of fat on your lower half.
      Good luck! xx

  9. As you said, you have made 2 other workout posts related to this one. Which do you believe is the most effective? Or, do you recommend to do all of them? each 2 times a week? Thank you!

  10. I’m finding it very hard to loose weight , I weigh 51 but I tend to overeat of under eat , I can’t find a balance

    1. Hi hun, eating really is the most important thing when it comes to losing weight. I know how hard it is to find a balance. I find what works best for me is to not restrict ANY food (even junk food), otherwise this can cause you to overeat it. I also try to eat similar foods every day. I’ll always have a protein smoothie for breakfast, nuts or eggs for snacks, meat and green vegetables for dinner, and then leftover usually for lunch. And if I really want some “junk” food, I’ll have it – I just try not to do it every day, or just to have a little bit. It takes a bit of practice and self control, but you can definitely do it! Don’t restrict yourself, eat similar foods, eat healthy most of the time, and don’t feel bad about allowing junk food in your diet! xx

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