Home / / How to Get Skinny Legs: Why You Need Cardio For Lean Legs

How to Get Skinny Legs: Why You Need Cardio For Lean Legs

By Rachael Attard, Updated Apr 15, 2021
how to get skinny legs cardio

Last updated on May 7th, 2020 3:55 PM

Are you wondering how to get skinny legs?

From the time I had originally written this post (in 2015), I have met with hundreds of girls who all face the same problem.

They want to feel confident in dresses, shorts, and leggings. And they want to feel amazing at the beach, not self-conscious about their butt and thighs. 

The problem is, they don’t know how to eat and train to get slim legs without building too much muscle in the process.

And, no matter what popular opinion says: Women CAN get too bulky… for their own liking. 

The truth is, not everyone responds to the same training in the same way.

Our genetics determine the types of muscle fibers we have, it determines our ratio of testosterone to estrogen and where we store body fat. 

And it also determines our body type.

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

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 had the same experience with a PT early on in my own fitness journey and ended up very disappointed.

This is what got me into studying fitness and nutrition, becoming a personal trainer and finally creating the 3 Steps To Lean Legs Program and Lean Legs Video Course for women who wanted a lean and toned body, but were misunderstood by other PT’s.

I made it my mission to help women understand how to get slim legs and how to do resistance training to get toned without getting bulky. So, let’s cut to the chase!

HOW TO GET SKINNY LEGS IN 3 STEPS:

how to get lean legs

In a nutshell, the most effective ways to make your legs smaller (especially to make your thighs visibly thinner) you need to follow 3 steps.

I’ll cover each step in more detail below.

  1. DO MORE EFFECTIVE CARDIO – Low to moderate intensity cardio such as fasted walking is the key to getting slim legs. 
  2. DO THE CORRECT RESISTANCE TRAINING FOR YOUR BODY TYPE – Below I’ll cover the 3 main body types, help you find out yours, and tell you what type of resistance training you should be doing to lose inches from your thighs and get smaller thighs.
  3. EAT THE CORRECT DIET FOR YOUR BODY TYPE – A healthy diet will help you slim down your legs and lose overall body fat.

STEP 1: DO MORE LOW TO MODERATE INTENSITY CARDIO

Learning how to get skinny toned legs starts with knowing how your body works.

So, try to stay with me for the science.

WHAT EXACTLY IS LOW TO MODERATE INTENSITY CARDIO?

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.

When I talk about low to moderate intensity cardio, essentially I’m talking about walking.

THE BEST CARDIO WORKOUT FOR SKINNY TONED LEGS

cardio for lean legs

Walking is the best type of exercise for lean legs.

It will help get rid of excess fat on your legs and lean them out.

And walking burns a surprisingly high number of calories.

However, it is important to mention that long, slow cardio (i.e. walking) is NOT the most effective way of losing weight overall if that is your main goal.

When you are trying to lose weight, you should be trying to burn more calories than you are eating.

But, here we are focusing specifically on how to get thinner legs.

I tried every single workout under the sun, but I found that nothing is as effective in getting thinner thighs and legs overall as walking.

And through my years of working as a PT with girls that had the same goal (specifically to get skinny legs), this has always been the best method.

HOW EXACTLY CAN WALKING HELP TONE MY LEGS?

When you do cardio at a low to moderate intensity i.e. walking, your body burns stored glycogen (carbs) first, and then fats.

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.

That said, 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 are both great for helping me get lean legs.

Walking is very specific to getting rid of fat from your legs.

It is great for slimming down your legs, but you need to combine it with the resistance training to tone them up further.

Resistance training will not only tone your legs, but it will also help with boosting your metabolism and make you burn more calories. This helps with overall weight loss. More on that below.

IS RUNNING GOOD FOR GETTING LEAN LEGS?

Running burns a LOT of calories, so it is great with overall weight loss. 

However, running doesn’t seem to work as good as walking does for getting thinner legs, especially for certain body types (see more below).

If slimming down legs is your goal, I would focus mostly on walking and add some running to mix it up.

BONUS TIP: For getting thinner legs faster, make sure you do long-distance running instead of sprinting and avoid running uphill or using the stairs that can bulk up your quadriceps (front of your thighs).

This is especially important if you feel like you have muscular legs- as we want to avoid any ”pump” in your thighs and hamstrings.

Get More Info About My 3 Steps To Lean Legs Program

Get More Info About My FULL-LENGTH Lean Legs Video Course

HOW TO GET SKINNY LEGS WITH THE CORRECT LOW-INTENSITY CARDIO TECHNIQUE :

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. You should also avoid the stair machine and spin bike as these will build muscle in places you may not want.
cardio for skinny legs

WHAT IS IDEAL CARDIO HEART RATE FOR SLIMMING DOWN LEGS?

When you are walking, your body is in the “fat-burning zone” and this is the key 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 30 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.

To make it easier, I’ve created a calculator that will help you get your ideal heart rate faster :)

heartratecalc

BONUS TIP: 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. Aim for a fast pace, but you should be able to maintain this speed for at least 1 hour.

WHAT IS THE IDEAL CARDIO SPEED FOR LEAN LEGS?

I walk at a speed of 7 km/hr. Occasionally I will walk a little slower or faster, but it will always be between about 6.5 – 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 DO CARDIO TO GET SKINNY LEGS FASTER?

walking cardio lean legs

The more walking you do, the better your results will be. My recommendation is 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.

Here are some helpful tips on how to do more cardio daily:

  • Start your morning off with a walk. A good way to sneak in the 10kms per day is to 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.
  • Split it up. Try to do a 5km walk in the morning (sometimes I’ll do 6 or 7km) and then try to make up the remaining 3-5 km throughout the day just by doing as much walking as I can.
  • Track your results. Use the free Health app which tracks your steps and kilometers to stay motivated. 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.

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!

WILL FASTED CARDIO HELP ME SLIM DOWN MY THIGHS FASTER?

slim legs cardio


Walking works if you do it at any time of the day. But, if you want to know how to get skinny legs fast, walk first thing in the morning before you have eaten anything – this is known as fasted cardio.

Intermittent fasting has many benefits, but when you exercise first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, you will end up burning more fat instead. 

When you first wake up, you have not eaten 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. 

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 STAY MOTIVATED TO DO MORE CARDIO

walking cardio for lean legs

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

  • 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. 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!).
  • 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.

OK, now when we covered the cardio part, let’s move on to the next step.

STEP 2: DO THE RIGHT TYPE OF RESISTANCE TRAINING

best workout for lean legs


You can not get skinny legs if you are doing the wrong resistance training. 
If you do the incorrect exercises, your legs will either stay the same (and won’t slim down no matter what you do), or get bigger and bulkier.

WHAT NOT TO DO: EXERCISES YOU SHOULD AVOID

You must avoid quad focused exercises that build muscle at the front of your thighs. This may cause your legs to bulk up, especially if you gain muscle easily.


These exercises include squats, lunges, burpees, and any heavy style workouts that you see in CrossFit workouts. Especially anything with heavy weights.

THE BEST RESISTANCE EXERCISES FOR SLIM LEGS

To tone up your legs and butt without adding bulk, you should focus on lighter workouts. Think Pilates-inspired moves such as:

  • Donkey kicks
  • Glute bridges
  • Lying leg lifts
  • Lateral leg lifts
  • Leg extensions
  • Clams with open toes

In the video below, you can see an example of a resistance workout from my Lean Legs Program- you can do from home or from anywhere you want.

This type of workout is designed to tone up your whole body, and especially get thinner legs.

Give it a go and let me know what you think about it in the comments!

BONUS TIPS:

HOW TO EXERCISE ACCORDING TO 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.

You can take my Free Body Type Quiz to discover which of the three body types is yours.

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

HOW TO GET SKINNY LEGS – ECTOMORPH

ectomorph lean legs
Image- Courtesy of JStone : Shutterstock.com
  • Ectomorphs are usually already thin, so they don’t really need to know how to get lean legs.
  • Ectomorphs should focus on getting toned, rather than losing fat.
  • Ectomorph women should focus more on resistance training and only do cardio if they want to (but it’s not necessary).

READ MY ECTOMORPH NUTRITION & WORKOUT TIPS FOR FULL INFO ON HOW TO GET LEAN LEGS

HOW TO GET SKINNY LEGS – MESOMORPH

mesomorph lean legs
Image credit: Andrea Raffin : Shutterstock.com
  • Mesomorphs are considered to be ”natural athletes” because they gain muscle and lose fat with ease.
  • 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.

FOR DETAILED INFO ON MESOMORPH’S IDEAL DIET & WORKOUT TIPS READ MY ULTIMATE GUIDE.

HOW TO GET SKINNY LEGS- ENDOMORPH

endomorph lean legs
Image credits: Joe Seer : Shutterstock.com

A lot of women ask me how to get skinny legs if they have an endomorph body type, and if it’s even possible. It is more challenging than with other two body types, but definitely possible.

  • 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 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.

Note: 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.

READ MY FULL POST IN ENDOMORPH’S RECOMMENDED DIET & WORKOUT REGIME

STEP 3: EAT THE RIGHT DIET FOR YOUR BODY TYPE

how to eat right

You can do lots of walking and do all the correct resistance exercises, but if you aren’t eating a healthy diet and aren’t eating the right amount of food, you won’t get results.

To lose weight overall and slim down your legs, you need to be eating less food than your body needs. Here are some tips for maintaining a healthy diet:

  • COUNT CALORIES FOR ONE WEEK – We often underestimate how many calories are in the foods we are eating. I recommend counting calories for just 1 week to get an idea on how much you’re actually eating. 
  • WORK OUT HOW MANY CALORIES YOUR BODY NEEDS – Read this blog post to find out your daily calorie intake. Once you know this, you can work out how many calories you need to eat to lose weight. 
  • DON’T BE TOO RESTRICTIVE – I don’t recommend counting calories long term, as this can lead to an unhealthy relationship with food. Just keep it to one week so you have a better understanding of what you’re eating.
  • EACH BODY TYPE HAS A DIFFERENT “PERFECT DIET” – This free body type quiz will tell you which body type you are and you what you should be eating for skinny legs. If you haven’t done it yet, I highly recommend you do.

If you made it all the way through here- good job! Let’s recap everything we’ve covered and then move the most frequent questions I get asked by women I am working with.

HOW TO EAT & TRAIN TO GET SKINNY LEG [FINAL SUMMARY]:

  • Low to moderate intensity cardio (i.e. walking) burns FAT
  • 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;
  • Running, HIIT and resistance training do not burn fat while you are doing them, but still lead to overall fat loss
  • Resistance training will help give your legs shape and tone, and reduce cellulite
  • Avoid heavy resistance exercises such as squats and lunges, and focus on lighter Pilates-style exercises such as donkey kicks, glute bridges and lying leg lifts.
  • There are 3 main body types (ectomorph, mesomorph, endomorph). Knowing your body type will help you understand the best exercises and diet for you.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

DOES RUNNING BURN FAT OR MUSCLE?

running for lean 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 for longer distance, so you aren’t really puffed out, your body might use some fat. But, in that case I believe 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!

WILL RESISTANCE TRAINING HELP ME BURN FAT?

Resistance training is an anaerobic activity, so it will burn stored glycogen (carbs) and creatine phosphate (unlike walking which burns fat).

However, resistance training improves your metabolism, which in turn increases the number of calories you burn.

This is important for losing weight overall. So, it is very important when it comes to fat loss. 

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.

WHY SHOULD I DO RESISTANCE TRAINING?

resistance training for lean legs

You might be tempted to avoid resistance training altogether, 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 and you are more likely to develop cellulite or “skinny fat” look.

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.

exercises that cause bulk

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.

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.

Usually, I do 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.

interval running for lean legs

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 Lean Legs Program, 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.

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.

DO I NEED TO CHANGE MY DIET?

Eating healthy is extremely important.  But if you’re not used to having a healthy diet and you’re not sure where to start, I suggest you try it for a week or two.

I have a FREE 7 Day Slim Legs Diet Plan that will help you get used to a healthy diet but also it will help you slim down your legs.

You can download it below :)

HOW TO GET SKINNY AND TONED 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 Lean Legs Program is the answer!

3 STEPS TO LEAN LEGS PROGRAM BEFORE & AFTER

”I trained with a personal trainer 3 times a week and while traveling, I used to do Kayla Itsines’ SWEAT program.

However, my thighs continued to be a problem despite exercising like a machine (in fact, I started measuring them and the more SWEAT I was doing, the bigger they became).

With [Rachael’s] program, I started seeing the results almost immediately. I measured my thighs, butt and muffin top and I lost inches after first week!

Read Jeanne-Mare’s Full Review Of The Program Here

@audprater

Here’s my 6-month transformation <3 I never thought I’d be able to lean out my muscles!! I have never felt happier & more confident with my body! Eternally grateful to you and your program!


@AlexBGamez

This is only my 5-week progress, I was too eager to share the results with you. After years of trying other programs and even when I entered fitness competitions, I have never seen my legs this lean! I can’t wait to see my progress at the end of the 8weeks and again at the end of 16weeks after Round 2! Thank you and your lovely team. I am beyond grateful!

START NOW WITH MY 3 STEPS TO LEAN LEGS PROGRAM!

I created my 3 Steps To Lean Legs Program 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 program includes 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 guides for each of the 3 main body types.

Also, for the Resistance Training part of my Program, I now have FULL-LENGTH videos you can follow from warm-up to cool down.

To find out more about my FULL-LENGTH VIDEOS, follow this link: 

https://www.rachaelattard.com/lean-legs-video-course/

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT MY 3 STEPS TO LEAN LEGS PROGRAM

“3 STEPS TO LEAN LEGS PROGRAM: 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

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 to 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 started googling how to get skinnier legs when she found me!

I designed a program for her, very similar to my 3 Steps To Lean Legs Program. 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.

Picture of Rachael

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.

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

    Abi says:

    Hi Rachel! Thanks for the helpful posts. Two questions: will this advice work well for girls who particularly want to slim down calves? Second, I love using my spin bike, but is there a way to use it so minimize bulking up (e.g. low resistance, longer sessions) especially when weather is not cooperating for walking/outdoor exercise? Relatedly, do you think excessive use of the spin bike could be bulking up calves in particular (I can see why it would bulk up thighs, but that bothers me less). Thanks for your reply!

      Lean Legs Support says:

      Hi lovely,

      Calves are a bit tricky because genetics is a big factor. We often get these questions so Rachael wrote a very detailed blog post about it.

      I think you’re going to find it very helpful :)

      when it comes to using the spin bike, if you are an endomorph, the motion you use 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 it. 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 you can get out to run or power walk, feel free to substitute it with Rachael’s at-home cardio workouts. :)

      I hope that helps. xx

      Love,
      Len

    Els Knockaert says:

    Hello! I’ve just read a lot of your articles and would love to try the plan (mesomorph body type btw). But I’ve been struggling with patellofemoral issues, my inner thigh muscle isn’t that strong apparently. They’ve advised me not to run. Walking is okay of vourse :-).
    What would you suggest instead of high intensity cardio or should I replace running with HITT?
    And my last question, would the exercises in the plan be save to do for my knee?

      Lean Legs Support says:

      Hi lovely,

      The workouts included in the program are low-impact so it should be safe but I still recommend that you check with your doctor first. Excluding running from your routine is completely fine. Feel free to replace it with more power walks instead. :)

      If you want to have an idea about the type of exercises that are included in the program, you can try Rachael’s ‘Train LikeA Model’ Video Course for free. You can register an account in our Lean Legs Platform. It will only take 2 minutes and it’s completely free. You can do that through this link.

      You will find her free content and other workouts under the ‘INSPIRATION & FREEBIES’ tab. :)

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

      Love,
      Len

    Zeynep says:

    Hi! So I’ve been planning to buy 3 steps to lean legs program. I also want to join the progress pic competition after finishing 8 weeks. But I wonder when you make the next competition after 20th June. I would be so happy if you can inform me :)

      Lean Legs Support says:

      Hi lovely,

      We organize the Progress Pic Competition every two months so you are always welcome to join the next one. :)

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

      Love,
      Len

    Courtney says:

    Hi. Just wondering what the difference is between your 3 steps to lean legs program and your video course? I only bought the video course because my nutrition is fine and I know my calories and macros from your website as well so I can choose meals to match that. Will I still see results only following your video course? (I will be walking everyday for an hour to reach 10000 steps as you’ve suggested)

      Lean Legs Support says:

      Hi lovely,

      Thanks for reaching out!

      The 3 Steps to Lean Legs Program is consists of a cardio plan, body-weight resistance exercises in the form of short demonstration videos (that you can watch through the link provided in the ebook), full meal plans (regular and vegan), separate recipe eBooks.

      The Lean Legs Video Course consists of those same body-weight resistance exercises from the Program but in the form of 12 full-length follow-along videos plus 4 bonus booty workouts, but there are no meal plans, cardio plan, or recipe books.

      If you don’t need help in the nutrition area, the Lean Legs Video Course will be enough to give you your desired results especially if you incorporate light-intensity cardio like power walking. :)

      I hope that helps! If you have more questions, you can email us at info@rachaelattard.com

      Love,
      Len

    Lisa Cunnings says:

    Hello,

    What if I do these exercises while intermittent fasting? I do the 16:8 fasting. Would this benefit me?

      Lean Legs Support says:

      Hi lovely,

      Yes, just make sure that you’re still following your ideal daily calorie intake and macros and add resistance exercises in your routine. :)

      Love,
      Len

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