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In this blog post, I’ll explain how to get lean legs by using HIIT. I’ll show you how to tailor your HIIT to make it a fat burning activity that will assist you in getting those slim and toned legs!

You may know from my previous blog post on cardio that low to moderate intensity cardio is a fat burning activity, whereas HIIT and weights typically are not.

HIIT and weights are an anaerobic activity, which means your body uses glycogen (carbs) as the main fuel source, not fat.

Cardio is an aerobic activity, which means your body uses glycogen (carbs) and fat as the main fuel source. When you do cardio your body gets into the fat burning zone.

Note that HIIT and weights typically do not burn fat.

CARDIO (longer duration steady state exercise) –> AEROBIC–> BURNS FAT

HIIT (short bursts of high-intensity exercise) –> ANAEROBIC–> BURNS GLYCOGEN

SO WHY DO WE STILL NEED TO DO HIIT THEN?

HIIT is great because it increases your general cardiovascular fitness and your anaerobic threshold. This means that during exercise your body will remain in the aerobic (fat burning) zone for longer, before switching to the anaerobic pathway.

The result? You can exercise for longer and at a higher intensity and still burn fat.

HOW TO DO HIIT EFFECTIVELY FOR FAT BURNING

My favourite HIIT burning exercise is interval running. It similar to sprinting but they are not quite the same. Let me explain :)

SPRINTING

If you are sprinting for 15-30 seconds at your absolute fastest speed, with a 30-second rest, your body is using the anaerobic pathway and is using predominantly glycogen. 

Sprinting is a great workout. It engages your muscles more and focuses on muscular power. So you’re likely to build more muscles with sprinting than with just steady state running.

If you don’t mind a more muscular look, then this is probably a great style of workout for you. But if you prefer a more lean and slim look, it might be best to avoid this type of training and focus on interval running instead.

INTERVAL RUNNING

If you are running at a fast but not maximum speed for 90 seconds to 2 minutes, your body will most likely remain in the aerobic zone for the majority of the time. This means you’ll continue to burn fat.

The fitter you are, the longer your body will remain in the aerobic (fat burning) zone before switching to anaerobic.

The result? You’ll burn more fat!

fat burning hiit workout

HOW TO GET LEAN LEGS BY USING HIIT – FAT BURNING HIIT

Interval running is my favourite type of HIIT. I started to use this technique a couple of years ago when I was training for a triathlon.

I used fast pace interval runs (not a full on sprint) to help me develop my cardio fitness faster. And it definitely helped with my cardio fitness, as I expected. But I also noticed something else.

You see, I’m a mesomorph body type and I can build muscle fairly quickly, especially on my legs. And interval running actually helped me lean out my legs.

And since I prefer a more lean look, I love doing exercises that help me get toned and slim without making me bulky.

SHOULD I TRY INTERVAL RUNNING?

If your goal is to get slim and lean legs without the bulkiness and you want to achieve it a bit faster, interval running could work very well for you. 

This type of workout will help you burn a LOT of calories and is great if you want to challenge yourself.

But there are some things you should take into consideration:

YOUR BODY TYPE

Interval running may not be the best choice for endomorphs. It may cause their legs to bulk up.

If you are not sure about your body type, I have a special quiz you can take. It will help you learn your body type in just two minutes, it’s completely free and you will get tips on how to train and eat specifically for your body type :)

YOUR FITNESS LEVEL

If you are already in pretty good shape and you would like to do it, I would do this once per week at a maximum.

I also need to warn that it is really difficult. If you are not already fit, I would not recommend it.

But if you are sure you want to try interval running as your fat burning HIIT routine, don’t do a proper sprint. It’s supposed to be a more of a fast-paced interval run. 

This shouldn’t cause bulkiness like short and intense sprints usually do.

Also make sure you do it on a flat surface. Hill runs are great but you will build more muscle that way.

fat burning hiit workouts

HOW TO COMPLETE THE INTERVAL RUNNING CIRCUIT

  • 5-minute warm-up walk at 6-7km/hr
  • 400m run at around 14km/hr (takes about 1 min 50 secs)
  • 60-second walk at 6km/hr
  • Repeat as many times as you can. If you’re a beginner, aim for 3-5 rounds. If you’re advanced, aim for 8-10 rounds.
  • 15 minute cool down walk at 6-7km/hr

NOTE: You do not have to do your 400m run at 14km/hr. However, it must be at a pace that is fast and quite difficult for you to maintain for 2 minutes. After the 2 minutes, you should be in desperate need of a rest. Choose a pace that suits you best. :)

HOW TO DO FAT BURNING HIIT IF YOU DON’T WANT/CAN’T RUN

You can apply this same principle to other forms of gym equipment such as the bike or cross trainer/elliptical even though I have to say that those are not as great as interval running.

But if you can’t run for some reasons, here are your alternatives.

INTERVAL TRAINING ON A BIKE OR CROSS TRAINER/ELLIPTICAL

Cycling can cause bulkiness, especially if you are an endomorph body type. And even if you are a mesomorph I would still do it probably once per week.

As for the cross trainer/elliptical, I don’t think that it will really cause bulkiness.

This machine engages your quads so you can gain more leg muscle than you would like. But it’s not the style of workout that will necessarily cause your legs to really bulk up.

If you can’t do interval running for some reason, the cross trainer is the next best thing.

fat burning hiit workouts

HOW TO COMPLETE THE CIRCUIT 

  • Exercise at a medium to high intensity for 90 seconds to 2 minutes.
  • Have a rest or reduce the intensity for 60 seconds. I recommend a 60-second break, but if you need 90 seconds, that’s OK. 
  • Repeat as many times as you can.
  • This does not need to be done at the gym either. You could cycle outside rather than on the treadmill or bike.

LEAN LEGS PROGRAM 1

If you would like a more specific workout program to target fat loss on your legs and to build lean muscle without getting bulky, check out my Lean Legs Program 1. 

My program contains an 8-week workout plan. But if you grab the Next Level You Package, you’ll also get a nutrition plan for each of the three body types.

Love Rachael xx

P.S. read this blog post for a body weight HIIT circuit that won’t bulk up your legs.

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.

161 Responses

  1. Hi Rachael! I am so glad someone finally recognizes different bodies abilities and what we all prefer to look like. My boyfriend basically made fun of me and called me super woman because i told him i bulk up so easily and i wanted to avoid a work out like HITT or hard core spin classes. I found your site and i proved him wrong! I am a meso, like you, and I bulk up easily, I gain easily and I lose easily. Its often a pain because it takes consistency to remain at a good lean level. I am trying to lose about 15 lbs, im 5’4, about 129 lbs, and i have been going to the gym 4/5 days a week for about an hour. I have been avoiding the machines, and only doing the treadmill. I cant afford your whole program right now, but could surely use some tips to help me meet my goals. Hope we can chat!

    1. Hi lovely! We can help you achieve your fitness goals. Rachael has designed her workouts to help women slim down their legs in the healthiest way possible and without any unwanted bulkiness. Feel free to reach out to us at info@rachaelattard.com so we could guide you further :)

  2. Hi lovely!
    I am a mesomorph and I wondering how much the bike/elliptical circuit should be? 1 hour or 30 minutes? or more???

    1. Hi lovely,

      Thanks for reaching out!

      We recommend that you do this cardio for a minimum of 45 mins or 2 hours max to effectively burn a huge number of calories. If your goal is to slim down your legs, I would advise that you stick to light-intensity cardio like power walking. :)

      I hope that helps. xx

  3. Hi… I lost 7 kgs at home.. But now my weight loss has stuck. I would like to lose more. How can I restart my fat loss?

    1. Hi lovely,

      Thanks for reaching out! <3

      This is very common for some women that's why Rachael wrote a detailed blog post with tips on how to get out of a weight loss plateau. Feel free to give it a read whenever you can and if you have more questions, you can email us at info@rachaelattard.com. :)

      Wishing you the best of luck! xx

  4. Hi, I’m an endomorph. If I choose to run 2 times a week how long should I run for to not get bulky shoulders or arms?

    1. Hi lovely,

      We recommend that you run for only 20 minutes. Running burns a lot of calories but some endomorph women (especially shorter women) can get bulky
      legs from doing it. This is because running actually does build some muscle (but not as much as resistance training and HIIT). We recommend that you monitor your progress and if you think that you’re gaining unwanted bulkiness, feel free to replace it with more power walks instead. You just need to double up the time. For example, a 20-min run should be substituted with a 40-min power walk. :)

      Love,
      Len

  5. Hi, I’m an endomorph. At what speed / length of time should I run on the treadmill to lose overall body weight without bulking up? Are there any other HIIT exercises for this besides interval running since you say it may cause endomorphs to bulk up? I just want to save time but if not, what steady-state speed should I jog at if I jog every day?

    1. Hi lovely,

      For endomorphs, Rachael strongly recommends walking. Try to do as much power walking as you can, at least 5 times per week for 45 minutes per walk. You should do 2-3 days of moderate-high intensity cardio (running) only. Rachael recommends a running speed of 10-12km/hr or 6.2-7.5mph and running on a flat surface. As for HIIT workouts, Rachael doesn’t include them in the endomorph Program because they tend to cause bulkiness. However, if you would like to give it a try and see how it works for you, you can read Rachael’s blog post on HIIT workouts here :)

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

      Love,
      Sanja

  6. Hi Diana,

    Just wanted to follow up. Do we still need to take protein shake after running? I also thought for mesomorphs, the carbohydrates and protein intakes were similar in the 30percentages.. thank you!

  7. Hi Rachael,

    So is it better for mesomorphs to run, or power walk? I want to lose weight overall and not just my legs! Also… do we HAVE to eat post workout meals/snacks even though we’re not hungry? Thank you so much!

    1. Hi lovely,
      Both walking and running are great for slimming down the legs, so we recommend both! :) If you’re unable to run for some reason, you can substitute it with more power walking. Walking is one of the best workouts for leaner legs, so you would still get results.
      You don’t have to eat post workout if you aren’t hungry, but I would suggest having a protein shake.
      Eating more protein post workout will also help your muscles recover. Ideally, carbohydrate to protein ratio should be 3:1. Our favorite post workout meal is a protein smoothie with fruit and protein powder (in the morning), or BBQ chicken with roast sweet or white potato and green vegetables (at night). xx

      Love,
      Diana

  8. Hi,
    The reason why I do hiit-workout is because I want to lower my body fat-pecentage and get those abs. If I do this instead of the hiit workout, will I still be able to get abs?

    1. Hi lovely,
      If you’re an ectomorph or mesomorph body type, you should be able to do some interval running without getting bulky. This will work great for lowering your body fat percentage, but I would do other type of HIIT for abs, like the workouts in this blog post.
      Wishing you all the best! xx

      Love,
      Diana

  9. Just wondering about Sprint Les Mills so Spin but 30min High intensity, I have been doing it 2x week.

    1. Hi lovely,
      This type of HIIT workout is great because it burns a lot of calories, but it will make your legs bulky. If you don’t mind that then you should keep going, but if you’d like to slim down your legs I would recommend light intensity steady state cardio combined with resistance training instead! :) xx

      Love,
      Diana

  10. Hi, Rachael
    I was wondering how would be a good way to try and balance these work outs with high school life, because I am in high school but desperately want thinner, smaller and leaner legs. Also because my mother calls me fat. Even though everyone else says I am skinny. What can I do???

    1. Hi lovely,
      Swimming is a great cardio workout for fat loss, but nothing will slim down your legs like walking and running will. If you’re unable to run or you’d like to substitute it, I would definitely recommend swimming as the next best thing! xx

      Love,
      Diana

    1. Hi lovely,
      I would recommend power walking over elliptical training because It won’t slim down your legs like running and walking will.

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

      The 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.
      You can find out more about the Lean Legs Program here:

      Lean Legs Program

      For more helpful info please have a read of this blog post:

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

      Love,
      Diana

  11. Hi Rachel,

    I am a tad confused?

    You mention that short duration of running leads to muscle gain (bulky)

    Yet you suggest HIIT, a 2 minute HIIT where you run for as fast as you can in a short period of time.

    How does that not put on muscle?

    I struggle with gaining muscle in my thighs and can get thick since i am a short person.

    Does height matter when it comes to running, as the legs are shorter so the grow wider?

    1. Hi lovely,
      HIIT can make your legs bulky (or be ineffective in helping you slim down your legs) if you gain muscle easily, which is the case with the endomorph body type. We do recommend some light HIIT for the other two body types because they don’t tend to bulk up as easily.
      Some girls who are endomorphs have complained that running makes their legs bigger. This is not very common and is definitely not because of height or length of your legs. If your body type is endomorph I suggest avoiding HIIT altogether and doing more cardio and resistance training.

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

      The 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.
      You can find out more about the Lean Legs Program here:

      Lean Legs Program

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

      https://www.rachaelattard.com/female-guide-how-to-get-lean-and-not-bulky-skinny-legs/

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

      Love,
      Diana

  12. Hi Rachel.
    I’m having a doubt ..I have a bully lower body..Will too much of doing squats will make it more bulky ??
    As I’m not using any of the weight doing squats.please guide me about it

    1. Hi lovely,
      Too many squats and lunges can make your legs bulky even if you’re not using any weights.

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

      The 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.
      You can find out more about the Lean Legs Program here:

      Lean Legs Program

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

      https://www.rachaelattard.com/female-guide-how-to-get-lean-and-not-bulky-skinny-legs/

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

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

      Love,
      Diana
      xx

  13. So I just started working out again after having 2 kids. I heard about HIIT sprints and decided to go in with this as my cardio 3 to 4 times a week, but I noticed my thighs have been getting larger and I don’t like it,
    . should I cut out some days of sprints and do 2 days HIIT and 2 days power walking? Also, could doing squats and bridge hip lifts with weights be making my thighs get bigger? I did read that it might be better to do less weight and more reps.

    1. Hi lovely,
      Yes, your legs can get bulky if you do a lot of HIIT and squats.
      I suggest lifting lighter weights (up to 5kg) and increasing reps for a more toned look.

      We would love to help you as much as we can :) So that’s why we have created the Lean Legs Program!
      The 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.
      You can find out more about the Lean Legs Program here:

      Lean Legs Program

      Love,
      Diana
      xx

  14. I am currently doing a walk for 5 min and run for 30-60 sec and then running on every 5 or 10 for 50 minutes and finishing my cardio at 10 min of walking to cool down, will this help me lean out my legs?

    1. Hi lovely,
      Yes, that sounds great!
      Don’t forget to add circuit workouts and eat as healthy as you can for best results.
      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

  15. Hey Rachael! So I’m not really tall,5ft and my weight is average but since I’m short my legs looks muscular and short. I want to know if doing hiit will make my legs bigger, like doing squats and lunges. If so what kind of exercise should I do and how often should I do it??

    1. Hi lovely,

      We see a lot of girls struggling with this and on Rachael’s instagram profile you can see how they progressed by following her workout program. There are a lot more details in her eBook that comes with workout videos and a meal plan so check it out!

      She would love to help you with any questions you have and give personalized nutrition advice, that’s why she created the Lean Legs Club where she can help you achieve your fitness goals faster :) If you’d like to join find more useful info here

      Love,
      Lean legs Club support
      xx
      P.S. For more workouts on how to slim down your legs check out this blog post!

  16. Hey Rachel. Tks for your very useful advice. I regret not visiting your website earlier as I used to skip rope for weight loss without knowing that it could bulk my calves. I feel so sad bc no matter how hard I tried or what kind of exercise I did (pilates, yoga, swimming) I could not slim down my calves muscles. I also suffer from eating disorder and binge eating so now i am trying very hard to lose weight again. Can you give me some solutions?

  17. Hi, there! I just read your article and really loved it, lots of explanation! I wanna ask you something, i’ve been doing some one leg skipping (alternating) so it’s like i’m running. Will it make my calves bigger? I don’t do it really fast or anything, actually it’s kinda slow-medium paced. Thank you!!

  18. Hey Rachel! I am doing 3 or 4 times a week HIITs of cardio and weights at the same time. I am also on a diet where i eat most fats and proteins. My big concerns are my legs. I want them to get thinner. Do you recommend to keep doing this diet and combining my HIITs (one day with weights and the other day this type of cardio HIIT)?

  19. Hello Rachael your blog is so helpful thank you so much , I’m learning a lot from you :)
    I will try to do your ( mesomorph guideline) & I’ll tell you the result ;3
    I have a stupid question sorry haha !
    but “400m run at around 14km/hr (takes about 1 min 50 secs) ”
    Do you mean 400 mins. right ? I just want to be sure ! sorry :)

  20. I have a question. Several times in your posts you say to avoid sprints but then other times you say it’s a good thing. Does it depend on your body type? I am 5’2″ and have relatively slim legs but they look bigger since my upper body is so tiny. I want to slim down my legs and give them shape so they’re not just jiggly. Is sprinting good or bad for that goal?

    1. Hi lovely, if I ever mention sprints I’m talking about the type of fast pace running in this blog post – sorry for the confusion! If you have shorter legs, then sprints may not be the best idea. I would do more steady state cardio :) xx

  21. Hi! I know this is an old post, but I have a question. My thighs used to be tiny, but ever since I started working out (elliptical, leg press, squats, etc.), they have become thicker. I understand I have to stop with the elliptical, and start walking. If I walk on a treadmill with no incline, will that work?

  22. Hello Rachael, first of all thank you for sharing all these lovely info with us.

    I would like to get some advice from you. I’m an endomorph and pretty short and am trying to lose the 20 pounds I gained from inactivity. As I have quite abit to lose, would it be recommended to do hiit running? I’m worried about bulking legs as I have short legs. I find that LISS doesnt do much for me as I dont feel tired after 45mins of power walking. As a beginner who is quite out of shape what kind of hiit running would you recommend, if you do recommend it? I currently do yoga (bikram, ashtanga and vinyasa) and count it as my resistance training. Thank you so much for taking time to read this!

    1. Hi lovely! Yes you can try HIIT running but I would just monitor your legs to make sure it’s not making them bulky. I would do it as I have mentioned here – 2 minutes on, 1 minute off (fast paced, not sprint). And I would still keep up with the walking too! Walking shouldn’t really leave you exhuasted and puffed out so I know it can feel like it’s not doing anything, but I promise it is! Also don’t forget that diet is number 1 when trying to lose weight, and a low carb diet is best for endomorphs. Keep up the amazing work! And good luck! xx

  23. Hi Rachel,
    I have insulin resistance, so my body is like: more fat around the stomach, arms, and thighs. I really like HIIT (5 min walk, 2 min on 12km/h, 1 min walk…), but I don’t know, whether it is the best type of training for me, or rather cardio (15-30 min on 12km/h). (After a 25 min HIIT training I usually o 40 mins of resistance or weight training.) Do you know anyone with the same “illness”, who could lose weight with your strategies? ( I eat gluten-, dairy-, and sugar-free, with a lot of chicken-brown rice recepies.) I would really like to get my old shape, as I don’t feel comforatble with my look.
    Thank you very much in advance:))

    1. Hi Candy, it would be most important to focus on your diet for insulin resistance – so avoid processed foods, sugar white carbs and saturated fat. And keep up regular exercise! It sounds like you are doing great with your workouts! If you can run for 15-30 mins at 12km/hr, I would do your HIIT runs at 14km/hr. All the best xx

  24. Hello! I am so thankful I found your page. I have struggled for YEARS now with how bulky my legs are. I am 5’4, weigh around 145 and I’m 29 years old with two littles. I have been officially working out for about 7 years now. A lot of running. Then did cross fit and definitely didn’t like how big my quads got. I have always had muscular legs. In high school I got made fun of, because of how large my calves were and I tried everything I could to make them thinner. I know you can’t beat genetics. But at this point I’m beyond desperate. I have my diet in order, I eat minimal carbs. Working out 6 days a week. All I have ever been trying to do was to get leaner. I have spent so many hours in the gym here lately that I realized my legs are only growing larger. And I’m exhausted. I lift light weights, around 2-5lb max. I JUST started doing fasted cardio. If you could please help. I feel like I’ve been running in the wrong direction for so long. Just trying to figure this out. I eat lean meats for protein. Lots of veggies and fruits. I can’t tell you the last time I ate cake?? Or. Donut. Although it looks as if I am. I tried to slip some pants on the other day, and I couldn’t get them over my calves. When they fit about a month ago. I run about 9:30 miles if I’m reeeally pushing it. But comfortably I’m about a 10 minute mile. I know I’m all over the place. I’m frustrated and extremely discouraged. Tried sticking to the books about it all, eating every 3 hours. Egg whites in the morning. Doing whole30, salads, fruit and maybe bacon. That’s basically my diet in a nut she’ll every day. Any way you could help. Thank you.

    1. Hi Meg, I’m really sorry to hear that you have been having such a hard time for so long. It sounds like the current workouts you are doing are definitely causing your leg muscles to get bigger so I would suggest stopping that. I would stick with cardio (keep running to 2 times per week maximum) and do some of the workouts on my blog. You really need to tone down your workouts to reduce your muscles but also remember that reducing muscle takes time (a lot of time) so you need to be patient and stick it out. If you’re exhausted, it’s also a good idea to tone down your workouts. But it could also be a good idea to just take a week or two off exercise to let your body recover. Overtraining and being exhausted can actually make you store fat which you don’t want! So I would 1) take some time off exercise and then 2) when you start again, focus more on cardio and lighter circuits. It sounds like you have your diet under control so good for you! That is a really hard thing for a lot of people. I wish you all the best! xx

  25. Hi Rachel,

    I have plantar fasciitis in one foot so running doesn’t work for me. :(
    Can I still get toned skinny legs with walking only?

    Thank you,
    Kay C.

  26. Hi Rachel!
    Just wanted to know that I followed your power walking guide religiously, & it helped so much. I saw the results after two weeks. My question is, is this routine with 15 – 30 mins HIIT followed by 15 min walk as effective as the 45-60 mins of solely power walking? If so, how many times per week do you reccomend we follow this routine? Another question, for reference I am 120lbs 5 feet 6 inches….if I try to do 5 min warmup followed by 9 km/hr jog/run for 10-15 mins followed by 45 mins
    6-7 km/hr power walk, is that still an effective routine?

    1. Hi Penny, that’s so great to hear! I would just do this HIIT once per week :) And yes the run / walk you described is great. It would be good to try and increase your running speed too! Good luck xx

  27. Right now I am about 115 pounds at 5 feet and 1 inch. My goal is to get my weight down to about 100-105 pounds. I’ve been walking/running 10 miles every single day for a little more than a month now and that helped me lose about 20 pounds. But, now it’s not helping me lose weight anymore. I’m just wasting 2-3 hours every day of useless cardio. I DO NOT want to build any muscle, I just want to lose about 10-15 pounds. My arms are thin, so are my neck and face. But, my thighs (not really my calves) and my stomach have a little fat, that I would like to get rid of. Can you please help me get rid of the fat there without building any muscle? Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Charlotte, wow great work on the weight loss! You should be very happy and proud about that :) It gets harder and harder to lose weight when you start getting down to your ideal weight. Everyone goes through a plateau so it sounds like you need to mix up your workouts and really concentrate on your diet! I would still do resistance training because that helps to get rid of the fat on your stomach, and cardio will help with the fat on your thighs. And of course I recommend my eBook ;) xx

  28. Hi Rachael
    I came across this post (very useful!). I am not sure what body type I am. I have been maintaining the same weight for the past 15 years with 1-2lb fluctuations back and forth around 108lbs (I am 5″2). I am not overtly thin in my legs at all, but I do not gain or lose weight easily.

    I have been trying to lean my legs and went through different workouts. Currently, I walk outside every morning at medium/fast pace for 25mins then do isometric exercises for 15 mins then HIIT jumps or routine like you describe pretty much.

    I stopped eating wheat and most grains as well to limit carbs.
    Anything else you’d suggest?

    1. Hi Jenny, I think you are probably the mesomorph body type. I would avoid the HIIT jumps for now as they won’t help you lean out your legs. Try doing some of these type of workouts. If you really want to do HIIT, here is an idea of a HIIT workout you can do that won’t bulk. Also keep up with the walking – the more the better! You could also add in a bit of running (just 20-30 minutes max) a couple of times per week to speed up the process. Eating low carb is good, but cutting out sugar is the main thing! xx

      1. Thank you!
        I am interested in your skinny legs ebook but just wanted to know whether they require any special equipment? I prefer no equipment due to time and space constraints.

        Also, how many hours on average do you recommend exercising according to your ebook?

  29. Hi Rachael! So, I am 5″ and I naturally have short legs. I run on the elliptical but don’t seem to be shedding weight of my stomach area and thighs. I do HIIT training 2 time a week on the elliptical. I am not quite sure what to do because I am really focused on toning my body and getting slim and fit. I do eat healthy so I am not sure what I am doing wrong. What do you think? Do you have any advice?

    1. Hi lovely, I would change from the elliptical to the treadmill. You’ll get rid of the weight from your thighs better this way. And I would make sure you’re doing both running and walking. Also, try to just do HIIT once per week. Also, cardio only is good for slimming down your legs, but you do need to do some resistance training and/or full body HIIT to tone up and lose fat from your stomach xx

    2. While you are waiting for the results of your workouts, you should dress in a way that makes your legs look longer and slimmer. I use these tips, and they ALWAYS work for me. I wear long heels that are the color of my skin, because it gives my legs the appearance of being longer and slimmer. By the way, I am 5 feet and my thighs have a little fat on them, too. So, I know what you are going through. Make sure that your clothes are proportional. If it is not, it make look like your torso is too long and your legs are way too short. Never wear flats, as the makes the appearance of shorter, stubby legs. Also, wear black, because that makes the appearance of skinnier legs.

  30. Q for you! Should the pace @ which we run faster enable us to keep weight in our hamstrings vs quads?

    I misread your instructions, so ran for 90 vs 120 sec, but noticed I felt like I was using my quads more, which seems counterproductive :(.

    Would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for all you do. You’ve created quite a life line for me &, I’m certain, many others. xox

    1. Hi Michaela, you’re welcome! I’m sorry to hear that you are feeling it in your quads. Running does use your quad muscles so you can’t really help that. But some people tend to build muscle in their quads with running more than other people (especially if you are an endomorph). I would try it for 120 seconds and see if that makes a difference. But if not, I wouldn’t do the HIIT and I would just focus on walking and steady state running instead. I hope that helps! xx

      1. Thank you so much Rachael! It def does. I’m a mesomorph, & already have well developed thighs (in my opinion), so I wish to not do anything to increase their mass.

        & I guess w your statement – erring on the side of caution for building mass i would eliminate the HIIT altogether?

        And does steady state running not build mass @ all?

        Again, THANK YOU!!! xox

        1. Yes it might be a good idea to stop the HIIT for now. Steady state running still builds a little bit of muscle but not as much as HIIT and resistance training. I would do steady state running (and of course walking). Good luck lovely! xx

          1. Again thank you! & final Q for the moment :O – the truth is I have v developed INNER thighs. Is there a way to minimize those bad boys? I try to turn my toes out more w resistance exercises, but knowing what did NOT build them would be most advantageous.

            You are wonderful! Thank you always. xox

  31. im 5ft in height and so naturally, I have short legs. Ive read that running isnt for short people because we tend to bulk up our calves easily and that we are better off with walking. What do you think? What would you recommend so I could tone my legs? Ive found that youre blog is an interesting read and that theres a lot of interesting topics and ive been constantly reading through them. Thanks!

    1. Hi Paulo! Yes I would agree that short people are better off with walking. Running is great for burning lots of calories but it does build some muscle (and can cause bulk, especially in shorter people). To tone up your legs, I would do workouts like this. I hope that helps! xx

  32. Hi Rachel!

    1. I just wanted to point out in your second paragraph you wrote “HIIT and weights are an aerobic activity…”when I think you meant to write ANAEROBIC. Just wanted to let you know :)

    2. More importantly, I LOVE your blog and emails! I’ve been struggling with trying to slim down my legs without bulking up so it’s encouraging to read your posts about your experience. I have been only walking the past year and was very happy with my figure, but I wanted to tone up so I started doing pilates. I’ve loved it so much and just bought an unlimited pass for 6 months! I started December 2, but now I feel like my legs are actually starting to get thicker and my inner thighs are much closer to touching. I thought the pilates would lengthen and tone my legs, but now I’m feeling very self conscious now about how my legs are getting bigger and thicker. I am still walking everyday (over an hour) and my diet is definitely on point (I’m a health nut and future registered dietitian).

    Do you have any suggestions or advice to help me slim down my legs? I’ve been going to pilates 4x/wk (doing 2 barre classes, 1 level II, and 1 “Pilates 2 the Core!”). I really love the classes and definitely want to continue because I feel much stronger, but I don’t like that my thighs are getting bigger!!

    Any suggestions/advice would be much appreciated!

    THANK YOU!
    -Jackie

    1. Hi Jackie! Oh thanks for that, I have fixed it up :) I would suggest cutting out the barre classes if you feel like your legs are getting bulky. A lot of these exercises just focus on your legs and when I went to a barre class, I found that the exercises were ones that would bulk up my legs. Pilates exercises should be OK, I would just avoid the barre. I hope that helps! xx

  33. Hi Rachel,

    Firstly I think your blog is absolutely amazing. I feel like I’ve learnt to much from you already!

    I really struggle with my muscly thighs, I would say I have quite an athletic body, I can gain muscle really quickly (which I do not want!). I’m 5’6 and weigh just over 10stone. I signed up for a 12 week PT course a few months ago & gained about half a stone! (guessing muscle weighs more than fat!) I don’t want to bulk, I already feel like my thighs are ‘bulky’ and shapeless, im finding it difficult and confusing as to what to do to slim down and get leaner thighs – I’ve just joined a new gym and have been focusing on cardio (running machine/cross trainer etc) I have also been doing some HIIT sprints but now I read this could also bulk me out. I tried your Fat burning HIIT workout to get lean legs yesterday and managed 6 rounds. Please can you advise me on the best way to slim down my thighs, is it simply just power walking? Thanks so much. (I have also been eating well, my weigh is just not changing, but my overall fitness has massively improved.) Natalie xx

    1. Hi Natalie, I’m actually about to write a blog post today on how to slim down muscular thighs so keep your eyes out for that. But basically, for you to reduce the muscle, you need to avoid exercises that use these muscles, and do long and steady state cardio. I would try doing as much walking as you can, do steady state running a few times per week, and then for resistance training, do this style here which shouldn’t build muscle in your legs. Good luck hun! xx

  34. Hey Rachel,

    So happy I discovered your website! Your blogs are so useful:)

    So I have been following your advice on steady-running for lean legs. I alternate between power-walking and running for 30 mins and then 10 mins of light elliptical (with no incline or heavy resistance). Been following your advice on maximizing aerobic workouts rather than anaerobic workouts since my goal is to get leaner legs!

    But my question to you is: I love to workout and I have a relatively petite figure but I feel I have super stubborn fat on my upper thighs! Because of this, I want to make sure my steady-running is only making my legs slimmer (I feel my legs build muscle pretty quickly and I want to avoid that!)

    Do you think I should incorporate HIIT? I used to! If yes, what kind of HIIT do you recommend on a treadmill and how often?

    Thank you!
    #teamRachel

    1. Hi hun, the best thing to actually get rid of that is lots of walking! Combined walking / running is good, but I would do sessions where you just walk as well. You can definitely incorporate a HIIT session once per week on the treadmill. I would do it as I described in this blog post – about 2 minute fast pace run, 1 minute walk, then repeat as many times as you can (maximum 10 times). Good luck hun! xx

  35. Hi Rachael,

    I am thinking about purchasing your ebook, as it look so fantastic and you have motivated me so much from reading your blog! My main problem is my legs, I need to slim them down, as I will be in a bikini in 8 weeks. my nutrition is perfect, but I need help with the exercise component.

    I am looking at my training plan and I am already doing 3 long runs a week, and going for a power walk most days. I want to start doing some interval training on the days that I am not doing the long runs. I found your HIIT interval training program, where you run for 400metres (quiet fast), and then rest for 60 seconds and repeat 8-10 times and finish with a power walk.

    If I am doing 3 long runs per week, and on the other days do your HIIT running interval training followed by a power walk, will this be enough to slim down my legs. Does the HIIT running interval training classify as resistant training?

    Do you think I need to be including some other resistance training also? if so how many days per week (I have no equipment at the moment as I am currently overseas that is why I am hesitant to do resistant training).

    Thanks so much in advance, and I am looking forward to purchasing your ebook!

    Grace :) xx

    1. Hi hun!

      I would do some resistance training 3 days per week – you don’t need equipment! Have a look at some workouts I posted here, here and here to get an idea of the type of training you can do without equipment :) With the interval running, I would actually replace one of your long runs with this type of running instead. You could perhaps keep your 3 long runs + 1 interval running, but it would be quite a lot. HIIT interval running would not be considered resistance training. I hope that answers all your questions! xx

  36. Hi Rachael!
    I am so happy to have found you and have asked my hubby to buy your e-book as one of my Christmas presents :)
    What do you think of spinning? I’ve been spinning twice a week for the last 2-3 months and I feel like my legs have gotten bigger rather than skinnier! (That’s how I found you on google!) should I stop spinning all together?

    Thanks so much and I hope to hear back from you!

    1. Hi Melissa! :) I personally love spin class but it does use your quads and will build some muscle here. Some body types will build muscle easier than others, so if you’re an endomorph, you might want to stop spin class for a while. Otherwise, I would just try to keep spin class to once per week maximum. Good luck! xx

  37. These work I’m actually getting a gap between my thighs !!!!!???? but I’m scared I’ll platue what can I do to prevent platue what is 500m sprints ?

    1. Good for you babe! To increase the difficulty, you could increase the 400m sprint to 500m (keep the speed the same). When I first did this, I could only do 5-6 500m sprints, so work your way up. Then once you can do 10 x 500m sprints, I would increase your speed xx

  38. Hi Rachael,
    I used to be skinny fat but after taking up ballet and dance and doint HIIT workouts my legs have become bulkier, especially around the upper thigh region. When I look at my legs from the side I see mostly quads and barely any visible hamstring muscle :o When I do squats/lunges I feel the burn at my quads but rarely my hamstrings :( Are there any exercises I can do to build hamstring muscles?

    Also, I would like to slim down my legs (which I believe are bulkier mostly due to muscles) should I avoid HIIT and will running long distances and periods at a steady rate help slim my legs down? Thank you!

    1. Hi Faye, to slim down your legs then yes I would avoid HIIT and do more running and walking. This will definitely slim down your legs and your quads will reduce in size over time. To balance out your quads / hamstrings and build more hamstring muscle you could try doing hamstring curls with the swiss ball or with sliders under your feet, or just typical hamstring curls with a machine. You could also try things like supermans, or back extensions (the back extension machine is great for helping build hamstring muscle!). And you could always do Romanian deadlifts, but I would just be careful with heavy lifting like this if you are trying to reduce your muscle size xx

  39. Hi Rachel! I tend to get fat around my lower body while my top body remains majorly slimmed and toned. I was hoping to try different variations of exercise and I read that the cross trainer may not be the best option for slimming thighs afterall. I usually go for a hour of gym after a light morning snack. I was wondering however if HIIT is the best exercise to do in the morning, or should I stick to cardio? Thank you so much! :)

    1. Hi Ginny, no the cross trainer is not the best option – running and walking is :) It doesn’t matter too much about what time of the day you do the exercise; this is up to you. What matters is what your weekly workout program looks like. If it’s a combination of HIIT and cardio, then this should be good :) Just make sure you’re not doing too much squats, burpees and lunges as these have the potential to make your legs bigger xx

  40. Hi Rachael!
    My legs tend to get bulky, I want lean legs. I exercise 30 minutes on the stepper and 30 mins on incline walking. After I read all your comments, I think I better stick to power walking. Running is not for me at all, I love walking! So my questions are: what speed should I aim for? Should I go for a high incline or keep it at a low incline? How long? I go to the gym five days a week. I lift weights 3x a week so should I just work on my arms and avoid leg exercises on the machine? Thanks so much for your time and you look great!!!

    1. Hi Becky, thank you! Yes I would avoid the stepper and incline walking. Walking is great for slimming down your legs but I would just do it on a flat surface. It’s also great to do some power walking after a weights sessions (even if it’s just 15 minutes). With your resistance training, you can still do lower body exercises but I would keep it really light weight and high rep. I would also avoid the machines and do more body weight exercises xx

  41. Hello!!! I find that whenever I run on the treadmill my calves look slim and really nice but whenever I can’t run on the treadmill and I run outside I don’t get the same results. I find that my calves are bulky and I’m running on flat grounds not up any hills. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong.

    1. Hi Aaliyah. I’m not 100% sure why this is happening, but I do have one explanation. Perhaps when you run on the treadmill, because it assists you, you don’t use your calves as much. But when you’re running outside, because you need to actually push yourself forwards (rather than the ground moving underneath you), you end up engaging your calf muscles more. Ultimately it shouldn’t make too much of a difference. But if you can notice it, then I would stick to running on the treadmill. Both are the same for your cardiovascular fitness :) xx

  42. Hi, my name is Maura, i do weight training 3 days at week! and than I do 20 minutes hiit on the stairsmaster, because once I read that running burns your muscles..and i want lean legs not ”skinny legs”, i tried everything, i used to run too, now On the stairsmasters i do low intensisity and then high intensity (1 minute each level, 5,5,10,12,14,16,20 sec 18, than 2, x3 times) but my progress are slow, i don’t know maybe i’m doing something wrong. or maybe i need to be patiece (sorry for my english i’m italian)

    1. Hi Maura, it depends on your goals. Walking on the stair master will burn more calories because it engages more muscles, but it will build muscle especially in your quads. Walking on a flat surface will still burn calories and in experience, burns more fat and makes your legs look leaner. So it really depends on what you’re looking to achieve xx

  43. hello
    i have a question that i cant find a solution for it
    my calves are my problem
    and i like a treadmill is it good for having lean thigh
    and how to use it stady state or hiit or how
    thankyou

    1. Hi Maha, yes the treadmill will help you lean out your thighs. Steady state is your best option, but some types of HIIT can be good also. I would only recommend this type of HIIT once per week, and the rest steady state xx

  44. Hello Rachel !
    I have been reading your blogs for a while and tried to go sprinting every 2 times a week for maybe 1/2 an hour ? and I make sure my diet is very clean and healthy . However, my inner thighs are getting larger each day :(( Is there something wrong ?

    1. Hi Sonia, are you doing any other exercise? And are you doing the 2 minute sprints? I would try to limit the sprinting to once per week and do steady state cardio for your other runs xx

  45. Hi Rachael! Really glad to have come across your website! I got to an ideal weight about 2 years ago (54kg vs 59kg now) after I started PT. I had an operation and have struggled to get back there since. I’ve been through a few PTs, one who most recently had me doing heavy weights about 3-4 times per week and HIIT on the treadmill – 6 months later, my legs were bigger and I am really not happy with how I am looking given all the work I had been putting in and having good nutrition – I am a typical mesomorph but didnt know! After reading your blog, I feel relieved as I knew it wasnt working for me but no one believed me!! :) My new plan is walking (most mornings fasted) for 45mins, run x 3 (training for 10km), one pilates and one all over strength or HIIT session. Really keen to hear if you have any other suggestions?! Thanks!!

    1. Hi Amy,

      I think that sounds like a really good plan if you’re trying to lean out and reduce some muscle, and also train for a 10km run. Losing muscle takes a while though so you will most likely have to stick to it for a least 8 weeks to get the best results! Good luck xx

  46. Hey Rachael! I have an endomorph body type and I currently do steady state cardio running 3 times a week and HIIT once a week along with two strength training days (arms and abs/legs and abs). I was wondering if I was on the right track and also how long should my steady state cardio be? I have a lot of fat on my overall body that I am trying to lose but most of it is in my legs. Please help!

    1. Hi Jessica, yes you are definitely on the right track – great work! You sound very dedicated. Just remember that when trying to lose body fat, diet is THE most important thing so your exercise needs to have great nutrition to go with it. I would recommend running for anywhere between 20-40 minutes, depending on your fitness level. Also, doing power walking after running will help to slim them down too xx

  47. Hi rachael, your blog is amazing im learning so much!
    i have a few questions though, im 21 and fairly short but my weight is currently around 98 pounds (it fluctuates regularly),
    I would really like to see some definition in my stomach area, particularly the obliques and its fairly flat although some days i do feel bigger. How would you recommend i do this as my diet is fairly healthy?
    secondly, since high school i gained weight around my thighs and would really like to slim them down. I have incorporated power walking at at around 6.5km/h for about 5 to 6km (im quite short so this is hard for me lol) almost every day. I also try to do some circuits usimg fitnessblender exercise videos for 30/40mins (squats, burpees, bodyweight exercises)
    Do you think i should incorporate HIIT or will this cause bulk? Could i do HIIT youtube videos? Also, would circuits such as the ones mentioned above cause bulkiness? Do you recommend i also do running or would power walking be enough.
    thank you so much x

    1. Hi Nicki, I’m glad you like my blog! :) The best exercises to do to see definition in your stomach area is HIIT. If you just do HIIT once or twice per week (and use body weight only for leg exercises – jump lunges, burpees, etc) you shouldn’t gain too much muscle in your legs. And then I would do lighter resistance circuits to help you get more definition. Walking is great to help you slim down your legs. If you are trying to lose weight then you can incorporate some running, but if not, walking should be fine :) Oh and the HIIT in this blog post shoudln’t cause bulkiness xx

  48. Hi Rachael! First of all I wanted to say that you have an awesome blog! I have a question.. I do hiit 3 times a week for 20 minutes. 5 minutes warm up at a speed of 7. Than I do 1 min sprinting at a speed of 14 and a 1 min rest at a speed of 7. I do this 8 to 10 times. Is this method also good for leaning my legs? I don’t want bulky legs. What would you suggest? Doing this of power walking?

    1. Thanks Dani! I would suggest doing HIIT perhaps only once per week and the other 2 sessions doing steady state cardio (running) instead. Plus lots of power walking when you can :) xx

      1. Thank you so much for your respond! How long would you suggest doing steady state cardio (running) and on which speed? Is it also beneficial to do a power walk at an incline or would you not recommend it for lean legs?

        1. Hi Dani, it depends on your fitness level. I would suggest doing steady state cardio for 15-30 minutes, and around 12km/hr (if you can). But slower/faster is also OK too! I would do a power walk on a flat surface. There are better ways to build muscle that benefit your whole body :) xx

  49. Hey Rachael, so glad I discovered your site! I’m soon to launch a site of my own so it’s always good to learn from other’s successes :) Anyway — Figured out I am an endomorph, and have a couple questions about that.

    1. The training: A few months ago I started a resistance training program and incorporated hot yoga (been doing this for years) and walking sessions, and rowing for 10 minutes before every resistance session. I’m now going to try speed walking for at least 20 minutes AFTER each resistance session and being really rigorous about my walking sessions at night ( can’t do mornings unfortunately). I’ve been hesitant to start HIIT because I have running injuries from years past and was told I could NOT run again. I recently wanted to train for a marathon and my physical therapist shot that down, though I haven’t asked about HIIT. I’ve done a few jogs throughout the years and always been fine but don’t want to push myself. Is there any other HIIT training besides running I could do that would lean my legs and core?

    2. The diet: I follow a vegan diet with the addition of fish. I read you said for endomorph fat loss, we should eat about 25% carbs, 50% fat, and 25% protein. I would say my diet 9 times out of 10 does follow this, but I struggle to see fat loss. I really store fat in my belly and thighs. By no means am I overweight (130 lbs, 5’7 ft) but I don’t look as fit as I want to. A typical day for me (I eat throughout the day, no meal format) would be this:
    -3 clementines
    – 1/2 cup raw unsalted trail mix (cashew, walnut, macadamia nut, mulberry, goji, cacao)
    -banana with walnut butter
    -1 cup mixed fruit (like berries, melon, grapes, depends)
    -1 avocado
    -2-3 brown rice cakes
    -1/3 cup carrots
    -1/3 cup hummus
    -another banana
    -postworkout I’d eat either a protein smoothie with more banana, greens, superfoods OR whatever I feel like making, most likely salmon with broccoli or lentil stew etc

    So actually looking at this again, looks like I eat a LOT of fruit, so would that make my carb intake too high? Is that why I’m not seeing fat loss? If this is the case, what do you recommend I sub in given my vegan whole foods (nothing processed) diet? I suppose I could sub in more nuts and seeds for snacks and focus more on greens and legumes for dinner and cut down on the fruit in smoothies. I’d love to hear your thoughts :)

    1. Hi Lauren :) If your physio has said not to run, I would follow that advice. You can do lots of other HIIT circuits that will help you lean out – see my blog posts here and here for ideas. Also the power walking that you’re doing is great, doesn’t matter if it’s not in the morning. Your diet does look higher in carbs from the fruit. The main thing I can pick out is that you are very low in protein and also desperately lacking vegetables. I would take a vegan protein powder, and also try to eat more high protein foods such as fish, lentils, tofu, etc. Also try to cut down on the fruit intake a little bit. Being vegan, your diet will naturally be higher in carbs, but just try to increase the protein and vegetables :) Good luck! xx

  50. Hi, i currently do HIIT on a staitonary bike 3x a week will this bulk my legs or slim them? Would the running machine be better? Im not that confident on the treadmill! x

    1. Hi Celine, depending on your body type it might bulk them but might not. But it probably won’t do a lot for slimming them. You could do the running outside, but if not, just start by walking on the treadmill to get used to it :) xx

  51. Hi.. Is there any other alternative to have skinny legs beside running as I seriously don’t like running and the hot weather here in Malaysia doesn’t help neither. Thanks

    1. Hi Anne, walking really is the best form of exercise to lean down your legs. You don’t necessarily need to do a lot of running. I would just try going for a walk every morning before it gets too hot! xx

  52. Hi

    I am so glad I find this blog! I have been really struggling with my weightloss for over 2 years now. I was 65kgs when I started and lost about 17 kgs in 7 months and was 49kgs. But what happened was that I had a lot of loose skin and I had been doing cardio for 45 minutes regularly. So when I had lost muscle instead of fat I started to focus on strength training aswell for 20-30 min strength workouts daily with Sunday as a rest day. I focused more on maintain a good healthier diet and now weigh 53 but I look almost the same as before but a lot more healthier. However, now I have a bigger problem. My body feels fat again because my jeans are tighter. My stomach is no longer flat like it was before and my calves are bigger. My lower body has become a major problem because I look skinnier in the upper half of my body but my lower half is bigger. I recently switched to walking in the park at a brisk pace about 11min/km for 40 minutes and then 30 minutes hitt on the treadmill. I start with 5 min at speed 4 then do 2 min at speed 5 then light run at speed 6 or 6.5 till I reach the last 3 minutes which is again speed 4. Is this enough to help me improve my lower body and not lose the muscle I have built?

    1. Hi hun, congratulations on losing all of that weight, that is a huge achievement! The main thing to focus on with your stomach is a clean diet and HIIT workouts. I would avoid any leg weighted exercises, except for those in your HIIT workouts. You can do weights for your upper body though so it doesn’t look as skinny. I would also suggest walking and just steady state running. Walk for 5-10 minutes to warm up, jog for 20-30 minutes (at a steady pace) and then finish off with a walk for as long as you have time for. Good luck! xx

  53. Hi Rachael :) I have just discovered this site and your Instagram and I am very excited!
    I am an endomorph (5’3, classic pear shape) and have recently began incorporating HIIT training into my treadmill workout.
    I begin with a 7km/h walk for 2 minutes, run at 10km/h for 8 minutes, rest, sprint for 30-40 seconds while I increase my speed by 0.5km/h until I hit 15km/h. I rest for the 20-30 seconds between each 30-40 second sprint. I also end with a jog (9.5km/h) and then a walk. I do weights for my upper body and a few all body excercises as well (such as the mountain climber, planks etc.)
    I’m loving the feeling of strength and toning from these methods.
    HIIT has definitely become my favourite way to excrcise and I’ve seen huge improvements in my asthma and posture since. However, I am concerned that my legs will bulk up due to the increased speed method and length of time I am sprinting for. Am I on the right track for lean legs?
    Any advice will be great!
    Thanks :)

    1. Hi Shantel, I think you’re on the right track to getting lean legs. I would just do these sprints once per week and do steady state cardio 2-3 times per week as well. With the sprints, what you are doing now is great, but if you extend your sprints to at least 90 seconds you might get better results :) All the best! xx

  54. Hi there; I am a 48 year old female. I am 5 feet tall and weigh 82 kilos. I solo need to lose weight to go back into the workforce after a long time off with illness. Please help. Lisa. : )

    1. Hi Lisa! Getting started is the hardest part, but just start by making some small changes. Identify what your worst habits are and then just aim to fix one of them this week – it can be something small such as eating breakfast, drinking more water, or even just going for a walk 3-4 times per week. I have also written a few blog posts on how to lose weight so read more about them here and here :) xx

  55. Hi,
    I am a beginner and I don’t understand some of this stuff so I want to take your opinion about my workout program which goes like this ; first I warm up by running 3 km/hr for 5 mins then I run 30 mins by changing between 4 km/hr and 5 km/hr every 2 mins , then I run another 30 mins by changing between 5 km/hr and 6 km/hr every 2 mins after that I take a rest and by running with 4 km/hr speed for like 10 mins and after that I run for another 20 mins by changing the speed between 4-5 km/hr every 2 mins . So my entire workout is an hour and a half and my main goal is to burn calories no matter how long my workout is, but I’m afraid that my legs are going to become bulky and muscular and I want skinny legs . Please give me your opinion about my workout and whether if it’s possible to give me the results I want :/ ..

    1. Hi Simona, I’m a little confused about your running speed. I walk at 7km/hr so I’m not sure how you run at 3km/hr? Anyway if this is the case, I would suggest decreasing your time to around 45 to 60 minutes and trying to increase your speed. You will burn more calories this way. You could also do some power walking afterwards to burn extra calories and help your legs slim down even more x

  56. First of all I am so so so happy I have found you. I honestly think you’re the only trainer that has ever related to what I know works best for my body! I have heard so many times (from PTS especially) that I should not be doing cardio or at least not as much as I currently do. However, you understand that girls like me NEED cardio as it keeps my body shape trim and without it I put on weight very quickly. So thank you!! I am looking to incorporate HIIT sprinting into my workout plan maybe once or twice a week along with 3x 30 – 40 min runs and 1 or 2 HIIT circuit training sessions. I am just wondering if you would recommend the example used in this article for people that are worried about HIIT causing bulky legs? I am worried HIIT interval training will bulk my legs up even more! Thank you so much xx

    1. Hi Tamika, I’m glad you found me too! :) I would probably just start with 1 HIIT session per week to see how you go, as you’re already doing a fair bit of running. Yes this is definitely the type of HIIT cardio that I would recommend to avoid bulking up your legs. It will definitely make you fitter and help your legs get leaner without added bulk. Do 400m sprints of 2 minute sprints at a fast pace. If you’re already quite fit which is sounds like you are, aim for 10 sprints. Once you get to 10, increase the sprint distance to 500m. Good luck! xx

  57. Pingback: #115 Last Week's Workouts - Rachael Attard
  58. Hi Rachel!
    I am quite fit person (I work out 5/6 times a week) and have good stamina for long distance running. But I still have really chunky thighs/ butt! I feel like I lose weight everywhere else but there and its really demotivating when I still struggle with being pear shaped! I’m worried its genetics!

    Lately I have been doing 2 x a week HITT on the elliptical (30 seconds all out at a Level 16 resistance, 30 seconds relaxed for 20 mins) I also do all round body weights/ strength training ( a little bit of Kayla’s BBG and then strength stuff at the gym!! like squats/ lunges etc.) about 2/3 times a week. I can see that when I use weights like deadlift and barbell squat that I am strong with quite heavy weights so I know they are strong with muscle but still chunky with inner thigh fat! Once in awhile I do runs for 40 mins etc. where I start at 9.0 km and every minute move up for 5 mins till i run at 14.0 km and then at the start of the 5 mins start at say 9.5 and go to 14.0 by 5 mins and then to 10 km ( back up etc) and I feel like progress is still so slow! I also eat quite healthy and sometimes I know i might eat too much healthy food so im trying to cut down on my snacking/ portion size. But someone told me to not do sprints or the strength stuff and it might make my legs more bulky and I should go back to doing long endurance runs because you see most long distance runners with lean legs and sprinters with more muscle/ bulky! Anyway I was wondering what your advice is? (sorry for writing sooo much! but I just am so frustrated that I cant get my legs to where I want them to be!!!) Thanks so much for your blog posts and help!!! xx

    1. Hi Georgia, thanks for your comment! My suggestion for you is to cut out the elliptical HIIT sessions. The elliptical does build some muscle and isn’t as good for leaning out your legs as walking and running. I would stick to doing the HIIT / weights 2-3 times per week but concentrate more on doing light weights with high reps and more HIIT exercises for your legs rather than lifting really heavy. For your cardio, yes I would do more longer distance running. I would aim for 2-3 longer distance steady state runs per week (keep the speed the same the entire run). I would also add in a few power walks either on their own, or after your HIIT workouts, or both. Good luck! I hope that helps xx

      1. Hi. I recently started the C25K app and have been interval jogging for 3 weeks. I’ve noticed my thighs seem bigger. Not sure it’s temporary or its from running. I recently started back doing yoga 2 times a week. I was much leaner when I did yoga but I had a wrist injury that forced me to stop so I started running. Any suggestions. I’m gluten free fair free diet mostly and I eat well.

        1. Hi Cheri, sorry I’m not too sure what the C25K app is. Running does actually build some muscle in your legs and interval running will build more than steady state running. I would focus more on steady state and also power waking x

  59. Hi Rachael! I’m not really sure which body type I am. I suppose I’m somewhat naturally slim, but my “trouble areas” are my stomach and thighs. I’m trying to change my body composition so I can look lean but have nice muscle definition, especially a flat stomach! I’m doing HIIT (cycling) 3-4 times a week + bodyweight training/pilates 2x for each group (upper body, lower & core) & trying to eat clean. However, I don’t think I’m leaning out much. I’ve noticed my quads have gotten bigger, but not as lean as I think they could be. And, I haven’t noticed much of a change in the stomach region. I’m not new to exercising per se, but I wasn’t too careful with what I ate in the past & wasn’t consistent with exercise. I’ve been exercising & eating healthily for 2 months. Should I change what I’m doing, or is it too soon to see changes?
    Thanks in advance!

  60. Hi! First of all I want to say that you are an inspirational young woman and that I love how you take your time to explain a lot about excersises and diets! It’s such a pleasure to read your blog! I have a question.. What is your incline when you are powerwalking or sprinting on the treadmil or do you don’t use incline?

    1. Thanks gorgeous! On the treadmill, my incline is set to 0. The reason being, incline on treadmill isn’t good for shin splints and I get shin splints :( But it is recommended that you set the treadmill at 1 or 2% incline to replicate being outside. Hope that helps! x

  61. Hi Rachael, my name is Olivia.
    I’m really struggling to lose weight at the moment, although I’m not a naturally big person, I am not satisfied with my weight and am struggling to lose weight on my legs and stomach. What diet and workout do you recommend? I really hope you can help…

    Xxx

  62. Hi,

    I am currently doing 4/5 xs a week workouts, being one of them HIIT, i do about 14min of 1min 8km/h and 20 sec 12km/h. Is this ok ? I just started last week because i had never HIIT before.
    I want to loose just 2/3kg, but nothing is working.

    Thank you :)

    1. Hi Sofia, yes this is OK. You could try running at 12km/hr for 30 seconds and then walking for 45 secs or 1 minute so your heart rate is elevated for longer. Or you could try my method of 400m sprints, but they are quite difficult. The main way you will lose weight is through your diet so make sure you’ve got that sorted! I’ve got some good blog posts to help you out with diet hun x

  63. Hi Rachael,
    I do I currently weigh I have always had quite solid legs and they look bigger than they should because i am quite short and I am not blessed with height. I currently do HIIT session and no LISS as i don’t think LISS benefits me in anyway at all to loose the leg weight. My current HIIT session consists on a 5 min walk to warm up, then about 15-20 minutes of sprinting 30secs on at 15.5 -16 kmph and then rest for 30 sec. Is this enough should i be doing more time or longer sprints, I am also doing weight training as I am trying to lose weight everywhere else in my body, currently I do 2-3 cardio and then rest of the week weights/resistant training.

    Thank you :) xo

    1. Hi Abby, if you have an endomorph body type then you are on the right track as you will just need to try to burn as many calories as you can. For you, intensity is better. But I would still try to fit in some power walking (if you can!). Check out out my how to get skinny legs endomorph guidelines here. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask! xx

    1. If you’ve still got energy left for HIIT sprinting after weights, then you can. But I would recommend having at least one separate day where you do HIIT so you can give it 100%!

  64. I am decently fit and work out 6 days a week. I do cardio for about 30-40 minutes a day. This includes usually HIIT (sprints) on the treadmill for 20 mins and then the remainder of the time on the elliptical. I have been trying everything, including cutting out carbs as best I can. But my legs are still huge. I do lungs and squats twice a week as well. I have a very small upper half and so when looking at my legs they appear so much larger and I just want skinny, cellulite free legs! I don’t know what I am doing wrong or what I can do better. Please help!

    1. Hi Bri, I’m so sorry to hear that you are having problems. Try modifying your sprints to what I have suggested here. Maybe try power walking and jogging rather than the elliptical and include some HIIT weight based training as well. I would do full body weights programs rather than targeting your legs specifically on one day. If you do weights for your upper body this might help balance your body a bit too :) Overall diet is most important. There is no need to cut carbs completely, just reduce them slightly and be wary of when you eat them and avoid junk food and alcohol. All the best hun! If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask xx

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