How To Get Skinny Legs: Why You Need to Know Your Body Type – Ectomorph, Mesomorph, Endomorph.

female body types how to get skinny legs

Last Updated April 11th, 2020 10:11 AM

Ever wondered why some girls can eat and train in the same way as you but end up with very different results?

Yes – genetics, hormones and different health issues play a big role. But there is an additional factor that we all seem to forget – your body type.

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know I am a big proponent for women not training like men and adjusting their diet and fitness to their own body type (and individual fitness and physique preferences).

A lot of women (myself included) particularly struggle with their legs and thighs! Unfortunately, for most, thighs are one of the last places where we tend to store fat.

In this blog post, I will focus on sharing my best tips on how to get lean legs according to your specific body type.

You’ll learn how to get rid of the stubborn fat from your thighs, without the fear of getting bulky, and slim down your whole body. So, let’s dive in.

WHY IT IS SO HARD SLIM DOWN LEGS WITHOUT BULKING UP (FOR SOME WOMEN)?

different body types need to train differently

Before I realized how important it was to know your body type, I used to spend a lot of time in the gym asking myself, “what am I doing wrong?”

I wanted to get lean and toned legs, so I joined the gym with a group of girls.

We all had the same fitness goals (to slim down and tone our legs) and we were put on the same workout program.

We started lifting heavy weights and doing lots of squats (because that’s what you’re supposed to do when you want to lose thigh fat and get skinny legs, right?).

But, instead of slimming down, my thighs kept getting bigger and bigger!

My shorts became too tight and my thighs just kept growing. I started to lose my confidence and my motivation to continue working out.

And I couldn’t understand why this was happening to me. I thought I was doing everything right!

But then I noticed that some of the girls who worked out with me were getting completely different results, even though we were pretty much following the same diet!

So, it got me thinking: If two people are doing the exact same workouts and getting different results, it must mean that not all of us can be put on the same exercise and diet regime.

Someone who has a larger frame with naturally muscular legs is going to need a different workout and nutrition program than someone who is naturally thin and finds it hard to build muscles.

And that’s when I learned about different body types!

If you really want to get skinny legs, you first need to learn your body type and adjust your diet and exercise accordingly.

Learning how to adjust my diet and workouts for my own body type was one of the most important things for me to achieve my desired results.

HOW TO FIND OUT YOUR BODY TYPE

It’s actually very simple. Just take my 2-minute, free body type quiz that will tell you if you’re an ectomorph, mesomorph or endomorph.

After that, I’d recommend reading your particular body type’s diet and fitness tips (below).

1. ECTOMORPH BODY TYPE: EXERCISE AND DIET TIPS

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Ectomorphs are naturally thin and often quite tall. A lot of Victoria’s Secret models are ectomorphs.

These girls usually have a lower body fat percentage without needing to exercise or diet. And they usually find it difficult to gain weight.

But they also find it hard to build muscle, which means it’s harder for them to get that nice toned look.

Famous ectomorphs include: Kendall Jenner, Elsa Hosk, Keira Knightley, Kate Moss, Paris Hilton and Karlie Kloss

CAN ECTOMORPHS BECOME OVERWEIGHT?

Well, it would be very hard for a true ectomorph to become overweight.

However, one of the biggest misconceptions about ectomorphs is that they can eat whatever they want.

Yes, they tend to be quite naturally slim, and they have a fast metabolism…but that doesn’t mean they can constantly eat junk food.

If they ate a lot of junk food, they would most likely gain fat.

So, whilst they can be a bit more relaxed with their diet, they still need to make sure they’re consuming healthy foods so that they don’t start to look skinny fat.

Skinny fat is a term used to describe people who appear skinny when wearing clothes but actually have a higher body fat percentage.

If you want to avoid the skinny fat look (especially as an ectomorph), I would advise you to follow a healthy diet and to do resistance training.

CAN ECTOMORPHS GAIN MUSCLE AND BECOME BIG AND BULKY?

If you are a true ectomorph, you’ll find it hard to build muscle tone, so it’s highly unlikely that you’ll bulk up, even if you do a lot of weights and squat.

But, as I mentioned, if you avoid any type of resistance training, you will start to look skinny fat, and your legs won’t look toned.

So, what should you do to get lean and toned legs if you are an ectomorph?

FEMALE ECTOMORPH WORKOUT TIPS

workout plan ectomorph women

If you want to get skinny legs as an ectomorph, here’s what you should do:

1. DO 2-3 CARDIO SESSION PER WEEK

Well, if you don’t have extra body fat, you could get away with doing minimal to no cardio. However, cardio will help your body stay lean.

Aim to do 2-3 cardio sessions per week so you can stay fit and healthy.

And if you need to lose some body fat, I would stick with low to moderate intensity cardio. This type of cardio works best for fat loss.

2. DO 3 (OR MORE) RESISTANCE WORKOUTS PER WEEK

If you want to look really fit and toned, you should use moderate weights and keep your number of reps moderate to high (8-12).

And if you don’t want to lift weights because you prefer a leaner look, you should stick to bodyweight workouts, similar those of the Victoria’s Secret models.

Aim to do resistance training 3 times per week (or more if you feel this is not enough).

ECTOMORPH WOMEN DIET TIPS

best diet tips for ectomorph women

As I mentioned, you could get away with eating junk food without becoming overweight. But you could still have a high percentage of body fat.

THE BEST DIET FOR ECTOMORPH GIRLS

Ectomorphs do best on a diet that’s relatively high in carbohydrates, moderate in protein and low in fats.

Just make sure that you don’t eat a lot of processed foods. Stick to whole grains, fresh fruit and veggies and lean protein.

This is a good macronutrient split for ectomorphs:

  • 40-50% carbohydrates
  • 30-35% protein
  • 20-25% fat

If you want to get more info, read my blog post on how to get lean and toned legs if you are an ectomorph body type.

RELATED POST: HOW TO CALCULATE YOUR MACRONUTRIENTS

2. FEMALE MESOMORPH BODY TYPE

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OK, so mesomorphs are usually average size – not thin like ectomorphs, but also not naturally large, like endomorphs.

If you are a mesomorph (like me), you’re very likely to have an athletic body, respond quickly to exercise and can have great muscle definition.

So, if you’re a mesomorph, and you want to become a fitness model, then you’re in luck – because you’ve got the genetics!

Famous mesomorphs include Gigi Hadid, Margot Robbie, Halle Berry, Jessica Biel and Jennifer Lawrence.

CAN MESOMORPHS BE OVERWEIGHT?

When it comes to weight, you find it easy to lose and gain weight, so it’s not unusual if your weight fluctuates.

As I mentioned, your body has great potential, but if you have a very sedentary lifestyle and eat a lot of junk food, you can gain weight and fat.

In mesomorphs, fat should be quite evenly distributed. But a lot of you have told me that even though you can lose weight quickly, you find it difficult to lose inner thigh fat.

I also noticed that I tend to store most fat in my inner thighs and that’s usually the last place where I lose weight.

Here is what you should do to get skinny legs as a mesomorph.

FEMALE MESOMORPH WORKOUT TIPS

workout tips for mesomorph girls

For best results, you should incorporate both cardio and resistance training into your routine.

1. DO A MIX OF LOW-INTENSITY AND HIGH- INTENSITY CARDIO

If you need to lose body fat, do high-intensity cardio (running) 3 times per week and power walking 5 times a week.

Running will help you burn lots of calories and stay in the fat burning zone for longer. And walking is great, because it actually burns fat!

For more info on cardio and how it works, read my blog post on why you need to do cardio to lose fat.

2. DO BODYWEIGHT RESISTANCE TRAINING 3 TIMES PER WEEK

Mesomorphs react to training quite quickly, but you can bulk up quite easily, especially if you do weights.

If you prefer to have more muscle, weights might be a great option for you.

But if you’d like a leaner look, and you don’t want to bulk up your thighs, I would advise you to skip weights and stick to bodyweight training.

Here are some of my favorite bodyweight workouts that won’t cause your legs to bulk up:

Aim to do resistance training 3 times per week. You can also try my FREE Train Like a Model videos for a lean and toned body without bulk.

MESOMORPH DIET TIPS

best diet for mesomorph girls

Your body type does best on a well-balanced diet. This means you should be eating a combination of healthy fats, protein, and carbs.

WHAT SHOULD MESOMORPHS EAT?

Your body type does best on a well-balanced diet. This means you should be eating a combination of healthy fats, protein and carbs.

You don’t have to follow a low carb diet, but make sure your carbs are coming from healthy and low GI carb sources, such as fruit, vegetables, wholegrain bread, quinoa, oats and brown rice.

Try to avoid white sugar and processed carbs.

A good macronutrient breakdown for mesomorphs looks like this:

  • 35-40% carbohydrates
  • 30-35% protein
  • 30% fat

If you are a mesomorph, and you want to learn more, read my blog post on how to exercise and eat for mesomorphs.

3. FEMALE ENDOMORPH BODY TYPE

Endomorphs have a naturally larger, solid frame and are generally curvy, with a higher level of body fat.

This body type gains muscle and fat very easily and findS it difficult to lose weight, especially through diet alone.

Endomorphs have strong muscles (especially their legs). And losing body fat for the endomorph will probably take a bit longer compared to the other body types.

But it’s not impossible! Endomorphs can lean out their legs with the right diet and workout routine! :)

Famous endomorphs include Sofia Vergara, Kim Kardashian, Beyonce and Jennifer Lopez.

ENDOMORPH WORKOUT TIPS

endomorph woman workout plan

As I said, getting lean legs if you are an endomorph can be a bit tricky.

Endomorphs naturally have muscular legs, and they tend to store most of their body fat in their thigh area.

So, if you want to lean your legs out, you need to reduce your leg muscle. And you also need to lose overall body fat to lose that stubborn thigh fat.

I’m going to share what EXACTLY you should do to finally get those lean legs you’ve always wanted.

1. STOP DOING EXERCISES THAT MAKE YOUR LEGS BULKY

Weighs, squats, CrossFit – these are all great exercise options, but they will work your quads and make your thighs grow.

So, if you notice that a certain type of training is making your thighs bigger, stop doing it.

2. FOCUS MORE ON LOW-INTENSITY CARDIO

Low-intensity cardio (which is basically power walking) will help you slim down muscular thighs and lose overall body fat.

You should aim to do it 5 times a week for at least 45mins. Also, after every resistance training session, do at least 20mins of power walking. This will help with fat loss.

3. FOCUS ON BODYWEIGHT WORKOUTS ONLY

I know you may be tempted to skip resistance training altogether because you’re afraid it will only make your legs bigger.

But if you avoid resistance training completely, your legs will not be toned.

Resistance training will help you get muscle tone and it will speed up your metabolism which will help with weight loss.

You should do bodyweight training 3 times per week.

ENDOMORPH DIET TIPS

endomorph woman diet plan

When it comes to your diet, the most important thing is do not eat too many (or too little) calories.

If you want to lose weight, you should be in a slight calorie deficit. But if your calorie deficit is too severe, you’ll just slow down your metabolism, and you won’t lose weight.

If you don’t know how many calories you should eat, read my blog post on how to calculate your ideal calorie intake.

WHAT IS THE BEST DIET FOR ENDOMORPHS?

Endomorphs will get the best results on a low-carb diet. Here’s how their macros intake should look:

  • 20-25% carbohydrates
  • 45-50% fats
  • 30% protein

So, my lovely endomorphs, protein and fats will be your new best friends! Make sure you’re eating a diet that is high in protein and healthy fat.

When it comes to protein, you should eat lean meat (especially turkey, chicken and fish), eggs, protein powder, yogurt and soybeans.

And when it comes to healthy fats, you should stick to avocado, nuts, seeds, nut butter, olives and coconut oil.

WHAT FOODS SHOULD ENDOMORPHS AVOID?

Unfortunately, you don’t do well when eating lots of carbs. If you want to lose weight and lean out your legs, your body type cannot get away with a high carb diet.

However, you shouldn’t avoid carbs completely, as they are absolutely essential for your body to function.

Good sources of carbs include fruit, green vegetables, whole meal bread, brown rice and oats. But your main source of carbs should be veggies.

The time of your carb intake is also super important. Make sure to eat your carbs first thing in the morning or within one-hour post-workout.

I’ve written a more detailed blog post on how to get skinny legs if you are an endomorph body type, so be sure to check it out.

CAN AN ECTOMORPH BECOME MESOMORPH?

You can, in fact, be a combination of two body types. 

If you are an ectomorph/mesomorph, it is best for you to follow the mesomorph guidelines.

If you are a mesomorph/endomorph, it is best for you to follow the endomorph guidelines.

No matter what your body type, you CAN lose body fat, gain muscle and make an improvement to your legs. But you CAN’T change your body type.

If, for example, you are an endomorph, you will never have the physique of an ectomorph, and this should not be something to aim for.

Your goal should be something that is attainable for your body type and that will make you look and feel your absolute best!

3 STEPS TO LEAN LEGS PROGRAM FOR DIFFERENT BODY TYPES

I know that getting rid of thigh fat and reducing muscular legs can seem impossible. But I promise you – you can get amazing results if you know your body type and how to eat and train accordingly.

That’s why I designed my 3 Steps to Lean Legs Program to help you get skinny legs according to your body type (without adding any extra muscle bulk).

There are 3 different versions of my program, one for each body type.

Each version combines the right type of cardio and resistance training for a particular body type, so you can be sure you’re going to get the best possible results. 

And of course, since you cannot train and be on a crappy diet, I included a complete 8-week meal plan in my program. You can find more information here.

And if you prefer to follow FULL-LENGTH videos, now you can. Check out my Lean Legs Video Course and get those lean legs you’ve always wanted!

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.

198 comments on “How To Get Skinny Legs: Why You Need to Know Your Body Type – Ectomorph, Mesomorph, Endomorph.”

    Kim says:

    Hi, I’m so confused because I saw another post where Rachael recommends doing HIIT cardio (running) one time a week but here I see 3 times.. Which is the true recommendation?

      Tijana - Lean Legs Support says:

      Hi lovely,

      Rachael recommends mesomorphs to do one HIIT session per week and for endomorphs to ‘skip’ HIIT altogether. As for running, she recommends ‘regular’ running – so a steady pace for let’s say, 20 minutes and not HIIT running which is basically going from sprints to a quick walk or from a steady jog to an all-out run for short periods of time.

      I hope this helps! xx

      Love,
      Tina

    Stefanie P. says:

    Hello,
    I started doing the program and I am also a combination of a mesomorph (up top being small) and an endomorph (where my bottom is larger). At what point into the program do you know if one should switch and change your macros and the types of exercises to fit into that category (mesomorph/endomorph). Also, if I do have to switch from an endomorph to a mesomorph would there be a way I could get the other program?

      Tijana - Lean Legs Support says:

      Hi lovely <3
      Rachael usually recommends following the endomorph version of the Program if you are a mix but I suggest you send me a photo of your figure in sports clothes to info@rachaelattard.com so I can see your legs, waist, upper body, etc. so we can determine for sure whether you are more on the endomorph or mesomorph side – and as for changing the version of the Program, I can do it for you if need be, don’t worry. :)
      Love,
      Tina

    Cristina says:

    How many times a week should a mesomorph body type do HIIT? Also, I love your workouts ?

      Tijana - Lean Legs Support says:

      Hi lovely,
      I’m glad you are enjoying Rachael’s workouts! As for the HIIT, it’s best you do it only once a week. :)
      Love,
      Tina

    L says:

    Rachel, please create a category for the pear shape body type. Those of us with mixed body types are struggling. We don’t fit into any of these categories! My upper body is very thin — too thin — and my lower body has all the weight — big butt, big heavy legs, big calves. I really do looked like two different people stuck together. If I lose weight, my upper body looks too thin and lower only slightly improved. Plus, I don’t build muscle/tone easily at all. It’s so frustrating.

      Tijana - Lean Legs Support says:

      Hi lovely,
      Thank you for reaching out!
      Yes, all our bodies are beautiful and different! <3 We come in different shapes and sizes, but most of us can fit into one of these 3 body types or in between the two. From what you describe, you sound like a mixture of a mesomorph and endomorph, in which case Rachael usually suggests following the Program for endomorphs. But just to make sure, please send me your lovely photo to info@rachaelattard.com so that I can take a look :)
      Love,
      Tina

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