This is my final blog post in the how to get skinny legs series. This post will provide a summary of all the main points that you need to know to get those lean and toned legs.
KNOW AND UNDERSTAND YOUR BODY TYPE
First of all, you will need to know your body type as this will determine the type of workout and nutrition program you should follow. To find out what body type you are, check out my previous blog post here. I also have specific nutrition and workout guidelines tailored to each body type here: ectomorph, mesomorph and endomorph. Have a read of these guidelines to find out how to get skinny legs for your body type.
Unfortunately, if you want skinny legs, you can’t avoid cardio. The best type of cardio to get skinny legs is actually low to moderate intensity cardio such as power walking and light jogging. This is because it uses fat as one of the main fuel sources, whereas HIIT and weight training use mostly glycogen (carbohydrates).
Also, it is very beneficial to do power walking first thing in the morning or after your HIIT or weights session. After doing weights / HIIT, your body is depleted of glycogen and will turn to fat for energy. Power walking after your HIIT and weights sessions is a must! Even if it’s just a light walk for 20 minutes. Find out more about cardio for lean legs here.
If you want toned legs, you will need to do some form of resistance training. If you just want purely skinny legs with no definition, then you may not want to do resistance training. But I highly recommend it! Read my blog post here for tips on how to do weights without getting bulky.
HIIT (INTERVAL RUNNING)
If you do your HIIT right, it will help strip fat from your legs very quickly. However, most people do HIIT like this: 30 seconds sprint as fast as you can, 30-60 seconds rest and repeat for 10-15 minutes. This is great but uses mostly glycogen as a fuel source, not fat, and can contribute to bulking.
By modifying your HIIT so that you are running at a slower speed (but still faster than normal) for a longer period of time, you will burn more fat. For example, it is better to run at a medium fast pace for 2 minutes, with a 60 second rest and repeat this 5-10 times (depending on fitness level) as this will burn more fat. To find out more about this type of HIIT, read my previous blog post here.
If you exercise right, you will definitely notice changes in your legs, particularly with cardio. However, you will see even greater results if you are eating right. Depending on your body type, you may need a low carbohydrate, balanced or high carbohydrate diet. Have a look at the nutrition guidelines for each body type to find out more (ectomorph, mesomorph, endomorph). Also, I have a few good blog posts on diet to help you get started:
If you read through these nutrition blog posts, you will hopefully have a good idea on the amount and type of foods you should be eating to get the best results.
Just in case you have missed any of the blog posts in the how to get skinny legs series, here they are:
- Why you should be doing for cardio for fat loss and lean legs
- How to get skinny legs: endomorph nutrition and workout guidelines
- Knowing your body type: ectomorph, mesomorph, endomorph
- How to get skinny legs: mesomorph nutrition and workout guidelines
- Use HIIT to get results quicker
- How to get skinny legs: ectomorph nutrition and workout guidelines
- Top three mistakes you’re making
- How to get rid of cellulite
- How to do weights without getting bulky
To find out more about my lean legs workout and nutrition program, click here xx
Hey Rachael, I’ve been reading many of your blogs lately, and they’re very helpful. Although, I’m very confused. Recently, I decided I’m done have big thighs and a chunky butt, so I’ve started slow, long distance (ish) running. I’m an endomorph, and you’ve wrote on your other blogs that slower, longer runs are better for us endomorphs. On this blog though, you included HIIT, what way of running would be best for me to shed inner thigh fat and bum fat? Thank you so much, love your blogs!
Hi Rachael, for walks after resistance training, do we stretch after resistance training, or after we included the walks? Thank yoh so much for your input :)
Hi Rachael. I have very short legs , I am 5’2. I switched from jogging to walking like you said. It has helped. I have lost my butt, smaller than I would like , but I like the slimmer legs. I was wandering if rebounding on a mini trampoline would be good for slimming or would it bulk me back up . Thank you for all your help.
Hi lovely <3
I wouldn't go with rebounding because it can affect the amazing progress you've had with your legs by bulking them up - but there are lots of exercises you can do that won't affect your legs in such a manner while giving you a perkier booty! Here are a few blog posts (with exercises) touching that topic:
Booty Workout For Women – Build Your Butt, Not Your Thighs
Bubble Butt Workout
I hope this helps! xx
Hi Rachel! First of all I wanna say all the information you’re giving here is so helpful and I wanna thank you for that. I also have a question, so I’m walking for about 2 hours everyday to slim down my legs, but I heard that also makes your butt shrink? My butt is already kinda big naturally but I don’t want to change it’s size whatsoever. If anything, I wanna make it stronger and better looking. So what do you suggest? And is that true?
Hi lovely :)
I have a suggestion: instead of walking 2 hours every day, try walking for one hour and the second hour you can try Rachael’s ‘Train like a model’ video course – you have it available under ‘Free Items’. The walking will help you slim down and the exercises will help you tone your body. As for your booty, if you eat at a calorie deficit and do your walks, you will lose weight overall and with it, your booty might become smaller but if you want to make it toned and perky, I recommend doing these exercises.
I hope this helps! xx
I am 17 , I recently began gaining weight about a year ago and it was giving me knock knees also I am really chubby now not fat and I want to loose fat from almost every part of my body… I am a mesomorph and have been doing some exercises and dieting but it hasn’t been working…
Now to get the 3 steps to lean legs , I have a big problem with that because I want to know if it’s an eBook or in paperback form and after paying for it because this would be an international payment (I live in Africa).. how exactly would I get the book..
I know that reaching your fitness goals can be hard, and that you probably have lots of questions about how to get that lean and toned body.
We would love to help you as much as we can :) so that’s why we have created the Lean legs Program!
Our Program is an ebook that includes a full 8 week workout and nutrition plan, a separate recipe ebook and demonstration videos.
This means you can purchase this program from any country in the world and you will receive it to your email immediately.
You can find out more about the Program here:
Lean Legs Program
Hi. I just want skinny legs. I have at home bike machine.Will that do the job? If yes, how long and how many times a week. Xx
If you are an endomorph, then cycling will most likely make your legs bigger so I would avoid it completely.
If you are a mesomorph, you may or may not be able to get away with cycling. Some mesomorphs are OK with it, while others aren’t.
Either way, I would still only do it 1-2 times per week maximum because overdoing it with cycling will most likely make your legs bigger.
We would love to help you as much as we can :) So that’s why we have created the Lean Legs Program.
Our Lean Legs Program has been designed to include the perfect type of resistance training and cardio to give you a lean and toned look, without making you bulky.
It’s an 8 week workout and nutrition plan that will help you slim down your entire legs, but will also help you slim and tone your upper body and core too (the workouts are full body).
It also includes a full meal plan, a separate recipe ebook and demonstration videos.
If this is what you’re looking for I would definitely recommend giving our program a go. :) You can find out more about it here:
Lean Legs Program
I am definitely a endo type..been doing HIIT and Weightlifting, and now my skinny jeans don’t fit any more. But I love living room workouts and absolutely hate running…..so bad that HIIT ain’t suitable for me. Is it okay do them low impact?
We know that reaching your fitness goals can be hard and that you probably have lots of questions about how to get that lean and toned body.
We would love to help you as much as we can :) that’s why we have created the Lean Legs program and Lean Legs Training Club.
The program in the eBook is an 8 week workout and nutrition plan designed to help you get lean and toned without bulking. It will help you slim down your legs, but will also help you slim and tone your upper body and core too (the workouts are full body). It also includes a full meal plan, a separate recipe eBook and demonstration videos.
Yoga seems perfect too and you should see a significant improvement after about 2 months.
You can find out more about the Lean Legs program here:
For more helpful info about what other cardio and HIIT to do please have a read of these posts:
Love. Lean Legs Club support
I am a cross between endo and meso. Would like to know if jumping jacks (normal intensity and tabata version) would cause thighs/legs to bulk up? Not sure if jumping jacks falls in the same category as jump squats Cos it feels less intense on the thighs.
Jumping jacks are more intense on the calves. For more awesome tips please have a read of these blog posts:
Love, Lean Legs Club support
I’ve looked for it on my inbox and can’t find it:Could you,please,send it again? ?
Of course! I just re-sent it to you :) xx
Hi Rachel,i bought your guide some time ago,but i read somewhere you updated it.Is it possible to have the updated version?
Hi lovely, I just checked my emails and I sent you the most updated version on 8/2/17 :) xx
my calves is like mens legs. To slim it down, so hard. My mom had a bulky calves but my dad is average. im 13. by doing only 100 squats, walking less than a km can lean your calves and only drink water?
ps sorry but if you drink water less than 8 glass and half fruit, would it make my calves slimmer without excrcise?
Hi Jen, please have a read of this blog post on how to slim down calves. You are still very young so just know that your body will change a lot in the next few years and usually for the better! I would concentrate on just eating healthy (don’t completely cut out food and drink only water as this will cause many problems now and in the future). And yes walking will help xx
hi, I had a bulky calves. i am ashamed of it. I was not free to wear skinny jeans. I always wore Oversize pants. The thing is, I do not know if The muscles or The fat tissue made its bulkier. Can i get long and Lean CALVES? how can i get rid of the bulk? I always walk to school for less than km. I heard that squat make your butt bigger. But does it make your leg slimmer? ps I want to be skinny.My friend is teasing me for my flaws. Im an introvert so I always workout jumping jack in the bathroom. does jumping make you taller? and maybe leaner?
Hi lovely, please have a read of this blog post on how to slim calves! Squats do make your butt bigger but don’t make your legs slimmer – read this for further info about whether squats make your legs bigger or smaller. Nothing will make you taller unfortunately – this is genetic. Jumping jacks can also probably make your calves bigger, but it will burn calories so can perhaps help you lose weight xx
HI! your article is really helpful! So the thing is, I have bulky calves, but I think I have fat and muscular calves. Like when I flex I do feel fat on top of it, but I don’t like my muscle size. I am in aerobic walking, but my teacher chooses courses that are hilly, I have lived in two story houses most my life, and I have gained weight as well. So for the muscle part, I think it became bigger due to those daily activities. But I saw in one of your articles that if you built muscles because of exercise, then you can get it back to the way it was! Would that apply to me? I have heard that massaging the calves, pinpointing certain acupuncture points can slim the calves. I have also heard that endurance cardio also slims legs. I am a meso/endo, but I ran everyday for an hour in the summer at the gym, I started to bulk up because I am short. I stopped that because school started, and my legs aren’t as bad as it was in the summer. I took your advice on walking, but I don’t feel like I am losing weight. Is there anyway I can incorporate distance running but in a way that it won’t bulk up my calves according to my body type? I want to do distance walking a lot too, but I also want to incorporate distance running as well. If my calves were skinny when I was in my elementary school years, can I get those calves back to the way it was now, or is that impossible? I read your articles about calves, and it really helps. But I wanted to get a more personalized response from you through this. You have told me that losing muscle in this area is very hard. But is it impossible? I am expecting that it will take me over an year to achieve the look that I want, especially with my calves. I have really considered getting botox when I grow up for my calves, but I wanted your insight on how to slim the calves in a less invasive way. I have researched a lot, and I lost A LOT of hope. They say that if your calves are big, it’s most likely genetics, and there is nothing I can do about it except to embrace my body. Some rebuked people like us, saying why would you want to lose the muscle there? muscle is a good thing and you should be thankful because there are people that get calf transplants! and then they just teach how to tone the calf muscles. I have been told so many negative, and hopeless commentary on calves. I am so lost, and I don’t know which exercises I should do anymore. My self esteem about my body is rock bottom, and I feel miserable. I physically feel really groggy, and I really want to change myself. To become more healthy and great. After seeing your blogs, I have realized that you do a great job of helping women gain this goal. I would really like to take this time to thank you. You truly blessed so many other women who probably had it worse than me. Thank you so much for your kindness and consideration, Rachael!
Hi lovely, aww thank you for your kind words. I’m so sorry about how you’re feeling about your body. You can definitely make changes to your body and to your calves. If your calves were previously slimmer, you can change them. If they have always been bigger, it might be genetics. But it sounds like yours have increased in size, so you CAN reduce them. When I built up lots of muscle in my legs, it took me about a year to get my legs back to normal. So it’s a long time, but not impossible. I would not run every day, especially if you bulk up quickly and are short. Do long distance walking, and then do running maybe 2-3 times per week, but only needs to be for 20-30 minutes. And also remember that if you’re trying to lose weight all over, diet is also really important! Good luck :) xx
First of all I’m so so grateful that I find your blog and your body is MY GOAL ❤
I have been searching for blogs for so long that focus on not getting bulky legs.
I just wanted to ask whether skipping will bulk up my legs? I skip everyday for 20 mins. And I want to target my inner thighs. And I will start walking too now that i have read all about it in this post. So would you recommend skipping for skinny legs?
Hi lovely, aww thank you :) That’s great that you’ve started incorporating walking! Skipping won’t really slim down your legs, but it is good overall cardio (which will help with weight loss). But I would just be careful and monitor how you go, because constant jumping may increase the size of your calves xx
Thanks so much for your prompt reply!.
I actually do the one leg skipping. Which is kind of running I guess? Not the two leg jumps. Hope you understood :)
What are your thoughts about it?
Hi! First, thanks so much for these blog posts and guides, they’re exactly what I needed! If I lived near by I would definitely ask you to be my trainer!
So I’m between meso and endo, I carry most of my excess body fat on my thighs and I’m super keen to slim them down. I’ve been successful at losing fat through clean eating and training in the past, but my thighs always stay chunky and I’m starting to think it’s because I’ve always focused on lots of squats, up-hill running etc.
I’ve been checking out your suggestions for training and they have opened my eyes (no more deep squats! Donkey kicks all the way!) I have a couple of questions:
1) Could I jog/run on an empty stomach in the morning, instead of power walking? Is there a reason that power walking is better for fat loss/slimming legs than running?
2) Could I choose to do resistance/HIIT followed by cardio every day (taking more time, of course), or is there an advantage in alternating between resistance/HIIT days and cardio-only days?
Thanks so much for your advice! And thanks again for all this material. You really understand what women are looking for in terms of fitness goals, it’s so refreshing.
Hi Jenny, thank you so much for your lovely words! To answer your questions:
1. Yes you can jog / run on an empty stomach. Walking is great because it actually burns fat for fuel (check out this blog post if you haven’t already). Running is still good and will definitely help you lean out your legs, but it will be harder to do this in a fasted state. You can definitely give it a go though! I used to do it, but could never run as long.
2. You can do resistance followed by cardio. Actually doing cardio after resistance is great and will help to burn even more fat. I just alternate them because doing resistance training every single day is a lot and your body does need time to recover. So make sure you’re having some rest days in there too!
Good luck! xxx
Hi thanks so much for great post! I’m trying hard to lose weight, I’m after those long lean muscles, I am a mesomorph and I gain muscle really quick – guys are jealous of me! I’ve been doing like an hour on the stationary bike, pretty quick but little resistance, only because it’s easy in front of the TV. But I’m noticing my quads are starting to slim but calves are building (or maybe my muscle is just getting more exposed? Not sure) anyway my question is do you think stationary bike is good or bad for leaning out legs? Or will it give me bulkier muscles?
Thanks so much :)
Hi Katey, the stationary bike is great cardio but won’t lean out your legs like running and walking will. I would recommend doing the bike 1-2 times per week maximum and adding in the walking and running xx
I think I am mesomorph! I was wondering if 30 minutes of jogging would be sufficient for slimming down my thighs ?
Really loved your blog post and It helps to motivated me also!
Hi Pearlyn, I’m happy to help motivate you! Yes 30 minutes of jogging would be great. I would try to do this 3 times per week, and also do lots of power walking xxx
Hi Rachael ,
I want to slim down my legs especially my thighs area . But i dont know my body type . ><
I only know that my upper body is slim and my lower body is super fat (my thighs area)
I had been eating a lot for the past 2 years (supper and get hungry easily) and my weight was 46kg and then right now is 52.9kg
Can you help me ? :(
Hi C, it sounds like you are the mesomorph body type! If you have any other questions, feel free to ask :) xx
Thanks for answering me! Do you think normal jogging would be enough for me? Planning to run for 6days for 30min. Is it enough?
Hi C, yes normal jogging should be fine :) But I would recommend 3-4 days at the absolute maximum xx
Sorry to ask , but why you recommended 3-4 days of jogging ?
Thank you once again! :D
How can i slim my calves? Im having a problem with my calves. Its bulky thanks
Hi Zharie, calves are quite difficult to slim down. If they are bulky from muscle then you will have to reduce / stop exercises that target calves and I would recommend doing lots of power walking xx
First, I want to say this (not because I want to flatter you or anything, but I honestly think so): You are so gorgeous God bless you!
Secondly, I’m having a few problems:
Multiples links I tried and still try to visit have been asking me for a Username and a Password with the comment that this website and such is not private. I tried to put it different usernames and passwords, like my laptop’s and email’s. They don’t work, please help me!
Thirdly, I’m not sure, but I think I’m a mesomorph (the site won’t let me check due to the problem above) but from other websites and my common knowledge, I’m assuming that I’m a mesomorph. I’m not entirely sure what types of exercises I should focus on. Cardio and HIIT? I don’t want to build any muscles to be honest. Please help me, and it would be lovely if you gave a few examples of cardio and HIIT workouts and the best ones to slim down the legs. (My goal, guess the only way to put it: K-pop idol’s e.g SNSD)
Sorry for the essay by the way :P!
Love you TONS! :D
Hi hun, aww thank you! I’m so sorry but I don’t know what is happening with the password thing and no one else has every had that problem before… Perhaps it’s your computer, server or your country maybe? Some countries in Asia might limit what you can see (but not sure). Yes I would focus mostly on cardio and HIIT! Not sure who K-pop and SNSD are sorry lol xxx
Hi hun, aww thank you! I’m so sorry but I don’t know what is happening with the password thing and no one else has every had that problem before… Perhaps it’s your computer, server or your country maybe? Some countries in Asia might limit what you can see (but not sure). Yes I would focus mostly on cardio and HIIT! Not sure who K-pop and SNSD are sorry lol. Thanks for the love! xxx
I’ve been in touch with you before re changing from doing lots of long distance running and no resistance changing to now having a trainer do circuit training with me 1-2 times per week, Pilates 2-3 times per week and power walking 8km daily.
My diet has gotten way better in terms of me snacking on chocolate a lot less, I’ve been able to control my appetite a lot better with less running as well. In fact I’ve never been eating better and training hard in my whole life however I’m in the worst shape I’ve ever been.
Back when I first started running 5 or so years ago I lost weight instantly and now no matter what I’m doing I just feel more and more bulkier around my hips and thighs.
Do I go back to just running again and stop everything else? Can not eating enough cause this bulk? I just don’t know when I’m going to find this balance and reach my goals. I want to lose around 4kg to feel comfortable in my own body however because I am in a healthy weight range and I look fine to everyone no one seems to want to help me.
Do you have any further advice you could offer me as I just don’t know how more restrictive and harder I need to be on myself….
Thanks in advance.
Hi Belinda, I’m sorry to hear that. I would probably add in 2 or so runs into your program because running is really great for slimming down. But the main thing that will help you lose weight is your diet. Even if you’re still eating healthy, if you’re eating too much food, you won’t lose weight and you could even gain weight. So I would work out your daily calorie intake (blog post here) and count calories for a week or so to get a good idea on how much to eat. I would also follow the 80:20 rule. Don’t cut out junk food altogether because being too restrictive can backfire. Eat well 80% of the time and treat yourself 20% of the time. Also not eating enough will not cause this bulk – that is caused either by eating too much, wrong type of exercises or both. If the bulkiness is fat, then diet is key. If it’s muscle, then change up your program. I hope that helps! xx
I really don’t know if i am a Ectomorph or an Mesomorph. I think i am somewhere in between (if that’s even possible). So, are there any specific exercises for the in-betweeners like me?
Hi Steph, if you are a cross between the two (definitely possible) then I suggest following the guidelines for the mesomorph body type :) xx
Hey, your guide on how to get skinny legs was exactly what i needed! My question is do you take protein shakes? X
Hi Maaike, Rachael here. Happy to help! Yes I do have 1 scoop of protein every day, usually in my smoothie for breakfast or post workout :) x
What’s your opinion on running stairs? As well, do you use any fat burner supplements or recommend any to add into an exercise and diet routine?
Stair running is an awesome cardio activity that would burn a lot of calories! It would build more muscle than running on a flat surface, but is fine and is a good thing :) I don’t use a fat burner hun as most of them have caffeine and my body can’t handle any caffeine, but I’m not against them. I think chat to someone in a supplement store to find the best one for you!