Will My Legs Get Bigger Before Getting Smaller?

By Rachael Attard, Updated Jun 9, 2022
Will my legs get bigger before getting smaller?

Will my legs get bigger before getting smaller? This is a question that confuses a lot of women.

There is no straight answer for this one. Some people do get bigger and then smaller, while other people get bigger and stay bigger. Let me try to explain.


Most endomorphs already have a lot of muscle, naturally (especially in their legs). They build muscle quickly and find it difficult to lose fat. Endomorphs need to be careful of the exercises they do because they can increase their muscle size very quickly and it’s hard to reverse this.

If you are an endomorph and are experiencing your legs getting bigger from exercise, I would stop the current exercise that you are doing. Focus more on cardio, lighter exercise such as pilates (or the workouts on my blog) and eating at a calorie deficit.

I have covered the main scenarios, but just remember that everyone is different. You may not fit into the exact situations I have described above. Listen to your body and do whatever it is that gives you the results that you are happy with! 


If you haven’t done any exercise or have just started working out, you will likely have very little muscle. Any type of exercise (even cardio) will build some muscle. So at the start, you might build muscle before reducing your body fat.

In this case, your legs might look bigger at the start, but eventually, your body fat will decrease and your legs will get smaller.

However, if you are still getting bigger after 6 months, you might find yourself in the situation I describe below.

will my legs get bigger before getting smaller


If you have been exercising for longer than 3-6 months, I assume that you would have already built up some muscle and lost some fat.

If your workouts are making your legs bigger, this is most likely due to increasing muscle size. This will not go away and if you continue to exercise in the same way, your muscle will either stay the same or continue to grow.

Getting bigger can also be related to diet. The more you exercise, the hungrier you get. So you may start eating too much, which will make you gain fat.

You can use my FREE calorie and macros calculator to learn how many calories you should actually eat.

Most people can tell if their weight gain is due to muscle or fat, or both. If your legs feel really firm, then it’s muscle.

  • If your increased size is due to muscle only, you won’t get smaller.
  • If it’s due to fat only (which is not very likely if you have been exercising for more than 3-6 months), you will get smaller.
  • If it’s due to both fat and muscle, you will potentially get a bit smaller when the fat decreases, but only to a certain extent. This is because the muscle has caused you to increase in size and if you continue to exercise in the same way, this won’t go down. So you will reduce the fat, but not the muscle.


I have written a series of blog post on this topic so I would suggest to read those first. You can find them here :)

If you want to slim down your legs, you can start by changing your diet.

But if you really want to get the best results, I would recommend checking out my  3 Steps to Lean Legs Program. It is designed to help you get gorgeous lean legs without the bulkiness. It includes workout program and a complete 8-week meal plan :)

There are 3 different versions of the program, one for each of 3 body types.

Each version combines cardio and resistance training in a way that works best for that particular body type.

Also, the resistance training part of my program now has FULL-LENGTH videos that you can follow from warm up to cool down.

To find out more about my 3 Steps to Lean Legs Program click the link below:


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


And as always, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask! 

Love Rachael xx

Tags: do squats make your legs bigger or smaller, how to slim calves, how to slim muscular thighs, legs getting bigger from running
Picture of Rachael

Rachael is an Australian born certified personal trainer and nutritionist who holds a Bachelor degree in Science.

After struggling for years to find an exercise and diet program that is tailored to women striving for lean and toned body with no bulk she designed her Lean Legs Program. This program is tailored to each body type and focused on helping women get toned but feminine bodies, without getting bulky.

Her mission is to empower women and help them stay in shape in a healthy and balanced way.

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33 comments on “Will My Legs Get Bigger Before Getting Smaller?”

    Ravina makkad says:

    I have started doing exercises which you have suggested but after a week my legs are getting bigger instead of smaller and l can feel it in tighs what to do now???

      Lean Legs Support says:

      Hi lovely! It’s also important that you follow the right type of workouts and diet for your body type. Incorporating cardio will help, too. Feel free to share more info about your concern so we can give you proper guidance. you can reach us at info@rachaelattard.com :)

    Izzy says:

    I measured my legs 1 week ago when I started to do a slim legs stretching routine that lasts 15 minutes. 15 minutes in the morning and then I repeat before I go to bed. I measured my legs after doing the routine everyday twice a day for a week and I gained 1.5 inches on my thigh. I am really confused because I have been eating normally, (I’m not allowed a calorie deficit). I usually get about 10,000 steps a day. I get these by walking and dancing. However, one day this week I went on a hike that lasted about 20 minutes. I’m not sure how that 20 minutes could have caused me to bulk up so fast. my other measurements are all the same just my legs got bigger (Muscle). Please help.

      Lean Legs Support says:

      Hi lovely,

      After doing any type of workout, there will be a surge of fluids that will cause your muscle to swell up, making your muscles look larger than usual. But this is only temporary that why we don’t recommend measuring your legs right after working out. :) I hope that helps. xx

    Breigh says:

    I’ve done barre for years and even though I love it so much, my legs never leaned out as much as I’d like. I’m a mesomorph body type. I’ve recently changed my workout to not work my legs as much (more focus on butt) a couple months ago and I’ve been walking on a treadmill for about 2 weeks now for an average of 45min about 6 days a week and my legs seem to be getting bigger. I’m not sure why this is happening. Is it possible my thighs are bulking before they get smaller? My diet hasn’t changed much. I mostly eat pretty healthy and usually lean towards low carb.

      Ana - Lean Legs Support says:

      Hey lovely,

      Thanks for reaching out <3

      You should definitely check if your treadmill's incline is set to 0%.

      Any inclines or downhills will bulk you up, unfortunately. :/

      If you have more questions or need any help with anything feel free to send an email to info@rachaelattard.com and we’ll gladly help. :)


    Renee says:

    I have been doing hiit circuit training 5/6 times a week with 10-15lb dumbells for 9 months.
    I have gained muscle tone in my arms for sure and a bit in my legs. But it seems that my legs are getting bulkier. Prior to this I worked hard on my diet and lost weight but was more of a fat skinny. Where I didn’t have muscle tone but was thin.
    I do like my tone arms now, but I also want to have a slim look in my legs and mid section. Is this possible!???

      Ana - Lean Legs Support says:

      Hey lovely,

      Thanks for reaching out! :)

      Doing HIIT more than once or twice per week could definitely bulk you up.

      It would be better to incorporate some resistant training and cardio in your routine. You can find plenty on Rachael’s IGTV, Youtube, or blog.

      You can check out these blog posts that Rachael wrote on toning your arms without bulking up. :)





    Natalie says:

    Hi, I am a competitive badminton player but my legs are getting bigger and bigger, even though I exercise daily. I am pretty sure it’s because of my body type but I can’t stop playing badminton because I play competitively. Do you think that there will still be a chance to slim down my legs? I will stop playing when I am 18. Thank you!

      Ana - Lean Legs Support says:

      Hey lovely,

      You will have plenty of time in your life to think about a “perfect” figure and how to work on your dream body.:)

      It doesn’t have a point to work out after your badminton trainings, because your body is tired and needs rest to perform the best. :)
      Also, as long as you are a badminton competitive it is unlikely that you will manage to slim down your legs because of the constant type of movements and activity that badminton requires.

      I highly suggest that you enjoy practicing your sport of choice until you stop with it someday, and after that, you can work on your desired figure.
      I am saying this again, but it’s really important to understand that you will have a lifetime ahead of you to work on leaning out and toning your legs, so please don’t worry about it.

      Also, your body is still developing, and following Rachael’s Program isn’t suggested for girls that are still in this phase of their lives.

      You can always come back in a few years, and we’ll gladly help you when the time is right! :)

      I wish you the best of luck on your badminton competitions! :) xx

    Sarah mae says:

    I’ve been exercising for a half months now and I’m trying to make my thighs/glutes bigger but instead my legs got smaller.Is this bad?? what should I do?? Please help me

      Ana - Lean Legs Support says:

      Hey lovely :)

      If you don’t want to achieve the lean toned look, and want a more muscular look, I suggest that you do research on PT and instructors who are specialized in that field and offer programs for it. :)

      I can give you some suggestions, but can’t provide a full workout plan. :)


    Lungile says:

    Hi Rachael

    I am so frustrated instead of loosing am gaining weight, I am walking 5-6 days a week, I incorporate it with other strength training, I do taebo in between and Pilates exercises coz mostly I want to loose weight on my thighs, its been 3months now doing this and instead I am picking up weight 😭😭, I am eating right and this leaves me discouraged I was 59,8kg when I started am now 61,3kg. Please tell me what a I doing wrong?

      Sara - Lean Legs Support says:

      Hi lovely <3,

      Thanks for reaching out and don't be frustrated, I'm here to help! :)

      Firstly, do you know your body type?
      You might be doing something that isn't suitable for your body type in order to slim down! :)

      Another option is, you're gaining weight (muscle weight) but that doesn't mean you are getting "bigger" in size.
      I'd recommend you measure yourself (thighs, booty, hips, etc.) and keep track of that.

      Muscle is "heavier" than fat so you could be replacing fat with muscle. You could also be retaining water for different reasons ( if you eat very spicy food for example, and you don't drink enough water that could happen.)

      Hope this helped!

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