Genetics and bone structure – nature – play a role in how lean your legs are, but the importance of nurture – your habits, activity levels, training styles, and caloric intake – should never be underestimated.
It is impossible to spot reduce (lose weight from just one area of your choice), but you can get leaner legs by combining body fat reduction strategies, ample cardio, and muscle building routines.
How to get skinny thighs when you are out of shape and/or need to drop weight
Work to reach a weight within a healthy BMI for your height: If you are carrying around extra body weight, you can make a big difference in the size of your legs by reducing your caloric intake and stepping up the frequency and or intensity of your workouts.
Start doing Pilates: Pilates is great for toning and building muscle without building any substantial mass (though it should be noted that women don’t actually have the hormones to “bulk up”).
Don’t be afraid of squats; build muscle to burn more calories: The only method of speeding up your metabolism that has been scientifically proven is building muscle mass and/or tone. By boosting your metabolism I mean that you can be sitting and watching television and be burning calories at a higher rate, if you have muscle content. You want this factor on your side! Too many people try to lose weight with just cardio and end up stunting their metabolisms and gaining back any weight they are able to initially lose. Look under our full length workout videos section for free toning or strength training videos that you can do at home to increase your muscle mass.
The people who tell you to avoid squats to get skinny thighs are the same people who are probably content with eating 2 crackers a day to stay thin (any more food than that and their crippled metabolism wouldn’t be able to handle it).
Bump up your cardio: Regular extended bouts of cardio, mixed in with sessions of short, intense cardio (HIIT, for example) can help lead to slimmer legs. Cardio will help you burn calories and work off excess body fat overall (i.e. belly fat, love handles, etc) and this will also lead to less bulky legs.
Clean up your diet: “You can’t out exercise a bad diet” is how the saying goes, and it’s true. If you overeat, you’re going to be hard pressed to consistently burn off those excess calories, and eventually those extra calories morph into extra pounds, and a lovely assortment of health problems.
While a calorie is a calorie is a calorie, whether eaten in the form of carbs, fats, or proteins, morning, noon, or night, what you eat matters when it comes to how easy or difficult it is to keep weight off. Eat fresh foods; veggies, fruits and whole grains should be your staples, along with healthy fats and lean meats. Stay away from high sodium packaged foods, altered low fat versions of foods, and really eat as little processed food as you possible can. This will improve your chances of losing weight, getting a trim & toned body, and staying healthy and disease free.
Can you go from Muscular Thighs to Slim Thighs?
Before you delve into trying to lose your muscular thighs, make sure that you don’t lose the calorie burning powerhouse that is muscle before you consider whether you could still have fat content left that is pushing the muscle of your legs out to make them appear larger. This could be the case if you carry the majority of your body fat in your hips, glutes, and thighs.
In other words, you don’t want to start ridding yourself of calorie burning muscle to make your thighs smaller, that is unless you want to increase the likelihood of an overall gain in weight, and body fat.
Keep the muscle and keep up the squats; appreciate your strong legs, but check your diet if you feel like you are working out enough but still carrying a high percentage of body fat.
One more thing to think about; what’s wrong with muscular thighs on a woman?
The spindly pins that you see on runway models are hard to attain and not necessarily a sign of good health. Think of all the things that a pair of strong, fit legs allows you to do.