For you to acquire great lean and slim legs you must go beyond a few simple leg exercises and instead adopt a routine to achieve a combination of fat loss and improved muscularity and flexibility of your legs. If you want slim legs, make sure that you have read how to lose stubborn fat first. Also, learn about how to slim calves here.
Generally, women’s legs and thighs start to get skinny around a body fat percentage of 18%. For your thighs (especially your inner thighs) to become leaner, thinner and tighter and cellulite free, your overall body fat must be reduced through a combination of proper nutrition, exercise and consistency. Your nutritional plan must include frequent healthy meals and snacks to control blood sugar levels (5 small meals a day) and a slight calorie deficit. How much you are able to slim down your legs will depend on your body type, i.e. whether you are an endomorph, mesomorph or ectomorph.
Honestly? For women to get to the point where their legs/ thighs are slim and tight, with no cellulite, they must put in perspiration and persistence. No one can do it for you. A great body does not come easily to anyone, not even those who seem to have it all and make it look easy. It isn’t. The hardest part perhaps is focus. There will be times when you get bored and times when you feel like giving up, because the results you were expecting are not forthcoming. This is a test of your determination; of how badly you want it; of staying the course and of keeping your eyes on your goal or of giving up. The choice is yours.
Try doing 5 days per week of cardiovascular exercise. Your exercise routine should include 30 to 45 minutes of aerobic exercise (moderate intensity) and interval training, which you can do on alternate days. HIIT (high intensity interval training) is incredibly effective at getting rid stubborn fat. If you can, add some circuit training into the mix. This will strip the fat off your legs and develop shapely muscle for fantastic definition. If you feel you have overly muscular legs, avoid interval training and stick to long duration cardio instead. This will strip fat and even decrease the size of your leg muscle a little (read more about slim down muscular leg muscle here) to develop leaner, smaller legs. However, most women need to increase leg muscle to increase the shape and firmness of the thighs and get rid of cellulite. Generally only mesomorphic women have no need to increase leg muscle, as they tend to already have muscular legs and any increase may cause bulky leg muscles.
Try choosing exercises that directly use your legs, i.e. power walking, jogging, in-line skating, step machine, aerobic or spinning classes. The benefit is that you are burning fat, as well as developing your leg muscles. As your body fat drops and you develop tight muscles in your legs, you will start to notice a leaner look. If you are already doing cardio that directly uses your leg muscles, increase the difficulty and definitely add interval training to your workout.
If you enjoy using the elliptical trainer to burn fat, make sure you are using the elliptical trainer correctly to avoid building large thigh muscles. You should sit back in your heels a little and stick your butt out as much as you can. This posture ensures that you target your butt, outer thigh and hamstring muscles, instead of your quadriceps. This will avoid building very large muscular thighs, as many inadvertently do on the elliptical machine.
A total body resistance-training program is vital (30-minute training session). Although you cannot spot reduce, you can choose exercises that target the muscles in your problem area – your legs. Thus, if you want to focus on a specific area, in this case your legs, you can create a special workout centered only on this or simply incorporate it into your current routine. You should not be worrying about flabby legs until you have reached a point in your weight loss program where you are VERY close to your target body fat percentage. If not, you should be focusing on total body fat reduction.
Your legs, like any muscle group, will adapt to the same routine over time, as your body becomes more efficient at the movement (occurs after about 6 weeks). You can continue to do the same exercises, but you need to change some parameter of the exercise, i.e. increase intensity or weight, or add volume, increasing the difficulty. This also applies to your cardiovascular workout.
The more experience and the less body fat you have, the more intense your program should be. Take your time with these exercises and focus on precise movement. Your goal should be to isolate your leg muscles and create a slight burn – working your muscles. High repetition squats (15-20 reps), squats (inner thigh), lunges (legs and bottom) and step-ups are great exercises for your legs. Three sets is your goal. However, beginners should start by doing one set, intermediates two, and advanced exercisers three sets. Between sets, take a 1-minute break. Try this:
Stretching and increased flexibility is thought to give legs a nicer, longer and leaner shape. Stretch before and after exercise and take a Yoga or Pilates class. I do a combination/alternation of these vids erryday:
Check out her other workout vids too, amaaazing!