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- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Why Strength Training
- Cleveland Clinic: Aerobic Exercise
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Many women want to have thinner thighs. Long, lean legs are displayed in every advertisement and magazine. The reality is that everyone's genetics are different and some people carry more weight in their thighs, whether it be muscle or fat. There is no one specific method to get thinner thighs, but a combination of changes in your fitness routine could get you slimmer thighs over time.
Become a Runner
Endurance sports build a specific type of muscle fiber that does not bulk up the way power-specific muscle fibers do. If you have never been a runner, start off walking and mix in short intervals of jogging throughout your walk. Each day you walk add a little more jogging. Eventually you will be running most of the distance. Your thigh muscles will be developing and soon feeling more toned and looking slimmer. The increased aerobic work you are doing will also be burning body fat everywhere, including your thighs, making them leaner. In general, aim for 150 minutes of running at a moderate pace each week.
Adding a weight-training routine to your lifestyle will benefit your entire body, but performing leg exercises will increase your lean muscle mass specific to your thighs to firm them. Performing squats, leg extensions and curls, hip adduction and abduction all will help to tone the muscles in the thighs. Additionally, as body fat is burned off through exercise and diet, your legs will look more shapely and lean. Perform a pair of weight-training sessions each week and avoid performing these exercises on consecutive days, as your muscles require recovery time.
Yoga and Pilates
Pilates-based classes and exercises are designed to stretch and tone muscles without creating bulk. Exercises typically are performed with body weight only, which prevents muscles from growing too big, and the exercises will increase flexibility and lengthen muscles. Pilates alone will not produce thinner thighs, therefore you should use these exercises in combination with proper nutrition, weight training and cardiovascular workouts. The frequency with which you practice yoga and Pilates depends on your available time. This workout is more in line with strength training than aerobic exercise, so two classes per week is ideal 3.
Make the Most of Your Day
If you are short on time for exercise, add mini workouts to your day that focus on your thighs. Take a break from sitting at your desk -- stand with your hands on the back of your chair and do 20 squats, or side leg lifts. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Lightly running up and down stairs is a great workout for your thigh muscles. Switch it up by slowly climbing two or three at a time, you should feel a burn by the time you get to the top. Stair climbing is one of the most intense aerobic workouts you can do and is effective in toning quadriceps and gluteal muscles.
Without proper nutrition, most health and fitness goals cannot be fully achieved. Reduce your intake of junk food and increase your intake of proteins and fibers. Minimize sodium consumption and increase water consumption to help reduce water retention under the skin, which can make your thighs appear larger. Eat smaller portions and eat more often -- doing so will speed up your metabolism and you will burn more calories.
Many women want to have thinner thighs. Each day you walk add a little more jogging. The increased aerobic work you are doing will also be burning body fat everywhere, including your thighs, making them leaner. Additionally, as body fat is burned off through exercise and diet, your legs will look more shapely and lean. Exercises typically are performed with body weight only, which prevents muscles from growing too big, and the exercises will increase flexibility and lengthen muscles. Pilates alone will not produce thinner thighs, therefore you should use these exercises in combination with proper nutrition, weight training and cardiovascular workouts. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. **
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