A woman’s thighs tend to start to get skinny at a body fat percentage of approximately 18%. However, for your thighs to become slim, tight and toned you first need to know what type of thighs you have, otherwise you may inadvertently make your thighs bigger.
Do you feel you have fat thighs, muscular thighs or just aren’t sure? To successfully slim down thighs take the test below. The result will help you determine whether you need to lose fat from thighs or need to slim down muscular thighs.
SLIM THIGH TEST
Before you set about trying to slim down your thighs, you need to establish whether you have big thigh muscles or a lot of thigh fat.
If there is much to pinch, then fat is making your thighs big and you’ll also probably suffer with cellulite. (read more about fat thighs)
If there is little to pinch, you have large thigh muscles and little fat and will have little cellulite, if any. (read more about muscular thighs)
HOW TO SLIM THIGHS
1. Avoid exercises such as squats
Avoid exercises such as squats, lunges, leg curls, stiff-legged deadlifts, leg extensions and calf raises, especially with heavy weights for now. They DO NOT slim thighs. A piece of cardio machinery you would do well to avoid is the Stairmaster/ step machine. Although these exercise are often promoted to make thighs smaller, they actually target thigh muscles and can make them bigger. Weight training make muscle fibers larger. You can do these exercises once you have striped fat from your thighs and have a clearer idea of how muscular your thighs are.
2. Cardiovascular exercise to slim thighs
This is the main tool in your arsenal. Your cardio goal should be to burn fat without gaining much muscle mass in the thighs. To achieve this you need to avoid working the thigh muscles more than necessary. If you are working out on cardio equipment, you need to keep the resistance low (e.g. elliptical trainer, stationary bike) or the incline low (treadmill). However, aim for a moderately high intensity (how hard you are exercising) for maximum effectiveness. Use the heart rate calculator. If you are exercising outside avoid hilly terrain.
3. Long-duration cardio to burn fat without bulking up
This will avoid targeting the type of muscle fiber that makes muscle get big and bulky. Instead, long-duration cardio (e.g. long-distance running) will target a smaller muscle fiber that has very limited capacity for growth. The result is that you build stronger muscle without building big thigh muscles, while burning fat. On the other hand, avoid short intense bouts of cardio (e.g. sprinting, HIIT). Although this can be a great fat burner, it may also increase the size of your thigh muscles. Endurance running is one of the most effective exercise to get defined, slim thighs and legs. Endurance runners tend to have very slim legs, especially in compared with sprinters who have highly developed and very large thigh muscles.
4. Running to slim thighs and reshape legs
Endurance running is especially effective in those who have big thigh muscles, as it may decrease the size of the muscles and reduce fat around the muscle to make the thighs smaller. It will completely transform the size and make-up of your thighs and your calves. Therefore, to slim down thighs do endurance running with little or no incline. If you find it too difficult to run or are unable to run, try the elliptical trainer with little or no resistance. Posture on the elliptical trainer is critical. Correct posture will target your butt, outer thigh and hamstring muscles (back of thighs) and lessen the strain on your quadriceps (front of thighs), avoiding you from inadvertently building big thighs.
5. Resistance training
When you have lost some fat from your thighs you can think about resistance training. If you need to increase muscle mass in order to increase the shape and definition of your thighs you can implement resistance exercises. In order to have fantastic legs you need muscle. Therefore, if you lack shape having lost weight, a program of resistance training targeting the legs will help to shape and firm them. Be sure to keep the weights moderately light (up to 70% of your one-lift maximum), so that your thigh muscles become harder, stronger and more defined, but not significantly larger. In other words, focus on completing more repetitions, with less resistance. Those who have the type of muscle (mesomorphs) that responds quickly and gets big need to be particularly vigilant and may not choose not to do any such exercises, since their thigh muscles are already well toned.
You need to be patient and focused on what you want to achieve. You cannot burn body fat in specific areas, especially inner thigh fat. You cannot spot reduce. Body fat is lost from the entire body during weight loss. The inner thighs will be one of the last areas of the body in a woman to be slim and firm. Just remember to be realistic and to take your body shape, genetics and current level of body fat into consideration when setting goals. You can get slim thighs, but you need time to get there.
7. Targeted workout program
Check out Visual Impact for Women (there’s also Visual Impact for Men). If you need to reduce inches – fat or muscle – or feel you are overly muscular this program is certainly is worth investigating. The author tackles the issue of wanting to get fit and lean without getting big or bulky head on. The program specifically addresses the problem of being overly muscular and takes it seriously; offering a comprehensive strategy that encompasses diet, cardiovascular exercise and resistance training aimed at reducing – not gaining – inches. In chapter 1 the author has this to say:
“Sick of hearing that it impossible for you to gain too much muscle because you don’t have enough testosterone? I will discuss that and other myths told to women on a consistent basis.”
Visual Impact for Women also has solutions on how to decrease muscle mass, if you feel you are too bulky. Here’s a description from one of the chapters of Visual Impact for Women:
“Legions of women have muscular thighs and calves that they would like to make slim and defined. This is common especially with women who have been given poor training advice. Despite this being a taboo subject, I’m going to give you a strategy that works.“