1. Keep an eye on exercises such as squats
Avoid focusing on exercises such as squats, lunges, leg curls, stiff-legged deadlifts, leg extensions and calf raises, especially with heavy weights, as well as the Stairmaster/ step machine to reduce inches. Although these exercises are often promoted to make thighs smaller, they actually target thigh muscles (that’s the burn you’re feeling) and can make them bigger if you make it the focus of your workouts. Often people exercise their thighs in the belief that they are burning fat from their thighs, when in fact they’re building muscle. So while there’s obviously nothing wrong with building your thigh muscles, and indeed it will make you stronger and more fit, it’s also important that you know what results your exercises will achieve. To lose weight from your thighs or any part of your body, you need to focus on cardio and diet. Weight training should form an integral part of your workout plan, but it is not the part of your plan that will reduce inches. Weight training is key to build strength, increase fitness, improve posture, boost metabolism, protect bones, and reduce stress.
2. Cardiovascular exercise to slim thighs
This is the main tool in your arsenal. If you want to burn fat without gaining much muscle mass in the thighs, keep the resistance or incline low. For example, 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
Long-duration cardio (e.g. long-distance running) targets the smaller type of muscle fibers that have 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 runners tend to have very slim legs, especially in compared with sprinters who have highly developed and very large thigh muscles. So if you want to slender thighs go for endurance running, if you want more shapely, defined thighs go for short and intense workouts such as HIIT. Generally, moderation works best. Do both forms of exercise for a balanced workout.
4. Running to slim thighs and reshape legs
Endurance running with little or no incline is especially effective for those who find that when they exercise their thighs bulk up very easily. 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).
5. Resistance training
In order to have fantastic legs you need muscle. Therefore, resistance training should form part of your workout plan. If you’re afraid of bullking up your thigh muscles, keep the weights moderately light (up to 70% of your one-lift maximum) for a start, 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. You can always increase the weights as you grow more confident. People with the type of muscle (mesomorphs) that responds quickly to exercise tend to be most concerned about getting big thighs, however you should still incorporate resistance training into your workout plan for a balanced routine.
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. 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’re doing the wrong exercises because you are adding inches instead of reducing inches this program is certainly is worth investigating.