Toned, skinny legs are an admired trait in models and celebrities, and as a popular goal and motivation for women for working out. Many women worry though that they’ll get bulky legs by working out. Today’s article will address this issue and walk you through how you can get skinny legs without adding on pounds of muscle.
Getting skinny legs without building muscle
Getting skinny legs that will look stunning at the beach or in a beautiful dress can be hard to achieve without gaining muscle if you don’t do it right, but with the right combination of diet and exercise your legs can become toned, thin, and gorgeous.
While it’s true that strength and endurance workouts will cause your muscles to breakdown and strengthen the common misconception is your muscles don’t always get bigger just by working them out.
This article on the difference between “tone” and “bulk,” discusses how bulking means building muscle mass, making your muscles bigger, but toning on the other hand, is getting rid of fat, which will reveal the underlying muscle. Skinny legs can look toned, nice and healthy. The point of this article is getting rid of the “bulky” look.
Best Diet for skinny legs
Getting skinny legs won’t happen just by exercising. Exercising does a lot, but diet plays a big role in building muscle and/or losing weight as well. If you want skinny legs, you need to start in the kitchen.
Burning more calories than you eat is a very effective way to help with fat loss and getting skinnier.
Many have found success with a low carb or keto diet, or intermittent fasting. Whether you go on a diet, or just change some eating habits in general, choosing good healthy foods is vital to skinny legs.
Eating fewer carbs and more foods high in fiber, with an emphasis on moderate consumption of fruits and heavy on vegetables can help you lose fat. Eating .50 to 1 gram of protein per pound of weight will be a power-house move as well. You can get your protein from beans, nuts, eggs, lean meats. And choosing healthy fats, like avocados or olive oil will help a great deal as well.
Diet is a key component of getting skinny legs and losing weight in general. While the #1 approach to skinny legs is diet, let’s discuss how cardio will assist you in your goal.
Best cardio for skinny legs
Another big component to lean and toned legs is exercise, specifically cardio. Cardio is one of the best forms of exercise for weight loss and will help your legs become skinnier.
Walking, especially is a great way to get in the fat burning zone. Walking for 20 minutes a day can help you slim down on your thighs and legs so much. Other good cardio exercises include swimming, cycling, etc.
The key to using cardio for getting skinny legs is doing lower to moderate-intensity exercises. Low-intensity workouts burn fat and help you lose weight, while high-intensity muscles do burn a lot of calories, but can help you gain muscle.
You don’t have to completely ditch the HIIT workouts, but limit them to only one or two times per week and focus on a lower intensity and higher reps workout.
Choose exercises like lunges, rainbow leg lifts, high knees, or mountain climbers. Choose leg exercises that will help slim your legs down, get your walking in, and stretch every day and you will be on the path of developing those skinny legs in no time.
What about weight lifting and achieving skinny legs, is it possible? Let’s discuss this…
Weightlifting for skinny legs
The short answer is sometimes. Lifting a small amount of weight and doing higher reps can help you slim down and lose weight, especially if you focus on upper body lifts. Heavy weight lifting can cause bulkiness because the muscle is being torn down more often and built back up. For more tone, skinny legs, it’s best to stick with 1-2 kg of weight and do a higher amount of reps.
There are three major body types and they all react to weight lifting a little bit differently. And your biomechanics makes a big difference too, so be aware of that as you work out properly.
- Endomorph: Women with this body type generally have shorter and curvier bodies. They have great strength and endurance abilities. They often have trouble losing weight, and gain it very fast. It is not highly recommended for endomorph’s to do high weightlifting or HIIT training.
- Ectomorph: Women with this body type are on the other end of the spectrum. This body type is generally tall and slim naturally. It’s hard for them to gain muscle or weight. With this body type lifting heavy will help you be toned, but not build a bunch of muscle. While it is very unlikely that weightlifting with this body type will make you bulky, some people still choose to lift lighter just in case.
- Mesomorph: Mesomorph body types are in the middle of the other two types. They can lose and gain muscle (and fat) very easily. High intensity training and heavy weightlifting can have a good impact, but can also make you bulk up.
Some bodies are a mix of a couple types. Every body is different. If you want more information on the different body types and a free quiz to help you find out your body type, click here.
With some body-types it is really good to do a heavy weightlifting workout but generally speaking, if you are trying to slim down and get skinnier legs, go with limited weightlifting and with low weight higher reps.
When working on getting skinny legs just remember
- Diet is key. The kitchen is where it begins so drink a lot of water and eat a healthy diet for maximum results.
- Do a lot of cardio exercises, especially walking, and focus on low intensity workouts.
- If you want to weight lift, do more upper body workouts and try doing a lower amount of weight with a higher amount of reps for your lower-body.
If you follow those steps you will soon have toned, skinny, and lean legs.