Many women complain that every extra pound they gain goes straight to their lower half, giving them the classic pear-shaped body that exemplifies everything estrogen, and allowed our ancestors to store the extra weight needed to support a pregnancy throughout a famine.
So that was helpful. It might even be why many of us are here, walking around on our big legs today. But now that famine isn’t something most of us have deal with, we don’t need this annoying ability to retain thigh fat anymore. Modern women don’t worry about carrying a baby over a rough winter: we worry about being able to fit into our skinny jeans, and then our cute shorts when spring arrives.
So how do we get the lean legs and thinner thighs we’d like? Fortunately, there are many ways to trim and tone these areas, 6 of which you can read about below:
1. Walk Everywhere—
If you want to slim down the legs, the first step, pun intended, is by walking every day, everywhere and every chance you get.
Park the car in the back of the lot and walk the distance to the store. Take the stairs every day at work instead of the elevator. Hit the treadmill at the gym every day. Walk 20 minutes a day on your lunch break. Just keep on walking!
Light resistance and repetition are key for slimming down any part of the body, and walking gives everyone an easy, accessible version of this type of exercise.
2. Ballet Away—
You don’t have to be a ballerina to employ the same leg-strengthening exercises professional dancers do, you just need to learn the different positions and practice them.
Similar to yoga and Pilates, ballet positions are done slowly and with precision. First and second positions in ballet are essentially graceful squats, and the arabesque position is a reverse leg lift similar to yoga’s warrior pose.
You can take a ballet class to learn some of the exercises that have kept the thighs of ballerinas toned for centuries; or if you’re disciplined, do Internet research, and teach yourself the moves.
3. Weight Training—
Many women worry about bulking up by lifting heavy weights, often scaring them away from this wonderful bone mineral density-building and metabolism-boosting exercise.
But as long as 3 sets of 15-20 repetitions of every weight are possible, there will be no bulky muscle building, only tone-giving tightening, and tightening is what makes legs smaller in circumference.
So don’t fear the weight machines, or any other sort of strength training, such as elastic bands or free weights, because the more muscle mass you create, the faster your resting metabolism, and that’s a great way to thinner everything.
4. Yoga and Pilates, Please—
Both of these exercises are performed slowly to stretch and lengthen the muscles and body, giving it a longer, leaner line.
The increased flexibility yoga and Pilates develops can firm legs while keeping them limber and less prone to injury, making both practices an invaluable part of any weight loss and toning program.
5. Run It Off—
If you don’t have joint issues and can handle the greater intensity of running, this can be an incredibly slimming form of exercise.
Because it involves endurance, running is a top notch aerobic workout, and will tone and trim without adding bulk.
To start off, mix short bursts of jogging into your brisk walking sessions, adding more and more running to your time until you are officially a runner.
And if you feel sharp pain beyond the dull ache of a well-worked muscle, stop immediately. There’s nothing more frustrating than an injury that sets your whole workout regimen back to square one.
6. Biking Burns—
Cycling is a really great way to replace wobbly, wiggly thighs and calves with firmness and muscle definition. Challenge yourself with hills for a great burn, or go the distance with longer, less intense bike rides.
Spinning classes have become popular because although participants ride on stationary bikes, there is an instructor to keep the class motivated and moving for major results.
Daily lunges are another thigh-tightening favorite of fitness buffs everywhere, as are scissor kicks and squats. And don’t forget to drink plenty of water and eat enough protein for muscles to use for growth, with lean versions like chicken, fish, and beans being the healthiest choices.
If you’d like thinner thighs and toned legs, try one of the exercise ideas above to get back into your favorite pair of pants and feel great.