Before I begin to discuss how you can lose size or fat from your thighs/legs, it’s very important for you to first understand that it is impossible to actually spot reduce fat from any one particular area on the body by performing any exercises whatsoever. No matter how hard you try, exercising a certain area will not burn the fat from that area, instead, exercising a certain group of muscles will increase muscle endurance and size over a period of time.
Chances are if you are reading this you are 1) most likely a female considering it’s almost all females who desire to lose weight or size from their legs, and 2) unhappy with your progress lately and want to know the secret to getting “toned” as everyone calls it. Although there is no secret or magical approach that will help your legs to look greater overnight, you can speed the process up slightly by knowing where to begin and what to do.
First, we need to understand that losing size from your thighs is going to take the same amount of effort and process as if you wanted to lose size from your waistline or anywhere else on your body. You will need to be in a calorie deficit overall for a period of weeks on end (4-16 weeks typically to see any major improvement).
You cannot expect to exercise consistently while eating fast food burgers and fries daily to allow for results in slimming down any part of the body to occur. So take a step back at everything you have been doing and examine your current diet truthfully and find out what’s wrong with it (chances are you have at least 1 thing you can fix by replacing a meal with a healthier one). Once you can acknowledge that you can improve your diet to decrease your calories and junk foods, this will be the first step in losing weight, which will result in size from your thighs to be lost.
Build Muscle Mass
Next, it’s important to start performing exercises that will help build up the muscle mass in your legs. The reason why we want to increase the muscle size in your legs is that by doing this, when the fat begins to be lost from dieting later, your legs will begin to become more firm from the muscle tissue and they will look more toned or sculpted.
The legs are just like any other spot on the body, with a good example of showing a toned body being the abs. For your abs to show you need to have a low enough body fat while performing exercises for your abs will increase abdomen thickness, which is what makes your core appear thicker. The same applies to your legs. By building your leg muscles up to a large enough size, when the fat is lost later from dieting and cardio, you will begin to see a great change in the appearance of your legs simply due to leg muscle definition beginning to show.
Cardio or Weights?
To build the muscles in your legs you will want to combine weight training with sprinting. Running for long distances, although will help in losing weight overall, will also deteriorate muscle growth in that region so your legs won’t be able to build as much muscle as when compared to sprinting.
Sprinting targets the muscle fibers differently and will actually increase overall muscle size in your legs. Weight training with exercises such as squats, leg press and leg extensions will help build up the size of your legs muscles like your quads and your hamstrings. Thus, when the body fat begins to decrease from cardio and dieting after a few weeks, these exercises will show the increased size in your leg muscle, which is what will allow for your legs to appear more toned visually.
Take Home Message
Any significant change to the shape and definition of your legs, and even regarding leg size, is going to come from 1) decreasing body fat overall, and 2) increasing muscle mass in your legs. These two simple factors, which are commonly misinterpreted, are the only things that will have an impacting result on your leg definition.
Try sprinting hard for short bursts and when weight training stick to compound movements like squats and leg press while combining secondary exercises such as leg extensions and leg curls. Use a light enough weight you can control for a full range of motion and after a few weeks or proper dieting, cardio and weightlifting, I promise your legs will begin to see some results. You will be very surprised how much differently your legs can appear when you have lost 1 pound of fat from the body and built up 1 pound of muscle mass, this change in appearance can be extremely huge, especially for women.
Lastly, be patient with the process. Any significant changes to your legs are going to come after weeks of the dedication of exercising and dieting. Realize that although you may not be happy with how your legs look currently, you are not alone as many women and even men are unhappy with their legs as well. Over time if you stick to the right training program and diet regime the results are guaranteed to come.