Everyone is predisposed to carry body fat a little differently. Some of us are pear-shaped, while others may be more top-heavy or have an athletic build. And while we think voluptuous thighs and hips are beautiful, we also know that sometimes your goal is to slim down in certain areas. You may wonder how to lose leg fat or how to reduce thigh fat, in particular. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation about how to do this. If you want to lose thigh fat, you have to know something upfront: spot-reducing doesn’t work. In other words, you can’t just do a bunch of inner thigh exercises and expect that alone to reduce thigh fat. You need to lose weight all over, making dietary and lifestyle changes and then tone up those slimmer thighs with targeted exercises. If you take our comprehensive approach, you’ll lose pounds all over AND tone your thighs to make them tighter and stronger. How does that sound? Here’s how to lose thigh fat the right way.
Use the links below to quickly navigate this guide:
- Increase Your Cardio
- Add Inclines To Your Workout
- Strength Train To Boost Your Metabolism
- Eat Clean + Lean
- Try Inner Thigh Toning Exercises
But FIRST! Why Spot-Reducing Fat Doesn’t Work
Before we get into how to lose thigh fat, let’s take a moment to discuss why spot-reducing fat doesn’t work. If you’ve ever wondered how to lose leg fat or how to get rid of thigh fat, listen up. Plain and simple, you can’t spot-reduce body fat because you store fat cells all over your body—where your fat cells happen to be concentrated is often a genetic predisposition. If your thighs are covered in a little extra fat, you need to lose weight all over and THEN tone that specific area. You can’t spot-reduce, but you can spot-tone. Does that make sense?
Think about it: you can tone your thighs all you want, but if they’re still covered with a little extra fat, those toned muscles will stay hidden beneath your fat. So losing thigh fat begins by losing weight. Then, we’ll get into the specific exercises that can help you firm up and tone those slimmer thighs.
1. Increase Your Cardio
If you want to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you take in. Simple as that. Heart-pumping cardio is a great way to up your calorie burn, and many forms of cardiovascular exercise also focus on toning the legs simultaneously: think running, cycling, or jumping rope. If you’re only doing a few light cardio workouts per week, increase that number to burn more calories. The CDC recommends 2 hours and 30 minutes of heart-pumping cardiovascular exercise per week. You should also be mixing up your workouts by incorporating High Intensity Interval Training, which helps burn fat fast and has you doing calorie-torching plyometrics, in addition to strength training, which will get into in a little bit for its metabolism-boosting benefits!
2. Add Inclines To Your Workouts
While you’re on your cardio kick, incorporate more inclines to really target your thighs. If you walk on a treadmill, ramp up the incline manually. If you walk or jog outside, find a trail with some hills. You’ll immediately start to feel the burn in your inner thighs and glutes; that’s because walking or jogging on an incline targets the thighs and buns more than walking on a flat surface.
Related: 4 Treadmill Workouts To Beat Boredom
3. Strength Train To Boost Your Metabolism
Cardio isn’t the only component to weight loss—you need strength training, too! The more muscle you have on your body, the more calories your body burns at rest. The myth that lifting weights is going to make a woman “bulk up” isn’t really true. When you strength train, you not only work your muscles, but you rev your metabolism. Muscle is a good thing! So incorporate at least two strength training sessions into your week—in addition to your cardio—for weight loss. Strength train your whole body—not just your legs—to burn fat all over. We have amazing strength training classes on Get Healthy U TV; whether you’re a newbie or have some experience with strength training, we’ve got you covered!
4. Eat Clean + Lean
Plain and simple, excess calories end up on your body as excess fat. Choosing nutritious, whole foods—and cutting back on unhealthy fats, refined sugars, and processed foods—is the first step to losing weight from anywhere on your body. A good tip to use when starting a weight loss journey is to fill half of your plate with veggies—and the remaining parts with lean protein (salmon, chicken) and some healthy carbs (quinoa, rice.) We’ve got tons of healthy recipes that make eating clean DELICIOUS and easy. Don’t think that eating the right foods has to be boring. Try our 28-Day Veggie Challenge to start filling up on nutritious, antioxidant-rich foods that help you lose weight and keep you healthy.
5. Try These Inner Thigh Toning Exercises
Alright, so by now you’ve changed your diet, ramped up your workouts, and are ready to tone your slimmer thighs. Here’s a quick anatomy lesson to explain why certain exercises are more effective at toning your thigh muscles than others: Your thigh muscles run diagonally, not vertically like your quadriceps. When you want to work muscles that run diagonally, you have to perform exercises that incorporate different angles, moving in different directions.
We’re going to show you exercises that target both the inner and outer thighs by using different ranges of motion. Aim to perform 8-10 reps of these exercises 3 times per week, in addition to your other workouts. You’ll be feeling the burn and loving your slimmed, toned thighs!
Also called curtsy lunges, cross-behind lunges are a great lunge variation to specifically target the inner thighs. Click here to learn how to perform cross-behind lunges.
Not only will this move target the thighs and hamstrings, but it also requires great core stabilization. Click here to learn how to perform a stability ball single leg lift and lower.
This fun squat variation targets the inner thighs more intensely than a regular squat. Click here to learn how to perform a plié squat. Want to see a plie squat in action? Check out this quick video below.
With the help of a resistance band, this move targets the tricky-to-tone outer thighs, or abdutors. Click here to learn how to perform a resistance band outer thigh press.