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How to Lose Leg Muscle Mass

author image Rachel Nall
Rachel Nall began writing in 2003. She is a former managing editor for custom health publications, including physician journals. She has written for The Associated Press and "Jezebel," "Charleston," "Chatter" and "Reach" magazines. Nall is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Tennessee.
How to Lose Leg Muscle Mass
Slow, stretching exercises like Pilates can help to shed leg muscle mass. Photo Credit mediaphotos/iStock/Getty Images

Engaging in sports like softball and soccer can cause you to develop very muscular legs -- or you may just have a genetic tendency to build muscular legs with exercise. While muscle mass gives you strength and power, it can leave your body looking unbalanced. If you have gained excess leg muscle mass, you can take steps to achieve leaner legs. By making a few adjustments to your current exercise routine, you can help to lose extra muscle mass that otherwise makes you appear disproportionate.

Step 1

How to Lose Leg Muscle Mass
Increase the amount of cardiovascular workout sessions in your weekly routine. Photo Credit Maridav/iStock/Getty Images

Increase the amount of cardiovascular workout sessions in your weekly routine. If you are not fitting in between four and five cardiovascular workouts, you may be seeing muscle without losing fat. Try cardiovascular exercises like running, using an elliptical machine and biking, which can elevate your heart rate and burn calories that help you lose weight. Exercise for at least 30 to 45 minutes at a time.

Step 2

How to Lose Leg Muscle Mass
Work out between 60 to 85% of your maximum heart rate. Photo Credit Viktor Čáp/iStock/Getty Images

Work out at between 60 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate. You can calculate this number by subtracting your age from the number 220. To determine your heart rate while exercising, count the number of times your heart beats in 10 seconds and multiply this number by 6. If you aren’t exercising at your target heart rate, then amp up the intensity -- it will help you lose leg muscle mass faster.

Step 3

How to Lose Leg Muscle Mass
Lift with higher repetitions. Photo Credit kzenon/iStock/Getty Images

Lift lighter weights with higher repetitions. The right weight to lose leg muscle mass is one you can perform 15 to 20 times before becoming fatigued. Because fast-twitch muscle fibers that tend to be larger are developed through lifting heavy weights, switching to lighter resistance training can help.

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