The powerful muscles of the legs can sometimes translate to larger, more muscular thighs than one would like. Fortunately, changing the way in which you exercise can help you take your thighs from muscular to skinny.
Going from muscular to skinny thighs requires striking the right balance between exercising your legs enough to maintain their health, while being mindful to limit higher-intensity activities that may cause muscle gain.
Slim Thighs Training Swaps
To go from muscular to skinny thighs, you'll likely want to limit the amount of intense workouts focused on the lower body, specifically the thighs. This doesn't mean giving up leg exercises all together: Do enough full-body training to maintain your health, but don't place extra effort on your thigh muscles.
Instead, you may opt to shift intense workouts, specifically strength-training, to focus on other areas of the body rather than the thighs. Another alternative is to exercise the lower body with activities that focus on lengthening muscles, ligaments and other soft tissue, while improving endurance and flexibility, such as yoga or Pilates. It's worth noting that response to strength-training varies by individual so it may take trial and error to find the right balance for you when it comes to workouts.
Health Benefits of Exercise
There are two major muscle groups located in the thighs. The quadriceps are located in the front of the thighs, while the hamstrings are found in the back of the thighs. Rather than try to slim thighs quickly, be realistic and set attainable goals, such as a consistent routine of regular exercise that works on all areas of the body. Mixing up your workouts by challenging other groups of muscles with higher intensity activities can also help to prevent muscle mass in the thighs from increasing.
Adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity and should perform muscle-strengthening exercises on 2 or more days each week, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Exercise is essential to staying healthy in both body and mind, reducing the risk of disease, boosting cognitive function, increasing metabolism, supporting bone and muscle function, providing endorphins and more. This extends to why you should care about the overall health and not just the size of your thighs. The legs and thigh muscles are necessary to provide the support and stability needed to maintain the body's upright, vertical position.
For those worried about their muscular thighs, there's a chance there may be extra body fat in the thighs as well. If that's the case, adding more cardio exercise, which burns the calories needed to lose weight, can help, as can eating a balanced, healthy diet. Even minimal weight loss of 5-10 percent can have significant health benefits, according to the Obesity Action Coalition. No matter where in the body these inches are shed, losing excess body fat is heart healthy.
Muscular to Skinny Without Weights
Finally, in an April 2019 study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, researchers found that some individuals showed greater muscle mass after high-intensity resistance training, while others did not. This suggests that strength and hypertrophy adaptations can vary widely from one individual to another.
The takeaway: It may take some time and experimentation with exercise and adjustments in the manner in which you train before you see results of slimmer thigh muscles.
- Obesity Action: Benefits of 5-10 Percent Weight Loss
- NCBI: Individual Muscle Hypertrophy and Strength Responses to High vs. Low Resistance Training Frequencies
- Health: Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans
- NCBI: The effect of training volume and intensity on improvements in muscular strength and size in resistance-trained men
- NCBI: Strength Training with Repetitions to Failure does not Provide Additional Strength and Muscle Hypertrophy Gains in Young Women