Exercises to Trim Inches Off Your Legs

Women Stretching
Women stretching in exercise class. (Image: Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images)

If your main goal is losing inches, keep fat-burning exercises as your primary focus. There's no need to get bored with your workouts, with so many different exercises you can include to help slim down. From high-intensity interval training to plyometric exercises, plan your workout around the right program and you will trim inches off your legs and start to see a slimmer you in as little as a few weeks.

Cardio as a Calorie Killer

Cardio is one of the most effective forms of exercise for burning layers of fat off your legs. The idea of spot reducing fat from the legs is nothing more than a myth. Fat loss occurs in a random pattern from your body, dependent on personal factors such as genetics and age -- but there are a few cardio exercises particularly engaging for the major muscle groups in your legs. Jumping jacks, running on an incline of at least 2.0, and jumping rope are some of the most effective cardio exercises for your legs.

Give It Your All

High-intensity interval training is a more vigorous form of cardio exercise, and one of the most effective forms of exercise for shedding body fat. HIIT workouts are comprised of short intense periods of maximum effort alternating with lower intensity periods. To slim your legs, try a workout of 15 rounds of 40 seconds intense to 20 seconds less-intense periods, totaling a 15-minute workout. Include exercises such as weight plate step-ups, burpees, mountain climbers, twists and high knees to target your legs.

The Power of Plyometrics

If you're looking for exercises to trim down your legs, try plyometrics. These exercises use only your own bodyweight as resistance in most cases, helping to burn calories so you lose fat as a result. To target your legs, include plyometic exercises that target the quads, hamstrings and glutes, such as high knees, lateral jumps and jumping lunges in your workout.

The Wonders of Weight Training

Although weight training exercises don't burn fat as fast as other forms of exercise, such as cardio, it's still effective at blasting away calories and gives your metabolism a big jump start, even long after your workout. The higher your muscle-to-fat ratio, the higher your metabolism. Resistance exercises such as squats, lunges, step-ups, deadlifts and leg presses help you burn fat and build muscle at the same time, leaving you with a slimmer, more defined physique overall.

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