How to Get Skinny Legs: 9 Workout Ideas and 6 Diet Tips

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A girl is exercising for achieving skinny legs

Slim Leg Workouts | Skinny Legs Through Diet | Other Ways

An often repeated maxim in the world of fitness is that spot-reduction of fat is impossible. So, what does this mean for people who have specific body goals? Like slim and toned legs, for instance. 

If you are wondering how to get skinny legs, we have covered a range of ideas and tips covering workout-based strategies and dietary tips that can help you sculpt your legs.

How to get skinny legs: Slim leg workout ideas

Below are 9 workouts that can help you achieve toned, slim, and lean legs. We have described why each of these workouts is great for achieving slim legs and also given individual exercise suggestions under each section:

1. Cardio workouts that target legs

Cardio workouts are known for their ability to aid full-body weight loss. So, what does this mean for people looking to achieve targeted leg slimming? 

Many of the best cardio exercises are leg-intensive. Exercises like running, jogging, brisk walking(treadmill or outdoors), and spin classes involve the use of legs. This automatically trims and tones your legs to skinny perfection.

Added benefits include improved aerobic and cardiovascular health. 

Best cardio exercises to get skinny legs: Running, walking, step-ups, stair-climbing, and elliptical workouts.

2. Squats

Squats and lunges are the two most classic exercises for slimming and toning your legs. Not only do these exercises work on the glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves – they also help strengthen your core muscles.

Did you know: On average, 1 minute of moderate-intensity squats can burn around 5-7 calories!

Squats can be done with or without weights. Lunge variations such as side-to-side and walking lunges can be added for extra emphasis on the leg muscles.

Just ensure to take proper guidance regarding the intensity and the weights used (if any), lest you develop bulky legs due to increased muscle mass.

Best squats to get skinny legs: Traditional squats, sumo squats, pistol squats, and goblet squats.

3. Pilates for slim legs

Pilates is an exercise technique that was developed in the early 20th century. It works on the core muscle groups and strengthens them. Studies [1]PubMed: The effect of Pilates exercise on body composition in sedentary overweight and obese women have proven that the regular performance of Pilates exercises can help trim the body and improve overall body mass composition, even in obese subjects.

Many Pilates exercises challenge the muscles in your lower body, particularly the muscles of your inner and outer thighs.

Best pilates exercises to get skinny legs: Clamshell, side leg lifts, and side-lying hip abduction.

4. Yoga poses that slim and lengthen legs

Yoga does not just help to burn fat and slim down your legs. Yoga is known to loosen and lengthen the muscles and consequently makes your body appear a little taller, which helps to make your legs look slimmer.

Best yoga poses to get skinny legs: The chair pose, warrior III, and tree pose.

5. Resistance and strength training

Adding some form of resistance training to your leg workout routine can help you build lean muscle mass and burn fat. This will slim down your legs and give them a toned, defined appearance. Regular workouts with dumbbells, resistance bands, or even body weight can help to sculpt your leg muscles. 

Best resistance exercises to get skinny legs: Banded squats, lateral band walks, and banded squat jacks.

6. Weight lifting exercises to sculpt legs

Studies have proven that the use of weights can result in more weight loss than cardio alone.

Discretion is a must with weights if your goal is skinny legs. The use of weights can add muscle mass, causing your legs to look bulky. Weight training should ideally be performed under the guidance of a personal trainer or a fitness expert.

Best weight lifting exercises to get skinny legs: Romanian deadlifts, single leg deadlifts, and weighted sumo squats.

7. Interval Training

Interval training or high-intensity interval training(HIIT) involves alternating between periods of high-intensity exercise and rest or low-intensity workouts. An endless number of studies have proven the effectiveness of HIIT workouts [2]Harvard T.H. Chan: HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) for reducing body fat.

Best interval training exercises to get skinny legs: Jumping jacks, skipping rope, burpees, and mountain climbers.

8. Balance exercises

Balance exercises tend to exert considerable strain on the muscles involved. To slim down your legs without adding bulk, try balance exercises. By engaging your leg muscles, leg-focused balance exercises can help you lose fat, improve muscle tone and give you slimmer legs.

Best balance exercises to get skinny legs: Single-Leg Balance Exercises, Bird-Dog Exercise, Single Leg Squat, and Side Planks.

9. Stretching

Stretching in order to slim your legs? Yes! Stretching your legs helps to improve flexibility and can help with muscle toning. A 30-minute stretching routine is known to burn anywhere between 70-100 calories depending on the body weight of the person performing these stretches.

Best stretching exercises to get skinny legs: The standing hamstring stretch, figure four hip flexor stretch, and the hip and inner thigh stretch. 

How to get lean, skinny legs through diet?

Diet is central to any fitness goal. Whether your goal is losing weight overall or simply reducing leg fat, it is impossible to out-exercise a bad diet and achieve them.

We have analyzed 6 diet-related pointers for you to keep in mind if you wish to reduce your leg fat.

1. Calorie deficit/weight loss

The most important lesson to keep in mind when trying to shape up a pair of slim and skinny legs is this: you cannot achieve it without an overall calorie deficit. Eating a healthy, balanced diet and keeping your calorie intake in check is absolutely essential for achieving the body you want.

Creating a calorie deficit will ensure that your body burns fat stores from all over – including your legs. So monitor your daily calorie intake if you wish to get skinny legs.

2. Protein-rich diet

Incorporating adequate amounts of protein in your diet is also important, as protein is considered to be the building block of muscle. 

Consume lean proteins such as fish, chicken, eggs, and legumes to build muscle and develop slim, strong, and powerful legs.

Since muscle consumes more calories than fat, this will help you to increase your metabolic rate. This, in turn, can promote weight loss and slimming of legs.

3. Hydrate regularly

No weight loss or slimming plan would be complete without proper hydration [3]JOHNS HOPKINS University: Yes, drinking more water may help you lose weight. From increasing metabolism to suppressing hunger pangs, drinking water promotes weight loss in multiple ways. It is also important for muscle health, growth, and recovery.

4. Avoid excess fats

At the risk of stating the obvious, avoiding processed foods and fatty foods is a must if you’re looking to slim down your legs. Choose lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats like olive oil instead of high-fat processed snacks. 

5. Avoid excess sugars

Sugars are complex forms of carbohydrates that can be difficult to process and store. Excess sugars are usually stored as fat, so try to keep your sugar intake in check by avoiding processed foods and sweets. 

6. Avoid excess salt

Excessive salt tends to cause puffiness, bloating, and water retention, which can make your legs appear less lean. Avoid excess salt when trying to achieve a pair of slim and lean legs.

Tips for getting skinny legs without building muscle

Here are a few more tips for those trying to get skinny legs without developing bulky muscular-looking legs:

  1. Avoid heavy weights that can lead to muscle buildup.
  2. Increase your cardio by adding more HIIT workouts into your routine.
  3. Eat plenty of protein as well as healthy carbohydrates in order to provide your body with the energy it needs for exercise and recovery.
  4. Focus on developing lean muscle even if you are trying to avoid the muscled look. This is because lean muscle ensures that your body remains slim in the long run. Mere fat reduction can lead to the re-accumulation of fat deposits.
  5. Finally, focus on total body toning exercises that target the legs along with the rest of your body. This will ensure that you are getting an overall slimming effect and not just targeting one body area.

By following these tips, you can get skinny legs without building bulk. A combination of diet, exercise, stretching, and proper rest can help you achieve a pair of toned and slim legs!


Getting skinny legs is a multi-pronged process that requires both diet and exercise. Cardio, resistance training, weight lifting, Pilates, yoga, and other forms of exercise can all help to burn fat and sculpt the muscles. Eating a healthy diet with lots of protein and limiting excess fats, sugars, and salt can help to create the

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