A leading personal trainer has shared the top mistakes you’re making when trying to slim your legs, and why you need to do the ‘right type of cardio‘ in order to see results.
Rachael Attard, from Sydney, explained that the number one thing her clients ask her about is how they can get slimmer thighs and legs, as this often seems to be the ‘most challenging’ body area for a lot of women.
‘I know that losing inches from your thighs and legs is hard, but I also see women doing workouts that don’t get them any closer to this goal,’ Rachael wrote in a newsletter.
‘The key to slimming down your thighs (and legs in general) is doing the right type of cardio, eating right and incorporating resistance training that will not make your leg muscles bigger.’
MISTAKE ONE – DOING THE WRONG TYPE OF CARDIO
Many people think doing things like the Stairmaster, running and CrossFit are the secrets to getting lean, enviable legs.
But Rachael said in fact, the best thing you can do for your limbs is walking.
‘I advise my clients to walk minimum three times per week and aim for 10,000 steps each time,’ Rachael said.
‘I know it seems like a lot, but you don’t have to do it all at once. You can split that step count throughout the entire day.’
The PT recommends you lessen activities like cycling, sprinting or running on an incline, as these can make your thigh muscles bigger in the long run.
She also tries to get between 8,000 and 10,000 steps every single day in order to stay in shape.
MISTAKE TWO – FOCUSING ON THE WRONG TYPE OF RESISTANCE TRAINING
Secondly, you can also make mistakes when it comes to your resistance training.
Moves like heavy squats, deadlifts and lunges can actually make your thighs bigger and your legs bulkier.
‘These are all great compound exercises, but they won’t necessarily help you slim down your thighs, especially if you’re an endomorph or mesomorph body type,’ Rachael said.
Instead, she recommends you stick to bodyweight workouts that work your full body and help you to maintain a strong yet functional body and ‘lean physique’.
Light resistance training is the secret to lean legs, Rachael said.
The PT suggests light resistance moves like resistance band leg lifts and light squats, which are much more likely to burn through excess fat.
‘In addition, I don’t recommend doing leg workouts every single day,’ Rachael said.
‘The ONLY workout I recommend doing every day is power walking on a flat surface.’
MISTAKE THREE – YOU’RE OVER-EATING OR NOT EATING ENOUGH
The personal trainer said one of the mistakes many people make is simple, but often forgotten about.
If you are eating more calories than you are expending and already have bigger legs, then these surplus calories are only going to end up ‘going to your legs even more’.
‘You can learn how to calculate your ideal daily amount of calories online, and if you want to lose weight, I suggest eating about 200 calories less than this number,’ Rachael said.
However, she warned you should never go below 1,200 calories when trying to lose weight.
Finally, you might not be eating enough to see your weight loss results:
Any form of dieting and calorie restriction will reduce your metabolism,’ Rachael said.
‘The slower your metabolism, the harder it is to burn extra calories.’
If you think you might be under-eating, try resetting your metabolism by eating smaller meals every three hours so your body never goes into starvation mode.