By Simon Gould
Many women and some men see their thighs as a trouble spot. Fat does collect around the hip and thigh area on women a lot as well as the butt. Slim thighs are a mission for a lot of people and it can be done. Here I’ll go through exactly why the treadmill is the perfect machine and some workouts you can try.
Spot reduction doesn’t work but aerobic exercise does
Like abdominal crunches make next to no difference for the fat around the abdomen. The same goes for exercises that target the thighs. What I mean is the machines you see in the gym that target and strengthen the muscles in the thighs. This will not reduce fat around the area. That’s called spot reduction and it’s a myth as discussed by the American Council on Exercise.
The best way to slim your thighs and burn fat around that area is through aerobic exercise. This will also slim your entire body which I’m sure you’ll agree is a great side effect! Now, aerobic exercise isn’t necessarily easy but you’ll get used to and enjoy it after a while. Plus I’m sure results, that do occur quite quickly, will help spur you on.
How aerobic exercise slims thighs
Aerobic exercise is any where you breathe more heavily and the heart gets going. Also know as cardiovascular, it’s through endurance and activities that involve stamina that gives you the most cardio benefit. Typically these are exercises that can be done on a treadmill like brisk walking, jogging and running.
Edward R. Laskowski, M.D. at The Mayo Clinic says adults should do 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. This is brisk walking so that you feel slightly out of breath and 150 minutes equates to 30 minutes per day, 5 days a week. That is quite a lot. If you jog or run on a treadmill, that counts as vigorous exercise and then you only need to do 75 minutes per week.
You won’t be able to run or brisk walk 15 or 30 minutes a day straight away. It takes time to build up your endurance. Losing weight will get easier over time. I have created many workout schedules that help you lose weight and slim thighs by burning fat. One very common routine is the couch to 5k. The link takes you to the treadmill version. This is a walk run method to get you for jogging 30 minutes, gradually building up, over 9 weeks.
2 Thigh slimming workout routines
One of the most effective workouts to get good results is power walking. This is brisk walking uphill, so we’ll be using the incline on the treadmill. Warm up and cool down by walking for 5 minutes with no incline. This prepares you for the workout and allows you to recover afterwards. You could also do some dynamic stretching.
1. Power walking
Speed – 2 to 4 mph
Incline – 5% to 10%
Duration – 20+ minutes
The speed is quite a large range but as long as you’re brisk walking. In other words, you’re walking faster than normal for you, that’s what we’re aiming for.
With the incline set a level that makes it hard for you. But not so hard that you can’t complete 20+ minutes. Try doing this 5 days a week as a target.
2. Light jogging
Speed – 4 to 6 mph
Incline – None
Duration – 20+ minutes
If you’re able to jog, you’ll lose even more calories than walking. Don’t worry, they’re still both effective.
You might need to build up to this routine by jogging for 5 minutes for the first week and then extending the run by 5 minutes per week until you reach 20 minutes. This is what I did when I lost weight.
Here are some other routines. Remember a workout to lose weight will help slim thighs as well. These are mainly for beginners and give you an idea of aerobic exercise that are effective whether you choose to walk or run:
- 3 treadmill hill walking workouts for weight loss
- Treadmill walk plan for overweight beginners
- Treadmill running plan for weight loss
Improving the shape of your thighs
The workouts above will help you lose weight. But there are ways to give your thighs, hips, bum and calves a more pleasing shape. You do this by building muscle. This is what you see in those influencers on instagram. A lot of them have workout routines to help them achieve their appealing body shape. It’s one of the best kept secrets.
It’s best done in a gym with weights but you can do it in the home with your body weight. Try doing squats and lunges. Do 3 sets of 15 repetitions, twice a week. When you perform the exercises, do them slowly so you can really feel the leg muscles working. After a few weeks of all this exercise you should start seeing results.
Include the diet too
When you start exercising to lose weight you get results faster by changing your diet as well. I recommend you don’t eat a very low calorie diet because you need calories to help fuel your exercise. Eat 3 well proportioned meals and maybe a few light snacks in between. You’re best not eating a main meal within 2 hours before exercising. Eat right away afterwards if you feel you need to.
When I lost 30 pounds I ate the same as I always did. I know I didn’t eat too much really, I just needed to get some exercise. I sometimes felt hungry but as I was eating 3 meals and a couple of snacks a day, I knew the weight will come off and it did. When you get to a point when you’re at your desired weight or your thighs are nice and slim, slightly raise your calorie intake so you maintain the weight.
My best advice is just to begin. Whether you can only walk or run for 5 minutes at first, that’s ok. If you need to build up slowly then do that. As long as you do build up because your body will change. You can naturally run or walk that little bit further each week. That’s how you build endurance and stamina and the weight will come off. Don’t worry about having big muscles, that won’t happen from treadmill exercising.
You will soon see slimmer thighs and I would weigh yourself every week at the same time and day. Your progress will show on the scales. Do the thigh exercises if you want, but a treadmill is the way to go to get visible results. Any aerobic activity done to a good intensity to you get slightly breathless for a period of time will work.
Thinking of buying a treadmill? Here’s my favorite, I always recommend it when asked*