Achieving smaller thighs takes more than thigh exercises. That’s because you can’t spot reduce any one area of your body. Combining cardio activity and toning exercises — along with a reduced-calorie diet — will help you achieve a thinner body as well as thinner thighs. You can use the treadmill to shed fat and achieve smaller legs. Selecting high-intensity activities for the treadmill will assist with losing thigh fat more quickly.
If you want to reduce your thigh size, you need to create a calorie deficit. Weight loss happens when you burn more calories than you consume. A 1- to 2-pound weekly weight loss is a safe goal. For a 1-pound weekly fat loss, you’ll need to create a 500-calorie daily deficit. A 2-pound weekly fat loss requires a 1,000-calorie daily deficit. You can create this deficit through your treadmill workouts and with a low-calorie diet. For example, work out to burn 300 calories and eat 700 fewer calories a day to shed 2 pounds a week. Discuss a fat-loss goal with your doctor
Treadmill Calorie Burning
The number of calories you shed on the treadmill will vary based on your workout intensity and weight. For example, if a 160-pound person walks 3.5 mph, she’ll burn about 277 calories an hour, according to MayoClinic.com. At this rate, you’ll lose thigh fat a little more slowly than with vigorous activities such as jogging. If you jog at 5 mph on the treadmill, calorie burning increases to 584 calories an hour. Running at 8 mph on the treadmill will bring calorie burning to 986 calories an hour.
Another option for reducing thighs with the treadmill is a circuit-training approach. With this approach, you alternate intense cardio activity on the treadmill with toning exercises. For example, start with a thigh-toning exercise such as leg lunges for one minute. Then, alternate to one minute of vigorous activity on the treadmill, such as jogging or running. Continue to alternate a thigh-toning exercise and vigorous cardio for at least 30 minutes.
If you aren’t sure which thigh toning exercises to use during circuit training, try leg circles. This exercise tones your thigh muscles. Lie on an exercise mat. Extend your left leg toward the ceiling, pointing the toe. Trace five circles with your toe. Change direction and trace five circles in the counterclockwise direction. Continue this rotation five times on each leg.
Another thigh toning exercise is the squat with ball. Stand with your legs spread hip-width apart. Position an exercise ball between your lower back and a wall. Lower into a squat position. Hold the squat for a few counts and return to standing. Repeat this exercise eight to 12 times during your workout session.
- “Fitness” magazine; Our Top 10 Thigh Toning Exercises; Lexi Walters
- MayoClinic.com; Exercise for Weight Loss: Calories Burned in 1 Hour; December 2009
- “Fitness” magazine; Circuit Training Workout: Burn 30 Percent more Calories
- MedlinePlus; Tips for Losing Weight; October 2009
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; How Much Physical Activity do you Need?; March 2011
- Weight-Control Information Network; Overweight and Obesity Statistics; February 2010
- Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.