While it's not possible to choose a specific body part in which to lose weight, there are exercises you can do to help strengthen and tone the muscles within areas of the body. Strengthening the thigh muscles will help slim the appearance of the lower body. Don't fear getting bulky thigh muscles - people who have bulky, muscular thighs have intentionally worked hard toward that result.
Exercises to Try
Combining these strengthening exercises with a caloric deficit will help tone your thighs without giving you bulky muscles. If you do these exercises and intentionally take in excess calories, you'll only make your thighs bigger as the muscles grow.
Squat With a Ball
- Place the ball between the curve of your lower back and the wall, and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Keeping your body facing forward, bend the knees and lower your body. Strive to get your upper legs parallel to the ground.
- Hold for a few seconds, then drop a little lower before standing up again.
- If you don't have an exercise ball, the same can be done with back flat on the wall.
The jumping squat is like a standard one on the move.
- Drop into a deep squat.
- Push through your heels to leap upward.
- Keep your knees soft and your legs in a squat position. Land softly.
- After landing in your squat position, spring back up for another jumping squat.
Wide Squat for Inner Thighs
Sometimes called a "sumo squat," this move targets to adductor muscles, which are located on the inside of the thighs.
- Stand with your legs wide, with toes pointed outward on each side.
- On each side, ensure your hip, knee, and toe are aligned and pointing in the same direction.
- Keeping your chest up and proud, bend your knees to drop your body down toward the ground.
- It helps to imagine you're standing in between two walls, making it to where you have to keep your body upright as you drop downward.
- Return to standing and repeat.
If you've gotten too used to a standard lunge, try adding weights.
- Start with your feet hip-width apart and a hand weight in each hand.
Lunge forward on one leg, with the knee from the opposite leg dropping toward the ground, while keeping your body upright.
- Bring your legs back to being hip-width apart and repeat several times.
- Repeat on the other side as well and equal number of times.
Increase the intensity of this exercise by adding resistance bands wrapped around your legs or ankles.
- Lie on your left side with your legs outstretched.
- Stack your hips to where they are even, with one on top of the other.
- Slowly raise the top leg up, squeezing your leg muscles as you raise and lower the leg.
- Repeat several times, then finish on the opposite side.
The Spot Reducing Myth
Spot reduction doesn't work. Of course if you only work on toning up your thighs, you likely won't get the results you're looking for. The only surefire way to make your thighs thinner is to lose weight, meaning it will be effective all over, not just on your thighs. There really is no surefire way of losing weight only on certain body parts, whether it's the thighs, stomach, or butt.
A Holistic Approach
However, strengthening muscles aids in the weight loss process. It takes all of your body working together. Because of this, if thigh-toning exercises are included with other strengthening exercises and cardio, you'll be losing weight, which will slim down your thighs, as well as toning them. Consider cardio that utilizes the legs like running, biking, or dance fitness.
A Well-Balanced Plan
It will take a well-balanced plan between a total body workout, thigh-toning exercises, and also a balanced diet to get slimmer thighs. The simple truth is that to make your thighs slimmer, you have to burn fat, and the only way of doing that is to burn more fat than your are consuming. Make sure that when you do the exercises outlined above that you combine them with strength-training, regular cardio, and a balanced diet.