Posted by: pea | 2008/05/28

Skinny legs

Hi I have thin legs and a small backside. I tend to put weight around my midsection and back. What excersices should I do to lose the fat on the upper section but at the same time build up the lower section?at the moment I have strated jogging, do lunges and squats and use light weights to firm my chest and arms.

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Our expert says:
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Hi there

Unofortunately, this idea of being able to target weight loss in one or two areas is very difficult. building muscle is a little easier, but losing weight in specific spots is a problem everyone has. It's really difficult to combat though, although you have already hopefully recognized that eating well and exercising correctly are the keys. The mistake people make is that they try to target the muscle group, often at the expense of doing the whole body exercise that is actually more effective. That's not to say that focus on a muscle group or area is bad, because you need it, but it's better to do whole body exercise. The exercise is cardio training - like running, walking, cycling, swimming, taebo, aerobics etc. Anything that is cardiovascular gets the heart pumping and energy burning is most effective. It is just a question of how you use these cardio sessions. I would suggest at least 4 days a week of cardio training, each session lasting about 30 to 45 minutes, AT LEAST. You have to build up this duration and then keep at it consistently in order to see change.

The specific exercises for the area in question have a relatively minor role, other than that they are responsible for developing the muscle in the area, which creates the appearance of being toned. That's obviously what you want, but you have to realise that you can't do the toning and specific work first and neglect the cardio - it has to work the other way around, cardio first, toning second. So focus on cardio, then on toning. the exercises you are doing now are probably appropriate, particularly the lunges and squats, for toning and building muscle. But it's the jogging that is probably most vital, if you can do that regularly and consistently, then you'll be on the right track.

Diet is also very crucial, and if it's not 100% it will undermine any exercise benefits. So the best thing is to see a dietician or follow a very good diet plan. Just remember that low kilojoule is not necessarily better - too low causes problems as well, because it causes the body's metabolic rate to drop and that affects your ability to lose weight in the future. So don't try to starve yourself or go overboard, rather eat sensibly, cut out as much fat as you can, and listen to your body.

Good luck

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: Shame on you!! | 2008/06/02

How lucky can you get? I have two "boomstompies" looking like Saartjie Baartman from behind with a pear shaped figure! I would give anything to have nice long, thin, sexy legs. So let's get started and a one... two... three.... and four.

Good luck!

Reply to Shame on you!!
Posted by: Trina | 2008/06/02

I have the same problem. All weight goes to my midsection - grrr! All the other women in my family put on weight in nice curvy areas, me only on the stomach and waist. I wonder why my weight-gain pattern is so different :(

I would love bigger legs, butt and hips but I'm forced to remain thin becoz of my weight gain pattern. I must always stay below 54 kg or the tummy starts to stick out and the waist thickens :(

Reply to Trina

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