The Japanese Method of Getting Skinny Legs

Beautiful legs
Beautiful legs

For many women, the legs can be the most difficult part of the body to slim down. Though many people have the goal of thinner legs, it's something easier said than done, and a large percentage of people simply give up and accept the shape of the legs they have.

However, shapely legs aren't simply a matter of losing weight. After all, skinny, bony calves and thighs don't look healthy. It is also about toning your muscles.

Unbalanced muscle usage is the cause of many of people's body concerns, including their thighs being too thick, the shape of their calves not being in line with their legs, and the lack of definition in their backside, or glutes. Due to the way you walk or move around, certain muscle groups may be overused and others underused, which causes an overall imbalance in the shape of the legs. An appropriate training routine will encourage all of the muscles to be used evenly, resulting in more attractive legs.

This exercise plan focuses on giving your legs better structure, shape, and muscle balance and can help you achieve more appealing looking legs you'll feel confident showing off.

The exercises we are going to look at will be working all the muscle groups in the legs and also enhancing the backside and thigh separation. And since we will be working on muscle stimulation, the whole body will also benefit. Remember, the more lean muscle mass you have, the more calories you naturally burn per day.

Five Exercises for Well-Toned Legs

The Inner Thigh

Inner thigh lifts
Inner thigh lifts
  1. Rest your shoulder on the floor with the rear leg bent, knee facing upwards. Stretch out the other leg on the floor while twisting the knee to face the floor.
  2. In the same position, lift up the leg in front so it is floating approximately two feet above the ground.

Repeat these two steps, holding each position for three seconds, for 10 reps on both sides.

The Front and Back Thigh

Thigh lifts
Thigh lifts
  1. Lie down on the floor on one side. Stretch out the arm that is on the floor while supporting yourself with the opposite arm. Then stretch out the leg resting on the floor and raise your other leg, toes pointed, as high as you can.
  2. Next, flex your foot and gradually lower your leg back down to your resting leg.

Repeat steps one and two at a moderate pace 10 times, then turn to your other side and work the opposite leg.

The Side-Thigh

Side-thigh lifts
Side-thigh lifts
  1. Lie on the mat on one side and prop your torso up by supporting your weight with your forearm. Extend and stretch out both legs, and then lift the top leg up and pull it back about 45 degrees. You should feel your outer thigh muscle working to keep your leg in place.
  2. Keeping your leg pulled backward, pull the already raised leg a little higher and hold for a second or so.

Repeat the two steps 10 times and then swap to your opposite side.

The Entire Leg

Total leg shape-up
Total leg shape-up
  1. Similar to the above exercise, lay on your side with both legs stretched out and your elbow supporting you, forearm on the ground. This time, flex your feet and raise your leg by about 30 degrees.
  2. While maintaining the same leg height and flexed feet, gently swing the raised leg in front of you. You should feel the burn in your the outer thighs.
  3. Move your leg back to its original position.
  4. Finally, point your toes and swing your leg back behind you. Be careful not to allow your body to swing or shake to much as this indicates a lack of leg control and, therefore, less muscle stimulation.

Repeat these steps for 10 sets. Remember to turn around and repeat on the other side.

The Glutes

Glute lifts
Glute lifts

This final exercise works the glutes and upper thighs for a defined butt.

  1. As in the first picture, sit with both knees folded, one knee in front of your body and the other behind.
  2. Using your hands for support, slightly lean toward the knee in front. From this position, slightly raise the rear knee so that it is floating a little above the ground. Breathe three times and lower it back to the ground.

Repeat the exercise five times on each side.

Nice legs

Legs that look good in a short skirt, shorts or a dress are not straight skinny legs, they are legs that have a decent amount of muscle which gives them the perfect tone and shapely curves. Try this easy workout for just one week and notice a change.

Are Genetics Involved?

Yes, genetics do play a part when it comes to body types. Some people's bodies naturally distribute mass more toward the thighs and butt than the lower legs. Because of this, some women are known to give up and say things like "I am meant to be like that." That's not the best attitude to have. Not everyone is built the same and, unfortunately, certain areas do need work more than others. Not all women lucky enough to have naturally slender legs. However, the type of body you have can also be improved with the appropriate diet, stretching, and exercise aimed at certain muscle groups.

There are many other factors to consider too. The majority of Japanese people do enjoy a mix of traditional healthy Japanese food and Western food. But unlike many in the West, not many Japanese people have diets consisting of only meat and starches. Meals will normally be balanced with salads, beans, and fish.

Sleep Wearing Slimming Socks

These are very popular here in Japan. Simply spend the night wearing these socks, and it can make a difference in the circumference of your calves for the next few days. I have known girls who wear them and have noticed the difference myself.

How Important Is Diet?

Professionals often say that 80% of your workout begins in the kitchen, and I believe that is a very accurate statement. A good example is people with excessive belly fat who try to lose it by doing hundreds of sit-ups in the gym. There are people who can do 1,000 sit-ups, but still have a massive belly. Why is that? The reason is because although the muscles are strong, they are cover with a layer of fat that will not burn off through sit-ups alone.

However, diet does not mean restriction. Rather than directly cutting calories, the main changes should be:

  • Reducing the amount of carbohydrates and starches consumed, such as bread, pasta, and rice.
  • Cutting out sugars, especially fruits juices.
  • Drinking only water—this helps so much.

Calorie counting alone is not always good because you could be reducing necessary intakes such as nutrients and proteins, which are needed for muscle growth. Instead, you should change what you eat so that you do not consume empty calories.

Just as sit-ups will not necessarily result in a six-pack, the treadmill will not necessarily give you sexy legs. In fact, too much cardio, such as running and cycling, can actually burn the muscle needed for a nice leg shape and definition. Cardio should be balanced out with diet and strength and weight training. I have seen many a woman on the treadmill with flabby but thin legs due to lack of strength training.

If you get the diet right and keep up on the protein and natural food and vegetables, you will find that you can spend much less time in the gym and still maintain a very good shape. This is very important for people with very busy schedules.

Comments 28 comments

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

Hi, great exercises and something that I have done in the past, only not so well! lol! great info, and voted and shared! nell

mr-veg profile image

mr-veg 3 years ago from Colorado United States

Nice article !! Superbly explained.. I sent it to my wife and she loved it....

vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 3 years ago from Nashville Tn.

I walk everyday and because I live in the mountains the hills give my legs a good workout. They look better everyday. I will add your suggested leg workouts as well. Great photos by the way. Thanks!

Natashalh profile image

Natashalh 3 years ago from Hawaii

Comprehensive with great photos! I do a couple of these, but several others I hadn't seen. Thanks!

prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 3 years ago from malang-indonesia

Very informative hub. I'll show this hub to my mom and my sister. Thanks for the step by step instruction. Up and useful :-)


Hezekiah profile image

Hezekiah 3 years ago from Japan Author

You are welcome, I hope it works.

Hezekiah profile image

Hezekiah 3 years ago from Japan Author

You are welcome.

Hezekiah profile image

Hezekiah 3 years ago from Japan Author

Yes it looks like you are giving your legs a good workout already.

Hezekiah profile image

Hezekiah 3 years ago from Japan Author

I hope she likes it.

Hezekiah profile image

Hezekiah 3 years ago from Japan Author

Thank you very much.

Petra Vlah profile image

Petra Vlah 3 years ago from Los Angeles

It seems easy enough and if it works, so much the better. Thank you for the tips

Hezekiah profile image

Hezekiah 3 years ago from Japan Author

you are welcome, give it a try.

KoraleeP profile image

KoraleeP 3 years ago from Vernon British Columbia Canada

Excellent hub! I have seen some of the exercises before, but I've never seen the separating the butt and thigh exercises. I really appreciate the excellent pictures that accompany your description of how to do each exercise. Voted up and useful.

Hezekiah profile image

Hezekiah 3 years ago from Japan Author

You are welcome, thanks.

SidKemp profile image

SidKemp 3 years ago from Boca Raton, Florida (near Miami and Palm Beach)

This exercise form makes a lot of sense - I might give it a try, even though I'm a guy!

Hezekiah profile image

Hezekiah 3 years ago from Japan Author

Men can just as much benefit from this too. Thanks

DDE profile image

DDE 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

The Japanese method of getting Slim Legs in One Week awesome photos and what one eats also makes a difference well said.

Amina 2 years ago

I just want to reduce the muscles in my calves,will that be achieved by the total leg shaping exercide

Hezekiah profile image

Hezekiah 2 years ago from Japan Author

For reducing muscle in the calf, involves cutting down on exercises that put a strain on the lower leg, like running, cycling, standing for long hours. Unused muscle does eventually burn away as energy. Also stretching to elongate and even out the calf muscle. There is also the surgery like the Koreans on my other article.

Dave 22 months ago

The Japanese do tend to have slender sexy legs.

Hezekiah profile image

Hezekiah 22 months ago from Japan Author

I agree. I believe it is a combination of genetics and good food.

Kerry 22 months ago

Thanks for sharing this. It's good to see how other countries are doing it with new methods.

Hezekiah profile image

Hezekiah 22 months ago from Japan Author

Thanks, I hop these methods work for you.

Natalie 21 months ago

Good tips here, definitely need to try some of these.

Sophie 15 months ago

Thanks for the tips here, I really do admire some of the Asians with their slender physique. Then again diet is different though.

jessi 5 months ago

I want to reduce even an inch of my calves,they are too bulky pls help me

I heard there are some tubes to apply too is that true?I will be glad if u reply. Regards

Mary 3 months ago

Hey! I have really bad fat at my kneees n thighs. Will this help for the knees as well?

Hezekiah profile image

Hezekiah 3 months ago from Japan Author

It will help with all aspects of the legs

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