Does the Treadmill Make Your Legs Skinny?

People on treadmills in gym

Obtaining skinny legs will raise your confidence levels and allow you to move around more freely. A treadmill is a good workout tool to achieve this goal because it involves cardiovascular exercise. Cardio is performed while moving your limbs in a steady motion for an extended time frame. This promotes weight loss through your entire body, not just in your legs.

Fat-loss Exercise

Contrary to popular belief, you cannot spot-reduce fat. When it comes to the legs, for example, exercises like squats and lunges will work your muscles but not lead to maximal fat loss. Using a treadmill on the other hand, increases your heart rate, burns calories and melts fat in your legs and throughout the rest of your body.

Length of Workouts

If you board the treadmill once in a while during the week, you will not achieve effective weight-loss results in your legs. This is similar to following a yo-yo diet plan. To lose weight, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends 60 to 90 minutes of physical activity performed five days a week. You have the option of doing this in long sessions or in small sessions performed throughout the day. Accumulated exercise will still make your legs skinny, provided you are disciplined.

Intensity of Training

Walking and running both effectively burn calories and promote weight loss. However, the greater your intensity, the more calories you will burn. A 150-lb. person burns about 320 calories in 60 minutes walking at 4 mph. The same-size person burns almost 825 calories in 60 minutes running at 7 mph. Simply put, more intensity leads to better results.

Exercise and Metabolism

Any time you exercise, you raise your metabolic rate. This in turn causes you to burn more calories around the clock and lose weight at a faster pace. Using the treadmill will boost your metabolism and further help you achieve skinnier legs. The greater your intensity, the more of a boost you will get.

Correct Form

Exercisers often pay strict attention to form in the weight room. Using correct form with cardiovascular exercise is just as important. If you place your hands on the handrail of the treadmill and slouch down, for example, you take work away from your body. This will also reduce your caloric expenditure and promote muscle imbalances. Regardless of whether you are walking or running, make sure to keep your shoulders back, gaze fixed forward and hands off the rails. Pump your arms back and forth smoothly in an alternating fashion with your legs.

Food and Fat Loss

Using a treadmill helps burn calories, but make sure you do not overlook your diet. If you eat as many calories as you expend, you will not thin out your legs. Your best bet is to cut back on your daily intake and base your diet around nutrient-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, whole grains and lean meats.


Interval training is a form of exercise that involves alternating back and forth between high and low intensity. This causes a higher caloric output than steady paced training. If you are new to exercise, you may only be able to alternate your walking pace back and forth from fast to slow. As you get into better shape, alternate back and forth between walking and jogging. Once you have the lung capacity, alternate back and forth between fast and slow running.