Wide Thighs Anyone? One Exercise You Should Avoid

Most people go to the gym to streamline their bodies, not get bulky – however, they unintentionally often do exercises that may be counter productive. Even most bodybuilders don’t want to build width. By streamlining their physique and getting rid of the fat in the joint spaces (hips, waist, elbows, knees, etc) with cardio and diet, it enhances their curves and gives them that lean look.

There are two areas I see people working on that rarely has anything to do with under developed muscles. One is the obliques (where the love handles are) and the other is the inner and outer thigh (saddlebag area). Earlier this week I touched on the oblique area in my blog, ” “I Want Abs! 5 Mistakes that Sabotage Success” so today I’m going to hit the thigh topic.

Wide Thighs Anyone?
I doubt I’ll get any takers on that one! Unfortunately, every club feels the need to an Inner/Outer Thigh Machine. Why? Because people demand it. You should have HEARD the women FREAK on us when we got rid of the hip abductor machine (same type of machine) when we were getting our new line of equipment. OMG! It was a piece of crap machine and we were getting MUCH better stuff – but those ladies were addicted to the thought of what that machine could do for them and couldn’t bear the thought of being without it.

Every woman who’s ever been a member of a gym has probably been on one of these machines. And if you’ve ever had the unique pleasure of sitting in the contraption and spreading your legs in front of God and everyone else, I guarantee you probably felt it work too. BUT, that doesn’t mean it’s going to do what you want it to do. Sure, women are dying to get rid of their saddlebags and the inner thigh jigglies, but this machine ain’t gonna do it! It will develop muscle UNDER the fat and potentially make that muscle larger, but the fat will still be there. If you want to get rid of saddlebags and jiggly thighs, you tackle that with diet and cardio.

Think of your quadricep muscles as straps that crisscross up and down the leg attaching at the joints. If you tighten those straps, it will naturally pull everything inward to prevent a wide load. I doubt anyone wants a wide load if you know what I mean!

Your inner and outer thigh muscles are there to support movement and stabilize you, so instead of sitting in a chair to isolate them, do more functional type movements that require using balance and overall leg strength. Plié squats, walking lunges, side lunges and one-leg leg press, among many other leg exercises, will hit the inner and outer thighs and tone the entire leg. Even side lying leg raises, using your own body weight is fine for toning. Much like weighted side-bends, it’s really best you only tone those muscles not build them with resistance.

More bang for your buck
By switching out the inner/outer thigh machine for a funcational movement, you are now hitting many more muscles and you’re probably getting your heart rate up higher too – all in the same time! Plus, if you stay dedicated, you will start to see your inner and outer thighs shrink as your legs tone up.

The Real Secret to Ditching the Saddlebags
No matter what exercise you decide to do to tone your legs, remember you can’t target fat loss. The only way to get rid of fat on your legs is to get rid of fat on your body. You can’t specifically exercise the fat off your thighs. If you are one of those people who just carries weight on your hips or thighs, that is just where you carry your fat. Getting rid of your saddlebags will require reducing your caloric intake and burning more calories to decrease your body fat – no matter where it likes to hang out. Now, get to work! You’ve got some training and dieting to do! 😉

Need some fresh new leg exercises? Try one of my 25 Butt Blasters – great for whipping your butt and legs into shape!
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About Bonnie Pfiester

Fitness Columnist and Lifestyle Coach, Resident Trainer for Designer Whey, Fitness Advisor for FitStudio, powered by Sears, FitFluential Ambassador and Owner of Max Fitness Club, home of BCx Boot Camp in Vero Beach, Florida.

Posted on October 7, 2011, in Exercise & Training and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Great post.Thanks for sharing such a useful information with us.

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