My Thighs Are Getting Bigger From Exercise...Help!

Why on earth are my thighs getting bigger instead of smaller when I exercise?!

As a trainer, many people ask me, "Why are my thighs getting bigger instead of smaller when I exercise?" It's a great question, and one that cannot be answered just in one sentence or two.

Let's dive into the question and my response in the latest Home Bodies Client Q & A. I'll provide strategies for you to ensure you end up with the thighs that you seek!

thighs getting big exerciseIf slim thighs are the goal you're after, read on for all the deets on how it's done!

Client question:

"I have been working out really hard with both my cardio and my strength training. My thighs have always been my problem area. But if anything they seem to be getting bigger instead of smaller! I still have about 10 lb. to go in my weight loss journey. What on earth can I do about my thighs?? I never wanted or expected to get bigger thighs from working out!"


Trainer Gina's Answer:

  • I totally sympathize with your plight! It sounds to me like you are caught in no-man’s land between your muscle building and fat loss efforts. Let me explain...
  • As we get into better shape through exercise, we are building muscle and shedding fat at the same time, assuming your diet is on point. However, muscle building tends to occur more quickly than fat loss - especially if you are pretty new to your new workout routine. This can lead to your thighs temporarily looking and feeling bigger than they were before you began exercising.

gina tiffany side plank with band
  • So, you probably still have a layer of fat covering those beautiful muscles (that 10 lb. you mention that you still have to lose) and that bodyfat, combined with the building of muscle you are doing, can make your thighs temporarily bigger until you lose the rest of the weight.
  • A cool thing to know is that the more muscle you build, the higher your metabolism is - which means your body will burn fat that much more easily. This is why we don't want to avoid building muscle even if the ultimate goal is to get smaller thighs! Plus, no one likes skinny but flabby thighs anyway :)
  • Another thing that is probably happening is the shape of your thighs is changing to reflect that newly built muscle, which makes them bigger in some areas and smaller in others. The resulting shape is more appealing visually, but it can absolutely change the way your clothes fit. You might need to alter your wardrobe to find the most flattering options as you gain fitness.

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  • Exercise alone is overrated for weight loss. Do something that will actually move that needle. Start now.

Ready for the good news about your thighs growing larger from exercise?

  • You are on the right track if you notice this muscle growth in your thighs. Basically, you just need to make sure you are doing everything possible to continue to lose body fat and ultimately you will be very happy with your tight, toned legs when all is said and done. Stick with it, and be sure your diet is on point! The results will come.
  • Go here if you'd like some expertise from a Certified Nutritionist in terms of the best diet to help with your thigh-slimming endeavors.

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food secrets from a nutritionist

Click here to sign up and receive this Free Guide! Be sure to check off the box "Nutritionist" when you sign up to ensure you don't miss anything!


Ready for the bad news?

There are no special exercises that can magically slim your thighs (push-aways from the kitchen table before taking a second helping is the one thing that can work...) Keep in mind that we all have a genetic shape and to some extent a genetic size, and you cannot change that predisposition through exercise. You can, however, make the best of what you have with a smartly designed diet and exercise program. And that's where a Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Nutritionist can help.

gina paulhus corrective exercise

As you get into better shape, you may decide to choose different styles and cuts of clothing for your newly toned and developed physique. Stretchier fabrics and leggings tend to work great for athletic women. A sign you are in really good shape is when most pants off the rack do not fit your thighs but they are swimming around your waist! In this case some fashionable belts are a godsend.

I also make steady use of a tailor. Unfortunately most casual or work clothes off the rack are simply not cut for athletic women, which shows what a sad state the country is in fitness-wise. But then again, the fewer clothes you are wearing, the more obvious it will be that you work out and look great ;)

Would you like a personalized plan to help ensure that your thighs don't get bigger from exercise?

thighs too big exerciseIf your thighs are too big and exercise is making it worse, you might need the help of a trainer to guide you.

Check out this happy text from a client!

text from happy weight loss client

Ready? Let's go! Receive a Price Quote for a video call session with me by filling out the form below. I can design a workout and/or nutrition plan Guaranteed to ensure that we get your thighs looking exactly the way you want them to! You can also book a Free 15 minute Discovery Call where you can learn more about how I can help you on My Calendar.

Book a Free Discovery Call Now

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Not quite ready for that kind of commitment yet? You can also get tons of ideas to help slim your thighs fast in my new book, Change Your Weighs.

thighs getting larger from exercise book

Check out my most recent book, Change Your Weighs, available on Amazon. It is a bestseller in it's category! By purchasing it, you will fast-track yourself to success with slimming your thighs.