My Thighs Getting Bigger Instead of Smaller...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!

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 expplains thighs getting bigger from exerciseLearn why your thighs can get bigger when you exercise...and what can be done about it.

Personal Trainer Gina's Answer:

I totally sympathize with your plight! It seems 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, we are both building muscle and shedding fat, 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.

So, you probably still have a layer of fat covering those beautiful muscles (that 10 lb. you mention that still have to lose) and that bodyfat, combined with building muscle, can make your thighs temporarily bigger.

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, but it can change the way your clothes fit.

Ready for the good news? You are on the right track if you notice the muscle growth. Basically you 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 once you remove the extra body fat.

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.

As you get into better shape, you may decide to choose different styles and cuts of clothing for your newfound 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 clothes 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.

Ready? Let's go! Receive a price quote for a video call session with me. I can design a plan Guaranteed to ensure that we get your thighs looking exactly the way you want them to! You can fill out the form below for your Free Consultation, or book the Free 15 minutes with my on My Calendar.

Online Personal Training Consult Request

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Not quite ready for that commitment yet? You can also get tons of ideas 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.


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