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Want To Lose Thigh Fat? Try Out These 6 Exercises

| Reviewed By Susan Jennifer

Are your jeans fitting a little tight? Are you worried about the extra fat accumulated in your thighs and thinking how to burn it effectively? Worry no more, in this article we'll talk about the exercises to reduce thigh fat.

It is very normal and healthy to have body fat and only a certain amount of it is required for the proper functioning of the body [1]. But, excess of it can pose a lot of health problems.

Both men and women have body fat and it usually tends to accumulate in the thighs, hips and buttocks [2]. Women, in particular, have more saddlebag fat that is stored in the outer thighs because they have a larger pelvis compared to men [3].

There are certain exercises that can aid in reducing thigh fat. But along with these exercises eating a healthy diet and incorporating certain lifestyle changes are necessary to help you achieve good long-lasting results.

We've listed down the exercises that can help reduce thigh fat.

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1. Squats

Squats, also known as the king of the exercise mainly target the quadriceps and hamstrings in the thighs and the gluteus [4], [5]. Practising this exercise may help tone your thighs and reduce thigh fat.

How to do:

Stand straight with your legs hip width apart.

● Slowly bend your knees by pushing your gluteus back and keeping your back straight.

● Go down till your thighs are parallel to the floor.

● Hold this position for 10 seconds and slowly stand up coming back to the normal position.

● Repeat the process for 10 sets.

Tip: Do not overstrain yourself as you might hurt your knee.

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2. Wide squats

Wide squat or sumo squat is different from the regular squat. In a regular squat, the legs are placed hip-width apart and the toes face forward, whereas, in a wide squat the feet are in a wide stance with the toes turned out at an angle of 45 degrees. Wide squat targets the inner thigh muscles, gluteus, quadriceps, hamstrings and hip flexors.

How to do:

Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart (about three to four feet), toes turned out at 45 degrees and keep your hands by your sides.

● Keep your back straight, look straight and chest up. Lower yourself by bending your knees.

● Once your thighs are parallel to the floor, put strength on your heels to stand up for one rep.

● Repeat the exercise for eight reps.

Tip: Make sure that you don't overstrain your knees.

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3. Side leg raise

Side leg raise is another exercise that can be incorporated into your workout routine. This exercise involves pushing the leg out away from the midline of the body which is done by lying to your side. Side leg raise targets the gluteus, thighs and hip muscles. This can be an effective exercise to reduce thigh fat [6].

How to do:

Place a mat on the floor. Lie down on your left or right side, whichever position you are comfortable.

● Keep your body in a straight line from head to toe with your legs extended and on top of each other.

● Keep one arm under your head for support and place another arm in front of you for better support.

● While exhaling, gently raise your one leg up as much as you can. Don't overstretch your leg.

● Inhale and bring your leg back down to the starting position.

● Repeat this exercise 10 times.

Tip: When you do the side leg raise exercise, avoid raising your leg too high and lower it a bit when you feel the strain on your lower back.

Image ref: Youtube

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4. Back/gluteus leg raise

Back/ gluteus leg raise is a great exercise for beginners. It works on the gluteus and hamstrings muscles which may help you achieve lean thighs easily at home. In addition, performing this exercise will help to tone the muscles.

How to do:

Place a mat on your floor. Lie down by facing the mat, interlock your fingers and place your forehead on it.

● Slowly, lift your right leg up and lower your leg down to the starting position.

● Repeat this exercise and then switch your legs.

● Do this exercise 10 times.

Tip: Don't arch your back while performing this exercise to avoid strain at your lower back.

Image ref: Healthline

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5. Front leg raise

Front leg raise is another exercise that can help you get leaner thighs. This exercise works on the quadriceps and hip flexors. You can do the front leg raise exercise while standing and also lying down as well.

How to do:

Standing position

Stand straight and balance your body by putting all your weight on one leg.

● Keep your toes and ankles pointed up and lift your other leg up and down in front of your body.

● Ensure that your legs are straight during the exercise.

● Now, perform this exercise by switching your legs.

● Repeat this exercise for 5 to 10 reps.

Tip: When you lift your leg up, don't shift your upper body back. Keep it straight.

Lying down position

Place a mat on the floor. Lie down on your back and keep your right leg straight out in front of you and bend your left leg with arms placed by your side.

● Slowly, raise your right leg up until it reaches the same height of your left leg.

● Then slowly lower the leg.

● Repeat this for 10 reps and do the same with your left leg.

Image ref: sportsinjuryclinic, forcier fitness

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6. Donkey kicks

Donkey kick exercise, also known as quadruped hip extensions and bent-leg kickbacks, is the best exercise to work your gluteal muscles, a group of three muscles which is located in the buttocks. Donkey kicks tone, tightens and strengthens the gluteus, which gives you firmer buttocks. This exercise targets the gluteus maximus, the largest and strongest of all the three gluteal muscles.

How to do:

Place a mat on your floor. Get down on your palms and knees such that your hands are under your shoulders and knees are directly under your hips. Keep your neck and spine in a neutral position.

● Squeeze your buttock and slowly lift your left leg up towards the ceiling while keeping your knee bent and foot pointed out.

● Return to the normal position.

● Repeat this exercise 12 times on one side and then switch your legs and do the same.

Tip: While lifting your leg up don't arch your lower back. Keep your lower back straight and focus on your gluteus.

Image ref: Youtube

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Lifestyle Changes For Reducing Thigh Fat

A combination of diet and exercise is necessary if you are looking forward to lose body fat, including thigh fat. Here are some lifestyle changes you should incorporate into your daily routine along with these exercises.

● Include protein-rich foods into your diet such as eggs, legumes, fish, nuts, dairy products, lean meat and poultry.

● Eat foods rich in healthy fats like nuts and seeds, olives and olive oil, avocados etc.

● Have a variety of different coloured fruits and vegetables.

● Get a good night's rest.

● Avoid stress.

● Limit alcohol consumption.

● Avoid smoking.

Common FAQs

Q. Do squats reduce thigh fat?

A. Yes, squats help reduce thigh fat.

Q. Does running burn thigh fat?

A. Running is a great exercise for weight loss. It burns calories and helps reduce body fat. It tones the legs and buttock, thereby giving a more defined shape to your buttocks and thighs.

Q. What exercises get rid of thigh fat?

A. Wide squats, donkey kicks, side leg raise, front leg raise are some of the exercises that can help get rid of thigh fat.

Q. Which foods should I eat to reduce thigh fat?

A. Eat fruits and vegetables, whole grains, protein-rich foods and healthy oils such as olive oil and nut oils.

Q. What should I avoid to lose thigh fat?

A. Avoid unhealthy foods such as French fries, sugary drinks, white bread, pastries, cookies, ice cream and candy bars.

Q. Can you lose thigh fat only with exercise?

A. No, exercises alone will not help; a healthy nutritious diet combined with exercise will help in reducing fat in your thighs.

Q. How long will it take to lose thigh fat?

A. It depends on genetic factor, metabolic rate, hormones and lifestyle of the person.

Susan JenniferPhysiotherapist
Masters in Physiotherapy
Susan Jennifer