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Do Squats Make Your Thighs Thinner?

author image Roger Cahill
Roger Cahill has been a health and fitness professional since 2004. Cahill holds a Bachelor of Science in kinesiology from Arizona State University. He also has excelled as a professional runner and was a former Sun Devil Student Athlete. Cahill has earned his American Council of Exercise personal training certification and has trained many professional athletes.
Do Squats Make Your Thighs Thinner?
A woman is performing an overhead squat. Photo Credit kjekol/iStock/Getty Images

Thinning your thighs can be done by adding squats into your fitness routine and increasing your aerobic training. Squats are a compound exercise, allowing you to work many major muscle in one movement. This boosts your calorie burn and increases your lean muscle mass, which helps you shed fat quicker in your thighs and throughout your body.

Like Mother, Like Daughter

Genetics play a partial role in the shape of your thighs. Some people carry more weight in their bellies, while others naturally have larger legs. However, you have some leeway in changing your thigh shape. Your thighs consist of your quadriceps, hamstrings, hip adductors and abductors, and all of these muscles work together during your squat, making your legs stronger and giving them a shapelier appearance.


Because squats are a compound movement, you can burn a higher amount of calories performing them. The more calories your burn, the more fat you can lose from your legs and entire body. Squats engage the large muscles of your lower body, helping you to increase your lean mass. The more muscles you have, the more calories you can burn. The variables of your squat play a role in determining if you are going to have lean legs or build bulky muscle. Completing a higher number of squats using either your own body weight or light resistance helps thin your thighs. High repetitions promote muscular endurance instead of size. Adding heavy weights and performing fewer repetitions causes a bulkier appearance.

Take a Leap

The jump squat is a plyometric exercise that tones your quadriceps and hamstrings. Jump squats can help boost your calorie burn because they are a powerful move that helps you build both muscular and cardiovascular endurance. Complete jump squats by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Slowly lower into the squat position and jump up as high as you can. Land softly back at the bottom of your squat and repeat again. Complete as many jump squats as your can in 30 seconds.

Cardio Training

Cardio training is essential for weight loss. While squats can help you build lean muscle, if you have fat on top of your muscle, your legs will still look big. You must melt fat off with cardio training. You can't spot reduce fat from just one area of the body, and cardio will burn fat from all over your body, including your thighs. Performing 30 to 60 minutes of aerobic training daily, and choose exercises like running, hiking, kickboxing or indoor cycling to help boost your calorie burn while also toning your thighs.

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