To simultaneously lose thigh fat and build size in your butt, your workout regimen should include both cardiovascular exercise and weight training. It’s not possible to target your thighs for fat loss, however.
If you exercise regularly and make adjustments to your nutritional habits, as your body fat percentage decreases, you’ll see improvements everywhere, including your thighs. Cardio will help you increase the number of calories you burn to support your fat loss goals, while weight training will effectively build size in your gluteus maximus, which is the major muscle in your butt.
Trimming the Thighs
Step 1: Add Cardio Workouts
Incorporate three to five cardio workouts into your schedule every week. Make each workout last 30 to 60 minutes so that you’re burning enough calories to facilitate fat loss.
If you’re unable to complete 30 to 60 minutes of cardio non-stop, split your workout into separate, shorter sessions throughout the day. For example, if you want to exercise for 60 minutes, do a 30-minute session in the morning and another 30 minutes in the evening.
Step 2: Burn More Calories
Complete cardio workouts that are the most efficient for burning calories. According to the American Council on Exercise, the best calorie-burning activities include running or jogging, swimming, aerobic dancing and playing basketball.
If you're working out at a gym, an elliptical, stair climber or stationary bike are effective cardio activities for burning calories. Swimming also burns a high number of calories.
Step 3: Reduce Caloric Intake
Limit the number of calories you take in everyday — and make healthy eating choices. Decrease your portion sizes and focus on eating primarily fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins, which will provide you with necessary nutrients while not causing you to take in too many calories.
Quality lean proteins include chicken and tuna; eat these with a slice of whole wheat toast or wheat crackers. Nuts, such as almonds and walnuts, provide a high amount of protein. Other quality snacks include yogurt with fruit and peanut butter with banana slices.
Building the Butt
Step 1: Incorporate Strength Training
Participate in a weight-training workout that targets your glutes three days per week. Schedule a day of rest in between each one so that your glute muscles have an opportunity to fully heal. Include squats, split squats and step-ups into your weight-training workout, as each are effective at targeting your major butt muscle.
Perform three to five sets of eight to 20 reps of each glute exercise you include in your workout. This type of workout volume elicits size gains because it is effective at overloading your muscle fibers. Rest 30 to 90 seconds in between each set.
Step 2: Pick the Best Exercises for Your Butt
Complete squats, split squats and step-ups using correct technique. For squats, set your feet hip-width apart, then bend your knees and push your butt backward, lowering yourself toward the floor. Once your knees are bent just beyond 90 degrees, extend your knees and hips to return to a standing position.
Perform split squats by getting into a staggered stance, with one foot in front of the other and both sets of toes pointed directly ahead. Bend your lead knee to drop your back knee toward the floor. Extend your lead knee to come back up. Switch legs after you’re finished with the set.
Prepare for step-ups by standing and facing a plyo box or bench. Set one foot completely atop the box and then drive off that leg to raise your body up onto the box. Keep your initial foot on the box as you lower back to the floor and then repeat, switching legs only when you’re finished with the set.
Step 3: Combine Cardio and Strength
Incorporate a strength and cardio circuit workout into your regimen one day per week. A circuit workout involves performing an activity for a short duration and then immediately moving into another one. You'll volley between strength and cardio exercises, completing each one for 60 seconds until you've worked out for a total of 30 minutes.
Cardio exercises for your circuit workout include jumping rope, jumping jacks, jogging, burpees and jump squats. Effective strength exercises that target your butt include dumbbell squats, dumbbell lunges, dumbbell step-ups, dumbbell side lunges and dumbbell deadlifts.
If you can do more than 20 reps of any of the glute exercises, increase the intensity by holding a pair of dumbbells down by your sides as you perform each movement.