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Juniper Journal

How to lose inner thigh fat: Toning exercises and lifestyle tips

Our inner thighs are something a lot of us are concerned about when it comes to our body composition.

How to lose inner thigh fat: Toning exercises and lifestyle tips
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When we consume more calories than we use, the excess calories are stored by our bodies as fat.

We can't choose where our body stores fat, though. Where weight gain shows up in our bodies is down to gender, hormones, and genetic factors. Different people have different body types that accumulate fat differently.

Our inner thighs are something a lot of us are concerned about when it comes to our body composition.

There are hundreds of thousands of Google searches asking the big questions like: Can you really lose inner thigh fat? What hormone causes inner thigh fat? Are there any good exercises for inner thigh fat? And is it even possible to spot reduce fat at all?

In this article, we'll do our best to myth bust and look at all things to do with our inner thighs, and if there's really a way to up fat loss in the inner thigh area.

What causes inner thigh fat?

Before we look at how inner thigh fat accumulation works, we first need to look a bit more big picture at how fat is stored in our bodies.

We often think of fat or weight gain as a result of eating too many calories or eating more calories than the body can burn. Basic laws of thermodynamics, right?

By those roles, being in a calorie deficit and moving your body more should result in weight loss. Unfortunately, depending on your hormones and genetics, losing fat isn't always that simple.

Excess calories are stored in your body within fat cells known as adipose tissues.

This can lead to excess fat, which is often stored in places like the lower belly, bum, and thighs.

Stubborn inner thigh fat can be some of the hardest weight to shift because it is often (but not always) made up of subcutaneous fat.

This is the soft and fleshy layer of fat under your skin that is pretty commonly found around your abdomen, arms and legs, including the inner thighs. It plays an important role as an energy supply of fat for the body but has also been shown to increase inflammation [3].

Our diets play a role in our body fat percentage, and a diet that is high in processed foods is likely to have more calories compared to a diet of whole foods.

Why is inner thigh fat so hard to lose?

Where your body actually stores fat is down to genetic factors and hormones.

Unfortunately, spot-reducing fat is a myth [1]. Our bodies decide where to lose fat and where fat accumulation occurs. This can be for a variety of reasons including:

  • Genetics. Genes can be responsible for up to 60% of where our bodies store fat.
  • Gender. Women's bodies are designed to hold onto fat storage to be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding, so biologically, we have more fat than men. This also means that areas like our inner thighs and hips are often the last place to lose fat.
  • Age. We know that as we get older our metabolism slows down, making it harder to lose weight.
  • Anatomy. Some of us simply have larger hips and pelvis for pregnancy.
  • Hormones. Inner thigh fat accumulation can be influenced by hormonal imbalances. As we get older, our hormones change, particularly for women who are postmenopausal.

Instead of focusing on your inner thigh fat, look at your overall body fat and hold a goal of overall body weight loss.

Does walking help with thigh fat?

Walking is a fantastic form of cardio exercise as it is low impact.

It's a great form of incidental exercise, as we often can fit it into our everyday schedule, like walking to work or going for a stroll on our lunch break.

Other cardio exercises like running, cycling and swimming can all help burn calories by getting your heart rate up and your body working hard. Increasing your endurance and combining it with strength training is one of the best ways to lose fat.

On the other hand, aerobic exercise has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and lower levels of visceral fat and risk of cardiovascular disease [4].

Some studies suggest that vigorous aerobic exercise like high-intensity interval training (known as HIIT for short) is more effective at burning fat compared to walking or sport.

This is because the high intensity increases the ability to burn calories, helping to burn fat. One study found HIIT could help you burn fat at a rate of an extra 10kg over a decade [5].

What are the best exercises for inner thigh fat?

The best exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle is regular exercise.

There are a number of exercises that target the inner thigh muscles, but these won't necessarily lead you to lose inner thigh fat. In fact, leg day and inner thigh exercises should be part of an overall exercise routine that targets your whole body.

Let's reframe "inner thigh exercises" as the best exercises to strengthen and build muscle in your thighs and legs.

Lower body strength training exercises that target your legs are a great way to increase the strength of your legs and build muscle.

Effective and targeted exercises to build muscle in your lower body (especially after the age of 30 when our muscle mass is slowly decreasing) might include:

  • Squats, including split squats, sumo squats, Bulgarian split squats, and goblet squats
  • Lunges, including curtsey lunges, walking lunges, and side lunges
  • Leg lifts, scissor kicks, and single-leg glute bridges
  • Resistance band-based leg exercises like clamshells and side-lying abductions
  • Skaters

You can also add weight using dumbbells to make these targeted exercises more challenging.

Incorporating strength training into your exercise routine has numerous benefits beyond weight loss including reduced injury risk, better sleep, better flexibility, stronger bones and improved mental health.

3 other tips for burning inner thigh fat

On top of your new and improved exercise routine, here are other tips to consider for losing body fat:

1. Improve your diet

The first place to look when wanting to burn fat is your diet.

You can't out-exercise a bad diet, and you can't lose weight (including inner thigh fat) without being in a caloric deficit.

Aiming for a balanced diet with mostly nutrient-dense foods like plants, fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins is a great start.

Reducing your intake of processed foods and refined carbohydrates can also help you consume fewer calories. Increasing your overall intake of lean protein can also help keep you feeling fuller throughout the day.

2. Make sure you're sleeping enough

Research has found that getting enough sleep can increase your likelihood of successful weight loss by a third [5].

Other research has found getting 3 hours less sleep can cause you to lose 55% less body fat compared to people getting a recommended 8.5 hours of shut-eye.

If you've got your diet and exercise down but you're still not seeing any difference in your inner thigh fat, then try and get a little more sleep.

3. Take a holistic approach to weight loss

Lastly, go big picture. Look at your overall health and wellness goals more holistically.

Long-term success comes from staying consistent. Consistency comes from having the right support system around you, like the coaching and nutrition support from Juniper’s Weight Reset Program.

You won't miraculously lose your inner thigh fat, but you will be on the path towards healthy weight loss and ultimately a healthier you.

Weight loss takes time, especially if you have a lot of excess fat to lose. It's a process, and even in a calorie deficit, you might not lose inner thigh fat right away.

Targeted weight loss needs a targeted approach that includes a healthy diet, exercise program, and ongoing support to keep you on track. If your goal is to reduce your overall excess fat and you've struggled to lose weight before, Juniper can help. Check your eligibility today.

Image credit: Getty Images

When we consume more calories than we use, the excess calories are stored by our bodies as fat.

We can't choose where our body stores fat, though. Where weight gain shows up in our bodies is down to gender, hormones, and genetic factors. Different people have different body types that accumulate fat differently.

Our inner thighs are something a lot of us are concerned about when it comes to our body composition.

There are hundreds of thousands of Google searches asking the big questions like: Can you really lose inner thigh fat? What hormone causes inner thigh fat? Are there any good exercises for inner thigh fat? And is it even possible to spot reduce fat at all?

In this article, we'll do our best to myth bust and look at all things to do with our inner thighs, and if there's really a way to up fat loss in the inner thigh area.

What causes inner thigh fat?

Before we look at how inner thigh fat accumulation works, we first need to look a bit more big picture at how fat is stored in our bodies.

We often think of fat or weight gain as a result of eating too many calories or eating more calories than the body can burn. Basic laws of thermodynamics, right?

By those roles, being in a calorie deficit and moving your body more should result in weight loss. Unfortunately, depending on your hormones and genetics, losing fat isn't always that simple.

Excess calories are stored in your body within fat cells known as adipose tissues.

This can lead to excess fat, which is often stored in places like the lower belly, bum, and thighs.

Stubborn inner thigh fat can be some of the hardest weight to shift because it is often (but not always) made up of subcutaneous fat.

This is the soft and fleshy layer of fat under your skin that is pretty commonly found around your abdomen, arms and legs, including the inner thighs. It plays an important role as an energy supply of fat for the body but has also been shown to increase inflammation [3].

Our diets play a role in our body fat percentage, and a diet that is high in processed foods is likely to have more calories compared to a diet of whole foods.

Why is inner thigh fat so hard to lose?

Where your body actually stores fat is down to genetic factors and hormones.

Unfortunately, spot-reducing fat is a myth [1]. Our bodies decide where to lose fat and where fat accumulation occurs. This can be for a variety of reasons including:

  • Genetics. Genes can be responsible for up to 60% of where our bodies store fat.
  • Gender. Women's bodies are designed to hold onto fat storage to be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding, so biologically, we have more fat than men. This also means that areas like our inner thighs and hips are often the last place to lose fat.
  • Age. We know that as we get older our metabolism slows down, making it harder to lose weight.
  • Anatomy. Some of us simply have larger hips and pelvis for pregnancy.
  • Hormones. Inner thigh fat accumulation can be influenced by hormonal imbalances. As we get older, our hormones change, particularly for women who are postmenopausal.

Instead of focusing on your inner thigh fat, look at your overall body fat and hold a goal of overall body weight loss.

Does walking help with thigh fat?

Walking is a fantastic form of cardio exercise as it is low impact.

It's a great form of incidental exercise, as we often can fit it into our everyday schedule, like walking to work or going for a stroll on our lunch break.

Other cardio exercises like running, cycling and swimming can all help burn calories by getting your heart rate up and your body working hard. Increasing your endurance and combining it with strength training is one of the best ways to lose fat.

On the other hand, aerobic exercise has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and lower levels of visceral fat and risk of cardiovascular disease [4].

Some studies suggest that vigorous aerobic exercise like high-intensity interval training (known as HIIT for short) is more effective at burning fat compared to walking or sport.

This is because the high intensity increases the ability to burn calories, helping to burn fat. One study found HIIT could help you burn fat at a rate of an extra 10kg over a decade [5].

What are the best exercises for inner thigh fat?

The best exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle is regular exercise.

There are a number of exercises that target the inner thigh muscles, but these won't necessarily lead you to lose inner thigh fat. In fact, leg day and inner thigh exercises should be part of an overall exercise routine that targets your whole body.

Let's reframe "inner thigh exercises" as the best exercises to strengthen and build muscle in your thighs and legs.

Lower body strength training exercises that target your legs are a great way to increase the strength of your legs and build muscle.

Effective and targeted exercises to build muscle in your lower body (especially after the age of 30 when our muscle mass is slowly decreasing) might include:

  • Squats, including split squats, sumo squats, Bulgarian split squats, and goblet squats
  • Lunges, including curtsey lunges, walking lunges, and side lunges
  • Leg lifts, scissor kicks, and single-leg glute bridges
  • Resistance band-based leg exercises like clamshells and side-lying abductions
  • Skaters

You can also add weight using dumbbells to make these targeted exercises more challenging.

Incorporating strength training into your exercise routine has numerous benefits beyond weight loss including reduced injury risk, better sleep, better flexibility, stronger bones and improved mental health.

3 other tips for burning inner thigh fat

On top of your new and improved exercise routine, here are other tips to consider for losing body fat:

1. Improve your diet

The first place to look when wanting to burn fat is your diet.

You can't out-exercise a bad diet, and you can't lose weight (including inner thigh fat) without being in a caloric deficit.

Aiming for a balanced diet with mostly nutrient-dense foods like plants, fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins is a great start.

Reducing your intake of processed foods and refined carbohydrates can also help you consume fewer calories. Increasing your overall intake of lean protein can also help keep you feeling fuller throughout the day.

2. Make sure you're sleeping enough

Research has found that getting enough sleep can increase your likelihood of successful weight loss by a third [5].

Other research has found getting 3 hours less sleep can cause you to lose 55% less body fat compared to people getting a recommended 8.5 hours of shut-eye.

If you've got your diet and exercise down but you're still not seeing any difference in your inner thigh fat, then try and get a little more sleep.

3. Take a holistic approach to weight loss

Lastly, go big picture. Look at your overall health and wellness goals more holistically.

Long-term success comes from staying consistent. Consistency comes from having the right support system around you, like the coaching and nutrition support from Juniper’s Weight Reset Program.

You won't miraculously lose your inner thigh fat, but you will be on the path towards healthy weight loss and ultimately a healthier you.

Weight loss takes time, especially if you have a lot of excess fat to lose. It's a process, and even in a calorie deficit, you might not lose inner thigh fat right away.

Targeted weight loss needs a targeted approach that includes a healthy diet, exercise program, and ongoing support to keep you on track. If your goal is to reduce your overall excess fat and you've struggled to lose weight before, Juniper can help. Check your eligibility today.

Image credit: Getty Images

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