All of my friends have thigh gaps, and I don’t.
I’m size 10, and to be honest the main reason I go to the gym is to get a thigh gap. I want to look like girls from Instagram, who have them.
Every time my friends post pics of our group they always comment about my thicker legs. They get tons of thumbs up from their followers, too.
Is there an exercise I can do just to specifically address this?
I feel so inadequate.”
There sure is.
Well… this is actually an exercise for your friends.
Here’s how to do it:
They need to put their their phones in their pockets, go take a look in the mirror, and give themselves a thumbs down.
Three sets of ten.
The Crazy World Of The Thigh Gap
Yes, today we’re talking about “the thigh gap”.
Both barrels are fully loaded, and I’ll be taking a look at this crazy trend of making someone feel less of a woman because they don’t have a space between their legs (?!).
But first, let me set something straight.
I don’t care if you have a thigh gap.
And I don’t care if you ain’t got one, either.
But I do care about facts…
… so here’s the thing:
Sometimes little things catch on trend which are just plain silly, and this is one of them. You cannot train to get a thigh gap. There isn’t “one secret exercise”, etc.
(Despite the plethora of Google results you’ll see from p**s-poor trainers looking to cash in on your desperation…)
In most cases, having a thigh gap comes down to your hip placement.
In some, it comes down to malnutrition.
You can’t train that.
Women are already pressured into trying to look f**king perfect thanks to the nonsense of Instagram, now they’re taking on the added stress of trying to achieve a condition which, for many people, is totally unobtainable.
It doesn’t make you less of a woman.
Hey, anybody who says otherwise is definitely less of a woman, and more a total c**kwaffle.
A Trainer’s Responsibility
The email I received above came from a new subscriber who just discovered this blog.
She asked because she likes the no-nonsense approach I take to calling out bulls**t in the fitness industry.
So I figured, why not just do that with this issue?
Because that’s precisely what it is; bulls**t.
However, the quest for a thigh gap has the potential to really wreck a person’s self-confidence. The email went on to explain how the girl in question would try to avoid being in photographs with her friends in case people made fun when they put it online…
… and how she would avoid eating because of the constant jokes.
These are the seeds of an eating disorder being planted.
And it must stop.
I won’t post the photo, because I don’t want to name and shame anyone (I’m a b*****d, but I’m not a total b*****d), but the weird thing is I remember about the picture, is that there was absolutely nothing wrong with the shape of the girl in question – she just looks like someone who goes to the gym and watches her figure!
Which brings me to another issue…
Apparently, a trainer at her local gym tried to give her exercises to develop her thigh gap…
Of course, none of them had worked so far.
(Which made her feel worse.)
To me, this represents another huge problem.
Trainers need to have the balls to stand up and do what’s right in these situations.
So, you’re “training” someone to get a thigh gap?!
Seeing as it’s a shape only achievable by malnutrition or genetics, feel free to get in touch and enlighten me on your cutting edge methods!
Fact: Training For A Thigh Gap Is Not A Thing
The fitness industry is rife with charlatans who will tell you bulls**t if it means gaining followers.
Honestly, it’s a jungle out there.
Take, for instance, this article right here in which a personal trainer gives advice that getting a thigh gap is as simple as “avoid squats and follow a low carb diet”.
Where do I start with this?
There are so many holes in the theory above, it could play a dead henchman in the next Expendables movie.
First, spot reduction is not a thing.
We cannot physically control which areas our body burns fat from, nor in what order. This isn’t something which is up for debate. It has been proven. (1)
So the whole “target the fat of the inner thighs” thing?
Yep, that’s crazy talk.
Next, there is no evidence to suggest that a low carb diet will cause you to lose more fat.
As long a you’re getting enough protein each day to maintain muscle mass and staying in a calorie deficit, you can expect the same weight loss results whether you follow low carb, or a low fat diet, or keto, or whatever takes your fancy. (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
Which brings us to our third point:
When did having shapely thighs become a bad thing?
Apparently lifting weights will “bulk you out” (a bizarre term straight outta the 80’s and long debunked), and instead of working out, they say you should start walking 10,000 steps per day if you want to target fat loss on the inner thighs…
Again, spot reduction is not a thing. (1)
But also, 10k steps per day should not be your entire exercise routine. You see, ten thousand steps per day is a basic requirement of living a healthy lifestyle, folks.
You should hit that every day, as part of your normal day.
Oh, and they also claim that you need to use resistance bands for those workouts they told you not to do.
(You know, those things that do EXACTLY THE F**KING SAME AS WEIGHTS!)
Here’s the thing:
With so-called “experts” dishing out advice like this, it’s no wonder so many people feel lost.
Maybe this person is a genuine challenger to Gwyneth Paltrow for my coveted Mental Midget of the Month award?
Time will tell.
Russ’ Take Away Points
There are two things I dislike about the thigh gap movement.
One is much more dangerous than the other.
The first is that you cannot train to get a thigh gap. That’s just fact.
Anyone telling you otherwise is talking more s**t than a Herbalife rep in a school yard full of mums.
The second thing, and this is the dangerous one, is the mentality which surrounds the thigh gap trend.
The social pressure it puts on women.
That’s f**king dangerous.
In a bid to fit in with the “cool girls”, people are starving themselves!
Heck, when I was a kid, women were terrified of stepping foot in gyms.
That might sound weird, but I’ve been training in gyms since I was 9 years old, so I’ve seen a lot of trends come and go.
In the last few years we’ve finally got past that whole “weights will make women bulky” nonsense by debunking it with science, however, silly things like this threaten to take us right back to the dark ages.
Using phrases like “bulking out”…
Motherf**ker, if it was that easy to “bulk out”, every guy in the gym would be rocking a pair of tree trunk thighs – and we know that ain’t the case!
Remember when Kate Moss said:
“Nothing feels as good as skinny feels.”
Feeling like the fittest, strongest, happiest version of yourself definitely tastes better than skinny feels.
Skinny feels tired all the time.
Skinny feels weak AF.
Skinny feels like you could fall down a drain unless you walk over it sideways.
Being skinny is not a sign of being fit. They are two completely different things.
This is 2019, not 1980.
Strong is the new sexy, and bad gym science needs to die.
Besides, owning a pair of fuller, thicker thighs definitely yields a whole new set of benefits that those so-called superior stick-thin models can’t do.
You’ll be able to fill a pair of jeans.
You’ll be able to catch cereal as it drops from your spoon.
You’ll be able to out-lift your partner in the barbell squat.
Life is about becoming the best version of yourself – not pandering to an audience of bullying, weak-willed motherf**kers who really don’t deserve your attention.
- Katch F., et al. Effects of Sit Up Exercise Training On Adipose Cell Size and Adiposity. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport. (1984)
- Leibel R.L., et al. Energy intake required to maintain body weight is not affected by wide variation in diet composition. Am J Clin Nutr. (1992)
- Golay A., et al. Similar weight loss with low- or high-carbohydrate diets. Am J Clin Nutr. (1996)
- Golay A., et al. Weight-loss with low or high carbohydrate diet. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. (1996)
- Luscombe-Marsh N.D., et al. Carbohydrate-restricted diets high in either monounsaturated fat or protein are equally effective at promoting fat loss and improving blood lipids. Am J Clin Nutr. (2005)
- Raatz S.K., et al. Reduced Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load Diets Do Not Increase the Effects of Energy Restriction on Weight Loss and Insulin Sensitivity in Obese Men and Women. J Nut. (2005)
- Johnston C.S., et al. Ketogenic low-carbohydrate diets have no metabolic advantage over nonketogenic low-carbohydrate diets. Am J Clin Nutr. (2006)