The thigh gap craze is sweeping social media. Here’s my take.

Why You Don’t Need A Fucking Thigh Gap!

Written by Russ Howe PTI, and most recently updated 1 day ago.

4 min read

The thigh gap trend sums up everything which is wrong with social media.

Check out this gut-wrenching email from Rebecca (shared with permission for this article):

Yep, it’s the thigh grap craze, which is currently sweeping social media faster than a housemaid on two scoops of pre-workout, where trendy orange motherfuckers are claiming that you suck at being a woman if you do not have a gap between the top of your thighs.

(Seriously!)

And thanks to their huge social media following, it’s making ladies all over the world feel like shit.

So sit back and relax, as I debunk the hell out of this awful trend.



Whether you have a thigh gap or not depends upon bone structure.

Every body is different, so some readers will have the hip bone placement (something I know a lot about having had mine restructured as a kid) which creates this look, and other readers will not. There are no exercises which can give you a thigh gap, because the look is entirely genetic, and that explains why this lady wasn’t seeing any results with the exercises given to her by a so-called trainer who should’ve known better. (1)

It’s kinda like guys beating themselves up for not being tall enough – it’s not a trainable factor.

That being said, the fitness world can quickly descend into chaos as charlatans look to cash in when something catches on trend, so it’s easy to stumble across bullshit trainers who claim the secret to acheiving a thigh gap is to use resistance bands instead of dumbbells (your muscles really can’t tell the difference!), or following their special low carb diet, or drinking their secret weight loss drink which tastes like it came straight outta Shrek’s ballsack.

Don’t fall for it.

Here’s Elizabeth Gardner MD from Yale School of Medicine:



Social media is fun, but it can also be horrific.

A 2018 study published in BMJ Open found that people who spend a large amount of time on social media tend to have higher levels of anxiety, poor sleep, and even depression. And I’m just talking about general social media usage here (i.e. staring at your phone screen for too long each day). (2)

When we take into consideration the body dysmorphia issues which can arise from the conveyor belt of unrealistic beauty ideals from people being fake as fuck and trying to pass it off as normal, we can also throw low self esteem, weight gain issues, and eating disorders into the mix. (3)

However, people are gonna people, and social media isn’t going away.

So with that in mind, you need to keep your wits about you because this is just the latest in a long line of social media trends which cause people (particularly women) to beat themselves up over things which are beyond their control. Fuck that. Part of my job as a fitness professional is to protect the public from fitness-related bullshit, and I take it very seriously, so the next time some nuclear bell-end belittles you about something which you have no control over, or tries to sell you a solution to a problem which doesn’t exist, feel free to get in touch.

References:

  1. Katch F., et al. Effects of Sit Up Exercise Training On Adipose Cell Size and Adiposity. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport (1984).
  2. Scott H., et al. Social media use and adolescent sleep patterns: cross-sectional findings from the UK millennium cohort study. BMJ Open (2019).
  3. Aparicio-Martines P., et al. Social Media, Thin-Ideal, Body Dissatisfaction and Disordered Eating Attitudes: An Exploratory Analysis. Int J Environ Res Public Health (2019).

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I’m Russ. I’ve been a personal trainer since 2002, and I own russhowepti.com.

My job is to simplify fitness for my readers.

I send out free fitness tips to over 100,000 men and women every week, all in the same no-nonsense style as the article you’ve just read, so if you enjoyed reading it be sure to jump on my email list below.

6 responses to “Why You Don’t Need A Fucking Thigh Gap!”

  1. Jane K avatar
    Jane K

    It’s really worrying, isn’t it Russ? My daughter is 17 and a couple of months ago she was having similar comments from her friends as the lady in your article because the ‘trend’ was Megan Fox (really thin), and now the trend is more thicker legs and she’s getting compliments. My girl went from feeling bad about her body to feeling good but she’s been the same the entire time, it’s just trends. Great article, keep shutting down the nonsense dude.

  2. Kenny avatar
    Kenny

    Not really something I’ve worried about, but I can completely relate to the ‘not tall enough’ thing! I used to worry so much about it but you’re right there’s nothing you can do it’s just what you are born with. Good advice russ hopefully any girls reading this feeling pressured about this kind of thing can feel better having found your write-up about it.

  3. Holly Jenkins avatar
    Holly Jenkins

    Yes! I seen this online earlier today, quickly followed by another trend where girls are supposed to sit down and have an overlap. Honestly how are you supposed to have a gap and an overlap????? The weird things which go viral on social media, I’m so glad I didn’t have this around when I was a teen myself.

  4. Brianna avatar
    Brianna

    Wow. I found your site because I was, like the girl in the post, looking for exercises to get me a thigh gap! I can’t thank you enough for this post.

  5. Hayley Dobbins avatar
    Hayley Dobbins

    We need more people like you in gyms! The pressure I see on young ‘uns these days is obscene. Thanks for telling the facts.

  6. Cassie avatar
    Cassie

    Hey russ. I’m 19 and experienced something similar to this last summer. I just want to say thank you. This helped me.

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