T Nation

Avoid Building Inner Thigh Muscle?


The good news is that I'm clearly building muscle. The bad news is that some of it isn't the muscle I want.

Mid forties female, started strength training about a year ago. Right now, I do lots of deads, squats and I'm learning the olympic lifts in sections. I'm not up to really heavy weights, but I'm progressing.
I also do a fair amount of cardio - elliptical, treadmill, and rowing.

Mostly, I'm happy w/ the amount of muscle I've built up and as I lean out I hope that'll be more apparent. The only problem is that one of the places that is getting bigger is the middle of my inner thighs. When I first noticed it, I thought I was gaining fat, but it's definitely muscle. And, no, I don't use those thigh ab/adductor machines.

Right now, for most lifts I tend to use a wider than hip width, rather toed out stance. Would changing my stance help to de-emphasize the inner thigh engagement?


That does sound like the case. Wider stance and toes out both engage more of the inner thigh. Try squatting with your toes and feet parallel.

At first it might feel like your toes are pointed in, but looking down will reveal that they are not. You'll adjust in time.

Many women wish to target the inner thigh, as you noted, with adductor machines and such. Sounds like you've got that covered already, congrats.


why your concern?
strong muscular thighs are extremely sexy on a woman.
nothing sexier than female speedskater thighs.
keep up the good work, and keep up those sexy legs too.
we all thank you.
spagetti legs suck so bad...so do chicken legs.
you are a TVixon in the making, a Valquire. Be proud!


I agree as a man who has a deep appreciation for thickness in a woman trust me there are plenty of us out there who like the extra muscle on the inside of the thigh. Its far better to slide you hand up the toned thick muscular thigh of a woman than to get a hand full of doughy... well you get the point.

Yes wide stance in leg training are usually along with genetic predisposition and muscle attachments are responsible for building muscle there.

But trust me it's quite alright.


My thighs have also grown a lot from squats and deads - including my inner thighs. A year ago, I never would have believed I'd say this, but I LOVE it! Now I look at women with skinny legs and feel kinda sorry for them. I used to have 'bigger' but soft legs. Now they're hard and strong and curvy in all the right places. Don't worry about it! If your thighs touch 'cause they're fat, lose a few pounds. If they touch 'cause they're muscular, you're doing something right in my opinion!


Don't worry about it. Women's thighs often respond faster than the rest of their bodies (or at least have done so in the cases I've seen). With time, effort, and a balanced program, that will be balanced out by your overall condition, becoming just one part of a fantastic whole.

Best of luck with your continued progress. If you -really- feel uncomfortable with this, try switching squat stance as some recommend... or perhaps even consider sticking with DLs but do leg press instead of squats. (I know that one will draw some fire)




i would have to disagree


What the...???


Thanks everyone for both the perspective and the advice. It's true that part of the reason it bugs me is because I worked so hard so that my thighs don't touch and now they do. I feel like going up to people when I'm in shorts and saying, "but, see, really it's hard." but that would be weird.

Since part of the reason I tend to take a wide stance is because of flexibility issues, I should probably work on getting that sorted out - maybe use a narrow, parallel stance for OHS, since they're good for working out form issues ('cause if your form's bad, timber. . . ) and stick to the wider position for things like goblet squats.

Thanks again. I wasn't really planning on retreating back to the pink weights, but it is good to be reminded that it's ok to have visible muscles.



I'm the same, wide stance squats have grown my legs to the extent that my thighs rub together when I walk. It's annoying.

I've simply changed to a narrow stance on everything, as I want the outside of my legs to grow. In some exercises my ROM has changed, with squats in particular I now have to lean forward to keep the range, but the movement still feels good so I'm gonna keep doing it.


try stretching the inner thigh before squatting too.. . it may be that the muscle is just too tight and is doing too much extra work.. . stretching before squatting will help to make the rest of the leg do the work instead. ..


Wish I'd thought of this before: Front squats. I've found nothing better for hitting the areas of my thighs that wide-stance squats don't get. With a decent warm-up they're easy on my knees, I can go deeper than I can with standard squats, and they're a demanding exercise.

They're a part of my own program, and I forgot to mention them. <:slight_smile:


not true...

wide stance squatters should be forcing their knees and feet out, not in, while they squat...

if done properly, wide stance squats should not engage the inner thigh any more than narrow stance squats...


allrighty then so splain plz, we all have our own opines, right?

i mean most all female body parts rock if a babe that is fit, trim and hard. but the some of those female speedskater's in the olympics had some rockin legs on em.
but anyway back to the thread, this is to say that muscular thighs on a woman are not a bad thing, in fact a lot of us guys find that to be a turnon.


The excess fat on your thighs are what makes them touch.

Build up the muscle, and then the fat will dissapear as your LBM increases. Then, you will look great when you put on a pair of jeans and your thighs look great from behind.


As a female, I also found this to be true. I alternate my squat stance every other leg day, but my inner thighs don't get bigger, just seems to target my hamstrings and outer quads. I am 5'9" with long femurs. Genetics has the upper hand with your unique development, some areas just need to be worked much harder. Especially calves. This area really seems to be exclusively gene dominant.


This is the most senseless, unneccesary post I've read all day. I don't know why, but I just about pissed myself I was laughing so hard.

Back to the original post, a more narrow stance will take the emphasis off the inner thighs. I have a picture in a book at home showing squat stance and muscle involvement; if anyone wants it I can probably find time to scan it in later.


Yeh but to be fair if a bloke in his mid forties started this thread he's get flamed to hell. But since it's a woman, you guys keep greasing.


There's an article on this site somewhere I think called "Construction by Adduction". It talks about building strong inner thighs and how important it is for groin strength and athletic performance.

One of the ways it talks about building the inner thighs is to do wider-stance squats and deadlifts.

So to not bulk up the inner thighs as much, narrow your stance. Your stance should be just about shoulder width apart with toes point straight ahead. Overcoming any flexibility issues with a narrower stance will improve the strength of your hips as well (Gluteus medius and maximus) and lower back.

But with that all said, don't be afraid of the muscular legs. Most fit guys are going to like muscular, fit women (which means muscular legs).