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Ever notice that women with thunder thighs don’t usually do leg presses, and the women who do a lot of leg presses have sleek firm thighs?

Is this because women with thunder thighs avoid the leg press like the plague, believing it will make their legs even thicker?

Causes of Thunder Thighs
• Not the leg press.
• Not the leg press.
• Not the leg press.
• How about excess body fat? Yes, indeed, the thunder is excess body fat.

This then begs the question, where does this excess body fat come from?

I’ve worked with many clients who had thunder thighs. The mass is excess fat, not muscle! This is easily proven with a skin-fold measurement.

If a woman has trained muscle in her legs, however, and then there is enough fat between that muscle and her skin, her legs will appear “thick.”

But the muscle isn’t the problem. It’s the layer of fat. With proper diet and the right kinds of exercise, this layer can be reduced.

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It takes commitment and patience. A pill or some gimmicky routine will not do it.

I’ve had clients complaining, “No matter what I do, I can’t get rid of these thunder thighs!”

They avoided classic thigh-trimming exercises such as intense squats, deadlifts and leg presses – with heavy weight. “Heavy” is a relative term, of course.

What may be heavy to one woman may be another woman’s warm-up weight.

Another common factor is that many women with thunder thighs who use a treadmill HOLD ON. This is a worthless and nonsensical habit.

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If you’re going to put in the time on a treadmill, then use that time wisely: swing the arms.

If it’s too difficult to let go, then your speed is too fast and/or incline is too high. Adjust these settings so that you can swing your arms without struggling to stay on the tread.

The leg press will not make thunder thighs bigger. An intense workout on the leg press equipment will force your body to pull from the fat reserves in your legs (and the rest of your body) for recovery fuel – assuming that you are not overeating.

If you’re overeating, the recovery fuel will come mostly from food, preventing a reduction in the layer of fat in your thighs.

Next time you’re at a gym, note the size of the legs of women who are pressing impressive amounts of weight or doing squats with “Wow!” amounts of weight.

Most do not have thunder thighs. Most will have lean and firm legs.

If a woman with thunder thighs, however, just happens to be using the leg press equipment, and she’s kicking butt on it, you can safely assume that if she commits to this program – and stays on a good diet – the thunder in her thighs will be much less noticeable several months later.

In fact, who’s to say that several months prior her legs weren’t even thicker, but all her leg press workouts have helped shed some of the fat in them?

“Even if the leg press were to be used for muscle hypertrophy, such as high weight and low reps for example, although there is a good chance that the leg muscles may increase, it must be understood that women possess only five to 10 percent of the testosterone that men do, making it much more difficult to bulk up,” explains Dr. Tom Carpenter, corrective exercise specialist, certified personal trainer and chiropractor, inventor of Stand Corrected™, a portable harness-like stretching tool that helps alleviate back, neck and shoulder pain.

Dr. Carpenter adds, “And muscle takes up approximately 14 times less space than fat, pound for pound, so increasing muscle mass while reducing fat mass will contribute towards desired body shaping as opposed to making the thighs bigger.”

Leg pressing does not build fat, but it DOES build health-giving lean muscle that speeds up your resting metabolism and thus helps burn excess body fat.

WORDS OF WISDOM: Fat, not muscle, gives thunder to your thighs. So do donuts.

dr. carpenter

Photo credit: Aleesia Forni

Used daily and over time, the Stand Corrected™ stretching tool can reverse back damage caused by years of poor posture.
Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified through the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained women and men of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health.