Saddlebags Or Outer Thigh Fat: Causes And 8 Effective Exercise For Fat Loss

Here are a few exercises which can help you lose that stubborn outer thigh fat aka saddlebags and will strengthen your lower body.

 Onlymyhealth Staff Writer
Exercise & FitnessWritten by: Onlymyhealth Staff WriterPublished at: Jun 01, 2021Updated at: Jun 01, 2021
Saddlebags Or Outer Thigh Fat: Causes And 8 Effective Exercise For Fat Loss

Have you noticed some extra fat on the outer area of your thighs just below your hips? Well if the answer is no then I must tell you that you are really lucky my friend. These irksome fat deposits that tend to take up residence on your outer thigh regions, just below your butt and refuse to leave are called saddlebags. It might be a little difficult to lose this fat but it isn't impossible so here we have 8 exercises to help you lose those saddlebags.

What are saddlebags?

Saddlebags are the accumulation of extra fat on the outer thigh area which gives you a pear-shaped body instead of that desired hourglass figure. This fat accumulation is more common in women and is similar to the stubborn belly fat in men. It is an underdeveloped area just below your bum at a point where your glutes and the back of your thigh joins and tends to create an optical illusion.

As the muscles in this region get underdeveloped and the fat starts to gather around making that area to fall out on the sides of your thigh which gives it an appearance of what is called as saddlebags. Hence it is not a part of your body but simply some extra fat attached to the side of your thigh which looks similar to the horse saddlebags.


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What causes these saddlebags?

There is not just a single cause behind these saddlebags but there can be multiple factors that might lead to the accumulation of fat in this area and a few are mentioned below

1# Genetics

Your genes play a very important role in the formation of these saddlebags on your outer thighs. If your mother or grandmother have them, there is a very high chance that genetically you will get the gift of saddle bags too.

2# Puberty

As girls grow into young women and hit puberty, fat starts accumulating in their breasts, hips, thighs and butt. During this stage sometimes some extra fats get amassed on the outer thighs giving it a saddlebag shape.

3# Pregnancy

Pregnancy is another factor that might be causing these saddle bags. As estrogen and progesterone are the chief pregnancy hormones and are secreted throughout the tem of your pregnancy this estrogen in women triggers the accumulation of fat around the abdominal region along with the thigh area.

4# Sedentary lifestyle

Do you remember that when was the last time you engaged yourself in a physical activity and followed it on a regular basis? Lack of physical activities and a sedentary lifestyle can cause many health problems. As you keep on sitting for the whole day and there is not much of body movement that you are doing, your blood circulation slows down which leads to the formation of these saddle bags.

5# Excess of fat

An overall access of fat on your body is a very obvious reason behind these saddlebags. The lower body fat percentage you will have, the lesser will be the appearance of these saddle bags.

6# Unhealthy diet

No I won’t ask you to start eating salads 3 times a day but eating unhealthy junk food is contributing to the fat sticking to your thighs. Eat a balanced diet which is rich in proteins, vitamins and minerals.

7# Lower back problems

It is said that there is a direct link between your lower back and the saddlebags. If your lower back is healthy there are less chances of having saddlebags.

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Exercises to get rid of saddlebags

As of now we have understood what these saddle bags are and what are the various factors that cause the accumulation of fat in this particular area. Now let’s jump in and have a look at a few exercises which can help you lose saddlebags over time.

1# Calm Series

A very light and easy exercise that you can do while lying down on a yoga mat , is the best start.

Equipment you need-

  • A yoga mat


  • Lie down on your left side and make an angle with your left arm while resting your head on your palm.
  • Bring your knees and your butt at an angle of 45 degrees.
  • Place your right hand on your right hip to ensure it doesn’t tilt backward. This will be your starting position.
  • Now lift your knee up by sticking your heels together.
  • Bring your knees together without moving your pelvis.
  • Continue for 20 reps and then repeat the same on the other side.

2# Single Leg-hip raise


A stretching exercise which will not just help you to lose saddlebags but also to tone and strengthen your glutes, hams and abs.

Equipment you need-

  • A yoga mat


  • Lie on the floor with your back on the floor and palms facing down.
  • Make an angle og 60 degrees with your knees.
  • Now slowly lift your hip a little and raise your left leg.
  • Keep your leg straight in the air for 5-7 seconds so you feel a little stretch.
  • Slowly bring your leg down and come into a resting position.
  • Repeat this process on the other side.

3# Grasshopper Beats

Very similar to superman raise, grasshopper beats is an easy exercise to follow which gives a stretch to your hips and thighs which in return helps you to lose your saddlebags.

Equipment you need-

  • A yoga mat


  • Lie down on your stomach
  • Fold your hands and place your palms under your forehead.
  • Keep your knees straight and lift your feet a couple of inches from the ground.
  • Hold this position for a few seconds and come back to the resting position.
  • Repeat this for 10-15 times.

4# Side Leg Lifts


Stretches which you can do anytime as they are a super easy way to get rid of those saddlebags.

Equipment you need-

  • A yoga mat


  • Take a yoga mat and lie down on your left side by placing your left elbow on the ground and your head on your left palm.
  • Lift you \r left leg upwards and start making small circles.
  • Make 10 circles clockwise and 10 circles anti-clockwise.
  • Come back to a resting position.
  • Switch sides and repeat the entire process

Also Read: Walking Vs Running: Which One Is Better?

5# Hip -dips with side planks


A combination of side planks and hip dips which will help you lose that extra fat on the sides.

Equipment you need-

  • A yoga mat


  • Grab a mat and lie down on your left side by resting your elbow on the ground and your palm facing downwards.
  • Slowly lift up your hips from the ground and make sure that your body is aligned in a straight line
  • Hold this position for about  seconds and bring your hip down.
  • Repeat this process for 15 times on each side.

6# Squats


Squats help in strengthening your lower body and have a direct effect on your but, thighs and calves.

Equipment you need-

  • A yoga mat


  • Keep your feet shoulder distance apart with your toes pointing outwards.
  • Bend down slowly and go as down as you can.
  • Hold this position for 3-5 seconds and come back to standing position.
  • Repeat this for 20 times.
  • You can try some variations of squats for better results such as sumo squats and jump squats.

7# Lunges


A very effective exercise for your lower body which targets your glute and thigh muscles.

Equipment you need-

  • A yoga mat


  • Strand straight with your hands on your waist and take your left foot forward.
  • Now bend down so that your right knee is on the ground.
  • Exert a little pressure to your right foot and come back to the standing position.
  • Do 10 reps of this for each leg.

8# Donkey Kicks

An easy standing exercise which you can perform anytime, anywhere.

Equipment you need-

  • A yoga mat


  • Get down on a yoga mat in such a way that your weight is centered on your both knees and elbows.
  • Join your hands in front to give you some extra support.
  • Slowly raise your left leg and extend it backward till a point so that you feel a little stretch in your back.
  • Hold this position for about 10 seconds.
  • Repeat this exercise for 10 reps on each side.

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These were some exercises that might help you to lose the fat around your outer thigh region but there is one thing that you need to keep in mind, there is no such thing as spot reduction and you cannot decide that which part of your body are your going to lose weight from and hence you need an overall fat reduction to tone your thighs and get rid of saddlebags. These exercises will help you lose weight from all over the body and will provide strength and stretches to your lower half. Make sure that you perform these exercises safely under an expert supervision to prevent any injuries.

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