We all dream of a well-sculpted body, and that includes all our muscles from tip to toe. As important as it is to work out on the upper body, training the lower body is also crucial. After all, you don’t want to be called a chicken leg.
People with skinny legs do not have the confidence to flaunt their bodies, and that’s when you need the motivation to train your legs.
Besides looks, having small thighs or skinny legs isn’t good for your health, too.
According to a study, small thigh circumference is associated with diabetes in men and women. Most importantly, this association is more prominent in individuals less than 50 years of age.
You must be thinking about how smaller legs could be associated with the risk of diabetes and what’s the cause behind it.
For your information, scientists believe people with skinnier legs likely lack the muscle mass required to ensure proper glucose and lipid metabolism, which can lead to several lifestyle diseases, including diabetes.
In this article, we will discuss the ideal thigh size for men and women. We will also talk about the benefits of having big thighs. Keep reading to get into the details.
Ideal Thigh Size for Men
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC) examined 4,255 participants in a study, and based on that data, the average thigh circumference for males across all ages is 21.2 inches or 53.8 cm.
The thigh size in different males may vary depending on their age and physique. For instance, men between 20-29 years of age had 20.8 inches average thigh size, while the ones between 30-39 years of age measured 21.3 inches on average.
The research also claimed that the male thigh size peaks at around 21.4 inches between the age of 40 to 49. Furthermore, after the male hits middle age, between 50-59 years, the average thigh circumference goes down to 20.9 inches, whereas between 60-69 years of age, it decreases even more to 20.6 inches.
Statistically, as men age, their thigh circumference keeps going down. Like, 19.5 inches between the age of 70 to 79 and nearly 18.7 inches after 80 plus age.
Ideal Thigh Size for Women
The National Center for Health Statistics conducted a survey, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, performed on a sample size of 4065 women. The results of this study revealed that the average female thigh circumference is 20.8 inches or 52.9 cm.
The size of a female thigh also increases and decreases with age. However, it does not fluctuate to the extent male thighs do.
According to the survey, the women between 20-29, 30-39, and 40-49 years of age have a thigh size of 21.7 inches on average. This measurement is considered the ideal thigh size for females, which most women wish to achieve.
Alike men, the average thigh circumference in women also decreases after the age of 50. For instance, the average thigh size in women between 50-59 years is 20.9 inches, and between 60-69 years, it further goes down to 20.9 inches.
Furthermore, when a woman is in her 80s, her thigh measurement goes down to 18.3 inches on average.
What is a Good Thigh Size for a Man?
Your leg size measurements consist of the circumference of your quads and hamstrings.
Now, let’s look at the perfect thigh circumference for males. Generally, the thigh size is measured in two numbers, namely proportional thigh size and absolute thigh size.
Proportional thigh size for men
While we talk about proportions in men, we generally look at these two numbers.
- 1.75 x larger than the knee
- 0.53 x chest
The proportional thigh size is something in the middle of chicken legs and legs that are too huge. So, if you don’t want to be the center of attraction for having skinny or two large legs, you’ll probably take this size as ideal.
Most men wish to achieve a set of thighs that complement their bodies, and that’s exactly what you can calculate using this proportional formula.
Absolute thigh size for men
2008 anthropometric reference data from the CDC2 reveals men’s ideal thigh size, which changes with age. This data is collected from a sample size of more than four thousand men. Let’s look at these numbers age-wise;
- 16 years old: 53.5 cm / 21.06 in (45.6 cm – 64.2 cm)
- 17 years old: 53.3 cm / 20.09 in (45.5 cm – 63.8 cm)
- 18 years old: 53.6 cm / 21.10 in (45.0 cm – 63.0 cm)
- 19 years old: 54.8 cm / 21.57 in (45.9 cm – 65.3 cm)
- 20-29 years old: 55.1 cm / 21.69 in (45.4 cm – 68.6 cm)
- 30-39 years old: 55.1 cm / 21.69 in (46.7 cm – 65.0 cm)
- 40-49 years old: 55.0 cm / 21.65 in (46.8 cm – 65.0 cm)
- 50-59 years old: 53.2 cm / 20.94 in (44.4 cm – 63.1 cm)
- 60-69 years old: 51.9 cm / 20.43 in (43.7 cm – 60.9 cm)
The numbers on the left are the age range, while the ones on the right include the size range noted in people of that certain age group.
Most importantly, these numbers can vary depending on a man’s height, weight, and normal routine. For instance, if a man is an athlete, his measurements could largely vary.
However, if we again divert our conversation to a man’s average good thigh size, it would be between the 23 to 26-inch mark.
What is a Good Thigh Size for a Woman?
We don’t have many proportions when we talk about the perfect thigh size for women. However, to still make it proportional, the experts relate it to a female’s height. Now, refer to the chart below to calculate the ideal thigh circumference according to the height of a female.
- 20-29 years old: 0.313 x height
- 30-39 years old: 0.318 x height
- 40-49 years old: 0.323 x height
- 50-59 years old: 0.318 x height
Let us now do the simple match to add more meaning to these digitals. The above-mentioned numbers are demarcated as per your age, now pick the number that falls within your age range and multiply it with your height. For instance, if you are 65 inches tall and 35 years old, your ideal thigh size should be 65 x 0.318 = 20.67 inches.
Absolute thigh size for women
Taking reference from the study discussed above, let’s see the absolute thigh size for women according to their age.
- 16 years old: 50.0 cm / 19.68 in (43.5 cm – 57.3 cm)
- 17 years old: 51.9 cm / 20.43 in (43.8 cm – 60.1 cm)
- 18 years old: 52.1 cm / 20.51 in (43.5 cm – 63.2 cm)
- 19 years old: 52.3 cm / 20.59 in (44.3 cm – 62.8 cm)
- 20-29 years old: 52.9 cm / 20.83 in (42.2 cm – 69.1 cm)
- 30-39 years old: 54.2 cm / 21.34 in (44.0 cm – 68.8 cm)
- 40-49 years old: 54.4 cm / 21.42 in (43.7 cm – 70.2 cm)
- 50-59 years old: 53.2 cm / 20.94 in (43.1 cm – 66.0 cm)
- 60-69 years old: 52.2 cm / 20.55 in (40.2 cm – 62.0 cm)
Furthermore, the ideal size in women also depends on their body type, weight, and personal preferences. For instance, women who are too active or engaged in sports have bigger thighs than their counterparts.
How to Measure Thigh Size?
After all that we discussed in this article, you might have already understood how your thigh size is related to your health. Therefore, it becomes even more important to learn the right way to measure the thigh circumference.
Interestingly, your thigh circumference can assist you in tracking your resistance training and workout progress. So, let’s understand the nuance of measuring the thigh size in detail.
- Firstly, stand up straight. Keep your thigh skin exposed to get the perfect measurement.
- Secondly, wrap the measuring tape around the thickest part of your thigh. The thickest part will typically lie between the upper and the mid-thigh in most people.
- Next, record the number where the two ends meet on the tape.
- Finally, repeat the process 2-3 times to be sure of the results. This number on the tape is your thigh circumference.
How to Increase Thigh Size?
We all have now understood the average thigh size in men and women. Achieving the required body size demands a lot of dedication and consistency.
This includes the right diet and exercise sessions. So, if you are worried about your skinny legs and want to add the required size, here’s what you should do.
Increase the frequency of leg training
Experts recommend that you should follow a hypertrophy-focused training program to pump up your legs. Furthermore, dividing your leg workout sessions into quad and hamstrings on different days would also help. Generally, you should train your legs two to three days a week for maximum growth.
The best would be to get a supervised workout plan designed by a certified trainer. These professionals plan your workout routine, keeping your health and body requirements in mind.
Focus on Quads
Quadriceps are exposed parts of your leg. These muscles are visible most of the time, and thus, they require extra attention.
To make your quadriceps attractive, you need to focus more on defining your outer quad sweep, teardrop muscle and the separation line between the quadriceps and hamstrings.
These are among the significant factors that highlight the health of your legs. Let us now look at the quad exercises that you need to work on;
- Leg Extensions
- Bulgarian Split Squat
- Heel Elevated Goblet Squat
- Reverse Sled Pull
- Sissy Squats
- Leg Press (With Narrow Foot Placement)
Focus on Hamstrings
While working on your thigh, you need to focus on your hamstrings, and when you work on them, it automatically goes on to your glutes. Concentrating on your hamstrings is vital to pump up the thigh muscles. Let’s look at some of the common exercises for the hamstrings and glutes;
- Legs curls
- Hip thrust
- Romanian deadlift
- Good mornings
- Straight leg deadlift
Training your legs with these exercises 2-3 times a week will deliver an impactful result.
Switch to a high-protein diet
A nutrient-dense diet is one of the most crucial factors in gaining muscle mass. So, once again, talk to your nutritionist about your daily calorie target and macronutrient break-up, and then form your diet program accordingly.
You need to know that a protein-rich diet is essential to build and maintaining healthy muscles. Therefore, when you are working out to increase your thigh circumference, switching to a high-protein diet is a must.
Besides, a protein-filled diet also supports ligaments, tendons, and other body tissues, speeding up the recovery process after rigorous workout sessions.
Creating a calorie-surplus diet is essential for individuals working on adding some meat to the thigh muscles. A slight addition to the calorie intake (like 10-20 percent), consisting of whole, minimally processed food items, will help increase muscle mass in a healthy way.
Since, men and women are different when it comes to gaining muscle mass, the calorie surplus should also be calculated accordingly. For instance, men should consume 100-400 calories above maintenance intake, while women should limit it to between 100-300 calories extra per day.
Never ignore muscle recovery
Resting time is as important as your workout sessions because if you don’t let your muscles rest enough, you won’t achieve the required results.
In addition, your body will give up too soon, hampering your daily workout targets. Therefore, make sure you sleep between six to eight hours a day and take the necessary breaks between your workout sessions.
What are the Benefits of Having Big Thighs?
Bigger thighs, good or bad? There’s a lot of haze around the ideal thigh size in men and women. Many people believe having bigger thighs is an advantage, while some hate the excess mass around the thigh muscle.
So, if you are someone who isn’t sure about the advantages of having a bigger thigh, we will clear your doubts. Moving ahead, we will talk about the reasons why you should celebrate your big thigh size.
Big thighs make you look more polished in summer
Big thighs are attractive as hell, and nobody can’t deny that. Be it men or women, having big thighs broadens their styling game. So, this summer, you can flaunt your thighs in cool shorts, gorgeous A-line sundresses, linen pants, and much more.
Males and females struggling to add that extra weight to their thigh muscles know the importance of having well-sculpted legs. Toned legs give you an opportunity to choose from a wide range of garments as you have nothing to hide. So, if you have bigger legs, know that a lot of people are envying or admiring you.
Bigger thighs mean rocking lower body strength
Do you know your leg muscles are the biggest in your body? Yes, the muscles in your legs are the larger than any other muscle in your body, and having bigger thighs means more muscles in your body.
Interestingly, more muscles means higher metabolism, and better metabolism is always associated with good health.
Furthermore, stronger thighs also increase your lower body strength, which supports many weight training exercises. People who have better strength can train better during your workout sessions.
Less risk of heart disease
According to several pieces of research done at Harvard University, the fat that accumulates in the thighs and butts is harder to shift.
However, it is better than the fat that accumulates around your stomach.
Furthermore, the same research reveals that a pot belly or fat around the waist is more dangerous as it increases the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Lower levels of cholesterol
The same study revealed found that men and women with bigger thighs have lower cholesterol levels. This means people with bigger thighs are at lesser risk of increasing blood sugar levels, which controls their cholesterol and prevents heart diseases.
Furthermore, when you control your cholesterol levels, it also decreases the chances of the formation of plaque in your arteries. For your information, plaque in your arteries can cause strokes, peripheral artery disease, and heart attacks. So, having bigger thighs brings many benefits, with lower cholesterol levels being one of the most important ones.
You will have lesser pain in life
Women with stronger and bigger thighs are protected from the pain of arthritic knees later in life.
So, if you are someone with larger thighs, you are more likely to stay protected from joint pains that is common in older age.
The association between bigger legs and lack of arthritis pain has been revealed in connection to only women. The researchers haven’t said anything on this subject concerning men.
Less risk of injury
Bigger and toned thighs keep your core stronger. As a result, your spine gets the necessary support that wards off the back injury.
When you have a robust lower body, there’s lesser pressure on your back. As a result, your backbone gets the least exertion when you work out or perform your daily duties.
What we have explained in this article are the numbers that are scientifically considered right for thigh circumference in males and females.
Something that might look attractive to you might not be pleasing enough to another individual. Therefore, your motive should be to live a healthy lifestyle, eat right, train hard, and achieve what looks good according to your body structure.