How to Get Bigger Thighs and Hips [For Women]

In a world obsessed with weight loss, six-packs, and size zero models, a small but growing number of women want to get bigger – albeit in a particular way. These women want to know how to get bigger thighs and hips.

To make the thighs and hips bigger, you can’t just eat more and hope that all those extra calories will end up exactly where you want them. That’s a good way to gain fat all over your body.

Instead, you’ll need to force those areas to grow with some specially chosen strength training exercises. That way, you’ll gain functional muscle size and not just fat.

But how do you go about building bigger thighs and hips? What are the best exercises? How often should you work out? What should you eat? And are there any supplements that might help?

Whatever thigh and hip-building questions you’ve got, you’ll find the answers in this guide.

How to Build Bigger Thighs and Hips

There are lots of reasons to dedicate your time and energy to building bigger thighs and hips, and many of them are quite personal. woman wearing a bikini looking up at the treesAfter all, changing the way your body looks is often a decision that comes from within.

Common reasons for wanting to build your lower body include:

  • Increased sex appeal
  • Look better in tight-fitting clothes
  • Increased sports performance
  • Increased confidence
  • The rise of the “booty girl” on social media
  • Better sports performance
  • Because you want to!

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter why you want to build bigger thighs and hips so long as you commit the process and are happy with the outcome.

Best exercises to Build Thighs

When it comes to building bigger thighs and hips, some exercises are better than others. Ask a group of trainers which exercises are best, and you’ll get lots of different answers. But, if you are serious about getting the best results from your leg and booty-building workouts, these are the best exercises to choose from.

  1. Squats – arguably the best thigh and hip exercise around, no workout is complete without squats. You can do squats with just your body weight, with dumbbells in your hands, or a bar across your shoulders. Make squats even better for hips by putting a booty band around your knees.
  2. Leg curls – leg curls are an isolation exercise that targets your hamstrings, which is the big muscle at the back of your legs. There are seated, standing, and lying leg curl machines that are all similarly effective. With all forms of leg curl, squeeze the weight up smoothly, hold it for 1-2 seconds, and then lower it slowly for best results.
  3. Deadlifts – where squats work your legs with an emphasis on the front of your thighs, deadlifts work them with an emphasis on your hips and hamstrings. Deadlifts also work your lower and upper back. As an added benefit, deadlifts teach you how to bend down and pick up heavy objects off the floor safely. Deadlifts should be compulsory in every gym!
  4. Lunges – lunges use an alternating leg action to work one side of your body at a time. This means they are useful for identifying and fixing left to right strength imbalances. Lunges are also good for your hip mobility and overall balance. You can do forward, backward, and sideways lunges, with or without weight.
  5. Leg Press – while squats are the number one thigh and hip building exercise, they can be hard to learn, and not every gym has the necessary equipment. They may also be problematic if you have a history of back problems. Leg presses use the same muscle action and movement as squats but, because your back is supported by a bench, they’re a whole lot easier to learn and maybe safer too.
  6. Donkey Kick – there are lots of different ways to do donkey kicks, from kneeling on all fours at home, to with a cable around your ankle at the gym. Donkey kicks emphasis your gluteus maximus, or glutes for short, which is your biggest, most powerful hip extensor muscle.
  7. Side leg raises – you don’t need to go to the gym to build bigger thighs and hips. In fact, you can work these muscle groups in the comfort of your own home. Side leg raises are easy to learn and require no work out equipment, although wearing ankle weights or putting a booty band around your knees could make this exercise more productive.
  8. Fire Hydrant – like side leg raises, you can do fire hydrants almost anywhere and anytime, making them ideal for home exercisers. As an added benefit, fire hydrants, which make you look a lot like a dog cocking his leg to urinate, are also easier on your lower back.

Woman doing a deadlift

Workout Program Ideas

With these exercises in your training library, you have everything you need to create an effective thigh and hip workout. Put the following hints and tips into practice to make your workouts even more productive.

Just 4-5 exercises per workout – you don’t need to do all of the exercises listed above every time you work out. If you do, you’ll probably end up sore and tired. Instead, limit yourself to just 4-5, and you could even go as low as just 2-3. It’s better to work hard on fewer exercises than have so many exercises to go that your workout lacks intensity.

Work your lower body twice a week – don’t be tempted to do all thighs and hips all of the time. Your muscles only get bigger when you rest between workouts. Also, avoid working your lower body on consecutive days. Instead, try training your thighs and hips twice a week on non-consecutive days, e.g., Monday and Thursday.

Do a mixture of heavy, medium, and light weights – if you do several different exercises in your workouts, you should also use different weights, and repetition ranges too. This will ensure you make the best possible progress from your time in the gym.

For example:

Squats – 3 sets of 5 reps (heavy)Dumbbell squat

Lunges – 3 sets of 8 reps (moderate)

Leg press – 3 sets of 12 reps (moderate/light)

Side leg lifts – 3 sets of 20 reps (light)

All of this variety will ensure that you get the best possible results from your workouts.

Other Training Tips

There are a few other things you can do that will accelerate your progress and help you reach your goals faster.  Here are some tips that you can start implementing right away.

  • Diet – you are what you eat, so if you want to build your thighs and hips, you need to eat right too. Try to eat one gram of protein per pound of body weight, and also to get plenty of slow-acting carbs into your diet, such as oatmeal, wholemeal bread, brown rice, and brown pasta. Healthy fats, such as olives oil, salmon and tuna, nuts, seeds, and dairy, are also useful.
  • Sleep – what exercise takes out of your body, sleep puts back in. Do your best to get 7-9 hours every night. This may mean switching off the TV an hour earlier, but, in return, you’ll have more energy for and recover faster between workouts.
  • Progression – if you do the same workout week after week, it will soon become ineffectual. Stop your progress stalling by shaking up your workouts every 4-6 weeks. Change the order of your exercises, use new exercises, mix up your rep ranges, or create entirely new workouts. Anything that makes your training fresh and interesting will help.


While there are no thigh and hip-specific supplements, that doesn’t mean a couple of well-chosen products won’t help you on your quest for a stronger, more shapely lower body.

Our top three recommendations are:

Protein – provide your body with more of the nutrients it needs to grow and recover by using protein powder. Use after your workouts to speed up the recovery process, or between meals to top up your daily protein intake. IdealLean Protein is one of our favorite protein powder products.

Pre-workout – we all have days when we’d rather sleep in than get up early to go to the gym. Low energy levels affect everyone from time to time. Boost your energy levels with a pre-workout like Powher, which is designed specifically for women.

powher preworkout next to box

Creatine – this poplar supplement is one of the most researched and well-respected performance boosters around. It increases strength and endurance so you can train harder and recover faster. If you want to get more from your workouts, creatine can help.

How long to see results

Like get rich schemes make big promises but fail to deliver, the same is true for workouts that promise overnight results. The reality is that building muscle takes time and cannot be rushed. Expect to train consistently for three months or more before you start to see results. The good news is that every successfully completed workout takes you one step closer to building the thighs and hips of your dreams.

Bottom Line

Building bigger thighs and hips won’t happen overnight, and you’re going to have to pay your dues in the gym and the kitchen to get the results you want. You’ll also need to pay attention to things like sleep, recovery, and keeping a lid on your stress levels. If you don’t, your workouts won’t be as productive as they could be.

But, if you work hard, and get all of your nutrition and recovery ducks in a row, you should soon start to see your body change. As the weeks turn into months, your legs and hips will grow – both in size and strength.

Whether you want bigger thighs and hips for your appearance, for improved sports performance, or just to give your workouts a bit more structure and focus, you can do it. But, to get the best results from your efforts, you must not neglect the importance of rest and diet. To build muscle, you must put back into your body what hard training takes out.

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Patrick Dale is an ex-British Royal Marine and owner and lecturer for a fitness qualifications company. In addition to training prospective personal trainers, Patrick has also authored three fitness and exercise books, dozens of e-books, thousands of articles, and several fitness videos.

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