What are saddlebag thighs


Saddlebag thighs, also known as pear-shaped thighs, are a common occurrence among women where the thighs become wider near the hips. This can be caused by hormonal changes, genetics, or even from gaining weight. This type of body shape is often seen as an unattractive feature, but there are ways to reduce the appearance of saddlebag thighs.

In this article, we will discuss the causes and treatments for saddlebag thighs.

Definition of saddlebag thighs

Saddlebag thighs are an unfortunate fatty concentration on the outer part of the thighs that makes them look like baggypockets. The fat accumulates in a way that gives your legs a ‘saddle-shaped’ appearance. Saddlebag thighs can affect both men and women and are directly linked to excessive caloric intake and decreased activity level.

It’s possible to decrease saddlebag thigh fat through diet and exercise. A reduction in calories, an increase in physical activity, and making healthier food choices can help you reduce fat around the torso, hips, buttocks, and thighs – including along the saddlebags – to slim down your entire body. Additionally, performing leg exercises such as squats, lunges, step-ups, side leg lifts or any other lower body exercises that target the outer hips and/or upper thigh region can also help tone these areas too.

Causes of Saddlebag Thighs

Saddlebag thighs, also known as hip dips, are indentations that can form at the top of the thighs, just below the hip bones. These indentations are caused by a combination of genetic factors as well as lifestyle.

Let’s dive deeper into the causes of saddlebag thighs so you can better understand why they happen and how to prevent them.


Genetics is one of the main causes of saddlebag thighs. These thighs form when excess fat accumulates in the outer part of the thigh and may contribute to a bulging appearance if you are naturally predisposed to it. Family history can play a role in this, but it is not the only factor. Unhealthy dietary habits, lack of exercise and hormonal fluctuations can also contribute to this condition.

Gender also has an effect on saddlebag thighs, as women tend to have more fat cells that can accumulate around their upper legs than men do. Additionally, women tend to store more fat around their hips and upper legs due to higher levels of certain hormones. This means that even relatively slim women may experience some degree of saddlebag thigh formation over time.


Age can play a very important role in the development of “saddlebag” thighs. As we age, our skin naturally loses its elasticity, which can lead to a sagging inner thigh area that’s more noticeable on some women than others. Hormonal changes too can be a factor, as can lifestyle choices like smoking, excessive sun exposure and unhealthy eating habits. Muscle mass also decreases with age and this contributes to saddlebags because fat is substituted for muscle in the area which gives it an indistinct shape. The combination of all these factors results in what is commonly referred to as saddlebag thighs or sometimes outer thigh cellulite.

Weight Gain

Weight gain is a major contributing factor to saddlebag thigh development. When people consume more calories than their bodies need, the excess energy is stored as fat, and this fat tends to accumulate around the thighs. Both men and women may experience saddlebag thigh appearance as a result of increased body weight or fat deposits.

Genetics also plays a role in where people store excess fat; some individuals are predisposed to having body weight concentrated around the buttocks and upper outer legs. Additionally, certain medical conditions can contribute to saddlebag thigh development, including:

  • Diabetes
  • Thyroid disease
  • Poor circulation in the lower limbs

Poor Posture

Poor Posture can be a contributing factor to the development of saddlebag thighs. Poor posture involves not being mindful of the natural curve of your spine. When we slouch or hunch forward, tension and tightness develops in multiple areas of our body. The stiffness created from poor posture limits the range of motion in our hips, making them less mobile and more vulnerable to muscular imbalance. This imbalance places an excessive load on certain muscles causing them to become tight and overworked, leading to changes in our hip and thigh shape that can manifest as saddlebag thighs.

It is important to pay attention to your posture throughout the day, even when sitting or standing for long periods. Having proper alignment can help prevent strain on areas such as your lower back and hips that lead to imbalances and muscle tension in the thighs. Core strengthening exercises can help improve posture by:

  • Developing the necessary muscles needed for stabilization,
  • Helping to correct dysfunction at other joints throughout your body including your hips and spine.


Saddlebag thighs can be a difficult problem to manage, but there are ways to prevent them from forming in the first place. A combination of diet, exercise and lifestyle habits can help you avoid saddlebag thighs. By making some small changes to your diet and lifestyle, you can take steps to reduce the risk of developing saddlebag thighs.

In this section, we will outline the steps you can take to prevent saddlebag thighs:


Physical exercise is key to preventing and reducing saddlebag thighs. This means that maintaining a regular program of cardiovascular and strength training workouts will help strengthen and tone the thighs; it is especially important to target the thigh muscles. Exercises such as squats, leg extensions and lunges can be effective at toning these areas; treadmills, stairclimbers, cycling or swimming can also be beneficial.

Additionally, interval training – alternating periods of intense activity followed by a rest period – can stimulate the muscles involved in reducing saddlebag thighs and improve overall cardio fitness. Additionally, high intensity sessions need not last long: as few as 10 minutes has been found to increase aerobic capacity at least as much as jogging for 30 minutes (Burgomaster et al., 2005).

Healthy Diet

Maintaining a healthy diet is essential for preventing and reducing the appearance of saddlebags on thighs. Eating healthy does not mean cutting out all carbs that you love like pasta, pizza, ice-cream, etc. It simply means being mindful of what you are eating and eating in moderation to control your weight.

A diet rich in certain nutrients such as iron, zinc and magnesium can also help reduce water retention around the thighs. Eating foods such as lean proteins, non-starchy vegetables and complex carbohydrates can help boost your metabolism and keep you feeling full longer throughout the day. Adding healthy fats such as avocados, nuts and seeds can also help keep your energy levels up while supporting overall health.

In addition to maintaining a healthy diet, it is important to make sure you are getting adequate exercises as well. Activities such as running or biking that target the lower body will help tone up saddlebag areas on thighs while providing additional benefits for cardiovascular health. Strength training using light weights is also effective for reducing fat and toning up thighs so they look slimmer and more shapely.

Good Posture

Good posture is essential for avoiding and reducing the appearance of saddlebags or otherwise referred to as thighs with extra fat. When standing, your shoulders should be relaxed and slightly back, chin up, and stomach in. As you walk or stand for a long period of time it is essential to maintain good posture. Your body should be in alignment from head to toe both standing and sitting. For example, when standing, ensure your earholes are over your shoulder joints so you do not lean forward or slouch.

Another important aspect of good posture is to make sure your abdominal muscles are contracted while sitting or standing which helps the core to stay activated allowing the body (including legs) remain in a neutral position free from associated pains or aches during long periods of being stationary. In particular during times of working at a desk or computer, this can be crucial in protecting your spine as well as helping to keep unwanted saddlebag fat away by ensuring all parts of the body share equal weight distribution when sitting down and avoid excessive weight on one side when working at a computer.

Finally bearing down through glutes helps engage key muscles around core and lower body offers lasting protection from pain as well as permanent reward of reduction in thigh fat – avoiding dreaded saddlebag thighs for good!


Saddlebag thighs, also known as “banana roll” is an accumulation of fat below the buttocks that gives the appearance of a saddlebag. This area is particularly difficult to tone, but it can be treated with diet, exercise, and other methods.

Let us take a look at the various treatment options available for saddlebag thighs:


Exercise is an important element of effective saddlebag thigh treatment. A combination of cardio and strength training are key to reducing the appearance of saddle bags. Focusing on exercises that will help tone and shape the muscles in your legs, buttocks and abdomen is essential when addressing saddlebag thighs.

Cardio exercise will help burn excess fat throughout your entire body, not just around your thighs. Low-impact activities like swimming, walking or bicycling can raise your heart rate and help you shed those extra pounds. Regular aerobic exercise will also build muscle to create a more toned look in the long run.

In addition to a cardio routine, focus on specific strength training exercises that target the thighs, buttocks and abdomen – key areas for helping tone down an area plagued by saddlebags.

  • Lunges are effective at targeting the glutes
  • Squats can be used to shape upper legs and tighten core muscles in the abdomen area
  • Leg lifts, leg extensions and plank exercises can also be helpful when combatting unsightly thighs or saddlebags on other areas of your body like the lower back or tummy area.


Liposuction is a cosmetic procedure designed to remove excess fat from certain regions of the body, such as saddlebag thighs. It may be used to improve body contour and proportion by removing stubborn fatty deposits that do not respond to exercise and dieting.

A liposuction surgeon will make multiple small incisions in the areas to be treated, insert a thin tube called a cannula, then follow the natural body contours in order to suction out excess fat cells. This procedure is typically done under general or local anesthesia depending on the patient’s preference and medical history. It can also be combined with other cosmetic procedures such as tummy tuck or thigh lift surgeries for maximum results.

Immediately following procedure patients may experience swelling, bruising and soreness over targeted areas which should subside over time with proper rest and healing. Reducing physical activities (such as exercising) for at least four weeks post-surgery can help reduce discomfort and improve results. Consult your surgeons for their recommendations on post-op care protocols.


Surgical treatment for saddlebag thighs consists of two main options. These are liposuction and thigh lift surgery.

  • Liposuction is a popular procedure that involves removing fat through small incisions in the skin. This technique is primarily used to remove fat from the thighs and reshape them for a more even contour.
  • Thigh lift surgery, also known as thighplasty, is a surgical procedure designed to remove excess fat from the inner and outer thighs, as well as tighten loose skin in this area. The goal of this procedure is to provide an improved shape and contour to the thighs while also reducing excessive sagging skin in this area. It is also used to reduce saddlebag-type wrinkles on the back of the legs that can occur over time due to natural aging processes or significant weight loss.


In conclusion, saddlebag thighs are a common and troubling problem for many individuals – especially women. While it may seem like there is not much you can do about this shape, there are techniques for reshaping your thighs. Cardio and weight training exercises specifically targeting the glutes and hamstrings can help to reduce fat deposits, as well as strengthen muscle tone in the thigh area.

In addition to physical activity, choosing healthy dietary options that consist of nutrient-rich foods will also help get rid of saddlebag thighs over time. Finally, while these measures may not be able to completely eliminate saddlebag thighs, they will help create a better overall physique balance in the lower body which can make individuals feel more confident about their appearance.