My upper body isn’t like that, but my legs are thick. I have a constitution, but my daily habits may be making my legs thicker. Find out what makes your legs bulky and change the bad habits that ruin your stretching and strength training.
Table of contents
- What causes fat legs?
- Unfortunate habits and countermeasures that make your legs thicker due to pelvic distortion
- Unfortunate Habits And How To Deal With Swollen Legs
- How to walk makes your legs thicker, unfortunate habits and how to deal with them
- Unfortunate habits and how to deal with fat legs due to lack of exercise
What causes fat legs?
We tend to think that fat is the reason why we are fat, but when it comes to legs, fat is not the only reason why we look fat. In addition to fat, “swelling” and “muscle attachment” are also causes that make your legs look thicker. Let’s take a closer look at each cause.
Fat that causes fat, not limited to legs. If you take in more calories than your basal metabolic rate, or if you are unable to consume the calories you have taken due to lack of exercise, etc., they will accumulate in your body as fat, making you fat.
Unfortunately, fat cannot be slimmed down by massage, so it is necessary to take an approach to lose weight throughout the body, such as reducing calorie intake, eating a well-balanced diet, and exercising.
On top of that, it is a coping method that tightens the areas of concern such as thighs and calves by stretching and muscle training. It’s a royal road, but it’s important to keep going steadily, saying, “If you’re in a hurry, go around.”
One of the causes that emphasizes the thickness of the legs is “swelling”. Swelling occurs when blood flow is obstructed.
The bottom of the body, the leg where gravity is applied, is particularly easy to swell, and the thickness may change between morning and night. If you feel swollen, try walking, lightly massaging or stretching to stretch and contract your calf muscles, which are said to be your “second heart,” and encourage circulation.
The calves, which tend to swell, are particularly visible from under the skirt, so the thickness of the legs stands out. Also, even in the pants style, the line from the thigh to the ankle becomes thinner, which makes the body look tighter. If the calves are thick, the volume of the entire leg will be emphasized.
Chronic swelling can also be a sign of serious illness. If the swelling is getting worse day by day, swelling in other parts of the body such as the face, sudden weight gain, or decreased urine volume, it is better to see a doctor just in case.
Muscles are only at their best when they are needed. If there is an imbalance in areas with large muscles, such as the thighs, it will result in a so-called “puffy line”.
For example, if the way you stand or sit is bad and your pelvis tilts backwards, the center of gravity will shift outward, causing your thighs to protrude from the base of your feet to the outside. Muscles will be attached in a good shape.
When exercising for leg slimming, do it in the right way so that you don’t build muscle in unwanted areas due to incorrect form, excessive load, or incorrect posture or walking style.
Hamstrings (biceps femoris), training to attach the muscles in the back of the thigh, makes your legs look slimmer.
Unfortunate habits and countermeasures that make your legs thicker due to pelvic distortion
The pelvis plays an important role in connecting the upper and lower body. If you have a strange habit of standing or walking, or if the surrounding muscles are weak, the position of the pelvis tends to tilt forward and backward.
Then, the muscles of the legs are also loaded, and the muscles that thicken the thighs and calves are attached. Here are some unfortunate habits that tilt your pelvis.
Unfortunate Habit #1: Standing with an arched back
Are you standing with your stomach sticking out? In this position, the center of gravity is forward and the pelvis is tilted forward. If the curved waist becomes a habit, the quadriceps muscles on the front of the thighs will become stiff, and the thighs will become patsunpatsun = “legs that look thicker”.
However, what you want to be careful about here is that the arched back is a “habit when standing”, but at the same time, it is also “a way of standing” as a result of weakening the surrounding muscles.
For example, if the muscle group called “hamstrings” on the back of the thigh becomes stiff, the position of the pelvis tends to tilt forward and the waist tends to bend in order to maintain balance. Also, even if the muscles of the stomach (especially the iliopsoas) are weakened, it tends to become a curved waist.
Many people tend to do better with hamstring and iliopsoas stretches.
Of course, stretching your hamstrings and abdominal muscles is effective, but if you just remember and practice the correct way to stand, you will gradually train the muscles that help you maintain that posture.
If you are standing with your back against the wall, your head, shoulders, buttocks, and heels will be in contact with the wall. People who can easily put their palms between the wall and the waist are considered to have arched back.
Bad Habit #2: Sit too low in your chair
Unfortunately, there are many ways to sit. For example, “sitting with your legs crossed” or “petanko sitting” (sitting with the left and right legs thrown out from the seiza posture) are not enough to say.
Among those regrettable ways of sitting, one that is likely to occur without realizing it is the way of sitting that is shallow in the chair. Sitting slightly in front of the seat and stretching your back may look good at first glance, but the muscles in your back and shoulders will be tense, making it easier for you to arch your back.
The correct way to sit is to sit deeply in a chair with your back flat against the backrest and your feet flat on the floor. In particular, putting the heel on the floor distributes the burden on the pelvis.
Bad Habit #3: Wearing High Heels
High-heeled shoes make your feet look slender, but that’s because your pelvis is in the right position and your leg muscles are well-balanced.
Wearing high-heeled shoes when the muscles of the whole leg are weak will cause the body’s center of gravity to shift forward, causing the upper body to arch backwards in order to maintain balance. Then, the iliopsoas muscle that connects the spine to the femur and the quadriceps muscle on the front of the thigh will contract, resulting in a thick leg with the front of the thigh protruding.
The important thing is to be conscious of the correct center of gravity position. If you stretch the back of your knees, it will be easier to bring your center of gravity closer to the center of your body.
Unfortunate Habits And How To Deal With Swollen Legs
Blood flows from and back to the heart, but there are some unfortunate habits that interfere with the circulation of blood. Check out these unfortunate habits that you know aren’t good for you, but you’re likely to end up doing.
Bad Habit #1: Sitting or standing and not moving
It is the calves that support the circulation of water in the blood. When you walk or do other activities, your calf muscles contract and act like pumps, sending blood to your heart at the top. Therefore, it is easy to swell if you do not move for a long time while sitting or standing.
You can deal with it with a simple massage and stretching, but first try to move about once an hour. It’s also a good idea to make conscious walking errands, such as preparing a toilet or tea.
For those who are standing all the time, it is recommended to find time to do the “heel raising and lowering exercise”. Place your hands on a table or the back of a chair, and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Just take 2 seconds to raise your heels and 2 seconds to lower them. Repeat this 5 times.
If even that is difficult, there are elastic stockings that are made with a special knitting method to compress the legs, so you should consider them.
Unfortunate Habit #2: Leave the swelling alone
Since people walk on two legs, the lowest leg of the body tends to swell. The important thing is not to carry over this swelling after the next day.
The easiest thing is to take a bath at night and soak in the bathtub. Water pressure is applied to the whole body and promotes blood circulation. It is effective to soak in slightly lukewarm water of 39-40℃ for about 15 minutes.
If you don’t have a habit of soaking in the bath, do the “heel raising and lowering exercise” explained above. The movement is done slowly, but even if you do 3 sets, it will take less than 5 minutes, so it is also recommended for stretching while brushing your teeth.
Unfortunate Habit #3: Poor Diet
Salt has the property of retaining water, so eating too much salty food can lead to bloating. If you have a diet centered on eating out or eating only heavily seasoned side dishes even when you cook for yourself, you will become more prone to swelling.
Recently, there are an increasing number of restaurants that list the salt content on their menus, or even offer low-salt menus. The sodium content of lunch boxes and side dishes is listed as salt equivalent, so it is a good idea to check it.
However, it is tasteless if it is only lightly flavored. Let’s escape from the body that tends to be swollen with a diet that considers the total balance, such as miso soup ingredients that contain a lot of potassium and sea lettuce that excrete excess salt.
If you feel that you ate too much salt when eating out, drinking more water and black coffee than usual will reduce the swelling considerably in a day, so please try it.
How to walk makes your legs thicker, unfortunate habits and how to deal with them
Even if you are not exercising, walking is an action that naturally uses your muscles. If you continue to walk in the wrong way, you will develop muscles in areas that you don’t want your legs to follow, resulting in thick legs.
The way to walk without making your legs thicker is from the correct way of standing. Stand in a straight line from your head to your heels and start walking. The forward foot lands on the heel, shifting the center of gravity of the landing foot from heel to toe.
With this walking style in mind, look back on how you normally walk. If you follow the three ways of walking that I will introduce, the effects of your diet and stretching may be halved.
Bad habit #1: Throw your bag over your shoulder
Where is your hand when you put the bag on your shoulder? If you grab the handle and hold it in front of you, it’s proof that your posture is broken. In particular, if you round your shoulders like a stoop, your center of gravity will shift forward, which will put a load on your calves and make your legs thicker.
On the other hand, if you walk without holding it down, the bag will sway, making it easier to lose your balance.
Keep the bag close to your body and hold it by tightening your armpits and fixing it right next to your body. Be careful not to slouch, and when you feel like it, switch the left and right shoulders on which you carry the bag to avoid losing your balance.
Bad Habit #2: Take Small Steps
When walking, if you take small strides and walk slowly, your legs may become thicker. This is because the shorter your stride, the less momentum you will have while walking.
Leave a space about the width of your shoulders on the left and right, find a good tempo, and find a stride that does not break the correct way of walking.
Bad Habit 3: Walk on your toes
Do you feel the pads of your toes touching the ground when you walk? If not, it may be a floating finger. As the name suggests, it is a state in which the toes do not touch the ground and float. It is also a kind of floating toe that curls the tip of the toe tightly.
If you don’t have a real feeling, let’s check the big toe. If the finger bends more than 90 degrees at this time, it is a floating finger.
Especially if the shoes do not fit properly, the toes may be raised to support the feet inside the shoes. Also, people with high heels or shoes that are too big and slippery may curl their toes and try to catch them.
When the center of gravity is forward, the load is applied to the calves and thighs, and extra muscles are attached. First of all, choose shoes that fit your feet and try to walk properly.
Unfortunate habits and how to deal with fat legs due to lack of exercise
Lack of exercise can lead to muscle weakness. Muscle burns calories, so exercising with less muscle isn’t very efficient. As a result, the fat in the thighs and calves is not burned, and it is difficult to get thinner.
It’s ideal to increase your calorie consumption through muscle training, stretching, and exercise, but many people find it difficult to do so. If you are such a person, first of all, let’s stop the “energy saving activities” that you are doing on a daily basis.
Bad Habit #1: Using Elevators and Escalators
Even if there is a supermarket within a 5-minute walk, people who use cars or bicycles should be careful. Calories will be significantly reduced, so be sure to walk consciously when you go out to nearby places.
Walking 10,000 steps burns an average of 300 calories even for women, so even if you don’t change your diet, you can burn about 1 kg of body fat in 25 days.
Walking the right way to the grocery store and taking the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator will greatly increase your physical activity. Let’s start with what we can do to avoid injuries.
Unfortunate Habit #2: Trying to Lose Weight Just by Restricting Your Diet
It is necessary to pay attention to what you eat and reduce calories, but we do not recommend a diet that simply reduces the amount of food you eat just because you want to lose weight.
If your basal metabolic rate exceeds your calorie intake, you will naturally lose weight. First of all, it is a good idea to gradually increase the amount of exercise by giving gentle stimulation such as stretching and walking to the body that is in an energy-saving state due to aging.
In this way, the cause of thick legs and habits are interrelated. When the muscles that maintain correct posture weaken, the posture collapses, and unnecessary muscles are attached in other places to support the posture.