I’ve noticed a trend for a lot of women’s New Year’s resolutions. That trend being “finally getting a thigh gap.” Therefore I thought I would share how to get a thigh gap, because there’s a lot of false information on this, and I wanted to make sure you lovelies were being healthy about this. So, here’s everything you need to know – and I mean everything – to get a thigh gap.
Depending on your posture is one of the keys to figuring out if a thigh gap is something you can healthily have. The way our bodies are aligned can change the way we look drastically. The only thing that could be keeping you from a thigh could be a slight tilt of the hips or arch of the back.
Your muscles cradle your hips one of three ways:
The lean forward, or as I like to call it the ‘Elvis Presley posture’, is when your pelvis is thrust forward, just a bit further than shoulders. Your buttocks are tucked in, and squeezed together. This is caused typically because of curving your spine into a ‘C’ shape, bring your shoulder in. Curving your spine like this can result in a hunch back as you age, weak abdominals, the appearance of a smaller butt, and the appearance of a beer-belly.
How to fix this:
Abdominals: Try to stretch and strengthen your abs, to help you stand up straighter. Allow your abs to do more work while you sit, and stand.
Straight as a Board:
This is the healthiest posture you can have and is the sign of a well-balanced musculature. Your shoulders and pelvis are aligned, and you can draw a straight line from your heels to your neck. This posture allows for the appearance of a bigger chest, and flat stomach. Lengthening your back, making you appear taller and leaner, this posture will also help prevent aches and pains as you age.
How to get this:
Shoulders: The biggest thing preventing people from having perfect posture is rounded shoulders. Try stretching and strengthening your shoulders. While sitting squeeze your shoulders back, focus on getting your shoulder blades to touch, and then bring them forward, and repeat this 3-5 times, and do this throughout the day. This will help keep your shoulders loose and remind you to keep them back, and down.
Bring it Back:
This posture is just as unhealthy as the forward tilt, and is most widely recognized as the post girls do for pictures. Because it creates the appearance of a longer torso, bigger butt, and if the picture is head on… it creates a thigh gap. I don’t recommend learning this for everyday posture, but when taking pictures it makes you look thinner in certain aspects. Having this posture continuously could indicate weak abdominal and back muscles, and will strain the lower back. With this posture, your groin is pushed back and down, while your hips are tilted forward. This tilt will push your buttocks up, stretch the stomach, and create the appearance of a longer torso.
How to fix this:
Lats and Traps: Those are your back muscles. By strengthening them, it should fix this postures type. Allow your back to do more work as you sit and stand.
The way you carry yourself and the way your body moves is something you’re born with. We each have a unique musculature and skeletal structure, and that’s what makes you… you! Changing the way you walk, stand, move, and sit are all habits you’ve had for a lifetime. Changing them is something you have to take seriously, and truly work on if you’re 100% sure you want to change. You’re changing a lifetime of habits, and physically changing your musculature to change your posture.
The best way to get a thigh gap is by changing your bone structure, and if you can figure out how to do so. Congrats! Did you sense the sarcasm? Having a thigh gap comes down to how your body is made. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how skinny or toned you may be, or become, because underneath all of that… is your bones determining everything.
There are three main pieces to this puzzle, or bone structures (joints, really) that can aid, or get in the way of achieving a thigh gap.
#1 Hips Don’t Lie:
- An unknown fact is: where your pelvis and femur meet at the hip, is one of the most influential parts of your body. This joint right here is the core of why you stand and move the way you do because it’s your major weight-bearing joint. The hips are the reason that humans are able to walk on two legs.
- The hips also have a significant say in how the other joints in the body align and move. For example: if the way your femurs connect to your pelvis is “misaligned,” your back will compensate by becoming crooked, and your knees will compensate with an in or outward turn – therefore your ankles will also composite by turning. Your body relies heavily on your hip alignment.
- The good news is your hip is a ball-in-socket joint and has an excellent range of motion and ways it can settle. Your body can shape around it in many ways, changing your posture and musculature. Helping your hips become more aligned is the basis for many physical therapy treatments. Many athletes must go through some physical therapy to improve joint alignment, and range of motion.
- How your femurs connect and settle in your pelvis is usually something you’re born with, and deal with and develop around as you grow older. Granted, hip alignment can change whether for better or worse with the amount of activity and types of activity you experience. Example: having a sedentary lifestyle can weaken your muscles and change your hips alignment for the worse.
#2 How big is your pelvis?:
- Just like everything else relating to our bodies, some of us have bigger, and differently shaped hips than others. This isn’t just because we have more fat or muscle on our waist and hips. Everyone is genetically diverse, all the way down to the bones. Meaning that the pelvis can come in all sizes and shapes.
- Depending on the size of your pelvis, a thigh gap is something you may not be able to have. The larger the pelvis, the further away your legs are likely to be, therefore creating a bigger chance of having a thigh gap. A narrower or small pelvis will result in closer legs, meaning you have probably won’t have a thigh gap.
There are four basic shapes of the female pelvis. Knowing which one you are will help you determine if a thigh gap is even possible for you. These different shapes can change the way your hips look, how you give birth, and how far apart your legs are.
- The Platypelloid and Gynecoid are wider side to side, resulting in your legs being further apart, and your hips appearing wider from the front.
- The Android and Anthropoid are narrower, making your legs closer together, but making the hips appear slimmer.
Basically to help break this down:
If you have a Gynecoid Pelvis: Nearly half of all Caucasian women have this pelvis size and shape.
How to figure out if you have a Gynecoid: You should be able to fit three fingers in your pelvic arch to cover the urethra during a “potty dance.” Gynecoid buttocks are round. Your hips are of average width, and a thigh gap is possible.
If you have an Android Pelvis: About a 1/4 of all women have an android pelvis. The android pelvis is wider at the top than it is at the bottom. The pubic arch may hang quite low and will allow only two fingers in the “pee-pee-dance.” Closely set, small buttock “muscles” of the Android make small roundish or triangular cheeks. A thigh gap might be possible with this narrow pelvis, especially since the narrow bottom may make your legs point together.
If you have an Anthropoid pelvis: It’s thought that nearly half of women of African descent have an Anthropoid pelvis. The Anthropoid pelvis is longer front-to-back, possibly with a bit narrower arch allowing only 1 or 2 fingers for the “pee-pee-dance.” Buttocks muscles look longer up and down than round. The thigh gap is most likely not possible for the pelvis shape.
If you have a Platypelloid pelvis: The “pee-pee-dance” of the pelvic arch will require four fingers, and is rather wide. A woman’s hips may seem slightly wider side-to-side than her weight or height would need. In other words, a thin woman with a platypelloid pelvis has her front and back quite close at her waist, but her hips are wide. This is the ideal pelvis for a thigh gap.
#3 What do your knees look like:
This can make or break you “getting a thigh gap”. Why? Because the way your femur joins your pelvis can change the way your legs appear. Your femurs can point in, out, forward, backward… and even a combination of those. The more they point in, the less likely you are to stand with your knees apart. The more they point out, the further apart your thighs will appear to be.
Your knees will follow the direction that the femurs make coming out of the pelvis. Stress on your knees can indicate that the femur is mispositioned. There are well-known knee positions that some people have. They are pigeon toe, bow legs, duck feet, and buckled knees.
Pigeon Toe: This can keep you from having a thigh gap. Being pigeon-toed means that your knees or femurs are tilted in toward each other. This rotation causes the legs to come closer together. Sometimes the person’s feet will point in from this as well. This habit is hard to break, but can be done with regular walking and running, and paying attention to foot placement.
Bow Legs: If you’ve ever ridden a horse for a while, you’ll walk a little bow-legged afterward, but after a bit, your body corrects itself. Being bow-legged refers to your femurs and knees being rotated away from each other. The femur is pointer too far out in the socket, causing you’re the appearance of a wide stance. This can help with a thigh gap, but it’s not a healthy way to stand. Fixing this typically requires surgery.
Duck Feet: Have you seen how a duck walks? If you have duck feet, it refers to your feet pointing out because the femurs or knees are unnaturally rotated out. Standing like this is incredibly stressful to the knees. Just like bow legs, this helps with a thigh gap, but it’s not a healthy way to walk or stand.
Buckled Knees: Having buckled knees is when your knees touch or press together while your feet and hips are spread apart. Buckled knees just like duck feet and bow legs is incredibly stressful to your body while standing, and walking. The buckled knees pushes your legs closer together and is typically caused by weak muscles in the hips and legs, or even by birth. This can sometimes be fixed with exercise and physical therapy.
Inner Thigh Muscles:
Are you finally ready to figure out how to get a thigh gap? Now if by some chance you have perfect posture, a wide-set pelvis, and femurs that are aligned and make it where you can have one this is how to get that gap.
Work those inner thighs:
Three major muscles are in the inner thigh: The Adductor Longus (the MVP of the inner thigh), The Pectinous, and the Iliopsoas. These three will tone up, and open up that gap between your legs, especially near the very top of your thighs. They are the muscles that connect your pelvis to your femur.
Other muscles that you might help tone up that area a bit more is the Sartorius and the Gracils. These two are long muscles that help contain and connect other muscles. Working these muscles may help squeeze together and slim down the other muscles. They both attach to the pelvis and then wrap around and down the legs to the knees.
Two others to consider are the Psoas Major, and the Lliacus. These two work from the spine to the inside of the inner front thigh. Toning these will help with thigh control, and may slim you from the inside out. These are actually the two muscles you’re told to work as a runner, because they tend to be weak and underused.
At the end of the day it doesn’t matter if you have a gap between your thighs. Despite the media trying to tell us that having a thigh gap is a sign of being healthy, and every woman should have one, it’s not the truth. Not every woman can have one, and it has nothing to do with health. It has to deal with your pelvis size and shape, how your femurs point, and how much fat your body stores in your hips and thighs. So please, don’t listen to the media, and remember that whether you have a thigh gap or not, your beautiful just the way you are.
Thank you lovelies for reading, and I hope you learned something new!
What’re your thoughts? Do you think the media should let the “thigh gap” trend die?
Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.