If you want to tone the outside of your upper thighs—aka your saddlebags—then there are certain moves you can do to target that area. However, in order to make sure you’re getting the most out of your fitness time, you can also put various exercises together to create a complete workout that will help reduce the fat on your upper thighs while also making both your legs and lower butt even stronger. That’s why Kevin Harris, a personal trainer, wrestling coach, and the founder and CEO of NANBF, lets us in on an effective yet totally manageable saddlebag burner workout your glutes simply won’t be able to live without.
In order to achieve the results you’re looking for, Harris instructs you to perform this routine two to five times each week, depending on your schedule and workout intensity. Read on to learn more about this saddlebag burner routine. And next, check out The 6 Best Exercises for Strong and Toned Arms in 2022, Trainer Says.
According to Harris, this exercise will seriously activate your glutes. Donkey Kicks are different from other types of glute exercises you may be familiar with because they target all three glute muscles simultaneously.
It might not be too surprising to find out that you perform Donkey Kicks by starting out on all fours just like the animal. You’ll want to have your hands on the floor, shoulder-width apart, while your knees are beneath your hips. Finally, Harris notes that you’ll need to “keep your spine aligned in a neutral position.” He continues to explain, “Brace your core, and then lift one knee off the floor, keeping your leg bent, and your foot in a flat position. [From there,] push your foot up to the ceiling, by engaging your glute muscle” while keeping your hips parallel to the floor. Then, bring your knee back down.
To get the most out of Donkey Kicks, Harris suggests completing 3 sets of 12 reps on each leg.
Related: Get Rid of Belly Flab With These Easy Free Weight Exercises, Trainer Says
When it comes to Banded Side Steps, Harris says, “[They] target both your glutes and your hip muscles, making them a great exercise for the saddlebag area.” However, before you start, you’ll need to have a resistance band on hand.
Position your legs so that they’re shoulder-width apart. Then, place your resistance band either just under your knees or below your ankles. Bend at the knees so that you’re situated in a squat position. “Side step with your left foot, so that you feel resistance. Step your right foot so the band slackens, and you are back to feet being placed shoulder-width apart,” Harris instructs. Do this again, but this time to your right. Harris adds, “Work until you feel the burn in the sides of your glutes, [which] should be about 15 to 20 steps.” Perform 3 sets of 12 reps on each leg.
Related: Lose Saddlebag Fat Fast With These 3 Easy Exercises
Jumping Squats can be quite effective when it comes to targeting the saddlebag area. Harris notes, “This explosive exercise will help you to build muscle in your glutes, hips, hamstrings, quads, and calves. It is really an all-rounder.” At the same time, Harris points out, “It can put strain on your ankles, knees, and hips, so give it a miss if you have an injury history with those joints.”
Get into a squatting position while standing, making sure that your feet are under your hip joints. From there, squat down until your thighs are “level with your knees.” At the same time, keep your arms stretched out in front of you, which Harris explains can help you keep balanced.
“Jump up, propelling off the ground by at least three inches,” Harris says, adding, “You can use your arms to give you more momentum, too, if you want. Softly squat back down, with your knees in a bent, soft posture.”
Adjust how much you tackle based on your current ability. Perform 3 sets of 12 to 20 reps.
To find out more about giving your glutes a good workout, be sure to read Get Rid of a Saggy Butt With This Miracle Workout, Trainer Says. Then, don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter for more of the latest mind and body news!
Desirée O is a freelance writer who covers lifestyle, food, and nutrition news among other topics. Read more