As a personal trainer, I’m usually one of the first to applaud someone’s efforts in trying to achieve a better level of fitness. But I’ll also be one of the first to express my concern when someone is trying to achieve a look that’s nearly impossible. This is why I encourage you to rethink achieving the thigh gap.
Reasons to Rethink the Thigh Gap Fitness Goal
Despite the fact that our society has made a colossal shift from idolizing the Kate Moss waif physique and is increasingly finding beauty in women’s curves and even muscles, far too much praise has been heaped upon the thigh gap (the amount of space between your thighs as you’re standing upright). The thigh gap can only be achieved by certain body types and shouldn’t be viewed as a fitness goal. Muscular quads or curvy legs are not a negative. Certain physical ideals are simply not the right goal for everybody. The human body varies in countless ways from person to person. Most body types fall into one of three categories: mesomorphs (a tendency toward muscularity), endomorphs (naturally carry more fat) and ectomorphs (difficulty putting on fat or muscle; naturally thin). When it comes to rethinking the thigh gap, it’s important to keep in mind that most of us fall into the mesomorph and endomorph category and that ectomorphs are usually the body type with thigh gaps. Another important concept to consider in rethinking the thigh gap is the difference in pelvic structures. Certain pelvic structures can either increase or decrease our physical ability to have a thigh gap. This highlights how much skeletal makeup affects our appearance, no matter how fit, lean or buff we are. For example, I might have the same body fat percentage or an even lower amount than my friend, but our thighs could look considerably different as a result of our pelvic structures. The last point to consider when rethinking the thigh gap is the difference in the positioning of our thigh muscles. Some people have inner thigh (adductor) muscles that are positioned higher up on their thigh, which obviously decreases the width of a thigh gap. Beyond rethinking the thigh gap, I want to encourage you to consider society’s tendency to laud only certain physiques. If you’re working toward a thigh gap, your body makeup and skeletal structure could make this goal impossible. You’d be much better off working toward goals that are within your control, such as improved strength, better health and a balanced lifestyle. So the next time you look in the mirror, know that the lack or even presence of a thigh gap is not a symbol of how hard you work out or how clean you eat throughout the week!