8 Moves to Lose Saddlebags for Good

Get rid of those pesky saddlebags once and for all!

Perform these 8 moves to lose saddlebags for good regularly for best results!

If you’re like most of us, the only saddlebags you want to see are at the ranch. Unfortunately, as we age, it gets harder and harder to keep those pesky saddlebags from creeping up around our hips, belly, butt, and thighs. While your first instinct might be to hit the gym, you’ll never see results as long as you’re carrying extra fat over your muscles. For this reason, pair regular exercise and a nutritious diet with the best exercise for saddlebags to slim down and shape up for good! Try our Skinny Ms. Clean Eating Plan in conjunction with the 8 exercise moves below.

The Best Exercise for Saddlebags

hip bridges to lose saddlebags

1. Side-Lying Leg Raises

Targets: Glutes and hip abductors

Start by lying down on your side, with your head propped up on your bottom arm. Slowly raise your upper leg straight up, being careful to keep your hips aligned. Lower your leg and repeat. Aim for 3 sets of 15 for each leg.

2. Inner Thigh Leg Lifts

Targets: Thighs and Glutes

Begin by lying on your right side, arm folded and placed directly underneath the shoulder. Bottom leg should be extended out straight and the top leg crossed over the leg on the bottom. Raise the extended leg up and down. Aim for 3 sets of 12-15 per leg.

3. Squats

Targets: Glutes, Hamstrings, Quads, Inner and Outer Thighs

Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and arms out in front of you. Slowly bend the knees, keeping the chest open and the head over the hips. Once you are in a sitting position, push with the heels to begin to a starting position. Aim for 3 sets of 10 to begin.

4. Side Lunges

Targets: Glutes, hamstrings, hip adductors, and quads

Stand with your feet hip-distance apart and your arms out in front of you. Step out to the side with one leg, while bending the knees into a squatting position. Be sure to keep your spine straight, creating a line from your neck to your tailbone. Return to standing position and repeat with the other side. Aim for 3 sets of 10 per side.

5. Step-Ups

Targets: Quads and hamstrings

Begin by standing before a small step or bench. The higher the step, the more intense the exercise will be. Step up with one leg, and follow with the other. You should now be standing with both feet on the step. Step down with the same foot you began with and repeat, beginning with the other leg first. Aim for 3 sets of 12-15 per leg.

6. Bridges

Targets: Glutes

Start by lying on your back. Slide your feet up so that your ankles are below your knees and your feet are flat on the floor. Squeeze your butt muscles as your raise your hips toward the ceiling. Hold for a count of 3 and return your hips to the floor.Aim for 3 sets of 12-15.

7. Planks

Targets: All Core Muscles

Begin by lying on your stomach with your hands placed, palms down, below your shoulders. Slowly push yourself up so that your weight is on your forearms and toes. Maintain a straight line from your neck through your legs. Hold for 30 seconds and release back to the floor. Aim for 3 sets.

8. Curtsy Lunges

 Targets: Inner thighs and the gluteus medius, a smaller butt muscle. This is arguably the best exercise for saddlebags as it helps to stabilize the hips and improve posture.

Watch the instructional video below for correct form!

Mix up your exercise routines and engage in high intensity full body workouts, like this Fat-Blasting HIIT Workout to increase the amount of fat burned per workout.

Be sure to like our Facebook page and follow us on Pinterest and Instagram to be the first to try out new workouts and view our latest fitness resources.

Looking to trim those sides more? Try our full blown Get Rid of Your Saddlebags Workout.

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Kym Votruba

More by Kym


  1. I have so much fat on my hips it look deform. Will these exercise work? I heard that this area is the hardiest to loose. That I might have to do liposuction. I can’t afford that, but I need help

    1. There are many factors that can contribute to individual results, but those moves will definitely help you to strengthen your hip section. Stronger muscles are more effective at burning calories, but no amount of strength-training will show in the mirror if you have a thick layer of fat hiding the muscles. The best way to eliminate fat is with a combination of regular cardiovascular exercise, strength-training, and a clean diet of appropriate portions. Long-term weight loss really needs to be a three-pronged approach.

  2. I appreciate your realistic response to Karen. Cardio is something I need to work on.. I don’t enjoy it as much as strength training.

  3. Thank you so much for actually noting which muscles/muscle groups the exercises actually target. Sometimes I wonder what the point of an exercise is in regards to which muscle it is meant to target and you spell it all out for your readers. Also, sometimes I am looking for a different type of move than what I usually do for a certain area of the body and because you list the targeted muscle(s) I can tell if it’s a viable alternative or not! Again, thank you so much! 🙂 It would be nice if everyone followed your example on this!

  4. I was in a bad rear end collision. As a result, I have so joint issues… Dysfunction. I can do squats (and that is great, spent 1st 3months not able to bend down or squat). I was a runner and tennis player before this. I have tried all of these & it causes flares. I am in process of getting injections to the areas , it’s both sides. I am developing saddle bags and this is awful!!!! I turn 49 Friday and if I can’t stop them, I see this becoming the norm. I only weigh 107…I have lost muscle tone! Clams and bridges kill me. I have had 3 months of PT, which he was awesome but the pain is awful! And ideas? I watch what I eat. Please help me!!¡!

    1. Robin, It sounds like you’re on the right track…baby steps are so important. Review the workout plans and check with your doctor before beginning.

  5. How’s the best way to get motivated? I am 56 yrs old. Not over weight but I do have 6 children and my stomach proves that and of course everything has went south. But I can’t seem to get motivated to even get started. HELP!!!

  6. SkinnyMs.,
    I have been told that doing lunges will make saddlebags bigger but I see here you say the opposite. How am I supposed to know whether or not it makes them bigger? Cuz I do not need bigger saddlebags.

    1. Hi Valentina,

      Traditional lunges (forward and reverse) primarily target your butt and thighs. Side lunges target these muscles as well, but will put more emphasis on your abductors (outer hip muscles.) With that being said, you do not need to worry about saddlebags getting bigger, as these exercises will only tighten (tone) your muscles. The only way to build muscle is to use heavy resistance in the form of dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells, etc… By heavy resistance, I mean a weight that you can only get 5-8 reps before failure. Body weight exercise, and even exercises using moderate resistance, will tone without adding mass. Moderate resistance can differ from person to person, but is usually considered a weight that you can easily perform 12-15 reps. Hope that clears things up! 🙂

  7. Hi MsSkinny,

    I have been training and eating healthy for around 5-6 months now with a cheat meal once every week or every second week (Savory treats – no sugar). My calves and arms have gotten into shape and I now have abs showing too, so I do feel proud of myself as I look even greater than before having my children. I have gone down two sizes in my pants and is currently a size 10 (SA) but my saddlebags look like they don’t even belong to me if you had to look at them in comparison to the rest of my body/improvements. Though they have gotten much smaller, pants are loose on my knees and waist but are filled out with the saddlebags. I believe that I could drop another pants size if not two by just losing those stubborn saddlebags and inner thighs.

    So my question is … how long should I continue for (being realistic) before I should become worried that those thighs/saddlebags won’t be going anywhere? I understand you wouldn’t be able to give an exact timeline but just an idea (Your answer would obviously only be more accurate if I continue with the healthy eating, water and exercising around 5 times a week)

    Thank you

    1. Hey Michelle,

      It’s difficult to say as every body is different. The exercises in this workout are great for tightening and lifting your hip and thigh muscles. It sounds like you’ve got a good grasp on weight loss, considering you’ve dropped a couple pant sizes (awesome job, by the way!) If your saddlebags feel like they still have some excess fat in them, it is likely they’ll continue to get smaller as long as you continue making healthy choices. If that’s the case, the skin may tighten up on it’s own as you continue to lose weight. However, if it just feels like skin, kind of thin and lacking elasticity, it is possible that further weight loss will not be able to help too much. If it were me, I would continue doing what you’re doing for another month or two and see if you notice a difference. On the bright side, if it is just excess skin, performing exercises that target the hip and thigh muscles will help build and firm the muscles underneath, which may help with the saddlebag look. I hope that helps! Good luck and keep up the great work!

  8. I have been doing workout for 2 months and having a balance diet, the problem is I’m not seeing any result in my saddlebags as my lower thigh has reduced to 2 inches but I’m worried about saddlebags. I don’t know whether i should do squats and lunges as I think they’ll make it bigger but rather than that I’m doing all the other exercises, I’m loosing my hope now. Can you tell me what to do?

    1. Tanvi, I recommend incorporating HIIT to your workout routine. Squats and lunges will not add to the saddlebags. Consider eating more fruits, vegetables (leafy greens for sure), whole grains, nuts and seeds. For protein, add lean meats and fish. Processed foods are terrible and add to the accumulation of excess fat. Stay active!!!

      Hope this helps. 🙂

  9. I just lost 40# in 4 months from changing my diet. Now I need to tone my body, especially my thighs and tummy. I’m really looking forward to this new exercise program.
    Thank You

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