How Big Are 20 Inch Thighs?

By: Jeremy Fox, CNC, CPTPublished: January 17, 2023

Thick thighs signify everything from sensuality to strength. So almost everyone has a reason for wanting to build their legs.

But how do you know if your thighs are big, small, or average compared to other men and women? Well, 20-inch thighs are a common benchmark and a good starting point.

So I compiled body measurement data from thousands of individuals to show you how big 20-inch thighs actually are. Plus I give you a detailed plan for how to get bigger legs.

20 Inch Thighs

What Are 20-Inch Thighs?

Your thighs are measured as a circumference around the mid-upper leg. So “20-inch thighs” are 20 inches (50.8 cm) around at the biggest part of the quad and hamstring.

How to Measure Your Thighs

Before getting into thigh sizes, let’s take a moment to talk about measuring. You should measure your thighs using a flexible tape measure such as a tailor’s tape.

First, stand with your weight distributed equally on both feet and your legs spread apart just enough so that your thighs don’t touch. Then wrap the tape measure around the thickest part of your thigh, perpendicular to the long axis of your leg.

The number that intersects the end of the tape is your thigh circumference. However, try not to pull the tape too tight where it indents the skin, or your thigh will appear smaller. And don’t wrap the tape at an angle, or your thigh will appear bigger.

20 Inch Thigh Measurement

Are 20 Inch Thighs Big?

Generally speaking, 20-inch thighs are pretty normal for adult men and women. According to body measurement data from the US Department of Health Statistics, the average thigh circumference is 20.2 inches (51.3 cm) for men and 19.7 inches (50.1 cm) for women.

However, if your thighs are bigger or smaller than 20 inches, that could be normal too. Because whether your thighs look big on your body depends on your age, height, weight, and body composition.

20-Inch Thighs by Age

Age is one of the most obvious factors influencing your thigh thickness. Because we all start with relatively skinny legs as children and grow through our teenage years.

Once you reach adulthood, your growth slows down. However, most people’s thighs get a little bigger through their 20s and 30s.

At some point in your 40s or 50s, however, your thighs might start to gradually get smaller in size. This decline is due to the drop in hormones and decreased physical activity.

Table 1. Average Thigh Circumference by Age

Age Men Women
20-29 20.4 inches (51.7 cm) 19.6 inches (49.7 cm)
30-39 20.6 inches (52.4 cm) 20.2 inches (51.2 cm)
40-49 20.4 inches (51.7 cm) 20.1 inches (51.1 cm)
50-59 20.3 inches (51.6 cm) 20.2 inches (51.4 cm)
60-69 19.5 inches (49.6 cm) 19.5 inches (49.5 cm)
70-79 18.8 inches (47.7 cm) 18.8 inches (47.8 cm)
80+ 18.1 inches (46.0 cm) 18.2 inches (46.3 cm)

In Table 1, you can see that the average thigh circumference for men ranges from 18.1 to 20.6 inches. Comparatively, women’s thighs are slightly smaller and range from 18.2 to 20.2 inches.

However, remember that these ranges are the averages among men and women. And this data includes measurements from older adults who may be experiencing muscle atrophy.

Therefore, it’s helpful to look at the thigh circumference data as percentiles to understand the true range of thigh sizes. And this time, we’ll only include measurements from adults in their prime, 20-49 years old.

Table 2. Thigh Circumference Percentiles Age 20-49

Percentile Men Women
5th 17.8 inches (45.2 cm) 16.9 inches (42.8 cm)
10th 18.3 inches (46.5 cm) 17.4 inches (44.3 cm)
15th 18.7 inches (47.6 cm) 17.9 inches (45.5 cm)
25th 19.3 inches (49.0 cm) 18.5 inches (46.9 cm)
50th 20.4 inches (51.9 cm) 19.9 inches (50.7 cm)
75th 21.8 inches (55.5 cm) 21.8 inches (55.4 cm)
85th 22.7 inches (57.6 cm) 23.1 inches (58.7 cm)
90th 23.3 inches (59.2 cm) 24.0 inches (61.1 cm)
95th 24.5 inches (62.3 cm) 25.5 inches (64.7 cm)

Table 2 shows that 20-inch thighs fall into the 50th percentile for both men and women. Interestingly, that means 20 inches is the average thigh circumference, no matter your gender.

A closer look at the percentiles data reveals that men have less variation in thigh circumference than women. Presumably, this could be due to differences in body size and body fat distribution between genders.

For example, women generally have smaller frames which could translate into smaller thighs in the lower percentiles. But females also tend to store body fat in their thighs more easily than men, which explains the larger circumference in the 85th percentile and above.

20 Inch Thighs Men Chart
20 Inch Thigh Women Chart

20-Inch Thighs by Weight

How much you weigh also determines how big your thighs look on your body. For example, 20-inch thighs look much more prominent on a 120-lb girl than on a 250-lb guy.

In other words, the heavier you are, the bigger your thighs need to be to look impressive. Obviously, you want that weight to be muscle, not fat. I’ll get into that in a minute.

20-Inch Thighs by Height

Finally, your height also affects how big your thighs look.

To illustrate, picture a 5’3″ person standing next to a 6’3″ person. If they both have 20-inch thighs, the short person’s legs will look much bigger.

So the taller you are, the bigger your thighs need to be to look impressive.

20-Inch Thighs by Body Fat Percentage

Both men and women store body fat in their thighs, although women tend to store more here. So, the more body fat you have, generally the larger your leg circumference will be.

Some people might not care if their legs are composed of fat or muscle. But bodybuilders, athletes, or anyone going for a fit/healthy look, should strive to have relatively lean and muscular thighs.

For one, having more muscle and less fat makes your legs more defined. For example, you can see the separations between your quads, hamstrings, and glutes. And sometimes even the muscle striations and veins.

In addition, being leaner makes your thighs look bigger compared to your leg joints (ankle, knee, hip) and your waist. Of course, not everyone wants to have shredded legs, but too much fat on your thighs isn’t healthy.

20 Inch Thighs Bodybuilding

How To Get Bigger Thighs

Building tree trunk thighs takes time and consistent effort in the right places. And you will progress faster with a well-rounded plan, including specific nutrition, workouts, and a few proven supplements.


Believe it or not, how you eat is just as important as how you lift when building muscle. You won’t progress in the gym if you don’t give your body what it needs to grow.

First, creating a calorie surplus is essential to gain muscle consistently. That means you eat more calories than you burn each day.

Calorie Surplus For Bulking II

Next, you must eat enough protein to give your legs the building blocks to grow new muscle tissue. And don’t listen to that 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight bro science!

Your lean mass, activity level, and fitness goal dictate how much protein you need.

Calculate Your Grams of Protein Per Day

Some other nutrition advice I have is to eat mostly clean foods. Skip the junk and steer towards whole, natural foods for the most quality gains.

Also, tap into nutrient timing to unlock the last 10% of potential leg gains. That means getting most of your carbs and calories around your workout.

bodybuilding meal plan

Custom Meal Plan

Get a personalized meal plan designed specifically for your body and lifestyle. Including custom recipes formulated to fit your macros and calories – no counting required!

All this for just $17.99/mo! Click here to choose your plan.


To build thick thighs, you must use heavy compound leg exercises like squats and leg press for overall leg development.

Related: 21 Science-Backed Benefits of Squats

Then add some more targeted exercises like hack squats or Romanian deadlifts. And finish off your quads and hamstrings with isolation movements like leg extensions and curls.

When training your legs, you should use a variety of rep ranges to target all the different muscle fibers. For example, combine lower reps (3-8) for building strength and higher reps (8-12) for hypertrophy.

Also, the legs are a unique muscle group in that they respond well to higher reps with heavy weights. So you can include a set of 20 or more reps on squats or leg press to really get the blood flowing and maximize the pump.

More: Tom Platz’s Legendary Leg Workout

16 Inch Arms Outer Bicep Workout


As a word of caution, do not expect supplements to grow your legs in days or weeks miraculously. Instead, supplements are only an add-on to proper diet and exercise that may give you a small boost.

In addition, there is no shortage of snake oil supplements that cost a lot of money and don’t deliver results. Here are some proven muscle-building supplements that can help you build thicker thighs.

Related: Best Cheap Pre-Workout Supplements

How Long Does It Take to Get 20-Inch Thighs?

The time it takes to get 20-inch thighs depends on your starting point. For example, if you’re relatively new to training and already have 19-inch legs, you could reach 20 inches in a few months.

On the other hand, it could take you a year or more if you’ve been lifting for a while and need to gain more than an inch of leg circumference. But don’t get discouraged because 20-inch thighs are easily attainable for most people.

More Body Measurements

Now that you know how 20-inch thighs measure up, you might be interested in learning more about other body measurements. Below are some additional articles I’ve hand-picked for your interests.

How Big Are 16-Inch Arms?

What Neck Size Says About Your Health

Average Male Chest Size

Do You Have Small Wrists?

Average Waist Size for Men & Women

With this information, you’re well on your way to building an impressive set of wheels. And if you liked this article, make sure you check out some of my other helpful content below!

Share with your community and get the conversation started!

By |January 17, 2023|Bodybuilding|0 Comments
Go to Top