While squats can help you build lean muscle, if you have fat on top of your muscle, your legs will still look big. You must melt fat off with cardio training. You can't spot reduce fat from just one area of the body, and cardio will burn fat from all over your body, including your thighs.
So, are squats good for your quads?
New research reveals that squats may not activate this muscle group as much as trainers say. There's a reason squats are hailed as the king of all lower-body moves: They recruit a ton of big, calorie-burning muscles, like your glutes and quadriceps. But they may not give you a complete lower-body workout.
Do squats and lunges make your thighs bigger?
To make your thighs smaller, you've got to either lower excess fat located in your legs or have your muscles atrophy, which means the muscles get smaller. Lunges and squats target the muscle tissue you have in your glutes, quads and calves, but they don't impact any fat tissue in the area.