Running has many benefits. It helps strengthen your bones and muscles, improve your cardiovascular fitness, and burn plenty of calories, thus aiding in weight loss. But does running make your legs skinnier?
Running frequently long distances can remove fat from your legs and make them skinnier. Running decreases the size of muscles around the legs. It also reduces fat around the muscles, thus making the legs thinner. That explains why most long-distance runners have very slim legs.
They train very hard to enhance and sustain their endurance and stamina. So their bodies don’t get the chance to build muscles because they burn more calories than they consume.
This article discusses the impact of running on your legs to help you make an informed decision. Make sure you read until the end to miss any crucial information.
Does Running Make Your Legs Skinnier?
If you run a lot for long distances, your legs will become skinnier. Running burns many calories, leading to an overall body weight reduction. Additionally, running reduces the size of muscles around your legs and fat around the muscles, thus making your legs slimmer.
Most long-distance runners have super slim legs because their bodies burn more calories than they are consuming, making it hard for them to build muscles.
Once your body has adapted to running, there would be insufficient resistance to make your muscles work harder, thus resulting in the loss of leg muscles. This will make your legs skinnier.
Does Running Make Your Legs Bigger?
It depends, but it is implausible. If you are running alone, it is improbable that your legs will become bigger. This is because running reduces resistance, thus weakening your muscles. It also reduces fat around your leg muscles, making them skinnier. So, running alone will not make your legs bigger.
However, suppose you run and at the same time perform other types of exercise that involve the glutes, hamstrings, calves, and quadriceps. In that case, your leg muscles will grow, leading to an overall increase in leg size.
So, the types of exercises that you perform alongside running will determine whether your legs will become bigger or skinnier.
How To Run Without Getting Your Legs Skinny?
Now that you know that running will most likely make your leg skinny, if you love running, you may be wondering what you should do not to make your legs thin. You can do some things to prevent your legs from getting skinny from running. Below are tips on how to run without getting your legs slender.
1. Do a combination of exercises.
One of the best ways to ensure that your legs don’t get skinny from running is by incorporating other forms of exercise into your workout, such as weight training. Perform compound and isolation exercises to train your lower body’s large and small muscle groups.
2. Eat in a calorie surplus.
If you want to run without getting your legs skinny, then you need to eat in a calorie surplus. This means that you need to consume more than your maintenance calories.
However, it is essential to note that eating more calories than what your body burns could result in an overall increase in weight.
So you should strike a balance to ensure you don’t gain more weight. Also, ensure that you eat healthy and nutritious food to feed your leg muscles with the crucial nutrients they need to grow.
3. Rotate muscle groups
Most long-distance runners have skinny legs because they overwork their lower body muscles. If you want to run without getting your legs slim, then you should not work on the same muscle group over and over.
This means you should not hit the road every day. Rotating your muscle groups by performing different exercises will allow your leg muscles to rest and bulk up.
How To Run To Make Your Legs Skinny?
If you are not happy with your leg size and want to make them skinny via running, then there are some things you need to do to achieve your goal, as discussed below.
1. Perform HIIT cardio
One of the best ways to have slim legs by running is by performing HIIT cardio. HIIT cardio involves performing intervals of face-paced runs for about 2 minutes followed by 1 minute of walking.
Repeat this 5- 10 times, depending on your fitness level. Please don’t make sprints because it will make your legs bulky.
2. Be consistent
Your consistency will play a significant role in determining whether you get skinny legs by running. The more you run, the more you will get rid of fat and weaken and shrink your leg muscles.
If you are inconsistent with your running, you will give your leg muscles time to heal and grow, increasing leg size. However, if you are consistent, your legs will shrink because the core muscles will weaken.
Other Factors That Contribute To Skinny Legs
Besides running, other factors that contribute to skinny legs include:
Your genetics plays a significant role in determining your leg size. If you have skinny legs, your genetics make it difficult for your body to grow big legs even if you can bulk up your upper body.
- Doing too much cardio.
Cardio exercises are beneficial to the body. They help lower your blood sugar level, improve insulin sensitivity, and enhance your heart health. However, too much cardio can weaken your leg muscles, resulting in skinny legs.
- Not eating enough calories.
In order to build your leg muscles, you need to eat enough calories. You need to consume more carbohydrates and proteins to fuel your body and aid your body in recovery to build leg muscles. Not eating enough calories and following the correct macro breakdown could be why your legs are skinny.
- Not incorporating a variety of workout routines.
Not incorporating various exercises in your workout routine could also make your legs skinny. Incorporating other exercises such as leg extension, isolation exercises, deadlifts and squats can help to build your leg muscles over time.
Can You Improve Your Skinny Legs?
YES, it is possible to improve your skinny legs. Some of the things to do to improve your slim legs include:
- Training your legs with different reps and set ranges
Eating a healthy and well-balanced diet feeds your muscles the nutrients they need to grow.
- Consuming more calories
Take breaks between workouts to allow your leg muscles to heal and grow.