Health and fitness plays a great role in one’s life, right from their childhood till their late times. Having a fit and healthy body is everyone’s dream and for achieving that goal, many of you take suggestions from different health guides, trainers, nutritionists and fitness coaches to stay healthy.
But we still have many uncommon doubts and questions regarding ourselves which we feel shy to share with anyone.
Among all these, there is a very common question: Do our legs become thick by running?
This is a very common question among women as this feature is not desired by most of them.
This article is going to explain the complete phenomenon regarding what really happens and what are the ways in which you can increase or reduce the size of your legs and thighs.
Running and its impacts
Many people around the globe choose running as their first measure to get fit and stay healthy and most of them aim to get slim. After following a running routine for few weeks, instead of finding themselves slim they see their legs becoming thicker and in turn they get demotivated. There can be a whole lot of reasons for why this is happening.
For this we need to understand a few things before and in the later part of the article we’ll explore different reasons of thickening of thighs for you.
Running is a high impact sport and our legs are at the major work during running as with every step they have to hold the equivalent weight of your whole body and during this process many things start happening in your complete body affecting legs majorly.
Our legs have different muscular fibers which are responsible for the responsiveness, force and endurance of your body. Our legs have 4 main muscle groups:
- Quadriceps- Your increasing size of legs is mainly due to these muscles, their rapid contraction during running makes your legs bigger. This is one of the prominent muscles present at the front side of your thigh. They are connected to the hips and have a great effect on your walking style but are mainly responsible for the stability of your body.
- Hamstrings- These are the most important muscles of the muscles in your thigh. Hamstrings are mainly responsible for the length of your legs. Due to running these muscles also contract during the complete period of running and are said to be responsible for the majority of work your legs perform during the session.
- Gluteus Maximus- These are the largest muscles of your body and are above hamstrings. These muscles support your body and back during the stride.
- Calves- Calves are lower leg muscles that enlarge during running to support your ankle, joints and knee. They give the forward drive to the body and support the ankle. They are responsible for the take off speed from the ground and help you spring off.
So, basically all these muscles are responsible for your running and the amount of work they do is shown through the size of your legs.
Not only this, there are also other factors like your genetic traits, your past injuries or any other events that caused the deformation in these muscles.
Now, this is absolutely clear that any exercise that involves muscle contraction leads to the enlargement of that part, similarly this process is also joined by the increase in lactic acid during running. With increase in lactic acid the muscles swell up and get torn, but once they heal they become larger and stronger.
Other factor which comes in the enlarged muscle size of legs is related to the way you run:
- Sprinting- Sprinting is an activity that uses most of your muscles potentially. Your responsiveness and agility is shown during a sprint, so equivalently this core type of running builds more muscles and will make you more lean.
- Marathons- Marathons are long distance runs that are usually done at lower speeds. Doing long distance runs are more effective for slimmer legs as these runs lead to burning up of more calories and hence resisting muscle growth.
Few other factors other than running which affects the shape of your legs can be:
- Genetics- Your genetics do play a very important role in defining your body shape. Genetics can define the amount of muscle fibers in your legs, their specifications, it also has a hold on the time you take to gain or lose your mass. Any kind of sport you play, activity you do eventually leads to burning of calories but of your complete body. It depends on your genetics how much your legs are gonna lose.
- The way you workout- As it is rightly said “the more intense you train, the more muscles you’ll build” completely validates here. Weightlifting, high interval training, jumping, sprinting do lead to more muscle buildup than long distance runs and low intensity workouts. You all should be much more aware about having a low force start and always keeping workout intensity to moderate. Taking enough rest after your sessions is also very important. Running on an inclined surface also takes in more muscle power, hence try to run on smooth surfaces.
- Your Diet- Your diet plays a major role in every activity you perform to get fit. Eating healthy food and doing effective exercises can reduce your effort of getting your desired body shape by a huge amount. A common mistake that maximum people do after running is intake of a high amount of carbs just after or before the workout and that should be highly avoided. To get good shape your body needs to burn out your fats but instead it starts burning the carbs you intake.
Now, you are very well known to the muscles, the parts of legs which thicken up and the different factors why your thighs and legs become broader while running. All these factors may be different from individual to individual but the most important thing to keep in mind is to find out your factor and start working on it.
Running is one of the greatest ways to reduce your weight, to burn calories and to stay fit. It not only makes your legs more stronger but also increases your flexibility. It is a great way to improve our cardiovascular system and ultimately leads to a well functioning body.
We are also going to explore how to get slimmer or thicker legs but as it is said that everything is beneficial if done in the right manner, so before that an important question which is necessary to answer:
What is the best way to run
- As said above Running is a high-impact sport, our legs have to suffer a lot after one session of running so the most important thing for legs is the sufficient time to recover worn out muscles. This will not only improve the strength but will also help in reducing the thickness of legs.
- Running partly is a harm but running consistently is the way we can improve our performance, paces and distances, this is the golden way of getting the fittest body.
- Never underestimate the benefit of a combination of running and walking simultaneously. This is the best way to increase your body activity, more burning of calories and a huge gain of endurance.
- Additional exercises like push-ups, pull-ups, rows, stretches etc. with running helps you get a better overall physique. Moreover, routine hydration, well sleep and healthy eating are as important as running.
Ways to reduce thicken thighs and legs while running:
So,here we arrive at our conclusion for “is it possible for you to reduce the thickness of legs”? Yes, absolutely we can by taking a few measures and controlling our daily life activities and by changing a few ways regarding your running.
Here are few points which you should keep in mind to achieve this goal:
- Resistance training- One of the most effective ways to train yourself is resistance training. The time you start feeling that the size of your legs is increasing, stop running for sometime. Your newly formed muscle will degenerate itself leaving you with the same size as it was before. This not only applies to your legs but to any part of your body that you wish to be of the same size as before.
- Long Distance Running- Sprinting is the thing you need to strictly avoid for now. Sprinting demands extra stamina, extra power that eventually builds up your muscles. You should always go for marathons, long distance runs at lower paces which will help you in maintaining your lean shape, flexibility and will stimulate least growth of muscles.
- Eating habits- Here comes another important thing to discuss with you all have control on your eating habits. Eat healthy food, stay less on carbs high on vitamins and proteins. Fibre is also necessary in this plan and staying hydrated is also necessary. Take in a lot of vitamins and liquids, this will regulate lactic acid contents. You have to take care of one more thing: never eat food rich in carbs before and after running sessions as your fats are needed to be burnt instead your carbs will provide the required energy.
- Relaxation time- After every session of workout may it be running, weightlifting or anything else, our muscles swell up and need an amount of time to repair. Taking that figure in mind, never overburden yourself with running sessions and always have time between your workouts so that your muscles can repair.
- Always keep in mind to run on a flat surface instead of incline and try to keep perfect posture during running as this can affect your other systems too.
- Balancing is also necessary while running, make sure while running the whole body weight is divided equally on your two legs, in case if any one leg faces more weight for a prolonged time period it can lead to deformity and the chances of injuries to the same leg also increases.
These are a few things you can do to reduce your thigh and leg size, just try it according to you and your body shape you’ll surely see the changes you need in yourself.
Everyone has different body shape and legs. Many people have a problem of thickening of thighs and legs after their running and other workouts. This can be due to their harsh way of training or genetically but mainly it’s you that defines how bigger your legs have grown?
Our body has a tendency to make muscles more stiffer and stronger once they get torn or worn-out. Similar is the case with legs once we train hard with our legs the muscles swell up and get torn. These muscles are repaired and they get bigger and stronger than before, this is the main reason why our legs broaden on running.
Your intensity of training, workout timings also define how your muscles are going to look like. Eating habits and calories intake is another major factor.
Running needs a lot of energy and it’s proper way needs to be defined for people with different requirements. For people who want lean legs, it is always advised to go for long distance runs at low speeds as this will lead to a large amount of burn in calories ultimately achieving your goals.
Your diet should have less carbs and more vitamins with fluids at regular intervals, a deep sleep is also important before running sessions.
Resistance training must be followed as your muscles will get enough time to get back to normal state and heavyweight exercises are strictly not meant for you. Always run on a flat surface and at a low pace.
So, this article has explained to you each fact regarding how this works, understanding everything at a one go is a bit tough task but if you follow up you’ll surely start seeing changes in you and this would become a much easier task afterwards.
Do tell me how this all went for your road to achieve slender legs.