This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase using one of these links it means we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Learn More

Does Running Make Your Legs Skinny? Answers & Explanations

Running is a great exercise to transform your body and stay active. Many people take up running with the goal to lose body fat, tone their legs and get in shape.

So here appears the question: Does running make your legs skinny? Or perhaps it can make your legs bigger. To find the answer to these questions and what you should do if you want to slim your legs, continue reading this article.

Key Takeaways


  • The amount of running needed for most people to slim down their legs can be from 30-100 miles per week.
  • Include long distance running to make legs skinny
  • If you want to make your legs bigger, aim for high intensity running
  • To bulk up your legs include strength training

Does running make your legs skinny?

Running is an exercise that is best for reducing body fat and lowering the size of leg muscles, so yes, it does result in smaller and leaner legs and thighs. But this depends on a number of factors that include: metabolism, diet, duration, and intensity of running.

Cardio stimulates the muscles to burn energy and this is how you lose calories and fat. But it is important to remember that by doing cardio the body fat will be lowered in your whole body, not just the legs.

If you want to slim down their legs quicker you will need to run a higher mileage and do it more often. People who can handle this routine will see results faster than those who run only 1-2 times a week.

If you create a routine and stick to it by staying consistent, then eventually you will start to see a change in the shape of your legs. To make the process even faster, it would be good to add another form of weight loss exercise to your running routine.

Other exercises such as swimming, cycling, and walking can help slim down your legs by making you burn more calories.

How long does it take to make my legs skinny?

Generally, this depends on the intensity of training that you can handle. To begin it would be great to plan your running schedule. You can choose what days to run and the distance you will cover and choose what days will be for rest. Try to make a routine that will work best for you without overbearing yourself and giving enough time for your body to adjust and recover.

To keep track and notice any changes, it would be good to measure your legs with a measuring tape. This way you will be able to note if the current running plan is working or if you should start implementing another form of aerobic exercise or increase the volume of running. Stay consistent and you will be able to see the results sooner or later.

The amount of running needed for most people can be from 30-100 miles per week. This depends on your current condition, weight, and free time. The best plan would be to slowly increase the intensity of running and pair it with proper recovery time.

What should I focus on?

To slim down your legs you shouldn’t focus on the speed of your runs, but rather on the distance covered.

In this case, you should avoid sprinting. It is best to aim for long runs and easy jogging sessions. Remember not to overpressure yourself as you don’t have to run out of breath every time to be able to achieve your goals.

To avoid increasing bulk mass in your muscles you shouldn’t do a lot of leg workouts in the gym. One leg workout session per week would be enough for runners to just tone their legs.

Another activity to add to your running routine to keep it more interesting would be walking, jumping jacks, or something similar.

Another crucial thing is a balanced diet. Usually, a runner’s diet is focused more on carbohydrates as a source of energy.

You would need to cut off on fat, but not completely give up on protein because that may lead to losing muscle fiber. To slim down your legs and lose weight you would need to burn about 500 calories more than your intake.

How to make my legs bigger by running?

While there are people who want to make their legs skinny, there are also those who would like to bulk up their leg muscles. If you are interested in this, here we will provide the needed information.

Running with a high intensity is what you should aim for if you want bigger legs. The reason is that this type of running activates fast-twitch muscle fibers that create more force and have the potential to increase muscle size. It can mostly build muscles in the lower body like the glutes, quads, and hamstrings.

Even though it might be exhausting it is important to boost up your pace. Here you should aim for sprints and if you can’t handle them for a long distance you can make them short or add sprint laps in between runs and jogging.

To work your muscles and get bigger thighs and calves, it is recommended to add some strength training to your running routine. You could do hill sprints or long jumps. To be able to build leg muscles it is of huge importance to not skip leg day in the gym.

This means that you need to have anaerobic strength training days in your routine. Just make sure that the training is not on the same day as intense running because you don’t want to overburn your legs. Some exercises you could do are squats, lunges, and deadlifts.

Regarding the diet, people who want to build their legs and make them bigger should rely on protein the most.

Strength training stimulates muscle growth, but it is of no use without having enough protein intake. Try not to drop below 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight. A lower intake will reduce your gain and put you at risk of muscle atrophy.

Final Words

Running is not an easy exercise to do, it is rather challenging and time-consuming. Nonetheless, it is a great activity to shape your body and with just enough commitment and motivation you can achieve your goals in no time, whether they are slimming down or bulking your legs.

Hopefully, we have answered your questions relating to this topic and you can get to running now. Let’s go!