does running make your thighs smaller

Does Running Make Your Thighs Smaller or Bigger?

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Hi everyone! It’s Kathleen again, and today’s subject will be about thighs and legs.

No, I am not talking about my grandma’s secret fried chicken recipe, I’m talking about your thighs and legs! Yes, those jiggly thighs that you try to hide under a swim skirt.

If you want to have slimmer thighs in just a few weeks, I’m here to tell you that it’s totally possible, and this article is all about getting it done!

Do you suffer from thunder thighs? Bojangles? Yams? Whatever nickname you want to call them, fatty thighs are something no one wants.

Your good friend Kathleen here is going to tell you how to get rid of those and instead have slim, strong, and well-toned thighs in just a few weeks.

Are you ready? It’s not as hard as you might think, so let’s talk about how you can make your legs stronger and more beautiful with this article.

Can Running Slim Down Your Thighs?

Let’s be honest here, every woman in the world wants slim, toned thighs to show off in shorts, skirts, and swimsuits, right?

If genetics isn’t on your side, how can you get thinner thighs without looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger in a mini-skirt?

does running slim thighs

You need lots of cardio to trim those gams.

If you don’t want bulky, super thick, muscular thighs, then what you want to do is blast off that fat and tone the muscles on your thighs.

Running helps improve fat burning. The goal here is not necessarily HIIT, but moderate intensity for a longer duration, such as long-distance running.

Avoid inclines as much as possible. Those do improve your booty, but they also build muscle.

Have you ever seen a long-distance runner with jiggly or even super huge thighs? Nope. This is because long-duration cardio simply shreds fat, but it won’t build large muscles.

How Long Should I Run to Slim My Thighs?

Long-distance running is the best way to get slimmer thighs and lose weight all over the rest of your body too!

Don’t think speed for this one. Find a comfortable running pace (even 5MPH is good) and keep it up for 60 minutes if you can.

You’ve probably never seen a runner with thigh fat. However, keep in mind that these very thin runners pay for those slimmer legs by running 100 miles each week or more!

If you’re a beginner, start with short 10-minute runs, two or three times per day, then gradually build up to a straight 60 minutes.

Try to run and work those legs at least 3 days a week, but 5 or 6 is better. If your legs are sore, or if you are tired before you begin, give your body a day to rest.

Don’t forget to wear the proper running shoes, and healthy eating is not just a suggestion but a must!

Can I Lose Thigh Fat in a Week?

Probably not.

If you should lose weight and it happens to come from the thigh area, it probably won’t be enough to notice after just one week.

lady measuring thighs after running

Contrary to popular belief, you cannot spot reduce fat away by physical activity. When you create a calorie deficit (meaning you are burning more calories than you are consuming) your body will burn fat as fuel. WHERE it takes that fat from is completely up to your body.

This means that your body is going to take fat and burn calories from whatever location it feels it can spare it. This is also a matter of genetics and what makes all the different body shapes and body sizes you see around you.

However, if you continue to create a calorie deficit, reduce your calorie intake, and get in good cardio workouts, you will gradually see your exercise method pay off. You will lose fat and speed up the muscle-building process until your confidence level soars!

Are There Other Ways to Reduce My Thigh Fat?

While running is one of the best ways to drop body fat from all over your body, there are other ways you can lose body fat, especially on your thighs.

Remember that body fat is healthy and normal. Men have about 18 to 25 percent body fat and women have, on average, 25 to 31 percent body fat.

However, where you store that fat is genetic. Ladies, we all have that friend who has a very large chest but very skinny legs, right? While some of us have the reverse, we have small chests but big thighs and butts.

A woman’s body is actually made to hold her excess body weight in the hips, thighs, and in later years, around the belly. When it comes to losing weight, you really have to work at it!

6 Ways to Reduce Thigh Fat Besides Running

To change that and get thinner leg muscles, you have a variety of exercises to choose from, including:

  1. Spin classes
  2. Stair climbing
  3. Walking or jogging on the sand (beach vacation, here I come!)
  4. Swimming
  5. Dancing (fast dancing)
  6. Ballet style exercises

You might be wondering if strength training will help with losing fat around your legs or do the opposite. Let’s talk about that for a minute.

Will Strength Training Give Me Big Leg Muscles?

Ladies, if you’ve heard that you can’t get big, bulky thighs from weight-bearing exercise, like weight lifting, think again!

Yes, you lack the testosterone to build truly gigantic legs, but trust me, you can get some pretty big thighs from resistance training if you don’t do it correctly.

First, may I suggest that you focus on losing weight, especially in the legs. Fat burning takes longer than building muscles, so if you imagine pumping up those thighs and adding a layer of fat on top of that new muscle, you very well could look like you’ve got legs bigger than Arnold!

Start off by eating a healthy diet and running 5-6 days per week. Work up to a minimum of 60 miles per week (10 miles per day if you are going for a 6-days a week program).

Once your legs are thinner, then you can focus on resistance training. Aim to lift lower weights for more reps, rather than continue to move on to heavier and heavier weights.

You might also ask for a few tips from a personal trainer. They can be well worth the money when it comes to helping you reach your lean legs goal.

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How Do I Stop My Thighs from Getting Bigger When I Run?

Anytime you add a new exercise to your workouts, your body will respond in various ways, one of which sometimes is building larger thigh muscles.

While you can also build muscles in other parts of the body, most women notice more muscle in their thighs right off for some reason!

man running to slim thighs

As your cardiovascular health improves and fat loss occurs all over your body, your thighs should look less bulky to you.

However, if you are still concerned about your ever-growing thigh size, you can take steps to help stop your body gain muscle in this area.

  1. Reduce the intensity of your running workouts. This won’t hurt your cardio capacity, but running just a bit slower will help to give you slimmer thighs. High-intensity running tells your body to make larger thighs to keep up your endurance levels.
  2. Do more reps for longer using lighter weights. If you are doing strength training, increase the number of reps and the amount of time you spend in-between reps, but lower the amount of weight you are using.
  3. Change up your routine. Keep your body guessing as to what you will require of it next time. Muscle cells remember what we do regularly. They not only assume that we will do more of the same, but they will also respond by making your legs bigger if they feel that will make the “job” easier. Don’t let your body become accustomed to any workout! A healthy lifestyle includes days off, weight training one or two times per week, and a mix of intense bursts of cardio, longer periods of slower intensity exercises, and lots of variation.

I know that for many people, the last part can be confusing.

You can still run 5 or 6 days a week if you like, just don’t do the same run or the same lower body exercises every time.

For example, on Monday, you might run for 10 miles at 6MPH. Tuesday, you will run that same 10 miles, but you will run the first 5 miles at a slow 4MPH, then run the last 5 at 6MPH. Wednesday you might do strength training and only walk for 30 minutes at 3MPH.

Get the idea here? Mix up your jogging/running/rowing/swimming or whatever workout so that your body never knows what to expect next.

That is the best and fastest way for weight loss, muscle building, and reducing not only your thighs but your overall body size.

What Exercises Should I Avoid to Lose Body Fat and Have Thinner Thighs?

Everyone wants to lose weight, right? It seems that way sometimes. Even the thinnest women I know tell me that they “still need to lose 5 pounds.”

It can be hard to match today’s standards of physical beauty. These standards call for big boobs and a big booty, but a very pinched waist and thin thighs.

couple execising to make legs and thighs smaller

The point I am trying to make is that sometimes the shape of your legs is genetic, and while you can make them look the best they can, don’t get unrealistic expectations.

If you have proper nutrition, if you work out for at least 150 minutes each week, and you keep your calorie intake low, you are way ahead of the fitness game.

However, if you want to avoid thick thighs, you should avoid the following:

  1. Squats
  2. Hinges
  3. Lifting very heavy weights
  4. Leg presses with very heavy weights
  5. Bulgarian split squats
  6. Back squats
  7. Front squats
  8. Running on an incline
  9. Jumping
  10. Hamstring curls

Try running on a treadmill, rather than running outdoors. Don’t use the incline feature and you are on your way towards thinner thighs.

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The Final Takeaway

Although running is perhaps one of the best ways to help you lose weight and get those toned thighs you want, remember that you must also live a healthy lifestyle as much as possible.

Running will make you hungry! This doesn’t mean that you can scarf down hundreds of calories, though. Watch your diet and focus on protein, not carbs.

I was a runner for many years before my back injury and let me tell you, running will help you burn fat, calories, and experience muscle growth fairly quickly.

Buy that mini-dress or swimsuit and start running! You’ll have those lovely, well-toned thighs before you know it!

Stay happy and healthy, friends! Life is too short for anything else!