The question of whether or not running makes your legs bigger has been a topic of debate for many years. Even today, there are still people who are under the impression that running can cause your legs to become bigger.
Does Running Make Your Legs Bigger?
Nowadays, science has proven that running does not cause your legs to become bigger. Running actually helps you burn calories which can lead to slimming down your legs.
Running is a very good cardio exercise which helps improve the cardiovascular system by strengthening your heart and lungs. Your leg muscles are an afterthought when you run. Other leg exercises are better suited to giving your legs the muscular shape you want.
Factors That Can Affect Leg Muscular Size
Although running generally does not cause your legs to swell, there are still factors that can affect leg muscular size.
Type of Running
Running on softer surfaces like dirt trails, sand, water and snow will stimulate the muscles in your legs more than running on paved roads or treadmills. The different terrain also allows your legs to move more naturally which can help with muscle growth.
Speed of Running
The faster you run, the greater the impact forces hitting your legs. Thus, running at a faster speed causes your leg muscles to move and flex more which can lead to bigger legs.
Distance of Running
Running for longer distances leads to higher impact forces hitting the bones in your legs leading to bigger leg muscles.
Diet and Weight
Your diet and weight play major roles in determining how big your legs are. If you eat more calories than you burn, you’ll become bigger all over including your legs. If you’re overweight, the excess fat in your body will sit on your legs making them appear larger than normal. To make your legs smaller, you need to lose weight by eating less and doing high-intensity exercises like running at least three times a week.
The size of your muscles is determined by genetics. Some people are born with larger leg muscles thus making their legs appear bigger than others. Even if you do high-intensity exercises, your genes will stick with you which is why it’s much harder for overweight people to lose weight.
The Intensity of Training
Training at a very high intensity can stimulate the leg muscles to grow bigger. This does not mean that you should train intensely all the time to make your legs look bigger. Exercising at a very high intensity for an extended period of time causes too much stress on your body which can lead to serious injuries and illnesses, as well as burnout.
Other Exercises to That Can Affect Leg Muscular Size
Other leg exercises like lunges, squats, and deadlifts can make your legs look bigger. These exercises target the same muscle groups as running but because they involve more movements and multiple joints, you’ll feel them working out your leg muscles more than running will.
Since squats are compound exercises, they work out several body parts at once including your legs. Squats involve moving your knees across the center of your body to stretch them which stimulates muscle growth in your thighs.
Lunges are good leg exercises since they move the knee joints through the full range of motion making them stronger and more flexible. Lunges are also compound exercises that work out the muscles in your legs as well as your glutes, hips, and back.
Deadlifts are very intense leg exercises especially when you use weights to increase the intensity of the workout. Deadlifts involve lifting a bar off the ground with both hands so that it sits against your legs while you’re in a standing position. This exercise works out the leg muscles, hamstrings, lower back and arms.
FAQs About Running Make Your Legs Bigger
1. Will running make my legs stronger?
Yes, if you run at a fast speed or for longer distances, it will stimulate the muscles in your legs more leading to an increase in leg strength.
2. If I want my legs to be bigger, what kind of exercises should I do?
To make your legs bigger, you need to increase the size of your leg muscles by lifting weights or doing high-intensity exercises like deadlifts. You should try out a variety of leg exercises so that you can stimulate different muscle groups within your legs which will result in a well-balanced physique.
3. Do regular squats and lunges make your legs bigger?
If you do squats and lunges regularly, it will strengthen your leg muscles slightly but only if you use weights. These exercises will not make your legs bigger on their own since they involve extending the knees across the center of the body which does not stimulate muscle growth in the thighs.
4. How long before I will see the results of my workout?
Your muscles need time to repair themselves which is why you shouldn’t rush into high-intensity workouts. It takes at least 48 hours before your leg muscles can be stimulated again so it’s important that you stick with a schedule. If you don’t allow your legs enough rest between workouts, they won’t grow bigger or stronger.
5. Do cardio workouts like running burn fat?
Yes, cardio exercises like running can help you lose excess body fat but only if you do them for a long period of time and follow a low-calorie diet. Doing cardio alone is not enough to make your legs bigger since you need to combine it with weight training to see a change in your legs.
Running is a good form of exercise for your leg muscles but it does not make them bigger on its own. However, you can combine sprinting and running with weight training to see more results. You should never try to do high-intensity workouts for extended periods of time which causes too much stress on the body that can lead to serious injuries and exhaustion.
Doing squats, lunges, deadlifts and other compound exercises are the best way to make your legs bigger since they involve multiple joints that stimulate all of the muscles found in your leg. If you want to lift weights, it’s advisable that you do them with a professional at the gym so they can show you how to use the equipment properly. It’s crucial that you give your legs enough rest so they can heal after high-intensity workouts to avoid injuries and prevent muscle soreness.