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Running and Bulky Thighs

Favorite Excuse Not to Run: I Don't Want Bulky Thighs

I have a friend who's trying to lose weight, so I invited her to go for a run with me this weekend. She said, "How about we walk instead? I don't want bulky thighs."

I'm sure a lot of people think that, since running does focus mostly on using your lower body. Don't worry though — it in no way will bulk up your quads into huge masses of muscle. Since running is a great way to burn calories (which is what you need to do if you're trying to lose weight), it'll actually help you lose fat from all over, including from your thighs and bum. So on the contrary, it'll help your thighs look slimmer, not bulkier. Running will also tone your booty, quads, hamstrings, calves, and shins, so once you start shedding pounds, it'll reveal sculpted and shapely muscles.

Fit's Tip: The same goes for biking and hiking. These cardio activities will burn calories and tone beautifully without adding bulk.


Join The Conversation
biarose biarose 7 years
I'm worried that bike riding will make my thigh muscles bulge
shrimp-crackers shrimp-crackers 9 years
I thought I've heard all the excuses before, but bulky thighs?? Too funny.
levi1 levi1 9 years
Yes yes, I'm happy to have my runner's thighs as oposed to Misha Bartons mushy mess! And no confusing cardio with "bulk." Trust me, if you run enough miles and climb enough hills you will develop bulk. Just take a look at cyclists thighs.
gigi123 gigi123 9 years
I'm still wondering how ppl are confusing cardio with bulk. If you're weight training and lifting heavy isn't that where the "bulk" comes in?
angelfromlsu angelfromlsu 9 years
XSofieX -- I know plenty of "chubby" girls that have been running track for years after high school and college. Some people have a few extra lbs. Who wants to be a size 0? Not me!
Spectra Spectra 9 years
On a positive note though, I have absolutely no cellulite on my "runner's thighs" and I'd rather have that than skinny-fat legs like Mischa Barton's (there's a pic out there of her wearing short shorts and she has the thighs of an 80 year old lady).
Spectra Spectra 9 years
levi--YES! That is so true! I call them "runner's thighs". I look for pants all the time that fit me through the legs and they are inevitably too big in the hips/waist. It's one reason I can't wear those really tiny sizes...I actually have muscles to fill out the jeans, lol.
levi1 levi1 9 years
Most female runners will agree that running increases the mass of one's thighs. Most of my running buddies have trouble purchasing jeans because they are baggy in the waist but tight in the thighs.
XSofieX XSofieX 9 years
Its always chubby girls who use these kinds of excuses - and you its like, there is no way that your thighs aren't going to benefit fro running, it'll probably just make you lose weight!
kgseymour kgseymour 9 years
#10, I'm with you. I build muscle very easily as well, and it's not generally too much of an issue until I try to find jeans that fit my thighs well. And for me, it's ALWAYS been that way, since I was a kid and did dance and gymnastics through high school when I played basketball and volleyball, and it continues now as I participate in triathlons (for fun, not to win). I've mostly made peace with it, but it is a valid concern for some people.
angelfromlsu angelfromlsu 9 years
Your friend probably asked to walk b/c she can't run for very long and didn't want to admit it. No shame in that! I'm a jogger/runner but it took a LONG time to build up to that.
Spectra Spectra 9 years
I hate when people say this because it is really BS. I run and I have a slender body. Yes, my legs are probably more developed than your average supermodel's or couch potato's, but they're NICE though.
smellen smellen 9 years
i need new running shoes desperately! maybe i can try to sneak over this weekend, but it is already super busy, may have to wait another few days.
mwjank mwjank 9 years
I build muscle really quickly, esp. in my lower half. When I am in the thick of marathon training if I am doing a lot of hill running I do notice that my thighs do bulk up a bit. My jeans still fit, but are a bit more snug in the thighs. The thing is though, that regardless of their diameter my legs look more toned and better overall, so I am not terribly concerned. I don't think that this should be a worry for anyone just running for fun or fitness though.
j2e1n9 j2e1n9 9 years
I like walking better anyways!
cereal_please cereal_please 9 years
Yeah I think of runners in different groups of people- there's the cross country/distance runners that are stick thin, and the sprinters that are muscular and have thick legs. The running I do is nowhere near sprinting, so I don't have to worry about that.
syako syako 9 years
yay casasailer that's awesome! I love the way running has transformed my body too. I think maybe we should do a little dance every time someone says bulky - like word of the day - :dance:
Casasailer Casasailer 9 years
I have been getting into running (running my first race this weekend!) and my legs are toned and trimmer. I put on my wellies for the rain/snow we had yesterday and they were loose. A month ago they were hard to fit over my calves. I am so happy with how running is making my body look and feel
lightheaded lightheaded 9 years
I know since I've been doing more cadio, my legs are more toned, maybe a bit bigger, maybe its all in my head. Whats considered "bulk" anyways?
EastVillageAmy EastVillageAmy 9 years
I think it depends on what kind of running you are doing. When I was marathon training, (slower and steady for a long time)running definitely slimmed my thighs and actually made my butt disappear. I had to do a lot of resistance work to build the glutes back up. Not to gratuitously use the word "bulk" but sprinters definitely have what some might call bulky, powerful looking legs.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
I have been jogging/power walking for awhile now and my legs definatly look slimmer! And more toned!
TidalWave TidalWave 9 years
Wow! People believe this stuff?
syako syako 9 years
bulk :oy: women use that word gratuitously
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