Should runners have a leg day

Fat runner legs from running?

Many novice runners find after a period of regular exercise that their thighs and calves have become stronger. While some are happy about the new muscle mass, others are bothered by trousers that are now too tight. Our expert Thomas Steffens - former editor-in-chief of Runner’s World - answers the most important questions about runners' legs.

What does regular running do on the legs?

Those who do sport regularly also develop muscles. When running, the legs do lifting work and the corresponding muscles develop that can do this work optimally. Episode: The muscles in the thighs and calves become stronger. It should be noted, however, that how muscles develop depends on the type. Some people tend to have wide muscles, while others tend to have long muscles. This determines whether the leg is getting thin or thick. In addition, endurance sports lead to increased energy consumption. This results in a more defined body, which makes the muscles more visible.

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How can I get nice, thin legs?

A reduced running pace demands the muscles in the calves and thighs a little less, but whether visibly less is not something that can be measured in advance. Another option is endurance sports combined with some strength training. This leads to a firmer feeling, for example in the legs. But, here too, the muscle cross-section increases.

If you really want to have thin legs, you have to stop exercising and you are not allowed to eat anything. But seriously, if all you care about is wanting to have thinner legs, then running is the wrong sport for you. Better go swimming. However, if you swim too intensely, you may get thick upper arms.

Conclusion: the physique cannot be changed

You have to decide whether you are doing sport because you want to get your body into a certain shape or because it is healthy and you feel good about it. For most people, one comes with the other. Finally, you should be aware that despite everything that can be achieved today in terms of ideal body image through sport, but also through medical interventions, certain basic patterns of body stature cannot be changed. Anyone who is 1.60 m tall and has a robust skeleton structure will never be a long-legged model type, and a man with 1.95 and a strong stature will probably never be an ideal-weight champion who runs the marathon faster than 2:20 hours.

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