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  1. #1
    Registered User Atheena's Avatar
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    Running and Slimmer Thighs

    Ok so I admit, I do a lot of cardio. I have always been a runner since way back in junior high. My question is does running help slim down the thighs? And if not what are great excercises for that? I do squats, walking lunges, abductor and adductor, leg raises, leg extensions, hamstring curls and run. I use to do dead lifts but wasn't really seeing or feeling any results. All the help and advice is appreciated, thanks!
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  2. #2
    Bulking freebirdmac's Avatar
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    Running can certainly slim down the thighs, it's just not conducive to building muscle. And that's where the problem come into play. If you do a lot of running or cardio you can end up with skinny, but not very muscular legs. If you're young, or genetically blessed, the fat that remains on your legs look good. For the rest of us we keep looking at our legs and think we need to lose more fat. Which leads to just skinnier-fatty legs.

    The missing link is muscle. Unfortunately too much running or cardio can impede muscle gains. You have to eat spot on and you have to give your legs a rest. Muscles are built outside of the gym and it's pretty hard on leg muscles to grow when they are being asked to do cardio instead of being rested.

    If you want to do both, give your legs the rest they need after a leg workout and eat properly so you don't cannibalize your muscle to fuel your runs. You can also incorporate sprints, hill running, or bleacher running which will help build lower body muscles. Long distance running I'm afraid is a pretty anti-lower body muscle exercise.
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  3. #3
    Registered User Atheena's Avatar
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    I'm just looking for a way to get my thighs smaller/slimmer. Before I got wise about weight training I didn't know that just by me running would make certain muscles in my thighs more prominent than the others and make the ones I don't use to run with under developed. Now I know. When I started working out a year and a half ago all I did was run. I was one of those women that thought lifting weights would make me look like a man or those women who take steriods to get huge.
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  4. #4
    Registered User atxyourxfuneral's Avatar
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    About two years ago the only cardio i did was on the elliptical.
    When i started lifting, my legs looked better (more firm, shapely).
    Then my boyfriend at the time kept telling me if i ran instead of the elliptical, i'd get in way better shape. IT WORKED. It only took a couple months of running before my legs got slimmer & looked a million times better (plus the rest of my body). Just make sure you lift as heavy as you can (or almost) when doing legs if you're going to run for cardio.

    The leg workout that got me in awesome shape over last summer (so a couple months)...
    Once a week, squats (smith machine), walking lunges w/dumbells, stepups with dumbells, HAM CURLS, & leg press. Sometimes i'd split the workout to 2 days & i'd run for 20-30min 4-5 days a week.
    Last edited by atxyourxfuneral; 10-13-2008 at 10:35 PM.
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  5. #5
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    slimmer thighs means you have to attempt to calorie reduce and do lots of full body work outs. (with weights)

    Really do your research look at he difference between an althletic shapley leg versus slim very little tone looks like. Working with your body frame and not is way more realistic way of getting your body shaped up.
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  6. #6
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    Here's what I've learned about my body. Maybe it will help you. I naturally have a small upper body (9.5" biceps 24" waist) and more muscular lower body (35" hips & 22" thighs) and I'm 5'3". I have a very hard time gaining muscle in my arms, but NO Problems at all with the legs. When I tried to slim my thighs down, I did the same thing you are doing- lunges, squats, leg ext... you get the idea. What happened? My thigh muscles got even bigger! I tried the elliptical and they got bigger- more muscular. So I started running long distance (like 5-8 miles or more a day) and my thighs started to slim down. I changed my route to one that had more hills and my thighs started getting bigger again. So I went back to mostly flat terrain. In an effort to increase intesity I tried adding sprints and guess what- this made thighs bigger again. So as far as running goes, I have found that a steady paced long distance run helps slim my thighs. I got pretty bored running all the time so I tried plyometrics workouts and this totally reshaped my legs. All the hopping helped slim down my thighs while keeping them toned looking. So now I run 2 days a week, and do plymetrics 3 days a week. I weight train 3 days a week- upper body 2 days and lower just 1 day. On my lower body days I don't use any more than 5-8 pounds and do like 3 sets of 25 reps.

    Like I said, this is what I have found works for me. You will have to spend time focusing on your body and trying different things to find what works for you. Hope this helps.
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  7. #7
    Registered User Sarah Gold's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by hvivona View Post
    Here's what I've learned about my body. Maybe it will help you. I naturally have a small upper body (9.5" biceps 24" waist) and more muscular lower body (35" hips & 22" thighs) and I'm 5'3". I have a very hard time gaining muscle in my arms, but NO Problems at all with the legs. When I tried to slim my thighs down, I did the same thing you are doing- lunges, squats, leg ext... you get the idea. What happened? My thigh muscles got even bigger! I tried the elliptical and they got bigger- more muscular. So I started running long distance (like 5-8 miles or more a day) and my thighs started to slim down. I changed my route to one that had more hills and my thighs started getting bigger again. So I went back to mostly flat terrain. In an effort to increase intesity I tried adding sprints and guess what- this made thighs bigger again. So as far as running goes, I have found that a steady paced long distance run helps slim my thighs. I got pretty bored running all the time so I tried plyometrics workouts and this totally reshaped my legs. All the hopping helped slim down my thighs while keeping them toned looking. So now I run 2 days a week, and do plymetrics 3 days a week. I weight train 3 days a week- upper body 2 days and lower just 1 day. On my lower body days I don't use any more than 5-8 pounds and do like 3 sets of 25 reps.

    Like I said, this is what I have found works for me. You will have to spend time focusing on your body and trying different things to find what works for you. Hope this helps.

    x2. my legs get slimmer only by running. i am naturally muscular and put on muscle fast. i prefer my legs to not be huge. i am not a skinny-fat kind of girl. when i notice that my legs are getting bigger than i would like them i drop the heavy lifting and just do lunges, squats, etc with body weight and up my cardio. then if i feel like im getting too weak or my muscles arent the right shape ill go back to heavy lifting.
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  8. #8
    Bulking freebirdmac's Avatar
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    These responses illustrate why one needs to objectively assess the lower body and determine if sufficient muscle is present. What one needs to do to "slim" the legs down depends on that answer.
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  9. #9
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    Thumbs up

    Originally Posted by hvivona View Post
    Here's what I've learned about my body. Maybe it will help you. I naturally have a small upper body (9.5" biceps 24" waist) and more muscular lower body (35" hips & 22" thighs) and I'm 5'3". I have a very hard time gaining muscle in my arms, but NO Problems at all with the legs. When I tried to slim my thighs down, I did the same thing you are doing- lunges, squats, leg ext... you get the idea. What happened? My thigh muscles got even bigger! I tried the elliptical and they got bigger- more muscular. So I started running long distance (like 5-8 miles or more a day) and my thighs started to slim down. I changed my route to one that had more hills and my thighs started getting bigger again. So I went back to mostly flat terrain. In an effort to increase intesity I tried adding sprints and guess what- this made thighs bigger again. So as far as running goes, I have found that a steady paced long distance run helps slim my thighs. I got pretty bored running all the time so I tried plyometrics workouts and this totally reshaped my legs. All the hopping helped slim down my thighs while keeping them toned looking. So now I run 2 days a week, and do plymetrics 3 days a week. I weight train 3 days a week- upper body 2 days and lower just 1 day. On my lower body days I don't use any more than 5-8 pounds and do like 3 sets of 25 reps.

    Like I said, this is what I have found works for me. You will have to spend time focusing on your body and trying different things to find what works for you. Hope this helps.
    Originally Posted by Dr Rambo View Post
    x2. my legs get slimmer only by running. i am naturally muscular and put on muscle fast. i prefer my legs to not be huge. i am not a skinny-fat kind of girl. when i notice that my legs are getting bigger than i would like them i drop the heavy lifting and just do lunges, squats, etc with body weight and up my cardio. then if i feel like im getting too weak or my muscles arent the right shape ill go back to heavy lifting.
    GREAT answers!!

    It is heartening to see this, because too many people subscribe to/prescribe cookie cutter routines REGARDLESS of the persons goals, starting point etc.

    The fact is, bodybuilding is really about shaping your body the way YOU want, not mindlessly following the latest trend in fitness, and simply parroting information from person to person regardless of context.
    CSCS, ACSM cPT.
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  10. #10
    deracate chinese frower Mindi912's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Defiant1 View Post
    GREAT answers!!

    It is heartening to see this, because too many people subscribe to/prescribe cookie cutter routines REGARDLESS of the persons goals, starting point etc.

    The fact is, bodybuilding is really about shaping your body the way YOU want, not mindlessly following the latest trend in fitness, and simply parroting information from person to person regardless of context.
    Agreed those are great answers.
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  11. #11
    Registered User Atheena's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by hvivona View Post
    Here's what I've learned about my body. Maybe it will help you. I naturally have a small upper body (9.5" biceps 24" waist) and more muscular lower body (35" hips & 22" thighs) and I'm 5'3". I have a very hard time gaining muscle in my arms, but NO Problems at all with the legs. When I tried to slim my thighs down, I did the same thing you are doing- lunges, squats, leg ext... you get the idea. What happened? My thigh muscles got even bigger! I tried the elliptical and they got bigger- more muscular. So I started running long distance (like 5-8 miles or more a day) and my thighs started to slim down. I changed my route to one that had more hills and my thighs started getting bigger again. So I went back to mostly flat terrain. In an effort to increase intesity I tried adding sprints and guess what- this made thighs bigger again. So as far as running goes, I have found that a steady paced long distance run helps slim my thighs. I got pretty bored running all the time so I tried plyometrics workouts and this totally reshaped my legs. All the hopping helped slim down my thighs while keeping them toned looking. So now I run 2 days a week, and do plymetrics 3 days a week. I weight train 3 days a week- upper body 2 days and lower just 1 day. On my lower body days I don't use any more than 5-8 pounds and do like 3 sets of 25 reps.

    Like I said, this is what I have found works for me. You will have to spend time focusing on your body and trying different things to find what works for you. Hope this helps.
    What plyometric excercises do you do?
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  12. #12
    Buff bride to be imperfectly_lou's Avatar
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    Re your program - I would get rid of the leg raises, adductor and abductor exercises. Totally redundant exercises. Stick with the basics - squats, deadlifts (both conventional and romanian - on separate days though), various forms of lunges, bulgarian squats, and calf work.
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  13. #13
    Registered User Atheena's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by imperfectly_lou View Post
    Re your program - I would get rid of the leg raises, adductor and abductor exercises. Totally redundant exercises. Stick with the basics - squats, deadlifts (both conventional and romanian - on separate days though), various forms of lunges, bulgarian squats, and calf work.
    So your saying that I shouldn't do the leg raises or the adductor/abductor excercises? How come? Do they not really do anything??
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  14. #14
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    The problem with those exercises is you are isolating tiny little muscles (in the grand scheme of things). Compound exercises such as squats and deads, work those muscles more than adequately, along with your major muscle groups. Compound exercises have a lot more benefits than simply working the target muscle groups - they work your core stabilisation, they raise your HR (thus burning more calories), and they actually assist with the release of growth hormone (=more muscle growth). So if you are going to spend X amount of time in the gym, your time is better spent on exercises that can maximise your potential overall... hope that makes sense (it's 5:40am and I am coming to the end of a 10hr night duty!)
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  15. #15
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    Originally Posted by imperfectly_lou View Post
    The problem with those exercises is you are isolating tiny little muscles (in the grand scheme of things). Compound exercises such as squats and deads, work those muscles more than adequately, along with your major muscle groups. Compound exercises have a lot more benefits than simply working the target muscle groups - they work your core stabilisation, they raise your HR (thus burning more calories), and they actually assist with the release of growth hormone (=more muscle growth). So if you are going to spend X amount of time in the gym, your time is better spent on exercises that can maximise your potential overall... hope that makes sense (it's 5:40am and I am coming to the end of a 10hr night duty!)
    yeah that definitely makes sense, thank you! Glad I got the info before I hit the gym tonight!
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  16. #16
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    Plyometrics I do:

    Squat Jumps
    Lateral Jump to Box
    Jump to Box
    Split Squat Jumps
    Tuck Jumps
    Lateral Box Push Offs
    Bounding
    Bounding with Rings
    Box Drill with Rings
    Lateral Hurdle Jumps
    Zigzag Hops
    Single Leg Tuck Jump
    Single Leg Lateral Hops
    Depth Jumps


    For indiv. descriptions go to http://www.sport-fitness-advisor.com...exercises.html
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