How does running shape your lower body?

How does running shape your lower body?

How does running tone your legs? It’s one of the most frequently asked questions among runners. Running can be taxing & intense, on your legs it helps in trimming the extra amount of fat on your legs. A lot of runners start running for so many reasons, one the most common is burning unwanted fat or building a healthy routine. But that’s not all that running offers. Besides being an awesome calorie-burning activity, heart-pumping cardio, running regularly doubles the strength-training benefits on your lower body.

Just with a few days of running, you will get to see quickly how it tones the tush without bulking the booty and defining the lower body. Running in your running clothes targets the large muscle groups muscles, helping in burning the calories & toning the entire body. Running alone can effectively tone the legs & butt, however, for faster results try incorporating it with interval training, changes in your diet & strength training.

Benefits of Toned Lower body:

A toned and well-defined lower body gives a strong and fit appearance to your legs. There are so many long-term health benefits that come as the result of strong quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings & calves. Your hamstrings & glutes aid in supporting the hips & core, which gives the body an improved posture & stability, while reducing the risk of spinal injuries and back pain.

down the line. The calves directly provide support to your ankles, that aid in preventing ankle sprains & various foot injuries. While you run in your proper form, you aid in counteracting the negative effects of sitting by the desk all day long or standing in poor posture. Strengthened & stable leg muscles aid in doing that.

Muscles that running Targets:

Running is a full-body workout, it primarily targets the core & lower body muscles. Keeping the key muscles strengthened & healthy plays a great role in improving your whole body. All of this helps in performing at top of your capacity with maximized efficiency. Following are the muscle groups that run targets when done on your running shorts

  • Hip flexors: The hip flexor muscles are located at the front right above the thighs. This muscle group connects the thigh bone to the low back, hips & groin. Your hip flexors help the pelvic & spinal stabilization. When you run you get to use these muscles with both of your knees flexed & leg up closer to the while moving forwards. Besides toning this muscle, running ensures better mobility and tightens your hip flexors.
  • Glutes: The gluteal muscles are in the buttocks. They play a vital role while running, as these muscles are responsible for propelling you forward & makes you run faster. Glutes aid in maintaining stability in the torso for ensuring proper posture.
  • Quadriceps: Your quadriceps are a group of 4 long muscles that are located at the front side of the thigh. As you run, these muscles extend the knee & help in propelling you forward. Your quads are primarily responsible for straightening & stabilizing the knees while you are running. Running at higher intensities boosts their stamina.
  • Hamstrings: Your hamstrings are located at your back between your hips & knees. These muscle groups are primarily responsible for hip extension & knee flexion. Your hamstrings help with the thigh extension while moving the upper leg in a backward manner. While you run your hamstrings get activated & push you off the ground. Every step you do plays a part in shaping your lower body while preventing hyperextension. Bending your knees to raise your feet while keeping in closer to your butt. Weaker hamstrings can cause overcompensation & imbalances to the knees, hips, knees & overall stride.
  • Calf muscles: The calf muscles are at the back of the lower leg. These muscles get activated every time you push yourself & raise the leg for propelling forward. Your calf muscles get activated when it comes to extension & flexion of the foot every time you strike & push off again. They actively work to reduce shock impact while landing, helping with balance & maintaining ankle mobility.
  • Core muscles: Strong and stable core forms the foundation of the healthy body & most movements & activities. These muscle groups are located in the torso & pelvis, the core muscles connect the upper body with the lower body. A strengthened core helps in maintaining proper posture, adequate balance & perfect form while you run. It also aids in aligning your spine, pelvis with your lower body. Strong and strengthened abdominals aid the body in staying upright & reducing the shock at your back.

How does running tone your lower body?

Toning’ is a general term & it’s not a & done process. Your legs start getting toned from the first day of your running training & continue to get toning as long as you run. Here are a few facts about your lower body getting toned vis running.

  • You can not “spot tone.” No matter if you are looking for defined abs, well-shaped legs, or any other part. Keep in mind that you can not choose which body part will lose weight. When you try to lose fat you lose it all over.
  • Most people prefer lifting for targeting a certain muscle group, here is an amazing fact about running it lets you target a certain muscle group while also giving a full-body effect.
  • Another important aspect of body toning is you must lower your body fat & build muscle. It’s the magic equation for a toned body. You can not achieve one without having another. Lowering the fat content in your body can’t be done without muscle growth.
  • You must be consistent. No exercise gives you immediate results; you have to be consistent to see apparent differences. Without consistency, you will not get the results you aim for.
  • The most important thing is your metabolism. The higher level of endurance you have the longer you will be able to run. Running actively engages your muscle fibers. The more you run, the more fat you will be able to burn. With boosted metabolism, your muscles continue to burn fat even when you are done with your run.

Exercises for legs Toning While Running

How finely you can tone your legs entirely depends upon how you run. If you’re taking longer strides & heel strikes, you will primarily target your shins & hamstrings. However, shifting to the forefoot strike running will better target the calves & quad muscles. Following running techniques will help in better toning of your lower legs.


You might think skipping is the game for children, but wait till it gets added to your running workout regimen. While you perform it, try keeping your bounce high & moments explosive movement. It will be challenging but rewarding to your lower body strength.

Squat Jumps

Doing squats jumps after can add explosiveness to runs. It will also strengthen your quads.

3) HIIT Running

High-intensity interval running is an exercise form that is done in the form of hard energy bursts.

Your body seeks variety in your training sessions. As it tends to get adapted to various movement & strength levels.

4) Sprinting

Doing sprinting helps in pushing the body to its maximized limit, in a certain way compared to long-distance runs. It helps in burning fat, increases your endurance level while boosting your metabolism, & lets you get a good workout, even when you are running out of time.

5) Hill Sprints

Hill sprints are one of the best and effective ways of building leg strength in a very short time. And not just that sprinting helps in boosting your cardio & fat burning.


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