Exercise! - Legs getting bigger???

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07-12-2010, 04:09 PM
I was alternating jogging days (with core work) and Jillian Michael's 30DS plus some pilates for several weeks. The last 2 weeks, I have only been able to run/jog outside & do basic core/arm work afterwards due to time restraints & being out of town.

I have noticed that my legs seem to be getting BIGGER. Both thighs & calves. Definitely not what I was hoping/expecting to see. I have increased my duration & distance with running significantly since I've been running every-other-day for a couple of weeks (fun to see that progress). However, I'm still only running 25-30 minutes, so definitely not a distance runner.

Suggestions? Is this possibly because of dropping the "circuit training" & Pilates? I'm going to have to give up outdoor running for the next couple of weeks for the most part as my husband is traveling & I can't take off and leave the kids (no jogging stroller). So, maybe I'll answer my own question as I go back into Jillian/Pilates mode :D.

Thanks for your advice.

07-12-2010, 04:14 PM
I've noticed the same thing since I've been trying to run on a regular basis. I wondered as well...I remember a friend of mine always groaning about how her thighs were prone to be bigger because of running and thinking that was silly, but I think she just might be right!

Shannon in ATL
07-12-2010, 04:28 PM
My thighs and calves have gotten bigger from the running and weight training as well. They are nice and shapely, though. :)

07-12-2010, 04:31 PM
Sometimes body parts get bigger before they get smaller. If you build up some muscle you might get larger legs or arms before you shed the fat layer on top. It is still sooooo worth it. Also pay attention to WHERE the widest part is. Flabby thighs tend to be widest at the upper thigh/saddlebag area. Toned thighs tend to be widest at the belly of the quadricep. Definitely sexier. I love when I find my tape measure lower on the thigh.

Overall my thighs do tend to be larger - I sometimes have trouble finding pants that fit well because my hips will be a size 4 and my quads a size 8. But it looks great in a dress or shorts. I will take it over noodle legs anytime.

Right now I am going through this with my arms. They are getting larger rather than smaller, but when that fat layer comes off they will be smokin'.

07-12-2010, 05:18 PM
Take measurements too- you might be slimming in other areas making it LOOK like your legs are getting bigger.

I did a 5 month challenge at work and lost 9 inches from all over my body but my thighs did not budge ONE INCH! My coworker who is an aerobics instructor as well said that it's probably just going to take more fat loss before I really see them start to shrink.

Keep it up- it's better to keep building the muscle for now and the fat will go away if you keep losing :)

07-14-2010, 01:42 PM
Your legs may just "look" larger due to the toned muscles starting to show... Maybe start measuring with a tape measure so you will know for sure.

07-15-2010, 12:59 PM
Thanks for all the replies. My comments are based on how my pants are fitting, not actual measurements. I do think, as someone pointed out, that the widening part is in the middle of the thigh, while the top part is looking leaner to me. I actually have a little bit of a space between my legs now if I am standing with feet at hip width, which I didn't have before. My calves seem to be getting larger, too - I notice my capris are getting "stuck" on my left calf, which is annoying.

I started working out in earnest in April, and have just started running more seriously/regularly and outdoors in the last month.

I do have this overall perception that my body is looking worse these days. I think it is because some parts are starting to tone up nicely, which makes the flabby parts a lot more noticable!! I'm especially conscious of the back of my arms (can you say "wings") when I wave and my belly/hips, which are permanently damage from birthing 2 kids 21 months apart in my mid/late 30s AND being woefully out of shape the entire time. Poor choice, but there you have it. Can't un-do that damage without surgery.

Anyway, I definitely think it is worth it & will NOT be halting my exercise anytime soon. I'll take my size 10s being snug in the legs over my 18W pants not fitting any day of the week!!! YEE HAW!! Keep on movin'!!


Thighs Be Gone
07-15-2010, 01:08 PM
I am also a runner but don't currently do weights. My legs have definitely gotten smaller. I do some resistance training usually in the pool.