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Since cutting back on the running, I've noticed my thighs are smaller. This is a good thing, because they're tree trunks. My pants fit so much better, too.

Are there any non-running sports that will make my quads long & lean while I build my mileage back up?

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Cycling will help

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Cycling made my skinny little legs bigger. My Vastus Lateralis is disproportionate (I think) to the rest of my quad muscles now.

I think the elliptical machine would probably work well for lean legs.
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Cycling makes my legs bigger. Nothing makes my legs long and lean. My legs will always be tree trunks. But I'm ok with that. A little extra in them for the endurance events!
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Me too, I've always had big thighs, even when I was way thinner and lifting all the time, I think some people just have the tendency to build more muscle. Ever notice those little gymnasts and ice skaters have tree trunk thighs too?

Power yoga or Pilates, maybe--that's strength based but will give you a good overall toning which might help with the bulk. I kinda like having that powah though....hehehe
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I've always wondered how those skinny little Kenyan legs can push those runners so fast. And the only conclusion I have is it simply comes from weighing so little. Whether it's cycling or running, they both build quad muscles, but only in proportion to the load they need to move down the road. Can't say I've ever met a high-mileage small runner with huge quads or a high-mileage large runner with skinny quads. I'm convinced it has to do with the entire size of the runner.
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Well put.
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Interesting theory, jrjo, even if you did call me fat. I like genie have always had big legs, even when I was 108 lbs and anorexic, so I wonder. Here's another case: Demi Moore. "GI Jane" / "Striptease" days, big thick legs. Now, long & lean. Perhaps because she no longer runs or lifts?
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Demi Moore's legs aren't any longer now than they were back when she made those movies. Unless she's had some surgery to actually lengthen her legs. Her legs might also not be any leaner. Don't know, and wouldn't unless I was able to get BF% data from both of those times. Her legs might possibly have a smaller circumference now as opposed to then. Most probably due to lifting less weight. Higher weight/less reps tend to 'bulk up' one's musculature. Less weight/higher reps tend to 'tone up' one's musculature. But again, it all depends on what one has in their own genetic pool.
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<sigh> Thank you for pointing that out.
PH - I'll try the elliptical in my gym. Perhaps that will stretch and lengthen my quads making them appear less bulky.
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Wasn't sure if you knew the difference of the terms. And obviously, you don't.
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I have a question that might shed some light on all this....is it true (which I have heard) that running actually shortens your muscle fibers? I'm not sure if shorten is a literal term or whether what the person who said this was actually saying was, like lifting heavy weight, it caused them to add bulk, make the muscles denser, something like that? I seem to vaguely remember something from physiology class but I can't put my finger on what I'm getting at here. I know the answer to that was more stretching and yoga based activities which would counteract that, I think it was on some injury forum where someone was complaining about persistent hamstring injuries and the moderator said something about shortened muscles which resulted in decreased flexibility, thus propensity to injuries??

Mindy?? I know I'm prolly not making much sense but if you can figure out what I am trying to say....??
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I have a feeling that what you're trying to say Genie, is the same thing that elkid is trying to say.
The act of running, that repetitive motion of left, right, left, right... has a tendency to 'tighten' the musculature and connective tissue. Hence the stretching and yoga activities.
Folks have a tendency to combine terminology such as shorten for tight muscles, and lengthen for flexible/loose muscles. The actual length of the musculature doesn't change, just it's ability to move through it's range of motion. In other words, stretching your 13 inch hamstring muscle will not lengthen it to 13.5 inches.
A good example of this is my father. He's had back troubles since before I was born. He's also had two laminectomies. Because of the 40+ years of back pain, my dad doesn't move his head too much. He doesn't want it to hurt. So, in a neutral sitting position, my father can move his head to the right (like looking over his shoulder) to about 30o and to the left to about 15o.
Are my father's muscles short? No, but they are very, very tight.
Running also doesn't really add bulk to muscles (Read jrjo's post). Unless you're doing explosive running such as the 100 meters. And if you're doing that, you're probably also doing some type of explosive weight training.
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That's where I was going, I can't speak for elkid but that's how I interpreted what she was asking also. I think you hit it with the terminology thing, "tighten" fits better with what I was asking and I think it answers her question too (?) that's why I added flexibility, that's what I remember the tie-in was for yoga and stretching exercises. So the example with Demi, you could say her muscles are looser and possibly more flexible, which is why her legs look smaller, perhaps from not training so intensely? I know she was pretty into weight training at one point.
I guess, then, the weight training we are doing, if any of us are doing any, I know I am, should be more higher reps/lower weights than bulk hauling?
(I tend to be Ms. Ego in the gym and lift as much weight as my legs can handle, which for a girl is pretty heavy, so it's probably no wonder my quads pop when I get going on a program )
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I've always suggested to my clients/members that don't want to look like Arnold, to use lighter weights with higher reps. Making sure that the weight is heavy enough to make lifting it difficult for the last 2-3 reps, as opposed to halfway through the reps.
In this case, more isn't necessarily better.
And from what I've read/heard about Ms. Moore, she isn't doing the heavy weights that she was for those other movies, which is probably why her legs are smaller in circumference.
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