Ask the Personal Trainer: Stationary Bike For Building Big Legs?

Will exercising on a stationary bike tone and slim my legs or build big leg muscles?
TrainerAsk Personal Trainer

Q: Will exercising on a stationary bike help to tone and slim my legs, or will it build big leg muscles instead?

A: The stationary bike is a superb exercise modality for losing weight and improving fitness. If you're new to exercise, do not be alarmed if your legs get a little bit bigger at first. This is due, in part, to a small increase in muscle tissue, increased glycogen (stored carbohydrate) content, and perhaps some water bound to that glycogen.

Remember, muscle is your metabolic furnace so more of it will help you incinerate the fat. Over time, as you continue with your regimen and reduce the amount of stored body fat on your legs, you will see a drop in their overall girth.

Exercise and genetic factors also influence the size of your legs. Some people build muscle easier than others and there's not too much we can do about it. You can, however, control the intensity. Like lifting weights, riding the stationary bike at a very high workload for a short duration can also build leg muscles. Don't let any of this deter you from exercise, though. If you build muscle just by looking at exercise equipment, I suggest working out at a moderate intensity for longer durations.

In this Q&A series, William Sukala, MS, CSCS, answers questions about fitness and exercise. Read more articles from our personal trainer.

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