An Honest Advice: Does Walking Tone Your Legs More Than Running?

muscles which walking tone

Does walking tone your legs more than running?

How can you get toned leg muscles by walking or running?

It has always been a big debate among people looking to lose weight or tone their legs.

Don’t worry your search ends here!

Walking is a very simple and effective form of exercise and is inexpensive, it does work your whole body muscles and helps in toning.

It is also very easy to perform than running, as people from all age groups can do it, walking is also a great aerobic exercise which is great for overall health.

It all boils down to what you are comfortable doing!

In this article, you will understand

  • The benefits of walking
  • How it strengthens your leg muscles,
  • Difference between running & walking
  • And is it really better than running?

Well, let’s dive right in…

Walking as an Exercise

Walking is a great cardiovascular exercise that is considered Great for your heart, lungs, and leg muscles.

It also helps in weight loss and burns calories in a lot easier way than many other workouts.

Walking helps in improving your lung capacity, the heart pumps a maximum amount of oxygen to all parts of your body.

Daily 30-40 minutes of walking is great for your health and reduces the chance of many life-threatening diseases like diabetes, heart stroke, etc.

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  • Great exercise for weight loss.
  • Helps in toning your legs and abdominal muscles.
  • It burns more calories than many other workouts.
  • All age groups people can easily perform it consistently.
  • Walking minimizes Diabetes type-2, stroke, depression, heart diseases, and some cancer.
  • Strengthens your leg, hamstrings, quad, and core muscles.


  • Only walking is not sufficient to tone your legs.
  • It can be boring performing it consistently.
  • People easily give up walking, because it takes time to give results.

Related: Walking plan to lose weight naturally!

Now, check out some different walking forms…

Different Types Of Walking

Walking has many different forms, which helps in making it exciting to perform regularly. These variations in walking maximize your weight loss or help in toning your legs. 

Let’s see different types of walking

  1. Brisk walking
  2. Power walking
  3. Race walking
  4. CHI walking
  5. Marathon walking

Related: How long does it take to walk 3 miles?

These different types of walking are important for weight loss and toning your leg muscles as well. If you are a beginner start with Brisk walking and you will soon realize the changes in your body.

The next section explores the difference between walking and running.

Related: Is it possible to reduce thigh size by walking?

Walking vs. Running

walking vs. running

Running and walking both are different in working, but give the same kind of result, running is a slightly more advanced form and it uses maximum body strength than walking.

The amount of calories burned is high in running as compared to walking for the same duration. For 30 minutes of running approx 550-600 calories will burn, but in walking only 300 calories will burn.

Does walking tone your legs more than running? this question still affects what you choose for leg muscles, after reading this article your confusion will go away, so keep reading.

That’s why it is more effective, but walking has certain advantages over running.

Related: Effects of walking empty stomach in the morning!

# Continue reading to find out What Muscles Does Walking Tone in the coming section…

Find out yourself…

  • Older people find walking comparatively easier to perform than running.
  • Running burns more calories than walking in a very short time.
  • It’s much easier for obese people to walk than to run.
  • Running can cause serious injury or strain in your joint muscles.
  • Walking can be boring for many, and it takes more time to lose weight or tone your leg muscles.
  • Running also helps in toning your legs and abdominal muscles in a short time.
  • Most people also find running a very tedious process and prefer walking.

Stair climbing is also helpful in toning leg muscles, see in the next section…

Related: Can you build muscles by walking uphill?

Walking vs. Stair Climbing

Walking and stair-climbing both are beneficial for health and fitness. Stair climbing requires you to pull your body against gravity and this helps to burn more calories, reduce fat, and tone leg muscles in a comparatively shorter period than walking.

Stair climbing is an advanced form of walking, but if you are suffering from a knee injury, it will be difficult for you to climb stairs.

Walking builds overall body muscles and stair climbing also targets leg muscles like thighs, joints, calves, hamstrings, and quads.

Climbing stairs for 15 minutes daily will burn around 300-400 calories easily, but walking will take 30-45 minutes.

Stair-climbing really benefits obese people who are not able to work out daily, as they can do 20 minutes of climbing daily. You can see the difference between these two, it is advisable for you to choose what you are comfortable doing regularly.

But stair-climbing also helps to tone leg muscles, just like walking. According to WHO the benefits of walking 9k-10k steps daily are immense for the longevity of your life.

It reduces the chances of several life-threatening diseases like diabetes, and High-B.P, and lowers cholesterol levels. 

One other exercise i.e Jumping rope is helpful for leg muscles, go find out in the coming section…

Related: Is it possible to strengthen leg muscles by walking?

Walking vs. Jumping Rope

Jumping rope definitely burns more calories in less time than walking and it is very convenient to perform at home or anywhere, you just need a good rope.

But you can’t perform only jumping rope exercises to lose weight or tone leg muscles. It can become very boring and doing only one type of exercise is not going to help our bodies.

Your body needs different types of exercises to strengthen all the muscles. Jumping rope is also a great warm-up exercise, 10 minutes of jumping rope is equivalent to 40 minutes of brisk walking.

Though walking has many variations and is also considered easy for all age groups. Walking does take time to tone leg muscles, but its effects are long-lasting on our body muscles.

Walking comes naturally to anyone, so it’s fairly easy to do it regularly, and it does tone leg muscles a little slowly but you can achieve it. Find out what muscles do walking tone, in the next section.

Related: Tone your legs by walking 5 miles a day!

What Muscles Does Walking Tone

power walking

Weight-loss exercises are not very different from normal exercise, if you are looking for one special exercise which will tone or build only one specific body part, that’s not possible.

As any exercise works a number of different muscles, as walking works on most of the body muscles. It is the best form of exercise to reduce body fat, tone leg muscles or improve your lungs, and reduce the chances of diabetes or cancer-related diseases.

Walking targets hamstrings, calves, glutes, and quadriceps muscles, these are very important muscles in the lower body.

They help in strengthening the lower body part, especially the leg, joints, and thigh muscles. It also focuses on external-internal adductors in the thighs and spinal, and abdominal muscles.

You have to focus on only the process here to get the desired result, walking helps if you are staying consistent and walking 6 times a week, to get the maximum result.

Power walking helps to work shoulders and arm muscles if you are walking for a long period.

Then you can try different forms of walking to make this exercise more interesting and you won’t get bored by simply walking daily. Running also works on your leg muscles, check that out in the following section.

Aren’t you excited!

Related: Is walking around the house good exercise?

Muscles Which Running Tone

Running basically focuses on leg muscles and improves your lungs and increases breathing capacity.

  • It helps in toning hamstrings, calves, quad, abdominal, back, and shin muscles.
  • Running improves your lower back and strengthens your spine, which improves your posture.
  • This exercise helps to reduce the chances of diabetes, lowers cholesterol levels, and lowers blood pressure.
  • Running for 40-45 minutes daily burns around 650 calories per day.

If you are consistent and have maintained your routine for a long period, you will build strong and toned leg muscles.

Related: Benefits of walking 30 minutes every day!

Does Walking Build Muscle In Legs

Just like any other exercise walking also helps in building, strengthening, and toning your leg muscles. Regular walking not only builds strong legs but also burns more calories which reduce fat level.

  • Building leg muscles is not very easy because it takes time and lots of exercises to really build them.
  • Walking gives shape and builds muscles of legs, hips, thighs, buttocks, etc.
  • In walking the core work is performed by leg muscles, but this is similar in running also.
  • Running burns more calories in a very short time compared to walking and tones leg muscles also very fast, but running is not for everyone, a guy over 45 or about 50 years old will find running difficult.
  • For him walking is more convenient and can also give him the same result but it will require more time. That’s the main difference in toning leg muscles between walking and running.

Walking and running build slow-twitch muscle fibers that help in building lean and long muscles in the body. In the next section find out does walking tones inner thighs…

Also See:

Does Walking Tone Your Inner Thighs

The inner thighs are the first area where lots of fats are stored and created. Walking basically works your glutes, quadriceps, glutes, calves, and hamstrings.

  • The inner muscles are not easy to work with unless you play different types of sports like tennis or volleyball.
  • It takes a lot of effort to tone inner thighs, walking daily for 40 minutes at 2-2.5 mph will burn around 250 calories.
  • To tone the inner thighs you need a regular and strict diet plan.
  • The inner thigh muscles are called Adductors, these muscles mainly adduct the thighs at the hip joint and help in the rotation, and flexion of the thighs.
  • There are different exercises that also help tone inner thighs like lateral leg lifts or lunges. Stair climbing also helps tone inner thighs which is also a great cardio workout for weight-loss also.

Walking surely helps to make your thighs bigger, check out in the next section…

Related: The effect of daily walking on your health!

Does Walking Make Your Thighs Bigger

Does Walking Make Your Thighs Bigger

Getting bigger thighs is not easy especially if you are trying with walking, the muscles in the thighs are very hard to work. Thighs have three strong muscles: hamstrings(in the back thigh), quadriceps(in the front thigh), and adductor(inside) muscles.

  • Quadriceps and hamstrings work to bend and straighten the leg, these are very important parts of thigh muscles.
  • Making strong and bigger thighs requires working these three muscles regularly, walking makes these muscles strong but it can take a long time to build big thighs.
  • Running or stairs climbing will burn more fat from the thigh and will help in toning thigh muscles.
  • Walking reduces the excess fat from the thighs and makes them stronger and toned, it helps to reduce the size of the thighs muscles.

You can choose between what suits your body and workout according to it, if you think walking is suitable for you then just go for it, don’t look back. Supplement your workout with a healthy diet to tone your thighs, and make them bigger & stronger.

Walking works well on your overall body as well, but does it also targets your bum? let’s find out…

Related: How walking can ease knee pain-Tips & Exercises

Does Walking Tone Legs and Bum

Walking at moderate to Brisk speed daily for 40 minutes will help tone thighs, firm-up bum, and reduce fat from the waist area. Running also does the same thing though it tones these muscles much faster compared to walking.

  • Running for 30-40 minutes daily at moderate speed burns around 550-600 calories which is a lot in terms of calories burnt.
  • But if you are over 45, it will be difficult for you to run daily, that’s why walking is the best alternative to tone leg muscles.
  • Most athletes are looking for exercises that help to tone leg muscles.

But if you are really passionate about your health and body, walking can be a great way to build muscles, tone the whole body, and improve your fitness level in the long run.

Still confused! what’s better for you, then find out my thoughts on what is better for you…

Which One Is Better For You

As you have got a fair idea about which is better for you as both running and walking give help tone and build your leg muscles.

Now, you have to decide which one suits your fitness standard and work accordingly on it. If you ask me, I find walking much easier and a natural exercise that can be performed anywhere at any time, which means a lot of working guys can easily start it and achieve the tone legs.

But many of you will argue that running is also very easy for you guys, but hey! not everyone is young and physically adept to start running and perform it daily. So there is a physical fitness issue regarding running, as if someone has a knee injury or a problem in their ankle, they will find running hard.

But it does tone leg muscles faster than walking which takes time but it never creates any load or impact on your joints and ankles like running does.

Many also consider walking not helpful or it does not create an impact like running does, so they try some different exercises like running, weight-lifting, etc.

But when they fail to get any result in all those workouts, they revert back to walking, The ultimate natural workout for any living person!

Does walking marathons tone your legs?

Marathons are a popular way for runners to challenge themselves and achieve their fitness goals.

Running a marathon requires a lot of training, dedication, and hard work.

However, it is also an excellent way to tone your legs and improve your overall health.

The intense and prolonged physical activity involved in marathon training can help you shed fat, build muscle, and improve your cardiovascular fitness.


For runners, proper training is crucial to achieving their desired results.

Training for a marathon involves gradually increasing the distance and intensity of your runs over a period of several months.

This helps to build endurance, improve muscle tone, and prepare the body for the demands of a full marathon.

By following a structured training program, runners can also reduce their risk of injury and ensure that they are fully prepared for race day.

Running can be more effective

While some people may be more interested in walking as a form of exercise, it is worth noting that running can be a more effective way to burn fat and tone your legs.

On the other hand, walking is an excellent form of cardiovascular exercise and can help to improve your overall health, it is not as intensive as running.

Running requires more energy and effort from the body, which can lead to a higher calorie burn and more significant improvements in muscle tone.

However, it’s essential to find a form of exercise that you enjoy and can do consistently to achieve your fitness goals.

The Bottomline 

I hope you have found your answer to your problem i.e Does walking tone your leg more than running?

For those who want to tone their legs and achieve their fitness goals, marathon training can be an excellent way to achieve those goals.

With proper training and dedication, runners can shed fat, build muscle, and improve their overall health.

While walking is an effective form of exercise, it may not be as intensive as running and may not produce the same results as marathon training.

Ultimately, the key to success is finding an exercise routine that works for you and sticking to it consistently.

“ The power of strong Will and hard work Only emerges when you are down and out, “ When Nobody expected that from You.“

If you know of any more leg-toning exercises that you prefer, or if you have any suggestions, please share them with me in the comments section below.


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