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The current pandemic situation has changed our exercise habits in just a matter of weeks, making walking and cycling the most accessible and popular exercises. Getting out walking or cycling helps us torch calories, get our heart pumping, and exercise our legs and abs.
However, is walking or cycling better for toning thighs? Both cycling and walking are excellent leg workouts; they are simple, accessible, and cost-effective ways of being active. In addition, you can tone your thighs both by cycling and walking. However, your legs become more muscular and toned with high-intensity exercises. They use nearly all of your muscles.
But, when biking, you are really exercising your glutes and quadriceps, including muscles in the lower legs, if clipped into the pedals). Practice cycling enough, and you will tone your lower body.
Read on to find out whether walking or cycling which one is better for toning thighs.
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Is Walking or Cycling Better For Toning Thighs?
To answer the question, is walking or cycling better for toning thighs? The exercise that you will enjoy the most will be the one that will be better for toning your thighs. When you enjoy an activity, you will be most likely to practice it more often, even if you don’t feel like doing anything. Additionally, both walking and cycling are great and worth doing.
Also, it varies between individuals. As for me, I love walking, and I can spend hours walking and not feel like I want to quit. So pick the exercise you like, and you will be more motivated to improve and more likely to stick with it for the long term.
Whichever exercise you can do for the most extended period at the highest sustained rate of intensity is the best for you. In other words, the activity you can do at a high exertion rate for that long is the best for toning your legs. Toning your thighs is all about staying active and participating in physical activities you enjoy doing. If you hate a particular workout, you will not stick with it.
And also, clean up your diet because the majority of your body composition happens in the kitchen. Then consider what forms of activity to add for overall fitness.
Research shows that balanced calorie intake and exercise will keep your heart and brain health. The researchers concluded that diet, exercise, and other aspects of our daily interaction with the environment could alter our brain health and mental function.
Running helps our appetite hormones better than walking, according to a study. For example, after running or walking, participants were invited to a buffet; people who walked ate 50 calories more than they already had burned, and people who ran consumed 200 calories more than they had burned. Runners also showed higher levels of the hormone peptide YY, which may help suppress appetite.
See also: Cycling or Running for Belly Fat
Is Cycling Better for Toning Thighs?
Cycling is best for weight loss because it is not load-bearing meaning fewer impact injuries, and you are more likely to stick at it helping you stay consistent. Most of your leg muscles work when you are cycling, and it is one of the best aerobic exercises for the legs. It helps in burning a lot of calories which in turn helps in losing thigh fat.
One thing you will probably see is the extra fat you might have on the legs will begin to disappear, and the muscle definition will begin to show. Also, if you are a large cyclist and rely on your strength, some muscles will become more defined and perhaps a bit larger.
Also, cycling may help you lose weight overall, including the thigh area. It is one of the best aerobic exercises that strengthen and develop leg joints and muscles.
Riding a stationary bike or an exercise bike is an effective way to get in shape when the weather isn’t conducive to riding your bicycle outdoors. Because you are using your lower body to pedal the bike, cycling is beneficial to your buttocks and legs.
In addition, cycling with a higher intensity will help you build muscle in the calves, quads, and glutes. Another benefit of cycling is that you can switch from aerobic to strength training without changing sports equipment.
- For aerobics, select a lower gear for a higher cadence to get your heart rate up.
- For strength training, select a higher gear and an uphill terrain and press it.
If you want to increase your calorie burn and blast fat overall, including your thighs, do interval training on your exercise bike.
For instance, you can ride at an average pace for two to three minutes, followed by 30 to 60 seconds of faster pedaling. Continue to alternate between intervals for the entire workout. End with a five- to 10-minute cool-down.
As you can see in the table below, the amount of calories you burn depends on your cycling intensity and your body weight.
Calories Burned in 30-minute of Cycling
|Cycling||125-pound (56.70 Kg) person||155-pound (70.31 Kg) person||185-pound (83.92 Kg) person|
|Bicycling, Stationary: Moderate||210||252||294|
|Bicycling, Stationary: vigorous||315||278|
Benefits of Toning Thighs Cycling
- Cycling is easy on your joints: Since the saddle carries most of your body weight, biking is a particularly joint-friendly exercise compared to running, where a multiple of your weight presses on the joints with every step.
- Cardiovascular training: Like all endurance sports, toning thighs with cycling offers you many health benefits. You train your cardiovascular system and increase your lung volume and heart muscles. You will also improve your muscle coordination.
- Integration in everyday life: You do not have to mainly take time for your bike because you can easily replace your car, Subway, or bus ride with cycling. And also, you are doing something good for yourself and the environment. Isn’t that cool?
- You can cycle outdoors or on a stationary bike at home or the gym: The number of calories you burn depends on your current weight and the amount of time you spend exercising. On average, an hour of vigorous cycling will burn 679 calories for a 130-pound individual.
- Check out this article for further benefits of cycling: 18 Amazing Benefits Of Using An Exercise Bike
See also: Benefits of Exercise Bike Versus Treadmill – Which One Is Best for You?
Cycling Tips for Effectively Toning Thighs
- Drink enough water: hydration is essential for every sport, particularly for cycling, because you will be sweating a lot while cycling.
- Cycling gloves: cycling gloves can prevent blisters from forming on your hands, especially at the beginning.
- Wear proper cycling clothing: Especially when cycling outdoors; it is crucial to wear breathable clothing; otherwise, you might quickly catch a cold.
- Rest days are just as important as the training itself: do not forget to take sufficient time for recovery during your training plan.
- Use fitness tracker: Use a fitness tracker to keep you motivated to crack personal bests records or set new distance records.
- Distraction: When cycling at home, I recommend listening to a fitness podcast, audiobook, or your favorite series to keep you focused and motivated while cycling.
See also: 9 Amazing Tips On How To Start Running Again
Is Walking Better for Toning Thighs?
Toning your thighs is all about creating a calorie deficit by burning more calories than you consume. And walking can help you burn calories, so it can positively help contribute toward a calorie deficit. In addition, since you are exercising your legs while walking, you will shape and tone your legs’ muscles, helping to tone your thighs.
Walking is a healthy and fantastic way to lose weight and tone your thighs, and it is the easiest way to get active and burn excess calories. Walking is one of the most accessible aerobic workouts out there; however, that doesn’t mean it’s not effective at helping you tone your thighs. And walking is one of the best low-impact aerobic exercises for beginners, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The general suggestion is you start walking 1– 1.5 miles daily in the morning or evening (as you prefer). Like cycling, the calories you burn depend on your walking intensity and body weight.
Calories Burned in 30-minute of Walking
|Walking||125-pound (56.70 Kg) person||155-pound (70.31 Kg) person||185-pound (83.92 Kg) person|
|Walking: 3.5 mph (17 min/mi)||107||133||159|
|Walking: 4 mph (15 min/mi)||135||175||189|
|Walk/Jog: jog <10 min.||180||216||252|
Benefits of Walking
- Help improve overall cardiovascular health: 150 minutes per week of moderate workout can help improve overall cardiovascular health, according to the American Heart Association. Aerobic exercises, including brisk walking, are advantageous to your heart health and help lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
- May serve as a predictor of decreased mortality: Being fit enough to walk briskly, about 100 or more steps per minute, may serve as a predictor of reduced mortality, according to the Journal of General Internal Medicine.
- Cognitive enhancer: Individuals who went on regular brisk walks completed cognitive tasks better than individuals who did not regularly walk, found in a 2017 PeerJ study.
See also: 17 Benefits of Running In The Morning – Science-Based
Walking Tips for Effectively Toning Thighs
To get the benefits of walking, aim to walk 30 minutes, and here are a few tips to incorporate a walk into your day and reap all these benefits:
- Make walking a part of your daily routine, either solo, walking your dog, or with a workout buddy.
- Try to walk whenever possible, including walking to your workplace. If your workplace is too far away, Harvard Health Publishing suggests walking to the subway, train, or bus station or parking a few blocks away from your office.
- Take a brisk walk during your lunch break. It will also help you be more productive and feel relaxed when you sit down at your desk again.
- Whenever you can, try to get in 30 minutes of walking a day. Use a fitness tracker to motivate yourself and track your steps.
- To ensure your walk qualifies as a brisk walk instead of just a leisurely stroll:
- Concentrate on your form.
- Take deliberate strides and look straight ahead.
- Use arm motions and lightly swing your arms back and forth.
- Monitor your breathing to tell whether you are walking briskly. For instance, if you can speak but can’t sing, you are on a brisk walk.
See also: Cycling or Running for Belly Fat
Both cycling and walking are excellent for weight loss and toning your legs. So choose whatever activities you find more appealing or whatever is fun for you. Remember, exercising alone is beneficial.
Walking is excellent for an overall body workout because you are utilizing almost your entire body, a good cardio workout, and easy joints.
Cycling, while an excellent cardio exercise, will target specific muscle groups, including your Quadriceps femoris (thighs), Semitendinosus, Semimembranosus, and Biceps femurs (hamstrings), Gluteus Maximus (butt/bum), and your Gastrocnemius (calves).
Regularly cycling will help build up the lower limbs’ muscles and trim down excess fat from the thighs. Exercise, though, will not help much with weight loss and toning your legs. Instead, it is the quality and quantity of food you consume which is essential.
If you want to tone your legs and thighs, you need to change your diet, eat low-fat food and be in a caloric deficit. Combined with regular exercise, you can alter your body shape.