Can A Treadmill Build Leg Muscle?

Treadmill Running


By Simon Gould

What sort of leg muscles do you want? Do you want lean and toned leg muscles, or do you want big leg muscles like a bodybuilders. A treadmill can help with both as it's a versatile piece of equipment. I'll go through how you can achieve both and how the treadmill can help. First I'll explain how it can help you get lean and toned leg muscles.

How to get lean and toned leg muscles

These muscles are gained through aerobic exercise. This type of exercise activates the slow twitch muscle fibers. This means the leg muscle isn't going to get very big but is going to get lean and toned. A treadmill is perfect for this because you get it through endurance activities. So running a longer distance is what you need to do.

A marathon runners legs are full of slow muscle fibers and their legs and very lean and toned. Now that doesn't mean you need to cover a marathon. But running for 20 or 30 minutes is a very good start. You will are likely to lose weight doing this and your legs will look leaned and toned. If you're new to running then my couch to 5k routine is designed for the treadmill and for beginners.

How to get big leg muscles

Big leg muscles are gained through anaerobic exercise. This type of exercise activates the fast twitch muscle fibers. This will build leg muscles that look bigger and more defined. The shape of the muscles of the legs will be more pronounced. Primarily you will want to lift weighs with your legs and there are a few exercises that can do this.

Sprinters like Usain Bolt have many fast muscle fibers as they need that explosive sprint and you typically can't do this type of exercise for very long. Exercises will be squats, leg curls, leg extensions and calf raises. You go with the a heavy weight so you can only repeat the exercise 8 to 10 times and for 3 sets, 3 times per week. Over weeks of doing these exercises you will be able to do it with heavier weights.

A treadmill can help build leg muscles but you won't be doing endurance runs you will be doing sprints and other interval training. I have devised a sprint routine through that link. You may also want to try high intensity interval training. A combination of weight training and a treadmill workout will increase the size of all your leg muscles like the quads, hamstrings and calves.


If you're a female and you're worried about getting freakishly large muscles, you've no need to worry. Females don't produce enough testosterone for your muscles to get very large. To summarize you need to build endurance on a treadmill to really help you get lean and toned legs. Also lose weight if you need to which will help improve the shape of your legs especially round the hips and butt.

Big leg muscles require explosive and short exercises which will feel hard to do but the results will be rewarding. Which ever you want to do, remember an exercise routine is very beneficial to your health so stick at it and you will feel wonderful. The shape of your body and your confidence will vastly improve. It's really not that hard to do and shouldn't cost you too much either.

Thinking of buying a treadmill? See my top 3 recommended treadmills for 2021

Meet The Author

Simon Gould

I'm Simon Gould. I've been around treadmills my whole life. From running on them at an early age to working in treadmill dept's of national stores. I've run outside and I've run on treadmills and I prefer running on treadmills. I still run on one nearly every day and love it.

Follow Me

Facebook Twitter Instagram Linkedin

Popular Pages

1 Couch to 5k on a treadmill

2 Is it ok to run on a treadmill everyday?

3 What is a good treadmill speed?

4 Why do I run slower on a treadmill?

5 When will I see results from using a treadmill?