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> How does running affect the abdominal muscles? 

How does running affect the abdominal muscles? 

Publish date 06.10.2022

You can read it in 8 minut

How does running affect the abdominal muscles? 

Many people who start their running adventure have only one goal in mind. To lose weight and have a wonderful, beautiful, and well-sculpted figure. Surely no one would disdain such a figure. However, it will not make itself. It is necessary to exercise and do various types of sports. In this article, I will focus on…. running. I know, I certainly surprised you 😉 

You’re probably running to lose fat in your stomach. It’s not only men who want to show off their six-pack, women also want to have a beautifully sculpted and muscular belly. And not just to look good in a swimsuit on a beach but also for their well-being and higher self-esteem. But…is running good for abdominal muscles?

In this article, you’ll learn, among other things: how running works your belly and whether you can grow a six-pack thanks to running. Here we go! 

Does the abdomen work at all while running?

What body part do you think of first when you hear the word ‘running’? Probably the legs. Yes, they indeed play the main role in this show, but you don’t have to forget the abdominal muscles. They have a very important role: 

  • Abdominal rectus – It is the one that keeps the silhouette upright, so it should be taut when running. 
  • Abdominal oblique muscles – are essential in competitive running. Working on them will help you achieve better times during training. These are the muscles that work intensely during a workout. 

It should also be mentioned that the abdomen is an incredibly complex structure, so it is worth learning about it. 

Does this mean that the abdominal muscles also get tired while running?

Of course, they do. They work with every step you take. All because they need to be tense and engaged in the workout. You should also know that the faster you run, the more you tire of them. 

You don’t think about working your abdominal muscles as much because other parts of your body hurt more after running, e.g. your thighs, and calves. You may not feel as much soreness on your abdomen as you do in your legs, but your abdominal muscles also work hard. 

Abdominal muscles – anatomy 

Learning about abdominal muscles should start with very basic information. A runner should know which muscles are involved in training and which ones to focus on. Let’s start with what muscles the abdomen consists of:

  • External oblique – Responsible for bending, twisting, tilting, and rotating the trunk
  • Internal oblique – It is responsible for twisting and tilting the trunk.
  • Rectus abdominis – flexes the trunk and supports pelvic movement and breathing
  • Transversus abdominis  – causes an increase in abdominal pressure and aids breathing
  • Pyramidalis – Its role is to tighten the linea alba.
  • Quadratus lumborum – It is responsible for the movement of the ribs and bending of the trunk.
Abdominal muscles - anatomy

Running and stomach – want beautiful abdominal muscles? Burn the fat first!

As you know in life nothing comes easy – nothing is for free. This also applies to the figure and sculpted abdominal muscles. To have outlined abdominal muscles you must first burn off excess fat. The length of its burning, of course, depends on how much of it is on your stomach – you can spend several weeks or even months burning fat. 

But does running burn stomach fat? Yes. In this case, the most important thing is to exercise regularly and not give up. You also need to remember to have a proper diet, because running and then eating sweets and fast food won’t do anything. 

However, remember not to overdo it. Take days off from running to recover. 

Running and the abdomen – working out the oblique muscles 

While running you are certainly not aware of it, but abdominal muscles work very hard. They are located on the side of the abdomen. When you run – moving left and right and additionally moving your arms – they start to engage in training. 

What is the result of training the oblique muscles? 

  • The silhouette will narrow.
  • You will get rid of love handles – I can’t even count how many times I have heard from my friends that they would like to get rid of them and that they are their nightmare. Now you know how to do it. 
  • You will develop a beautiful and shapely waistline.

Running = perfect abs? 

If we’re talking about abdominal muscles, you want them to create a beautiful six-pack. However, I have to disappoint you, because running will help outline it, but not sculpt it. 

If you want a six-pack you need to reach for weights to build up your abdominal muscles. However, you must remember that this doesn’t mean that running training won’t help you develop your dream figure. 

As you probably know yourself, from running no one looks like a bodybuilder, rather, the silhouette of a runner is slim. However, it helps sculpts the figure. In what way? You’re about to find out. Read on! 

Abdominal muscles - does running helps?

How different types of running affect abdominal muscles

Sprinting 

As I mentioned earlier, the abdominal muscles work the hardest when you run fast. Your legs need to take longer strides. That’s why they work hard while sprinting and get stronger at the same time. 

Running uphills 

Running uphills certainly tires you more than running on flat terrain. However, it gives you a chance to strengthen and work out your abdominal muscles. During such runs, however, you must be careful not to fall over. Remember that safety is the most important thing. 

Running up and down the stairs

Don’t have any hills nearby? Do you live in the city and find them hard to find? If so, take advantage of the stairs, of which there are certainly plenty. Remember that running upstairs is meant to add variety to your workout. You can run on flat ground first and then use the stairs. 

Running with a load 

If you are a more experienced runner, then you can use weights while running. Weights for arms, legs, or a vest. With them, you can do shorter distances. However, you must remember to maintain the right training intensity, rhythm, and technique.

Running on the sand 

Do you live near the beach? How about running on the sand? It is an uneven terrain that makes your muscles have to work harder. It will have a positive effect on sculpting the abdominal muscles.  

Want to have sculpted abdominal muscles? Make sure you get the right exercises 

Did you choose running to lose fat in your stomach? Good, but you must remember about additional exercises. Exercising your abdominal muscles not only makes you have a beautiful figure but also, will make you run faster and longer. Besides, working out abdominal muscles protects your spine from the strain of exercise. That’s why it’s worth working on your abdomen even if your physique is not your priority. 

What running exercises are worth doing to strengthen and sculpt the abdominal muscles? A bicycle will be good, and you can use a pull-up bar. Also, do some sit-ups, and some tummy tucks. If you want to learn more about abdominal muscle exercises click HERE

Abdominal muscles - what exercises to do?

How often can a runner train the abdomen? 

Because the abdomen recovers quickly, it can be trained up to 3-5 times a week. This part of our body does not need much. After running, you can spend about 15-20 minutes doing exercises that will strengthen and sculpt your abdominal muscles. Do several repetitions of the exercise. Also, remember to change them so that your body doesn’t get used to the exercises you do and so that your workout is not monotonous. 

Lose body fat and sculpt a six-pack – the right diet

As you probably know, nothing will work without a proper diet. Runners know this, but still, it is often difficult for them to give up or limit certain meals. The worst thing you can do is to reward yourself for training. In what way? 

I ran 5 km today, I think I deserve a donut and a Coke“. 

No, it is precisely this attitude that makes you achieve very little or nothing with exercise. Then many people are surprised that their training accomplishes nothing. Training goes hand in hand with a proper diet, without it, you won’t accomplish anything. 

For your abdominal muscles to show, you must first burn fat. 

How many calories do I burn during an hour of running?

Even a slow jog burns calories. However, it is estimated that an hour of jogging can burn 400 to 600 kcal. 

What to eat?

If you want to run and have beautiful abdominal muscles you should also increase the amount of protein in your diet – eat about 1.8-2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. It is believed that if you want to have a beautifully sculpted abdomen, you should consume protein in almost every meal. Choose good quality protein – lean from plant and animal foods.

You also need to make sure your meals have the vitamins and minerals your body needs. Also, remember to eat products that contain fiber. It is the fiber that makes the leftovers from the intestine removed so that the abdomen is not bloated. 

Moreover, you should eliminate from your diet products that contain simple sugars. If you want to have a flat belly you should avoid such products as others: rice, pasta, and white bread.

Remember: However, the most important thing is to drink plenty of water and hydrate your body. Drink at least 2 liters of water every day. 

Eating - abdominal muscles

Slim people vs. running 

I have a flat belly, I don’t need to burn body fat. What then will running give me?

I must tell you that if you are a slim person, running will give you a great deal. 

  1. If you don’t have excessive belly fat then perfectly sculpted and outlined muscles will appear faster. 
  2. You will strengthen your physique 
  3. You will gain some muscularity – add exercise to your workout and eat enough to have a small caloric surplus.

Alternative disciplines to complement running – abdominal muscles  

It is not running alone that man lives. There are many other sports. Some of them also help to sculpt the abdominal muscles. Here are some of them: 

  • fitness,
  • cycling,
  • swimming, 
  • combat sports,
  • tennis.

Is running good for abdominal muscles? Does running burn stomach fat? As you can see, yes! Running helps get rid of body fat and strengthens abdominal muscles. Therefore, also add exercise to your running today and introduce a proper diet. What results you get is up to you! 

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