Runners don’t tend to run for the sole purpose of getting abs, but a lot of them have amazing six-packs. If you want to get abs yourself, you may have thought about taking up running to carve out your midsection. But can running give you abs? The answer isn’t as simple as yes or no.
Running is a cardio exercise, but it does make your abs and other muscles stronger over time. There are many ways to run, including sprinting, long-distance, and leisurely jogging. In this article, we’ll tell you if running can give you abs, as well as what type of running is best for building your core.
What Does ‘Getting Abs’ Mean?
Everyone has abs, even if you can’t see them! The term ‘getting abs’ means reducing the amount of fat on your midsection to see the muscles beneath. It also involves strengthening those core muscles through resistance training.
Making your abs stronger isn’t just good for your looks. Training your abs can protect important muscles, like your back, thighs, and hips. It may not feel like it at the time, but running does train your abs. As you run, your body uses your core so that your joints are under less pressure.
This is good for your core, but what makes a difference is the actual running. Running is great cardio, and as long as you’re in a slight calorie deficit, you’ll burn some fat cells off of your middle.
However, it’s important to note that unless you have a procedure like liposuction, you cannot spot-reduce fat. Cardio can help you burn fat from all over the body (when in a calorie deficit), and when done consistently, you’ll see a difference in your abs.
How To Run To Build Abs
People run for many reasons, like becoming healthier or improving their mental health. However, these benefits come when they have been running consistently. Similarly, running isn’t a quick-fix method to build abs.
There are specific training styles that you can try, but you’ll have to train regularly to see results.
If you want to build your abs through running, you must run in a way that makes your abs stronger, and make sure that you’re burning fat at the same time.
A popular running technique that activates your core is speed running. An example of this is sprinting 100 meters 10 – 15 times, with a 30-second break in between each run. Don’t remain still during the break, try to walk slowly.
Hill climbs are another form of running that engages your core more than other forms. To do hill climbs, either choose one big hill to run upwards or a few smaller hills.
For the larger hill, run up the hill for a certain amount of time, then take a walking break. Try to run for longer with every workout.
For the smaller hills, run up the first hill without stopping. Once you’re at the top, walk down, then run up the next hill once you’re at the bottom. Make sure that you choose a time that is challenging, but not too difficult, especially if you’re a beginner.
Other than running, typical resistance training can make your core stronger. Try implementing exercises like squats, deadlifts, and rows. These are good for your abs, but they work your legs and back too, which will help you run easier.
What To Eat To Achieve Abs
Everyone’s heard the saying ‘abs are made in the kitchen.’ It’s frustrating to hear, but it’s true. You won’t get the abs you’re dreaming of if you don’t eat the right foods.
The workouts you’re doing will make them strong, but for them to become visible, you need to strip fat away from your middle. This means consuming protein-rich foods to build muscle, while being in a slight calorie deficit to remove fat.
How Much Protein Should Runners Eat?
Generally, sedentary people should eat around 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight each day. This averages out to 56 grams of protein for men, and 46 grams of protein for women.
However, if you’re working out hard and running regularly, you’ll need a greater amount of protein so you don’t lose muscle. People who run or lift weights regularly can increase their protein to 0.5 – 0.8 grams per pound of bodyweight.
Runners trying to get abs should eat proteins that contain essential amino acids. Opt for lean meat or plants rich in vitamins and nutrients. Some good foods to include in your diet are oily fish, eggs, tofu, and chicken breasts.
How To Get Rid of Body Fat?
You can work out your core all you like, but you’ll never see your abs unless you get rid of that top layer of fat. To get rid of body fat, you’ll have to burn more energy than you use. The best way to do this is through a calorie deficit.
Try to limit the number of refined carbohydrates and sugars that you eat. When you next choose your meal, include a protein source, some good fats, and lots of vegetables. Some people believe that you have to either cut fat or carbs out of your diet.
That isn’t true! Diets like low fat or keto work because the person dieting is in a calorie deficit.
Healthy fats and carbs can be a good part of our diet. Avocados and salmon are rich in omega-3s which are great for the heart. Whole grains like oats and rice have a lot of fiber that makes you feel full after eating.
Instead of cutting out whole food groups, try to reduce the overall amount of food you eat. If done correctly, your body fat will reduce, and you’ll see a difference in a few weeks.
Running is a great form of exercise that can help you reduce your body fat percentage. If you want to get abs, this is a great exercise to try. However, you must look at your diet to make sure that you’re in a calorie deficit.
Abs can’t be carved out overnight, so try to be consistent with your training, as results take time to achieve.