Different kinds of exercise have different effects on your body. Weight lifting will strengthen and tone your arms, cycling will increase the muscle growth in your thighs, but what effect does running have?
If you’re running simply to improve your overall health or perhaps to train for a marathon or something similar, then you might not be too worried about the changes that running might have on your body. However, if you have a perfectly sculpted body in mind then you need to know what to expect from your daily runs.
How Does Running Affect Your Body?
Running is a fantastic exercise that engages practically your entire body. There are so many health benefits to a regular jog that it’s no wonder that so many people consider it a must on their daily to-do list.
Running can help you lose weight, strengthen your muscles, and even prevent the occurrence of certain diseases such as metabolic syndrome, type-2 diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. Running can also reinforce your immune response, therefore boosting your immune system because it basically gets your body working overtime.
The release of endorphins and other chemicals that occurs when you take yourself for a run can also significantly improve your sleep habits, as well as reduce symptoms of depression and other mental health challenges – not cure them by any means of course, but possibly alleviate some of the symptoms.
Studies have also shown that running can increase blood flow to the part of your brain known as the hippocampus, which could improve your mental faculties, as well as your memory and ability to learn.
It’s good to know about these effects, especially if you, like so many others, need a bit of encouragement to get yourself out of the door. But what about the physical changes that you might see in your body?
To understand the ways that running will affect the tone and look of your body, we need to understand what muscles are getting used. So with that in mind, let’s go over them now. Think about all the parts of your body that are moving and working when you set off on a good run.
Your legs are going to be doing the majority of the work, with your arms mostly there for coordination and balance, whilst your core keeps you upright and steady.
The parts of your legs that are working to propel you forward as you run are the quads, hamstrings, and calf muscles. Running with good form will build muscle in these areas, as well as tone them. As these get stronger you’ll find yourself able to run or walk faster, and for longer distances.
Your upper arm muscles will also strengthen and tone, though at a much lower rate than your legs because, as mentioned above, they’re only really helping with coordination, rather than doing any heavy lifting.
You may also feel your abs getting tighter, as your core keeps you strong and stable, and if you’re engaging it when you run you’ll see and feel the benefits.
Finally, all three butt muscles are being moved and toned as you run. These muscles are the gluteus maximus (which happens to be the strongest, largest muscle on your whole body) the gluteus medius, and the gluteus minimus. Yes, all of your glutes get a decent workout when you start running, which leads to them getting toned.
So Running Tones Your Butt, but Does it Make it Bigger?
The answer is, unfortunately, a little more complicated than simply yes or no. There are so many different techniques when it comes to running, and each is going to have a different effect on your body and what muscles grow and which ones don’t.
So for example, if you train for long distances on a treadmill (on a flat incline) then you could actually end up burning too much fat on your butt without growing enough muscle, which could lead to your peach getting smaller!
If this is the goal then fantastic, but if you happen to have been hoping to give the Kardashians a run for their money, then this could be a real nightmare!
But fear not! There are still ways that you can engage your hamstrings and butt muscles enough in a way that will make your butt bigger.
The best way to get the desired effect from running is from either using the incline feature on the treadmill or actually running up hills outdoors. If there are no hills available you could also practice running up some stairs.
As well as hells, you could also try explosive training like sprints. If your goal is a bigger butt then you want to try and fit as many short sprints into your workout as possible.
This is because when you run very quickly in short intervals, your muscles alternate between flexing and relaxing, which promotes their development and increases the volume of your muscles.
Finally, you could try running on sand as it increases the resistance and therefore doubles the amount of work that your muscles are having to put in. Running on a beach, or with ankle weights can perk up your butt whilst also strengthening your entire body.
There is a crazy amount of health benefits that you can significantly improve your body if you can actually bring yourself to get up and go. But the struggle will really be worth it to see the improvements to your brain and body. That includes your butt.
Although you do have to have your goals in mind for when you start designing your workout. If you want to shrink your butt then you want to train for long, slow runs.
If you’re wanting to make your butt bigger then you need to increase the resistance, either by running uphill, sprinting, or running on sand/with weights.