Can Running Get You Abs

As a running enthusiast, I am often asked if running can help you achieve those coveted six-pack abs. The short answer is yes, but it’s not as simple as just hitting the pavement and expecting a washboard midsection to magically appear. Let’s delve into the specifics and explore how running can contribute to developing abs.

The Role of Body Fat

One of the key factors in obtaining visible abs is reducing body fat percentage. Regardless of how strong your abdominal muscles are, if they are covered by a layer of fat, they won’t be visible. Running is an excellent cardiovascular exercise that can help burn calories and reduce overall body fat.

When you engage in high-intensity running workouts, such as interval training or tempo runs, your body starts utilizing stored fat as fuel. Over time, this can lead to a decrease in body fat percentage, eventually revealing the underlying muscle definition, including your abs.

Engaging the Core

Running not only helps burn calories but also engages your core muscles. During each stride, your core muscles, including your abs, obliques, and lower back, work together to stabilize your body and maintain proper form.

To maximize the engagement of your core muscles while running, it’s important to maintain an upright posture and engage your abdominal muscles consciously. Focus on pulling your belly button towards your spine and activating your deep core muscles throughout your run. This will not only improve your running form but also strengthen and tone your abs over time.

Building Strong Abdominal Muscles

While running can help reduce body fat and engage the core, it’s important to note that running alone may not provide enough resistance to build significant abdominal muscles. If your goal is to develop well-defined abs, incorporating additional exercises specifically targeting the abdominal muscles is crucial.

Exercises such as planks, crunches, Russian twists, and leg raises can complement your running routine and help strengthen your abs further. By combining running with targeted strength-training exercises, you can achieve a well-rounded approach to sculpting your abs.

The Importance of Nutrition

It’s important to acknowledge that no matter how much running or ab exercises you do, if your nutrition isn’t on point, your ab muscles won’t be as visible. A diet rich in nutrient-dense foods and balanced macronutrients is key to reducing body fat and revealing your abs.

Focus on consuming lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats. Avoid processed foods, sugary drinks, and excessive alcohol consumption. Remember, abs are made in the kitchen.


So, can running get you abs? Yes, it can contribute to developing visible abs by reducing body fat and engaging the core muscles. However, it’s important to remember that running alone may not be sufficient to build significant abdominal muscles. Incorporating targeted ab exercises and maintaining a healthy diet are essential components of achieving well-defined abs. So lace up your running shoes, hit the road, combine it with a balanced fitness routine, and watch your abs emerge!