Does Running Train Abs

When it comes to training our abs, we often think of traditional exercises such as crunches and planks. However, many people wonder if running can also help strengthen and tone our abdominal muscles. As an avid runner myself, I have personally experienced the benefits that running can have on my abs. Let’s delve deeper into this topic and explore whether running can indeed train our abs.

The Connection Between Running and Abs

While it’s true that running primarily targets the lower body muscles, such as the quads, hamstrings, and calves, it also engages the core muscles, including the abs. When we run, our core muscles, including our abs, work to stabilize our torso and maintain proper form.

Think about it – every time you take a stride while running, you engage your abs to maintain balance and support your body. This constant engagement and activation of the abdominal muscles help to strengthen and tone them over time.

The Impact of Running on Abdominal Fat

Another factor to consider is the impact of running on abdominal fat. Running is a high-intensity cardiovascular exercise that can help burn calories and promote overall weight loss. When we engage in activities that burn calories, our body starts to use stored fat as a source of energy, which can ultimately lead to a reduction in body fat, including abdominal fat.

While spot reduction of fat is not possible through exercise alone, consistent running combined with a healthy diet can help reduce overall body fat percentage, including the stubborn fat around our abs. This can help reveal the underlying abdominal muscles and create a more defined look.

Maximizing Ab Engagement During Running

If you want to maximize the engagement of your abs while running, there are a few techniques you can try:

  1. Focus on maintaining proper posture: Keep your torso upright and engage your core muscles as you run. This will help ensure that your abs are actively involved.
  2. Engage your abs with each stride: Consciously activate your abs with each step you take. Imagine drawing your belly button towards your spine to engage your core.
  3. Incorporate hill and interval training: Running uphill and incorporating intervals can further challenge your abdominal muscles as they work to stabilize your body during these more intense efforts.

By implementing these techniques, you can enhance the engagement of your abs during your running sessions and further strengthen and tone them.


So, does running train abs? The answer is a resounding yes. While running primarily targets the lower body muscles, it also engages the core, including the abs. Moreover, the overall fat-burning and weight loss benefits of running can help reduce abdominal fat, revealing a more defined and toned midsection.

As you lace up your running shoes and hit the pavement, remember that running is not only beneficial for cardiovascular health and lower body strength but can also play a role in training your abs. So, embrace the benefits of running and enjoy the strengthening and toning effects it can have on your abdominal muscles.