Can Running Give You Abs? The Real Truth Behind Getting A 6 Pack!


Have you ever wondered “can running give you abs?” Sadly, on its own, running won’t give you amazing abs, but running does contribute toward great-looking abs, and it’s an excellent way to start building them. Combine running with other exercise and good nutrition, and you’ll be well on the way to having a six-pack to envy.

Is Nutrition More Important To Building Abs Than Running?

There isn’t a super simple answer to this question, but nutrition is definitely key to building up your abs. If you don’t eat well, your abdominal muscles will not be visible even if you do a lot of exercises, because they’ll be hidden beneath a layer of fat.

It is much easier to lose weight by eating well than it is to shed it by exercising hard. You can gain far more weight in a few minutes than you can lose, even with really intense workouts. That means that no matter how much you hit the gym, what you consume also makes a big difference to how fit you are.

Therefore, nutrition is a crucial part of building your abs. Eating well will cut down on stomach fat and make your abdominal muscles that much more visible.

What Causes You To Have Well-Defined Ab Muscles?

Ab definition is a combination of a slender midsection and strong core muscles. In order to get well-defined abs, you need to be combining working out with healthy eating. Your exercises should focus on building core muscles.

Running will do this to a degree, but it is better for strengthening your legs. It does also help to burn calories, so it targets both boxes you need to tick to have great abs, but on its own, it will rarely be enough.

You usually need to combine running with some other core-targeted exercises in order to build a great six-pack. Don’t just hit the track a couple of times a week, eat what you feel like, and expect to have great abs.

Combine calorie counting with good exercise, and work out how many calories you need to eat – and burn – each day to lose a bit of weight. If you can keep this up, you’ll soon find your abdomen is looking both trimmer and more muscular.

Related: Why Are Core Muscles Important To Runners?

Can Overweight People Have Muscular Abs?

Someone who is overweight might have strong core muscles, but you aren’t likely to be able to see them because they’ll be hidden in the layers of fat. A flabby belly can hide really strong abs, so don’t assume that someone with some extra paunch never works out and has no abdominal strength.

However, if you want to see your abs, you do need to make sure you’re a healthy weight. If you just focus on strength without dropping any pounds (unless you are already a healthy weight), you will strengthen your muscles but see little visible difference. To really make your abs show, you need to drop stomach fat.

Related: The 10 Best Core Exercises For Runners

What Body Percentage Fat Do Males Need To Show Muscular Abs?

So, exactly how much fat do men need to lose in order for their abs to show? Having actual numbers to work with might encourage you to give it a shot.

Men can have a body percentage fat between five and nine percent and they will have visible abs. However, you should note that five percent is very difficult to achieve and not healthy; few men will have such a low-fat percentage, and this should not be your goal.

If your body fat percentage is between ten and fourteen, you’re likely to be able to see toned upper abs, but the lower muscles may not be visible.

At higher than fifteen percent, it may be difficult to see abs vs stomach fat.

Related: 13 Tips To Avoid Injury If You’re Overweight And Starting To Run

What Body Percentage Fat Do Females Need To Show Muscular Abs?

Females should not aim for less than eight percent body fat; although the abs will be visible at lower, this is considered unhealthy. If your body fat is between ten and fourteen percent, your abs will be very visible and you will still be a healthy weight.

At fifteen percent to nineteen, the lower abs may lose a little definition, but most will still be visible. Twenty to twenty-four percent is still considered healthy and lean, with some definition, but between twenty-five and twenty-nine percent, some muscle visibility will certainly be lost.

Related: Why Am I Struggling To Lose Weight While Running

Do Models Use Fasting To Make Their Abs Appear More Muscular?

Fasting is not a healthy way to get abs to appear more muscular. Fasting can result in some weight loss which may make the abs more defined, but this is not a lasting solution to gain ab definition. While some models may use it at times, it should be avoided.


Running can contribute to the development of abs by burning calories and somewhat toning your core, but it needs to be combined with healthy eating and core-focused exercises to really make a difference.

Coach Scott's Credentials: He has published over 20 books including, Beginner's Guide to Half Marathons: A Simple Step-By-Step Solution to Get You to the Finish Line in 12 Weeks! (Beginner To Finisher Book 3), which has become an Amazon International #1 bestseller. Scott specializes in helping new runners become injury-free race finishers. He recently completed his 17th half marathon race. 

 To sign up for a FREE half marathon training schedule, log sheet, and pace predictor CLICK HERE.

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Can Running Give You Abs? The Real Truth Behind Getting A 6 Pack!

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