Is Running Good For Abs? 6 Best Ab-Building Exercises

Is running good for abs?

Is running good for abs? Running exercises all parts of the body, and that includes your abs.

We all know that running can help you lose weight, but can running help you get abs? The short answer is yes, but we need to go into more detail to explain how and why to get great abs from running. 

The first thing to understand is that there are several types of running, including base, runs, long runs, interval runs, hill repeats, recovery runs, and progression runs. Different types of runs will give you different results if you’re running to build your abs, and working on specific ab exercises can help you get awesome abs more quickly.

You might also be interested in our explainer on how long it takes to get used to running useful.

How Running Gives You Great Abs

Most runners aren’t running to try to build their abs, also called transverse abdominals. People who run usually have different motivations. However, having toned abs is one of the benefits of running. 

Everyone has abs, but when people refer to their abs, they usually mean that they want to strengthen and tone their abs and reduce belly fat so that their abs are more prominent and visible. 

For the most part, running is a cardio exercise, but it also strengthens and tones several different muscle groups of the body, including the abs. One of the benefits of running is that it stabilizes your core. This results in a reduced impact on your joints. 

Strengthening your abs is more than just looking good and having a “six-pack.” You also reduce joint impact when you strengthen your abs, which can help prevent injuries. Also, interconnected muscles in the core — including your hips, back, and thighs — are strengthened. 

If you like running, our explainer on how runners take care of their knees might be helpful.

Optimizing Your Runs To Build Your Abs

When you exercise your abs, you have increased circulation all through your body. Abdominal blood flow breaks fat cells down, and this leads to the body burning the area’s excess fat. 

Once that fat is burned, your abs will become more visible. In most cases, the abs are also more toned, which is what people usually mean when referring to them. 

Running by itself doesn’t guarantee toned abs. While people run to be healthy, improve mental health, and lose weight, toned abs don’t magically happen when you run.

Some techniques can help you use running as an effective ab toning method. The key is to burn fat and do runs that strengthen abs at a more concentrated level.

Speed Runs

What is a speed run? For speed runs, you need to complete 10-15 reps of 100-meter sprints while taking 30-second walking breaks between sprints. 

Hill Climbs

Hill Climbs
Hill climbing is a great way to burn fat

Hill climbing is a great way to burn fat, and burning fat gives you more visible abs.

For hill climbing, pick several small hills or one large hill. On the small hills, run up them without stopping. Then, walk down the hill or run up the next hill.

Large hills will need more time. Run up the hill for a short period before taking a short walk break. 


Is running good for abs?
Sprints help you burn fat more quickly, resulting in more visible abs

Like speed runs, sprints use good posture and form to engage your core. This helps you burn fat more quickly, resulting in more visible abs. 

Ab-Building Exercises

In addition to running, these exercises will more quickly help you tone your abs and lose belly fat.

  • L-sit
  • Pilates
  • Bridge 

FAQs About Is Running Good for Abs

Can You Get Abs From Just Running?

You can get somewhat toned abs from running, but it’s good to combine your running with some specific exercises to get super toned abs. 

How Much Should I Run To Get Abs? 

If toned abs are one of your goals and you want to get them by running, you need to plan to run between three and five times a week for at least 20 minutes. Running for 20 minutes is about two miles for most runners. 

Does Running Get Rid Of Belly Fat?

If you run at a moderate or high intensity, running does target belly fat, which is one of the most harmful types of fat.