Running to Achieve the Perfect Abs

August 17, 2009


Have you ever done a bunch of crunches wishing, hoping, and praying that you would end up with abs like Janet Jackson when she was on the cover of Rolling Stone? Well, let me demystify one great misconception about achieving killer abs – no amount of crunches will give you a flat tummy! The key to a flat stomach is two-fold, cardio and core strength training. Here is how it works, the running burns the fat and the core training defines the muscles. You have to work off the layer of fat above your abdominal muscles before the six-pack can pop out.

“The Runner’s Six Pack” is a good video that shows great exercises for the abs. I also found this two tips from Men's Fitness that help you strenghten your abs WHILE running.

Tighten your abs. Just before you start your run, contract your abs (while staying upright), then hold that position while running. As with other intensity techniques, it may be tough to stay like this for long, so begin with interval-style training--tighten your abs for a minute, then relax them. Work up in time until you naturally hold your abs tight as you run. Continue to work on intensity by increasing the muscle tension even more for intervals.

2. Perform abs sets. You can also perform abdominal "crunches" as you run, or even during a cool-down power walk. As you bring your stride arm forward and slightly across your body, crunch that side of your abs. Repeat with the other side. Continue working alternate sides of your abs as you run. Also, concentrate on stretching your abs as you pull your arm back.

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