Have you been running on the treadmill wondering if you can get six-pack abs?
Cardio exercises like treadmill running raise your heart rate and keep it up for prolonged periods of time. This helps exercise your respiratory system which starts to work harder and faster to make up for your intense and fast breathing during cardio exercises.
Treadmill runs also thoroughly exercise the muscles in your legs including thighs and calves. Regularly running on a treadmill is an excellent form of cardio exercise and you should do it regardless of whether it may give you six-pack abs or not.
Although, the increased heart rate, deep breathing, sweating and leg work-out from running on a treadmill does result in your body burning calories and reducing your weight. Weight loss is the number one step toward getting abs and you cannot visibly see your abs until you have lost enough body fat.
Can I Get Abs From Running on a Treadmill?
Yes, you can get abs from running on a treadmill.
However, consider that fully formed and toned six-pack abs require workouts of their own. If you are making the same treadmill run every day and not increasing the intensity and duration of your runs, then getting six-pack abs from a treadmill is not possible.
If you want the best abs results from your treadmill runs, here is how you can do it:
When you run the same way every day, you are getting into a static routine which is not the best approach for abs. You want to increase the length and intensity of your runs incrementally till you achieve your six-pack abs and then maintain from there.
- Inclined Sprints
Turning the inclination of your treadmill up and squeezing your abdominal muscles while you sprint on the incline will promote stronger abs workout while running. You can interval these runs with 20 seconds of intense running and 20 seconds of rest, 10-12 times.
Remember to jog before and after for a good warm-up and ending to your run.
- Side Stepping
Side stepping on your treadmill runs will work the outer oblique muscles of your abdomen. You can switch between straight running for 20 seconds, then side stepping for 20 seconds with a side crunch on each sidestep.
Be careful not to lose your balance and warm-up your body before starting a side-stepping routine.
You want to lose weight and work your abs simultaneously for a visible six-pack and strong core. These types of runs strengthen your abdominal muscles and burn calories, however, running on your treadmill alone will not get you the results you want.
Weight Loss and Dieting for Abs
Dieting is crucial for weight loss, which is crucial for abs. Your daily dietary intake must be 300-500 calories less than what your body is burning every day. This will result in you losing a pound of weight every week, which is enough for healthy weight loss.
You can subsidize this calorie cut with your treadmill runs, for example, if you burn 200 calories from your daily run, then you only need to cut 300 calories from your daily diet for a 500 calorie deficit. You will also need to reduce your daily carbohydrate intake down to 50-55% of your diet.
Six-pack abs require your body fat percentage to be less than 21% for women and 14% for men. The difference in gender is due to that fact that women require more body fat for healthy menstruation and to maintain the ability to give birth.
When you lose weight, you also lose muscle mass, which is why you will need to supplement this loss by increasing your protein intake. One way to calculate your protein needs is to add 1-1.5 grams of protein for every 2 pounds of body weight.
If you weigh 150 pounds, you will need to have 80-100 grams of protein daily to mitigate losing muscle mass from weight loss and have enough left over to strengthen your abdominal muscles. Controlling portions like this is very important for weight loss and you need to be stern every day.
Always remember that weight loss through dieting is not a linear process and you will experience ups, downs and plateaus through your journey.
How Long Should I Run for?
The length of your treadmill runs depends on your body and how many calories you want to burn according to your weight loss plan. When we talk about treadmill runs for abs, you always want to incrementally increase your run time.
You can increase your run time and intensity every week or incorporate previously mentioned runs till you achieve healthy weight loss and abdominal strength. There are three routines of treadmill runs that help fat burning and weight loss for visible abs, these include:
- Long Runs
Alternate between moderately intense running and walking for 60-90 minutes 3 times a week for the best weight loss results.
- Short Runs
Sprint with extreme intensity for 20 seconds on an incline then walk for a minute, repeat this for 20 minutes thrice a week. Jog for 15 minutes before and after for best results.
- Moderate Runs
You can maintain a 30-45 minute daily run that incorporates short periods of moderately intense sprinting. You can skip a day or two every week.
You can follow any of these run routines in your weekly plan and measure your progress, the important thing is that you stick to your plan and diet.
Abs are a sign of good health and striving to achieve them is a measure of self-improvement. Treadmill runs are a great start, but you should also focus on diet, weight loss, exercise and strengthening abs for the six-pack abs of your dreams.
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