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2nd December 2019

Can you get a six pack from running?

Can you get six pack abs from running?

In short, no, not just running anyhow. But running in conjunction with a core strength and conditioning program coupled with the right nutritional input will work.

What would be better would be to sprint rather than jog. Sprinting is super functional, more correct technique wise (on your toes more) and develops core power. Try this:

4 x 200m sprints @2 mins rest.

Something that simple is totally potent to your neurological system. Purely running long term will only cause you pain and injuries. All of the top runner of the world spend time in the gym and working on everything that doesn’t get worked whilst running.

I was training for an iornman about 12 years ago. I was putting in about 3 hours cardio a day but not actually improving. It wasn’t until I added an hour of kettlebell work did I start to improve in leaps and bounds. What prompted me to start the kettlebell work was a series of injuries. The one I remember the most was in my hips and back and it was debilitating. I went to see an awesome physio in Ashford who asked me what my sport was and how I was training. He then told me I was really only training in one plane. The Sagittal plane. I was breaking because I wasn’t training in all planes of movement so I was developing incorrectly and creating muscular imbalances.

The body has three planes of movement. Sagittal, frontal and transverse. Sagittal is everything in flexion and extension such as bicep curl, leg extension, front shoulder raise. Running (in a straight-ish line is largely saggital. The frontal plane is everything in abduction and adduction. In basic terms, abduction is taking away from the midline of the body and adduction is adding to the midline of the body. Think standing up and your arms outstretched wide and legs wide (Leonardo De-Vinci’s Matruvian man) that’s the frontal plane. Transverse is everything that rotates, particularly in this case, the core.

Many sports are mainly sagittal, breast stroke is largely frontal etc.. but the best training approach for your core is a multi-planar approach. Something that stimulates all planes in multiple ways and not always repeated (repeated patterns cause their own problems). CrossFit hits this excellently. Not perfectly but excellently. The rest is made up with accessory work. It may shock you that CrossFitters do not specifically work their abs but have amazing six packs. This is because of the multi-planar stimulation that occurs to the core and it will continue to adapt and grow.

We have had so many runners through the doors specifically to work on their core because they’ve heard it’s the right thing to do. It’s only when they have been CrossFitting for a couple of months, running a bit less and actually running better, do they realise how powerful it can be.

If you’re a runner, CrossFit is literally perfect to for your six pack!

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