The Internet is filled with excellent ab workouts and the basis for most of them is resistance training, however not many of them will provide you with the same positive impact for fitness, tone, speed, explosiveness and your physique the way sprint training does.
In addition to improving your speed, springing enables you to build a substantial amount of muscle and especially accentuate your quads, hamstrings and glutes, while simultaneously shedding those pesky layers of fat which hide those glorious muscles beneath.
Sprinting in its essence is one of the most explosive workouts you could do. You might wonder how explosiveness is related to ab tone and strength. We need to clear out first that when we say sprinting, we don’t mean just running a couple of low-intensity laps on the running track.
What we’re really talking about is all-out, high-intensity sprints that will be relatively taxing to your body and you trying to become faster with every workout. The better you become at high-intensity sprints, the more efficiently you’ll engage the quads, hamstrings and glutes and your core. Here’s how sprinting can work for abs.
Sprinting for abs – Abdominal Work While Sprinting
Let’s take this into consideration: you can contract the abs 58-60 times every 100 meters. Statistically, a world-class professional sprinter can cover those 100 meters in around 45-47 steps, while the average runner would most likely cover it in around 58-60 steps.
This is an extremely powerful combo of aggression, power output, relaxation, constant tension, efficiency, muscle engagement rate and running technique while sprinting.
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This means that the more you sprint, while having low body-fat levels, the more defined your abs will become. Don’t take our word for it, check out the abdominal muscles of world-class sprinters.
These sprinters rarely place abdominal workouts at the top of their priorities and the reason for this is their abs are built while sprinting. In fact their whole core is build with intense running. We should point out that you don’t need to reach world-class speed to have these results, however it is crucial that you sprint as fast as you can to optimize your results.
Burn fat while sprinting
Sprint training will provide two benefits for your abs and fat. The first one, high-intensity sprinting increases the metabolic rate and second, it will keep it increased. Simply put, your body will continue to burn calories even after the sprint workout is finished.
Having extra layers of fat is the thing people dread the most, especially in summer when they want to show off the muscles underneath. Sprinting offers you the perfect workout since it burns off the fat while building muscle.
It’s good for spicing up your workout routine
Not a single person can escape the inevitable boredom that comes with doing the same workouts for weeks, sometimes months on end. That’s why it’s crucial that you modify or change your training altogether after a certain period.
And there’s no more fun way to do this than going outside, leaving the gym walls and start running. We guarantee you’ll start feeling like a kid again. Learn about speed drills, proper sprint training like interval and speed training and you’ll start seeing results pretty soon.
Here are 9 helpful sprinting tips for abs:
1. Start your sprint workouts with a couple of warm up sets and good stretching and end them with a few low-intensity laps.
Massage the quads, hamstrings and glutes gently and get a good stretch in your arms and back. The back and the arms the power generators for your legs.
2. Perform drills, such as hurdle drills
Or any other type of drill on the track, including butt kicks, high knees, skipping, accelerations, bounding jumps, bunny hops and many others. Perform these drills at a 30-meters distance. After finishing go back to the start line. Perform a few cycles of these. Warming up properly will lower the risk of sustaining an injury. Make sure your core is tight and rigid throughout the movements.
3. Pay attention to your core and lower back muscles.
One of the most important things for every sprinter and for almost everyone, for that matter, is having strong lower back muscles. Sprinting itself will build these muscles as well as your core. When you’re training in the gym focus on training your posterior chain muscles. Focus on strengthening the muscles around the hips and the spine. This will help you build more speed, as well as prevent various injuries.
4. Pay attention to your diet.
Give your muscle the proper nutrients, the most important being protein. Drink more water. Avoid gaining weight around your core, since these are the muscle we’re trying to show. Sprinting really does a great job for building your abs, but a good diet is crucial.
5. Use the right shoes.
When you’re ready, you can get a pair of spikes for doing sprint work. All the other drills can be done in standard running shoes, however you’ll find there are lots of benefits to wearing spikes, because the front of your foot achieved maximum traction for pressing. When you’re connected strongly to the ground, your core if forced to work harder in order to maintain a rigid and tight midsection.
6. Focus on the core.
Keep it engaged together with the lower back muscles while you’re sprinting and focus on keeping them tight all the time. Keep your chest puffed up. Even when you’re leaning forward while sprinting, maintain control over your core.
7. Use your arms.
Your arms help move your legs and they should always be positioned at a 90-degree angle. Performing stair drills is excellent for this and have a greater impact on your arms than the legs.
8. Don’t pull, push.
You should be running in such a way where you focus on pushing the ground away from your hip or pushing in backward motion, instead of trying to pull from the front to your back. The majority of hamstring tears and pulls happen from not focusing on this.
9. Perform every lap to the finish line.
Force yourself and don’t stop until you pass the finish line, even when doing drills. A sudden stop before or after passing the line and going back will be the most likely cause of injury. Pass the line every time and finish the lap, then start slowing down from sprinting to casual running, then to a jog and then a slow walk. Calm yourself down and go back and repeat again.