For its fat burning potential, sprinting is tough to beat. Getting out to an open field or track and running as fast as you can feels good and makes your waist line look even better because of what it does for your midsection. Sprinting is a great way to tone and strengthen your core.
The core is actually a group of muscles with a simple task: Stability for the body so that you're able to stand upright. The core extends from the rib cage to the top of the hips. This area has three major muscles: The rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis and obliques. When you take a step or carry something, your core contracts to add stability to the process. These muscles work appropriately to the required task. More force and repetition equals more work by the abs.
Benefits of Sprinting
Running sprint intervals is a great way to lose body fat. When you sprint, you are requiring the body to use a much higher amount of oxygen than usual. This improves your VO2 max without having to go for long runs. Your VO2 max is the rate your body is able to take in and use oxygen to create more energy. Sprinting also strengthens and tones the muscles of your legs and butt through repeated high force contractions. The little known secret is that sprinting is a great core workout.
How Sprinting Helps the Core
Sprinting is a great workout for the muscles of the legs and the butt through repeated high force contractions. The core contracts to provide stability to these movements so you don't fold in half. This makes sprinting a great core exercise. During a sprint, your core maintains a constant contraction. But to counter the force of your leg, they stiffen even more so you don't get thrown from side-to-side when you run. On top of that, your abs are also contracting every time you lift your leg in the air.
Before taking on a high intensity program like sprinting get the all clear from a doctor. Warm up and cool down properly and drink water or a sports drink to stay hydrated. If you're working out on a field, check the field for debris or holes so you don't twist an ankle. If possible, workout with a licensed strength and conditioning professional or personal trainer to get the best results.
Carl Galloway is a strength-and-conditioning coach at a high school in Southern California. He is certified as an Olympic lifting coach through USA Weightlifting and as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). Galloway holds a bachelor's degree in kinesiology and a master's degree in coaching and athletic administration.