Running is a great way to get a full-body workout. It’s a cardiovascular exercise that strengthens your heart and lungs, plus it tones your muscles. Running is also a great way to lose weight or maintain weight.
Although running is great for your body, it requires a lot of dedication. You need to be consistent with your running routine to see results.
The main muscle groups used when running are your quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves. These muscles work together to propel you forward.
You’re using about 90% of your muscle mass when you run. This is why running is such a great way to tone your body.
Your quadriceps are the muscles on the front of your thigh. They help you extend your leg and push off the ground. Hamstrings are the muscles on the back of your thigh.
They help you pull your leg back and slow down. Calves are the muscles on the back of your lower leg. They allow you to push off the ground and maintain your balance.
Your arms also get a good workout when you run. The main muscles used are your biceps, triceps, and shoulders.
The biceps are the muscles on the front of your upper arm. They help you lift your arms and resist gravity. Triceps are the muscles on the back of your upper arm.
They help you extend your arms and push off the ground. Shoulders are the muscles in the front and back of your shoulder blade. They allow you stabilize your arm and move it in all directions.
Running also works your chest muscles. The main muscles used are your pectoralis major and minor.
Pectoralis major is the large muscle in the middle of your chest. It helps you push forward and resist gravity. Pectoralis minor is a smaller muscle on the side of your chest.
It helps you rotate your arm and stabilize your shoulder.
Running also works your back muscles. The main muscles used are your erector spinae and latissimus dorsi.
Erector spinae are the muscles in the middle of your back. They help you keep your spine erect and resist gravity. Latissimus dorsi are the large muscles on the side of your back.
They help you extend your arms, pull your arms down, and stabilize your shoulder.
Running also works your abdominal muscles. The main muscles used are your rectus abdominis and transverse abdominis.
Rectus abdominis is the large muscle in the middle of your abdomen. It helps you curl your spine and pull your stomach in. Transverse abdominis is a smaller muscle on the side of your abdomen.
It helps you keep your stomach pulled in and stabilize your spine.
So, does running give you a full-body workout?
Yes, it does! The main muscle groups used are your quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, biceps, triceps, shoulders, pectoralis major and minor, Erector spinae, latissimus dorsi, rectus abdominis, and transverse abdominis.
To get the most out of your running routine, focus on all of these muscle groups. Consistent running will help you tone your entire body.
Exercises at Home on How to Increase Your Running Speed
So you’ve been hitting the pavement (or treadmill) for a while now but feel like you could be going faster.
While running speed is largely genetics-dependent, there are still ways to increase it – if you’re willing to put in a little extra work. Check out these exercises that can help boost your running speed and get you closer to your goal time.
Doing sprints is a great way to improve your running speed. Sprinting involves running as fast as possible for a short distance and then resting before doing it again.
Sprinting will help you build up your muscular endurance and increase your running speed over time.
If you’re not used to sprinting, start with a distance of 50-100 meters and work your way up. Be sure to take adequate rest between sprints – you don’t want to fatigue yourself before your race.
Another great way to improve your running speed is by doing plyometric exercises. Plyometrics involves explosive movement and are designed to increase the power and speed of your muscles.
They can be a little bit dangerous if done incorrectly, so be sure to take things slow and learn the exercises properly before adding them to your routine.
One plyometric exercise that can help improve your running speed is the jump squat. To do a jump squat,
- Start in a standing position with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Squat down as if you were going to sit in a chair
- Then quickly jump up into the air.
- Land softly back in the squatting position and repeat.
Another great plyometric exercise for runners is the box jump. You’ll need an elevated surface (like a sturdy box or bench) to do a box jump.
- Start by standing in front of the elevated surface with your feet together.
- Jump up onto the surface, landing with both feet on top.
- Jump back down and repeat.
- Start with a lower surface height until you get comfortable with the movement if you’re a beginner.
Can a run replace a workout?
In short, no. While running is a great way to get in some exercise. If you’re looking to target all of your muscle groups, you’ll need to do other activities in addition to running.
However, it can be a part of a full-body workout routine. It’s a great way to get your heart rate up and burn some calories, and it can help you tone your lower body muscles.
The Bottom Line
Running can be great for your overall fitness, but it’s not a replacement for a full-body workout. If you’re looking to target all of your muscle groups, you’ll need to do other exercises in addition to running.
It is an excellent form of exercise but can also be dangerous if you’re not careful. Be sure to listen to your body and take good rest days. If you experience any pain, stop running and consult a doctor.