Everyone knows that running is a great way to burn calories and build strength, but did you know it’s also one of the best ways to build muscle? Running can help you build muscle partly because it’s an aerobic exercise. That means it’s not just going to help you lose weight, but is also going to keep your body healthy and toned over time.
And then there are other factors at play here as well. Because running requires you to use your entire body, it’s one of the most complete types of exercise out there.
As you know by now, running is one of the best exercises for toning your legs and adding lean muscle mass. In fact, running is one of the most effective ways to build muscle as it targets so many muscles at once.
While many people think that running only works your lower body, in reality it works almost every muscle in your upper body too. And that’s why you see fit runners wearing sleeveless shirts so they can show off their arms while they run. To help you understand how running helps you build muscle, read on to learn 11 fantastic ways that running helps you build more muscularity.
1. Running Improves Your Cardio Endurance
Running is a low impact form of cardio that may not make your legs feel like they’ve been hit by a train but it has incredible benefits all the same. In fact, running is one of the best types of cardio to improve your endurance. Endurance is the ability to sustain an activity over a period of time regardless of intensity.
When you are endurance challenged you are more prone to injury and may have decreased performance in sports or activities where speed is important like distance running.
Running helps build your endurance by increasing your VO2 max which is the amount of oxygen your body can transport. If you have low VO2 max, you may be more prone to getting injured as you are not able to transport as much oxygen to your muscles. By running you will help build up your VO2 max and make you less prone to injury.
2. Running Develops Muscle Strength
Muscle is made up of fibers called “tough tubes” that are able to shorten and lengthen as needed to create movement. At the same time, the surrounding tissue is responsible for holding the muscle together and improving their elasticity.
When you increase your strength, you increase the amount of muscle fibres you can activate to create movement. This means that you can lift heavier weights, run faster and more efficiently, and more easily perform activities like jumping and squats.
Strength training is an important aspect of a runner’s training as it helps you build more muscle. When you strength train, you don’t just activate the muscle fibers that make up your arms, legs, and core, you also activate the surrounding tissues that enhance this movement and make you recover faster between sets and exercises.
Strength training is especially important for runners as it helps you increase your pulling capacity which is especially important when you are running uphill.
3. Running Develops Coordination
Coordination is the ability to synchronize your movement and muscles. When you increase your coordination, two or more muscles in your body are likely to work together at the same time and in the same way. This means that you can do activities more efficiently like riding a bike where you need to pedal, brake, and steer.
Coordination is especially important for runners as you need to make sure that your foot strikes the ground at the same time as your upper body so you don’t twist or fall. This means that you have to have a high level of coordination.
Coordination is also important for other activities like golf or tennis where you need to make sure that you hit the ball correctly, land your jumps correctly, or slap the tennis ball correctly. Coordination is also important for everyday activities like tying your shoes, throwing a ball at a target, and threading a needle.
4. Running Develops Balance And Stability
One way that running helps you build more muscularity is by improving your balance and stability. Balance is the ability to keep your center of balance while you move. When you don’t have good balance, you are likely to fall over and injure yourself.
Running can help improve your balance as it challenges your balance and stabilizing muscles while also challenging you to coordinate your movements. Stability is the ability to hold a position.
When you don’t have good stability, you are likely to fall over or twist your body in a painful way. Running can help develop your stabilizing muscles as it challenges you to coordinate your movements and balance as you move.
5. Running Strengthens Tendon And ligaments
The same way that strength training challenges your muscle fibers, running challenges your tendons and ligaments. When you twist your ankle or tear a tendon, you are actually damaging the collagen within your tendons and ligaments.
This damage increases the risk of injury but it can also make you feel more pain when you are running or doing other activities. Running can help strengthen your tendons and ligaments because it’s a high intensity form of exercise.
You will damage these muscles if you run at a steady pace but they start to repair as soon as you stop. Running is a great way to strengthen your tendons and ligaments as you are damaging your muscles with every step while also developing coordination, balance, strength, and stability.
Running is the perfect way to build muscle because it works so many different muscles in your body. By doing high-intensity exercises, you can see the effectiveness immediately, but low-intensity runs still help you build more muscle.
They also increase bone density, strengthen your tendons and ligaments, and increase your flexibility. These are just a few of the many ways running builds muscle. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced runner, there’s something in this article for you to improve your fitness and build more muscle.