People who focus on building lean muscle tend to perform strength training. However, if you are trying to gain muscle, you may wonder, does running actually help to build muscle? The answer is yes! If you do not lift weights in the gym, you can try to run to build lean muscle, especially your lower body.
Here is what you need to know about building muscle while running and becoming leaner and stronger.
How muscles are built?
Whenever your body works harder than it’s used to, your body muscles will undergo physical stress, which normally happens when you are running, lifting weights or doing exercise. It will break down tissues in your muscles and build your body stronger.
After a tough workout, your muscles will feel sore and unable to perform any exercises. So, it is important to rest and give your muscles time to rebuild the muscle tissues and become stronger. To adapt to physical stress and become stronger, you have to give your muscles time to recover.
Does running build muscle?
Running mainly works your lower body muscles, from the lower abdominal to your feet. It helps you to engage your hip flexors and hamstrings whenever you are running. It gives your glutes, hamstrings and calves a drive force to work your muscles while running.
There are two types of skeletal muscle fibre in the body, slow and fast-twitch muscle fibre. Both of the muscles work differently and based on the types of run you are working on. Now, what is the difference between those two muscles?
Slow-twitch fibre is the one that supports longer, continuous exercises like long runs, as they do not make your muscles feel fatigued easily. Fast-twitch muscle fibre support powerful and quicker runs, such as sprints or hill runs. They also tend to feel fatigue easily.
If you are finding ways to work on both of these muscles, you can try to run different types of running, as it is one of the best ways to improve your overall health, stamina, endurance and many more.
How to build muscle with running
Running is an intense exercise to challenge yourself in different types of run to build muscles and endurance. Here are the types of runs below:
1. High Intensity Interval Training
To boost your run, you can start with HIIT to build muscle in your legs. Incorporate HIIT as a part of your running routine will benefit you to work on the muscles. You can sprint for one to two minutes and jog for three to four minutes. So, if you want to work on your fast-twitch fibre muscles, sprint runs will be the one for you.
2. Incline Run
You can run the hills by sprinting up and jogging down, as it offers your muscles to build them faster than running on a flat surface. It requires muscle strength, as it works on the major muscles, such as glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, core and core muscles.
3. Long Distance Run
If you want to improve your run and build slow-twitch muscle fibre, long distance running can help you to build leg strength, improve endurance, and most of all, train your patience and mental toughness for further running sessions.
4. Recovery Run
Walking and jogging for 30 minutes once or twice a week helps you to not overwork your muscles to lower the risk of injury. It is important to let your muscles rest and repair so that they can become stronger than before.
5. Healthy Balanced Diet
Eating right is one of the most important keys to gain lean muscle after a running session. That is why many people go for protein shakes after their workout. If you do not drink a protein shake, include protein like quinoa, chicken, meat, eggs or dairy products in your diet. Besides protein food, remember to incorporate carbs, fats, and water to have a balanced diet so that your muscles can repair faster and be stronger than before.
Whether you are gaining muscle or not, running three to five times a week will give you tons of benefits to your health and body. Take it easy and enjoy your training process.
Does running build muscle in legs?
Yes. Incorporate a balanced diet and training will help you to build muscle, especially your lower body.
How do I run and keep muscle?
Run different types of runs, such as HIIT, incline run and long distance run and incorporate a good amount of protein will make your muscle stronger.
Will I lose muscle if I run?
With a good training and diet, you will not lose muscle. Unless, you eat a low calorie diet that might be a possibility of losing your muscle weight.
Should I run if I’m trying to build muscle?
Yes, running provides you strength and endurance to work on your muscles to become lean and strong.