There’s no denying that treadmills provide a great calorie-blasting workout. The downfall? It can be pretty boring taking repeated steps with no change in scenery. But your treadmill routine doesn’t need to be dull. Surprisingly, there are plenty of things you can do on a treadmill, aside from simply running or walking. Ready to spice up your treadmill routine? Here are five fun moves to try.
1. The Sideways Shuffle
There’s no rule that says you have to walk forward on a treadmill. It’s just the norm. Instead, side step on the treadmill, which works your hips, inner and outer thighs, calves, abs, and obliques, per Shape. The benefits don’t end there, either! It also challenges, thus improving, your balance, strength and mind, and it really isn’t hard to do. Start by placing your right hand on the rail in front of you, and your left hand on the left railing, turning out to the left so the left railing is now in front of your body. “At the very instant you step to the left, turn sideways,” Alexandra Allred, certified fitness instructor and member of the first U.S. women’s bobsled team, tells Shape. “Just as you would trot/shuffle on the flat ground, you make the same shuffle motion — clicking foot to foot, moving sideways — but it’s a whole new ball game.” One thing to keep in mind: Spend as much time on your left side as you do on your right side, and start at a slow pace until you get the hang of it.
2. Go High-Low
Interval training is one of the best things you can do on a treadmill, per Greatist. Not only does it kick your heart rate into overdrive, but it’s a great way to burn a ton of calories. If you’re a beginner, try this interval program the next time you hop on a treadmill, Greatist recommends.
- Start with a four-minute warm up.
- Follow it with a two-minute walk.
- Then rev up to a two-minute jog, followed by a one-minute run.
- Repeat this three times, and then do a five-minute cool down and stretch.
Or, if you’re ready to take your routine to the next level, try this routine, perfect for those at an intermediate fitness level.
- Start with a five-minute warm up.
- Follow with a 30-second walk, and then a one-minute sprint.
- Move into one-minute incline lunges on the treadmill, repeating this routine six times through.
- Follow with a five-minute cool down and stretch.
3. Mimic Hiking
Pretend you’re hiking at an exotic destination, enjoying the beautiful scenery. You’ll have to use your imagination for part of it, but the treadmill can certainly be used to mimic the hiking part. Depending on the treadmill, some offer pre-programmed hiking trails, which do all the thinking for you, writes Women’s Health. It’s easy to mimic it manually, too. Walk at 3.5 miles per hour on a flat belt, increasing the incline every minute until it reaches 5 percent — stay here for three minutes. Then, lower and raise the belt every two minutes until you’ve been exercising for 25 minutes. Lower the belt gradually, decreasing your speed over five minutes to cool down, per Women’s Health.
4. Target Your Glutes
If you’re looking for a way to shape up your glutes, give this cardio hill-walking workout a shot, Fitness suggests. To see the best results, try to do this 20-minute workout, which burns about 150 calories, three to four times a week. Keep your speed at four miles per hour the entire time; only the incline will change.
- For the first five minutes, start at an incline of three.
- For the next two minutes, up your incline to between eight and 10.
- For one minute, drop your incline to between four and six.
- For the next two minutes, increase your incline to 10.
- Drop down to between five and seven for the next minute.
- Follow this with a 12 incline for two minutes.
- For the next minute, drop your incline to 10.
- For one minute, rev the incline back up to 12.
- For the last five minutes, drop your incline to between two and four.
5. Strength Train Your Upper Body
Your treadmill routine doesn’t need to just target your legs. If you’re hoping to work your upper and lower body on the treadmill, try this upper body strength training move, as shown in Shape. To do tricep dips, stand as you normally would on the treadmill, placing your hands on the rails behind you. Now lean back onto your heels, bending your arms, and push up returning to the starting position. To do chest presses, use the hand rails to support yourself, while doing a push-up. Shape writes that the wide stance places emphasis on the chest muscles. If you face the back of the treadmill, you can increase the difficulty by increasing the incline.
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