Nothing can make you feel more like you’re headed on a exercise road going nowhere than the dreaded treadmill. After all, you are literally walking, jogging, or running in place, making the treadmill quickly reminiscent of a human hamster wheel. Sure, you’re burning some calories, but even if you’re running your heart out (not literally!), taking a straightforward, cardio-only approach to fitness can cause your fat-burning efforts to fall a bit flat.
Turn Up the Pace on Your Treadmill Fat-Burning
Treadmills are usually relegated to the cardio queens, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid working it into your workout–it just requires a change of pace. There are actually all kinds of fat-burning and strength-building exercises you can do on a treadmill. Here are five of our favorites.
- Side-squat steps: Build that bum and burn off fat by changing directions with your treadmill walk. Turn to one side and sink back and down into a high-squat position, where your quads make a near 45-degree angle with the floor. With the speed at a low setting, side step in this squat position for two minutes before changing sides. Complete three rounds on each side. To increase the intensity of this exercise, raise the height of the treadmill incline.
Treadmill plank: Heat up your core with a plank exercise that gets you moving. Start the treadmill at low speed. On the floor behind the treadmill, take a plank position with your hands on each side of the treadmill base. When stable, place your hands on the moving band and walk your hands forward while holding your body in a straight line. Start with 30 seconds of this exercise, with the goal of increasing your plank-walk time longer with each repetition over time.
- Walking lunges: Walking lunges can be difficult–not to mention dizzying–to do if you’re short on space. That’s when a treadmill shines. At a low to low-medium setting, step forward into a lunge position on one leg before alternating to the other side. Repeat three rounds of three-minute reps.
- Moving Mountain-Climbers: Up the intensity of the standard mountain climber exercise by adding in resistance. Start by turning off your treadmill and placing your hands on the front of the treadmill machine casing and your feet on the band. In this position, press through the ball of your foot as you extend your leg back and to push the band backward. Repeat on alternating sides, using your core and lower body to power the treadmill. Complete three rounds of two-minute reps. (Note: First check manufacturer recommendations regarding use of the treadmill band when in the off position.)
- High-Knee Skip: Return to the fun you had skipping as a kid by building it into your fat-burning treadmill workout. Holding on to the railings for balance, begin skipping at a low-medium setting bringing the front bent knee to about hip height. If you feel stable enough, let go and punch your arms forward with each hop to create a boxing-style move. Do three rounds of two-minute reps.
Treadmills don’t have to be a boring and only focused on cardio. Get creative with the moving walkway, and you’ll be headed toward a fat-burning workout that will keep you interested and motivated, while us helping you to efficiently shed away unwanted fat.
What’s your favorite way to use the treadmill? Share with others in the comments!