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A full-body workout on a treadmill is something many don’t really think about. Until you take a closer look at the treadmill and get a feel for the great variety of exercises available in this impressive machine, it can seem that walking (see 5 Everyday Benefits of Walking on a Treadmill) and running are the only two options available. Not many people relish the idea of trudging for hours and getting nowhere so the treadmill can be one of the most underrated pieces of exercise equipment. But as you will see, there are plenty of ways to elevate the quality and experience of a treadmill workout routine with a little innovation and creativity.
At the beginning of any exercise routine, you ask yourself what you hope to accomplish and how soon. If you are hoping to drop some kilos, your routine will not be the same as if you wanted to increase your strength.
After you know what you hope to accomplish you will be able to plan your workout accordingly. Either way, you may find it effective to break your routine down into several parts. For an effective calorie-burning routine, include HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). This means including intervals of high-intensity effort followed by intervals of moderate effort — don’t forget the warm-up and cool-down phases too.
If you are seeking to increase strength, you can’t underestimate the importance of a solid foundation of cardio. As you will see in the following sections, there are plenty of ways to incorporate strength training exercises into your full-body strength training routine on a treadmill.
Related: Important Treadmill Safety Tips Everyone Should Know
Cardio is covered by running, jogging, and sprinting you can easily perform on a treadmill. But when it comes to including weight training into the routine, the stationary treadmill with its uniform motion offers options that you won’t find on a regular running path.
Resistance bands and weights can be introduced to the treadmill routine to address the muscles of the core upper body. Some of the exercises can be executed while running or jogging on the treadmill, others can be included in intervals.
Resistance bands — these elastic bands are lightweight and portable and can be connected to any part of the treadmill to add a dynamic upper body workout to your regular routine. Resistance bands are great because they can adapt to the movements you will make while walking on the treadmill. As you increase your capacity you will be able to move faster while engaging greater resistance. Resistance bands are especially good for working out the arms, shoulders, and traps, but can also be used to engage the core and chest muscles.
Weights — an adjustable set of dumbbells is a great way to fully engage the upper body while using a treadmill. Because you can continuously increase the weight you will lift, it is very possible to build a dynamic strength training program from the comfort of your home. Some of the most important dumbbell exercises to include in your treadmill routine include: military press, triceps/bicep curls, arm raises, upright row and many more.
It will be important to take an intuitive approach to develop your treadmill workout plan in accordance with your needs. For example, you can target glutes and hamstrings by maintaining proper posture on a flat surface. But if you lift the incline to a mere 7%, you will find that the activation of the glutes is increased by 83%.
Looking for the most efficient ways to fire up your muscles is essential to getting the most from your time in any workout plan, but especially on a treadmill. The combinations of exercises you choose can target different sets of muscles in different ways. Adjust your speeds, inclines, and chosen exercises to suit the workout plan you have for the day.
Related: Check out our review of the Sunny Asuna 7750 Treadmill
It is a treadmill, but this doesn’t mean you always have to run or walk the same way. By engaging your body weight in different ways, you can change the dynamics of your exercise to achieve a well-rounded routine. For example, you can shuffle sideways, 5 shuffles facing one way and five facing the other. Walking lunges are a great way to target the hamstrings. But you will take this simple exercise to a whole new level with a dumbbell in each hand moving up a severe incline.
To target the core muscles, step off the treadmill and slow it to a steady 1 or 2MPH. Get in the plank position with your hands on the treadmill and begin walking with your hands. Keep your body in a straight line and your core tight. Clock your first attempt and use that as the benchmark to plan out your progress.
You will need to be carefully attuned to your progress and capacity to get the most from your routine. For best results, be sure you are eating a healthy diet to support your effort, staying properly moisturized, and getting plenty of rest.