Treadmills can be a great luxury to have in your home. It allows you to get your cardio in without having to fit the weather. Who really enjoys running in the snow anymore than running in the scorching summer heat? But they pose one huge problem, which causes people to not utilitze them to their fullest potential – you aren’t going anywhere and that patch of wall in front of you is B-O-R-I-N-G! Here are a couple of workouts to make your treadmill time more engaging.
Run to the Beat
You probably already listen to music of some sort while running/walking on the treadmill. Whether you wear an arm band for your iPod or just have music on, you can use that as part of your workout.
The basic idea is to switch tasks with each song. So your first song is your warm-up (a brisk walk) to get your heart pumping at a speed of 2.8 MPH with 0 incline. With the second song take it up to 3.3 MPH, depending on your style this is a walk or a job, with 0 incline. On the third song increase your incline by 3 levels (this might be %grade or just increments, depending on your model). Try to keep your speed the same, but know that some treadmills will decrease your speed automatically. For the fourth and fifth songs move your incline back to 0 but increase your speed to 3.8 MPH – a fully jogging pace.
At the sixth song increase your speed to what makes you do a full out run/spring – maybe 4.5 or 5.0 MPH. Once that song is over do the workout in reverse from that point – songs 5,4,3,2 and one. The total workout time is roughly 40 minutes – depending on the length of your songs. Some may choose to make a specific playlist, while other might just put their music on shuffle, both are fine.
Getting an All Over Work out In
While treadmills are primarily meant for cardio workout, you can get some ab and upper body work done too. After you have done a 3-5 minute warm-up, increase your speed to a brisk, yet comfortable walking pace. Then in 4 minute increments do a variety of these exercises (you can add handweights to make any of these more challenging):
- Side bends – pretend that your back is against a wall, lean side to side squeezing your obliques (love handles) by moving your rib cage closer to your hip bone.
- Shoulder raises – bend at the shoulder and put your arms directly in front of you (parallel with the floor) and alternate lifting – from the shoulder – straight up so that your finger points at the ceiling.
- High Knees – get a quadriceps workout in by bringing your knees up to parallel with the floor with each step. *You might want to slow down your pace a little until you get the hang of this.
- Butt kickers – get in a hamstring workout by bringing your heel all the way to you butt with each step. *You might want to slow down your pace a little until you get the hang of this.
- Standing crunches – just like it sounds – do a crunch while you are walking. This is a great core stabilizing activity.