Fun fact: you can use a treadmill for more than just walking and running! No, really – treadmills are surprisingly versatile if you think outside the box. If you want to make the most of your fitness investment and get more than just a cardio workout, here are some fun ideas that will make your treadmill workout extraordinary instead of just ‘run of the mill’.
Mix up your intensity
If you’re looking to improve your anaerobic capacity and increase your general fitness and recovery, using your treadmill to do High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) can be a great way to achieve your goals. Instead of just walking or jogging at a consistent pace that you can maintain for a length of time, do some short sprints separated by a recovery period. Common intervals for beginners might be 30 seconds on, 60 seconds off. As your fitness increases, you can increase your speed and time on, while decreasing the time off. Tabata patterns are also fun and productive – these are characterised by 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off, repeated 8 times for a total workout time of 4 minutes. These sorts of workouts are perfect for the times when you’re busy and can’t find time to walk or run for a standard 30 minutes.
Change the incline
Increasing your incline is also a great way to change up how you use your muscles and raise your heart rate a bit more. Keep it consistently high and focus on really using your legs and butt to power your body onwards, or change it up and down gradually for a more varied workout with some recovery time.
Incorporate dynamic movements
Get a different type of workout which targets specific muscles by using your treadmill as a prop for dynamic movements. Throw in some walking lunges, curtsy lunges, side shuffles or squat walks to work your legs and glutes – this is one workout you’ll feel for a few days afterwards.
Use it for upper body
You read that right – use your treadmill to work on your upper body strength, as well as your core strength. Try setting your treadmill to a low speed (start between 1-2kph) and get into a plank position – your hands will be on the belt, and your feet will be positioned behind the treadmill. As it moves, walk your hands forward. Keep your core engaged and your shoulders working hard, and you’ll feel the burn fairly quickly. Alternatively, use the stationary treadmill to complete different types of push-ups. One fun variation starts with one hand on the floor next to the machine and one hand up on the side – do a push-up, then shuffle to the side while remaining in a plank position until your opposite arm is on the other side. Do a push-up on this side, then shuffle back and repeat.
If you don’t already have a treadmill at home, you are probably ready to go out and pick one up right now after reading this article. For a quality machine, make sure you get your treadmill from a specialist fitness equipment retailer like Fitness Market.
Do you use your treadmill in non-traditional ways? What’s your favourite creative move?