Your treadmill workout will only be as effective as you make it. If you keep your run slow and stately, you’ll see limited progress. Those who never push themselves on the treadmill will burn fat very slowly, and they’ll never really get the results they want. Here are a few simple tips to help you max out the effectiveness of your treadmill workout:
Do sprint training — Sprint training is simple: 30 seconds of full-speed sprinting, followed by 60 to 90 seconds of low-speed jogging. It’s more than just an epic cardio workout, but it also helps to build lower body muscle. Throw in at least one day of sprint training per week to max out your workouts! With just 20 minutes, you’ll burn more calories than you would with 45 minutes of jogging.
Adjust the speed and incline — There are days when a slow, serene jog works, but on other days, you have to throw in some hill work or fast-paced running. The faster or steeper your run, the more you’ll push your body to its limits. Most treadmills come with pre-set programs you can use to increase the intensity of your run.
Run with weights — This is not recommended for extended periods, but it can be good for short-term training. Hold a pair of light dumbbells in your hands for 2 to 3 minutes as you run, and you’ll give your biceps and forearms a great workout. Wear ankle weights, and you’ll push your legs hard. The added weight increases the intensity of your workout!
Don’t just walk forward — To really make the most of the treadmill, try walking or jogging backwards or shuffling from side to side. This will give you an awesome leg workout, test your coordination, and force your body to work harder. You don’t need to set a fast pace, but switch things up to work your hips, knees, and ankles effectively.
Tackle more hills — If you enjoy low intensity, steady state jogs, you can make your long-distance jog harder by adding a few inclines. It will challenge your leg muscles and push your cardiovascular system, but it won’t place extra strain on your knees and calf muscles.
Speed up — For those who have grown accustomed to a steady pace, perhaps it’s time to pick up the speed a bit. You don’t have to do a full-on run or sprint, but jog a bit faster. Change your speed from 4.5 to 4.8 or 5.0. It will help you to burn more calories in less time, and it will push your cardiovascular system beyond its current limitations. You’ll fatigue more quickly at first, but the efforts will pay off in the long run.
Get out — Treadmill runs can be enjoyable, but it’s always best to mix things up on occasion. Get off the treadmill and out of the gym to run in the great outdoors. Find a park, a trail, or a street route to run. It will encourage you that you’re making good progress on your treadmill runs, and it can give you a nice change of scenery and pace.
Follow this advice, and you’ll make your treadmill workouts WAY more effective!