You might be used to making a beeline for the treadmill as soon as you get into the gym for the sake of a good dose of cardio. But with a little bit of creativity, you’ll find that the treadmill is good for a lot more than just a quick run or a brisk walk on an incline. To help you break out of a boring fitness rut, try these five moves on your treadmill for a whole new workout.
If you thought holding a plank was hard, try doing one with half of your body on a moving treadmill. To do a walking plank, set your treadmill to 2 mph and then move back and get into a plank position with your feet on the floor and your hands on the sides of the treadmill base. Once you’re in position, carefully move your hands to the moving belt and begin walking them forward. In addition to feeling the burn in your core, you’ll get a killer workout in your arms and shoulders.
One of the easiest ways to change up your workout on a treadmill is to change up the direction of your movement. Instead of walking or running forward, try turning your body and doing a side shuffle on the moving belt. Keep the treadmill between 3 and 6 mph, depending on what you’re comfortable with, and do quick (but gentle!) shuffles for about a minute on one side before alternating to the other. You’ll find the change in directionality to offer up an especially grueling workout to your thighs and calves.
Get the benefits of some walking lunges without the need for a huge amount of space to utilize by taking advantage of the treadmill. Start off by setting your treadmill to a speed of 2 mph, then begin by working your way to a right lunge, with your right leg forward and bent into a 90-degree angle. Then carefully come out of the lunge by lifting your left leg and alternating the lunge, this time putting your left foot in front and your right behind. Continue alternating between the two as you move forward with the moving treadmill belt. If you find the speed to be too slow as you go about the workout, be sure to adjust it accordingly to make sure that you get the most out of the exercise.
Backward High Knees
High knees are hard enough on solid ground, so it goes without saying that doing them on the moving belt of a treadmill is going to be next-level challenging. To make sure that you do the move safely, start off by standing with your feet on the sides of the treadmill and your hands on the arms of the treadmill. Set the speed to about 3 mph, and then carefully step onto the treadmill. Begin by simply walking backward to start, and then once you’ve got the hang of that, start lifting your knees to your chest, alternating between your right and left legs. Use the treadmill railings for support as you go, and use your arms to lift you up with each knee raise.
Some alternative treadmill workouts don’t even call for the machine to be turned on to begin with. Thanks to its sturdy handles, a treadmill can offer up a killer upper body workout by allowing for an effective tricep workout. Standing on the stationary belt of the treadmill, simply grab onto each handle of the treadmill. As you put your weight onto your heels, slowly start to dip your body down by bending your arms and then pushing back up to the starting position.