Hitting the gym is often a love-hate relationship, with most of the love going to days where you lift weights to get ripped while most of the hate goes to days where you have to hit the treadmill. The treadmill isn’t as glamorous as the weights, and it’s all too common to mentally check out when it’s time to get running, but there are ways to spice things up when it comes to cardio.
These tips are perfect if you’re looking for ideas to change things up with your routine and are sure to help you stay engaged in your treadmill workouts.
5. Up the Ante
Work smarter by working a little harder! You can burn more calories in the same amount of time by increasing the incline. The higher the incline, the harder your muscles work. The harder they work, the more calories you burn. Next time you’re getting your mile in, consider making it an uphill battle.
4. Back back
If you’re like me, you’ve bumped the front of the treadmill a time or two during a run. Not only is this annoying, but it can also cause you to shorten your stride. This can have negative effects on your workout, such as creating strain in your upper body, making your workout less effective, and putting additional strain on your hamstrings (trust me, you don’t want to hurt a hammy mid-mile). The best, and easiest, solution to this issue is to move back. The middle of the treadmill is the sweet spot, so you can achieve a full stride and still be close enough to make adjustments as needed.
3. Change the Pace
Whether you;re using the presets on the treadmill, using a fitness app, or just freestyling it, there are benefits to adding high-intensity bursts to your running session. The human body has a knack for adapting to routines pretty quickly, which is where plateaus come in. Shaking things up can not only help you see better results, but also keep your mind engaged in the process.
2. Get Low
Treadmills aren’t just for running. Walking lunges can be a great way to target the leg muscles and work the booty meat. Start very slowly — so you don’t crash right out the gate — and make sure that you’re at a speed that’s comfortable and allows you to complete the lunge on both sides so that you;re not having to play catch-up. This can be a great opportunity to grab some dumbbells to increase difficulty, or increase the incline as mentioned earlier.
1. Sittin’ Sideways
We’ve all seen Insta-models working out on the treadmill, doing everything from lunges to kickbacks, to squats — somehow never breaking a sweat — but believe it or not there’s some actual benefit to many of these workouts. One of the key benefits, in my opinion, is balance. Not many people think about developing their balance, but it’s just as critical as anything else we focus on in the gym. Side stepping on a treadmill allows you to work your hips, abs, inner and outer thighs and your obliques (this is where the V-cut comes from) and can be an entertaining alternative to walking around the gym getting in people’s way.
Bonus: Climb Every Mountain
As you become content with your running routine your body will want new challenges. You’ve already given it high-intensity intervals, found your sweet spot and got low, but now it’s time to get high. Increase the intensity of your workout by cranking up that incline. This forces your calves to work harder and engages your abs and booty meat (yes, the proper term is glutes, fight me). So climb every mountain, ford every stream, follow every rainbow, till you reach your dread [body].
Next time you’re in the gym, change it up to keep from getting bored. By doing so, you’ll be challenging your muscles in new ways and you’ll force your brain to stay engaged so you won’t get bored with your workout.
Nick Bailey is a forward thinking journalist with a well-rounded skill set unafraid to take on topics head on. He now resides in Austin, TX and continues to create content on a daily basis.