Ah, the ever so humble treadmill. Gym goers from far and wide have fallen in deep love with this popular cardiovascular exercise machine for many reasons. Not only is it a God-send for people no matter what their level of physical fitness, training on a treadmill can get you from no running experience to your first 5-kilometer race in just a few months and it can also help you get rid of the stubborn fat around your muffin top if you utilize it correctly.
But did you know that you could actually do more than just – gasp! – run or walk on a treadmill? Check out some of our favorite non-running treadmill exercises that will get your heart rate up and spice up your sessions on this moving sidewalk.
While running is definitely a favorite past time of ours, it can sometimes get boring when you’re on a treadmill with no entertainment. It’s especially difficult when you’re already feeling lazy to begin with. Spice up the way you get your cardio in on the treadmill with some side shuffles. Start by setting your treadmill speed to 4 miles an hour and warm your legs up by walking forward regularly.
When you’re ready, grab the front handle and the railing and turn your entire body to face one side of the treadmill. Start shuffling to the side, using your hands to keep you stable. Shuffle to one side for up to 60 seconds before switching sides and continuing on for another minute.
Reverse High Knees
Are high knees starting to get too easy for you? Mix it up and add an element of difficulty by doing them backwards. Yes, you read that right, we said backwards. Now, we know perfectly well that hitting high knees with good form while going backwards will pose a bit of a challenge, which is why we suggest trying it out on the treadmill.
Set your treadmill to 3 miles per hour and straddle the moving band with your back to the machine’s monitor. Hold yourself steady by grasping the wide railings and proceed with your high knees.
Skip your run off the mill side lunges and go for more of a challenge by doing your side lunges on the treadmill. Not only will doing this challenge your balance, it will also for you to keep up the pace with your lunges while keeping your form since the band will move non-stop. Start with the treadmill on 0.5 miles an hour and warm up with a few seconds on walking. When you’re ready, step forward and turn your body to the side to drop down into a lunch.
Press into your other heel stand and simultaneously shift your lead foot over to lunge again. Keep yourself steady and safe from any potential falls by hanging onto the treadmill railing throughout the exercise. Try keeping this pace for 30 seconds per leg to really feel that burn.
Who says the treadmill needs to be on to give your muscles and cardiovascular system a decent work out? For the treadmill push, you’ll need to turn the treadmill off before anything else. Next, place your hands at the front railing and brace yourself before pushing hard with your legs to start moving the belt with your own power.
Get the belt moving as fast as you can and keep up the pace for as long as you can. If you can make it, go for a minute. We guarantee you’ll feel the burn in your quads as you lean forward and really work to make that belt move. Think of it as pulling a very heavy sled, only without the sled…or pulling for that matter.
Crab walks on solid ground are hard enough on their own. Now imagine how tough they’ll be when you attempt then on a treadmill. To get this done, set your treadmill to 1 mile per hour and crouch down at the end of the machine. Place your hands on either side of the belt to start and move your hands onto the belt once you’re ready and balanced. Walk your hands away from you as the belt moves to start your crab walk.
You can expect to feel a real burn in your arms, abs and shoulders for this exercise. If you’re easing the burden of your hands, you’ll likely feel a good burn in your quads too. This is an excellent exercise to get your heart rate up while working on toning your muscles. See if you can last crab walking on the treadmill for a full minute before switching to your next exercise.
One-Legged Push Ups
Here’s another exercise to do with the treadmill turned off. This one will really challenge your back, chest and arms to work harder than ever. Start by placing your hands on the front handle of the machine. Walk yourself a few steps back so you can get into a modified push up position.
While keeping your body in a straight line and engaging your core, bend your elbows so that you lower yourself chest first towards the front bar. Press back up through your palms and extern your elbow to return to your starting position. If these push-ups aren’t challenging, add alternating knee-to-elbows in every time you lower your chest to the bar. Get 20 repetitions in before switching to your next exercise for maximum effect.
Ready to give your arms and chest the work out of a life time? For this exercise, you’ll have to keep the treadmill turned off. Sit down at the center of the band, with your back to the monitor of the treadmill. Your knees should stay bent while the soles of your feet remain firmly planted on the band.
At this point, you can lean backward and grab the railings of the treadmill with both of your hands. Lift your rear off of the treadmill band and press into your heels to keep your lower body engaged. When your chest is parallel to the ground and your feet are stable, start pulling yourself up, utilizing your chest strength and arms to lift your body up. Lower yourself down with control then repeat again.