Hitting the treadmill is one of the best ways to shed extra pounds. However, doing the same routine every time can make you less motivated. Spice up your weight loss exercise with these treadmill workouts! These tweaks may be the secret to achieving your fitness goals.
Walking or running on the treadmill will be difficult at first. difficult at first. As you progress, it will become easier when your body begins to adapt. However, when this happens, the benefits you get from the exercise, particularly the calories you burn, also become less.
The key to an effective weight loss workout is to keep challenging your body. And one foolproof technique to do it is to add variety to your workout routine at home. Check out these suggestions to overcome the treadmill blues!
1. HIIT Workout
Don’t limit your treadmill workouts to walking or running at a steady pace. Go for high-intensity interval training (HIIT) instead. This technique involves doing intense bursts of exercises in between resting periods.
It also supercharges your heart rate to activate your muscles, use up more energy and burn more calories in a shorter amount of time. A 2019 study even concluded that HIIT results in higher fat loss. Here’s a sample treadmill routine you can try:
- Start with a warm-up walk or jog for 5 to 10 minutes (2mph).
- Switch to a hard-running pace for 30 seconds (9-10mph).
- Then do a recovery walk or jog for 1 minute (3-4 mph).
- Return to hard running pace for 1 minute.
- Slow down to a recovery walk or jog for 1 minute.
- Then do a final hard running pace for 30 seconds.
- End the routine with a cool-down walk for 5 to 10 minutes (2mph).
For a more advanced workout, you can add more minutes or sprints to your plan. Just remember that more intense routines will require longer resting intervals.
2. Multidirectional Workout
The treadmill belt goes in one direction only, but that doesn’t mean you have to stick to that. So, here’s another smart idea to add variety to your treadmill workouts: try moving backwards or sideways! Unconventional movements require you to focus and exert more effort, resulting in maximised calorie burn. What’s more, the multidirectional challenge also strengthens your glutes, hip and thighs.
You can mix these steps with your front-facing treadmill exercise. Take extra precaution if you are doing them, though. Make sure to try it on a flat treadmill first while holding the handlebar. Get a feel of them (2mph) then gradually let go of the handrail when you’ve established a comfortable pace. To level things up, walk backwards or shuffle sideways with your knees bent or varied inclines.
3. Incline Workout
One of the best features of a treadmill is the automated incline adjustment settings. Uphill and downhill walks or jogs can make your muscles and heart work on the double. With these treadmill workouts added to your routine, you’ll also be exercising various muscles, particularly those in your hip, glutes, thighs, calves and ankles. You can start with this sequence:
- Start with a flat treadmill for a warm-up walk for 5 minutes (2mph).
- Set the machine to 1% incline then jog for 1 minute (4-6mph).
- Continue adding 1% incline every minute until you reach 8-10%.
- Start decreasing the incline setting following the same interval.
- Reduce the speed and do a cool-down walk for 5 minutes (2mph).
Take the routine up a notch by increasing the treadmill speed or adding more minutes. The intensity and intervals of the inclines should, of course, match your fitness level. So, for first-timers, you can exercise at 0.5% incline. Then perform the same sequence up to 5% incline before exercising in reverse.
4. Body-Weight Workout
Some more affordable treadmills may lack automated incline features. But guess what, you can still jazz up your routine with your exercise equipment set on flat. Adding body-weight drills to your session, for instance, is equally fun and rewarding.
Like all other variations, this technique needs getting used to before you can speed up and work harder. Try incorporating one of these examples in between your 1-minute walks or jogs:
- Walking Lunges. Set the speed to low then bend one knee forward at 90-degree angles. Perform this motion alternately with the other leg. Hold the handrail for balance if needed. Once you get the hang of it, you can increase the speed and duration or lunge while holding weights on either hand.
- Butt Kicks. Set your treadmill at a moderate speed (3mph). Then level up your jogs by kicking your heel higher towards your butt. Quickly follow this move up with your other leg and repeat for up to 30 seconds.
- High Knees. This move is the counterpart of the butt kick move. Here, instead of kicking towards your butt, you drive your knees up towards your chest in quick succession.
- Deadmill Sprints. Turn the treadmill off, hold onto the handrail then move the belt with your feet and legs. Perform 15-second sprints then follow it up with a 30-second recovery walk before repeating.
GOOD READ: Best Treadmills Under $1000 in Australia
5. Muscle-Building Workout
Building muscles is an essential component of weight loss exercises. That’s because muscles are metabolically active and burn calories even when you’re at rest. So how do you build muscles with a treadmill? Using a strength-training tool like a resistance band with handles will help. Pick two to three of these resistance moves for your recovery pace:
- Biceps Curl. With your resistance band secure (front or side of the treadmill), hold its handles with your palms up. While walking on the treadmill, begin flexing your biceps by bending your elbows towards your shoulders. Lower your hands then repeat for 30 seconds. Alternatively, you can pause the machine when doing this drill. Stand on the sides with your knees bent slightly then pull.
- Reverse Fly. After doing your 1-minute fast run, pause the treadmill and stand on its sides. Grab the handles of the band with both hands and extend your arms towards you at shoulder height. Spread your arms apart, making a wing-like formation as you pull. Return to starting position then repeat for 1 minute.
- Chest Fly. Stand on the sides of the treadmill, with your back facing the console. Grab the handles from behind then pull the band to the front at shoulder height. Return to starting position and repeat for 1 minute.
- Triceps Kickback. This drill reminds me of the skiing stance. Start with your knees soft and your arms level as you hold the band handles. Bend your upper body slightly forward then pull towards the back. Release, return to starting position and repeat.
Make Exercise Variety a Priority
Combining easy, moderate and challenging treadmill workouts is the perfect recipe for weight loss success. If you’re not sure which workout type to choose, consider consulting a personal trainer. Also, having a healthy diet will surely keep the extra pounds off. Check out these meal ideas to satisfy cravings after a great workout!