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Treadmill Workout Tips

Emily Brathen provides eight tips to help you achieve a more productive treadmill workout.

If you are trying to lose weight, your go-to exercise would surely be cardio. Running, swimming, walking, and hiking—you name it, it can help you to shed off those excess pounds. Many people feel that outdoor running and walking are the best cardio exercises that they can do.

However, we are well aware that we cannot go outdoors at all times, especially if the weather does not permit it. That is why experts recommend doing a treadmill for those days. For sure, you may feel that running on a treadmill is not as effective as running outside. That may be true, but there are a few treadmill tricks that you can try to make the most out of your treadmill workout. Here are some of them:

Do not be afraid to mix it up.

One of the best things about using a treadmill is that you have complete control over the format of your run. You can set the pace and time, and because of this, you have every freedom to mix things up a bit. Do not just walk at the same pace. It would help if you took advantage of the treadmill's different speeds, incline, and decline settings so that you can make your workout fun and exciting and efficient.

Run on an incline.

If there is one benefit of taking advantage of your treadmill's incline option, it is that you do not have to worry about running back down. This is critical given that it is downhill running, which will increase your chances of experiencing leg soreness and knee and calf injuries.

Do proper warm-up and cool-down.

As we all know, doing warm-ups is vital in preparing your body for the tedious physical activity ahead of you, helping to decrease your risk of injury. On the other hand, cool-downs are designed to help you recover faster and safer.

To do a proper warm-up, it is recommended that you walk for 3 minutes, jog for 3 minutes and apply the 3 x 20/40s principle, which means three sets of running fast for 20 seconds and taking a rest for 40 seconds.

For a proper cool-down, it is recommended that you spend the last few minutes of your workout walking on the treadmill.

As a rule of thumb, you should walk for a minute for every mile you have run during your workout.


Incorporate intervals.

Maybe you have heard about HIIT or the High-Intensity Interval Training and how effective it can be in stimulating your workouts and preventing you from hitting a fitness plateau. In addition to that, alternating high-intensity exercises between recovery periods will allow you to reap the effects of longer workouts at a much shorter session. Well, you can also apply that to your treadmill workout. You can do this by alternating sprints between jogs and rest periods.

Let the music get you through the workout.

If there is one downside to treadmill workouts, it is the fact that it can get quite dull. When you are outdoors, the scenery and the people can keep you busy and entertained, but you will be watching the same scene day in and day out on the treadmill.

To combat boredom, it is recommended that you listen to the most upbeat music that you have on your phone. Doing so will give you the boost you need to endure the long workout session.

Instead of counting your remaining exercise period in minutes, do it in songs. Instead of saying “I will run for a few more minutes”, say “I will run for a few more songs”.

It may not seem that much but rest assured, it will get you through the workout. 


Try sidestepping.

Well, you do not have to walk forward at all times on the treadmill. If you wish to maximize the muscles you are using during your treadmill session, try stepping sideways. Doing so can help engage your abs, obliques, calves, inner and outer thighs, and hips. It will not just assist you to lose weight—this simple move can help improve your strength and balance.

As you learn to master the move, it will be easy for you to increase your workout's resistance and speed. If this is your first time doing it, it is recommended that you start at a slow pace. You have to make sure that you will invest an equal amount of time on your right side as you will do on your left.

Put your arms above your head.

Yes, you will look funny when you do this, but there is one great reason why we are asking you to do so. This simple move can give your muscles a more significant challenge than the usual physique that you practice in your everyday walks. It can also get your heart rate up and make the workout a lot more productive. Make sure you do this while you are speed walking to make the most out of your sessions.

Apply the 30-20-10 principle.

If you are already feeling a bit bored with your treadmill sessions, you can inject some fun into it (and stimulate your muscles at the same time) by applying the 30-20-10 principle or by performing a 30-second jog, 20-second moderate run, and 10-second sprint. This simple pattern can give your fat-burning mechanism the boost it needs.

Yes, running on a treadmill can be as effective (or sometimes more productive) as running outdoors. You have to follow the simple hacks that we have mentioned above. And also, do not forget to buy the right treadmill. Make sure to read online treadmill reviews so you can find the machine that can help you achieve your fitness goals.

Page Reference

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  • BRATHEN, E. (2017) Treadmill Workout Tips [WWW] Available from: [Accessed

About the Author

BodyShape101 is concentrated on exercise & fitness tips and making the most out of them. They aim to help people like you achieve the perfect body. Emily Brathen is the blog founder where she and her associates talk about exercise, fitness, and yoga. She is also a mother of one, and she tries to find a balance between her passion and her most immense joy in life.