How to get a full body workout on the treadmill

October 8, 2014
How to get a full body workout on the treadmill
How to get a full body workout on the treadmill

Home treadmills are an effective way of improving your cardiovascular system and helping you reach your fitness goals, whatever they may be. The treadmill is more than just a machine to build strong legs, however. You can actually get a total body workout on your home treadmill to give yourself the most powerful fitness routine as possible.

While running and walking are great ways to strengthen your leg muscles, there are a variety of other exercises you can do on your treadmill to target certain areas of your legs. Start with a one-minute jog or brisk walk, and then decrease your speed as needed to complete the following activities:

Walking lunges: Give your glutes and quads a workout by walking at about 1 mile an hour and taking large steps forward, deeply lunging with each step. Make sure that your treadmill pace is slow enough that you can pay attention to your form. Your knee should never exceed past your toe, and your knee should make a 90-degree bend each time. To make the exercise even more difficult, grab a pair of dumbbells to add some extra weight.

High knees: This particular exercise actually works a lot more than your legs. While walking at a slow pace, stretch both arms straight in front of you. With each step you take, attempt to touch each knee toward your hands. Holding up your arms tones your shoulders, and lifting your legs strengthens your quads and hip flexors.

Walk backward: Decrease your speed to a very slow pace until you become acclimated to the movement. Walking backward helps tone your hamstrings and calves.

Sideways shuffle: By side shuffling on the treadmill, you can work your legs, hips, inner and outer thighs, abs and even your obliques. Make sure to sidestep on both your right and left sides for an even workout.

Engage your core on the treadmill by doing these things during your workout:

Increase the incline: When you’re walking or running, increase the incline to activate your abdominal muscles while you workout. The higher the incline, the more your abs have to work to lift your leg up the steep incline.

Pay attention to posture: It can be easy to forget about proper posture while running or walking, but keeping your body in the right position can work your core. Make sure to keep your spine straight, stomach muscles engaged and head and eyes forward.

Bicycle: Turn off your treadmill and sit on the back edge of it. Lean back slightly so your body remains in a V-position and extend one leg out fully, then bring it back to your body as you extend the opposite leg. Continue alternating for 30 seconds. You can grab behind you onto the foot railing of the treadmill for balance if needed.

Make the most of your treadmill workout by paying attention to your arms. Add these exercises to your routine to tone your biceps and triceps:

Carry weights: Briskly walk on the treadmill while carrying a dumbbell in each hand to get your arm muscles involved in the workout.

Tricep dips: Turn off your treadmill, and then stand on the machine, placing your arms behind you on the rails. Lean back so your weight is in your heels, and bend your arms, then push yourself back up to a starting position to tone your triceps. Repeat 10 times.

Pushups: Leaving the treadmill off, put yourself in a pushup position, with your feet on the floor and your hands on the outside foot railing of your treadmill. Perform 10 pushups, keeping your back straight. If it’s too difficult, you can drop your knees to the ground for a modified pushup.