Turn your treadmill into a full-body gym!

So you bought a treadmill, and over time, THIS is what it looks like now – it’s your very expensive coat hanger. Don’t fret, you’re not the only one. Some people quit using their treadmill because it’s not set up in an area that is conducive to training, others quit because they just aren’t motivated to use it, and many people simply don’t use it because it’s boring. No More!

If you think all you can do is walk or run on a treadmill, think again. Although a treadmill can transform six feet of space into a three-mile track, you don’t have to limit your activity to traditional treadmill exercises.  A treadmill can literally be your own personal trainer, transforming a boring walk in to so much more.

Think about it. What’s stopping you from doing walking lunges on a treadmill? Nothing! How about skipping or jumping? You guessed it, nothing. Just because it’s not in the owner’s manual doesn’t mean it can’t be done – and there’s no better time to try something new than now.

It’s time to think outside the box. In this economy, we need to make the most of what we have. If you have access to a treadmill at your home, community club or gym, it’s time to make the most out of your treadmill workout.

Personally, Steve and I like the Sole F80 from Sears, but no matter what treadmill you use, treadmills offer benefits regular exercises don’t, like setting a pace you have to follow – unless you want to fly off the back.  Another perk is a treadmill keeps time. This allows you to set goals based on time, like doing exercises for a number of seconds or minutes.  Next, a treadmill keeps you moving. Even if you are resting between sprints or exercises, resting on a treadmill should still be a walk. Lastly, treadmills are safe. Some of the best treadmill exercises are performed at a pace less than one mile an hour.

Here are 5 one-minute exercises to spice up your treadmill workout. Start with a 3-minute warm-up, starting with a 1-minute power walk or jog, a 1-minute run and a 1-minute run uphill. Then complete the following exercises, repeating the 5 exercises 3 times for an 18-minute full body workout. Repeat the entire circuit for a complete high-calorie, fat-burning workout.

 1. High Marches – This simple exercise not only helps prevent trip and falls, but it is a great warm-up too. Begin walking at a slow pace, stretching your hands straight out in front of you. Lift your knees high toward your hands with each big step. This exercise strengthens weak hip flexors, the muscles responsible for lifting your feet up off the ground while toning your shoulders. Do this for one minute at a comfortable slow pace. Each step should be bigger than life for the full effect.

 2. Walking Lunges – There is no other exercise that lifts and firms the glutes like a walking lunge. Walking at one mile an hour, take big steps forward, lunging deeply with each stride. Grab some dumbbells and you will be training like a pro.

 3. Jump Squats – This exercise builds leg strength, gets the heart pumping and the rump rocking! Standing on the ground behind the treadmill, jump up on to the slow-moving treadmill (set at between .5-1 mile per hour) into a deep squat and ride the belt back, jumping back on the ground to repeat.

 4. Hand Walking – Hand walking builds arm strength while strengthening the core. Start by getting in push-up position, with your feet on the ground behind the treadmill and hands on the side rails facing the front of the treadmill. Begin walking with your hands while stabilizing your body, engaging your back and ab muscles. Beginners can modify the exercise by moving to the knees. The body should be completely straight from the knees (or feet) to the head for proper form. Take a break at the 30-second part and shake out your hands if you can’t do the full 30-seconds straight.

 5. Mountain Climbers – This exercise is also great for your upper body and core. Flip around from the hand walking position, placing your hands on the ground in push-up position and your feet behind you on the side rails of the treadmill. Begin the exercise by alternating your feet back and forth with a quick hopping motion. These can be done fast or slow depending on the speed, both speeds being equally challenging.

Add variety to your training by incorporating these alternative treadmill exercises in your normal training routine and never have another boring treadmill workout again.

Visit our workout page at http://www.pfiesterpFIT.com for more treadmill exercises and training ideas.

*For your safety, caution should be taken when attempting any new exercise. Refer to your equipment manual for additional safety tips and information.



About Bonnie Pfiester

Fitness Columnist and Lifestyle Coach, Resident Trainer for Designer Whey, Fitness Advisor for FitStudio, powered by Sears, FitFluential Ambassador and Owner of Max Fitness Club, home of BCx Boot Camp in Vero Beach, Florida.

Posted on May 20, 2011, in Encouragement, Exercise & Training, Self-Help. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. The Reality of White Picket Fences

    I’lll buy your DVD when it is out! I have a treadmill and need to work out more!

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