If you have to choose one piece of equipment to save time, money or space, you must get your groove on with the treadmill. The controls on a treadmill console enable you to quickly change your speed and elevation so you can follow a training plan to a T. Speed workouts and hill runs offer the best ways to exercise on a treadmill, as these provide the greatest improvement in aerobic fitness in the least time. Warm up with five minutes of light jogging or bicycling before beginning your treadmill workout.
Elevate the treadmill to a 3 percent incline and walk for three minutes. Choose a moderate speed such as 3.2 mph.
Increase the incline of the treadmill to 8 percent and walk for two minutes. Choose a slower speed such as 2.9 mph for the inclined walk.
Lower the elevation to a 3 percent incline and walk for three minutes; return the speed back to your moderate pace. Increase the incline to 10 percent and walk for two minutes at your slower speed of 2.9 mph. You should be huffing and puffing.
Continue to alternate between a low incline and a higher incline, gradually increasing the higher incline until you are walking at the highest possible elevation on the treadmill. Complete this hill workout two days per week to lift your butt and tone the back of your thighs, especially at the fold just beneath your buns.
Set the incline of the treadmill to only 1 percent. Run very fast for 30 seconds, then slow the treadmill down to a walking pace for 90 seconds.
Run for another 30 seconds, faster than your prior interval. Walk for 90 seconds at the same walking pace.
Continue to alternate between sprinting for 30 seconds and walking for 90 seconds, increasing your pace with every sprint. Pump your arms during the sprint intervals to help speed your way through this sprint workout, developing a cool, toned physique.
Contract your core muscles to maintain a stable trunk as you sprint, working your abs and your lower back; look in the mirror at the tone of your body after just a month of sprinting one to two days per week. Complete 20 to 25 minutes of this routine per workout.
- Exercise Physiology, Energy, Nutrition & Human Performance; William McArdle, et al.
- ExRx.net: Short Sprint Interval Training
- ExRx.net: Stress; Exercise, A Stress Management Tool for Mental Health and Learning
- Check with your health-care provider before beginning an exercise program for the first time or if you have been away from fitness programs for a while, or if you have any chronic health issues.
- Write down your treadmill workouts ahead of time and tape them to the treadmill.
- When you need the natural, mood-lifting hormones to pick you up, jump on the treadmill for these intense routines. Exercise is an anti-anxiety and an anti-depression tool you can use to fight the down-in-the-dump feelings that creep up, especially when it is that time of the month.
- Quickly changing your workouts increases your risk of injury. Gradually ease into these routines by doing just 10 minutes for your first week so you don’t accidentally pull a muscle or sprain a joint.
Paula Quinene is an Expert/Talent, Writer and Content Evaluator for Demand Media, with more than 1,500 articles published primarily in health, fitness and nutrition. She has been an avid weight trainer and runner since 1988. She has worked in the fitness industry since 1990. She graduated with a Bachelor's in exercise science from the University of Oregon and continues to train clients as an ACSM-Certified Health Fitness Specialist.