Most Effective Treadmill Exercises

As the summer sun fades and winter sets in, running outdoors becomes more and more of a chore. With three of the most effective treadmill exercises, though, you can keep your body in peak condition throughout the fall and winter—without ever leaving your house.

Sidewinder Workout

If running and sprinting isn’t exactly your speed, a sidewinder workout may be perfect for you. While the thought of simply walking on a treadmill may seem easy, these sidewinder workouts come with a twist that works your glutes and quads. Setting your treadmill at a slower speed, turn at a 90-degree angle so your feet are perpendicular to the front of the treadmill. Then, shuffle your feet from side to side or step one foot in front of the other as you walk along the treadmill. For an added challenge, you can adjust the treadmill to a slight incline.

Though this exercise is a bit lower-intensity than some other treadmill workouts, it’s still a great way to increase your heart rate and gain strength and definition in your glutes and legs. This workout targets your hips and, due to the abnormal gait, can also help improve your balance.

Sprint Interval Training

There are many variations for sprint interval workouts and they’re certainly among the more common and most effective treadmill exercises out there. This exercise is perfect for people who are training for a marathon or are simply looking to burn fat and gain muscle. Interval training can help improve your sprint performance and pace and can strengthen your cardiovascular system as a whole.

Because sprint interval workouts can be quite intense, however, they should only be performed after you’ve established a base fitness level that allows you to run consistently for 20 minutes at a time. This form of treadmill exercise tends to be a bit more grueling than other exercises and, as such, you should only perform this type of training a few times a week, allowing for at least two recovery days between each session.

Fartlek Training

Fartlek may seem like a silly, nonsense word, but it can actually be a seriously intense workout. From a Swedish term meaning “speed play,” this treadmill exercise focuses on interval training at various speeds. Fartlek intervals are not as structured as other interval training exercises, in which the intervals are determined by a specific time frame or distance. Fartlek intervals are instead dependent on how the body feels, allowing you to experiment with speed and endurance at your own pace. This form of interval training allows a bit more flexibility and encourages you to establish your own measurement system for the intervals, using landmarks, distance, or time as your markers.

To try the fartlek method for yourself, start by running at your normal speed, then speed up to a faster pace for the duration of your chosen interval. After this brief sprint, slow down a bit below your normal pace for as long as it takes to regain your breath, then increase the speed back to your normal running pace and repeat the process three to four times.

To purchase exercise equipment in Michigan and begin your own treadmill training process, stop by an American Home Fitness store and speak with one of our knowledgeable team members.