What comes to mind when thinking about treadmill workouts? You might associate them with being monotonous or lackluster. Like with most things, it’s all about your approach. There are so many ways you can easily maximize this type of cardio so that it stays interesting, challenging, and something you look forward to doing during the week. Here are five ways you can make the most out of working out on a treadmill.
Prep Your Body
Having tight muscles before working out could lead to injury, so you should stretch, right? That might seem the case, but according to Harvard Health, static stretching (like quad or hamstring stretches) do not prevent injury. In fact, stretching cold muscles that haven’t had time to warm up can cause injury or soreness.
Instead, prepare for your treadmill workout by launching into a brief walk. Allot 10 minutes to begin your active warm-up and gradually increase the speed on your treadmill. As you move your body, blood will flow to those major muscle groups in your legs and help make them more pliable for the workout ahead. This is a great way to set yourself up for a great training session!
Level Up With Incline
Don’t shy away from increasing your incline. Instead of walking on a flat surface, incline training allows you to work different leg muscles, much like an outdoor hike. As Harvard Health notes, “[a]n incline setting generates more muscle activity than walking on a flat surface since you work against gravity.”
So, you could begin your treadmill workout with a brisk walk, then challenge yourself to incline walking or jogging after you’re warmed up. You can also incorporate interval training, meaning you would alternate between periods of higher and lower intensity. For example, you could lightly jog for two minutes with a zero-grade incline, then raise the treadmill to continue at a slightly faster pace for one minute.
Move to the Beat
At-home treadmill workouts can be as high-energy as you make them, especially if you add music to your session. Have you ever wondered why cycling or HIIT classes have high-tempo music playing? There’s research suggesting that fast-paced songs can have a positive effect on physical performance.
A small 2020 study found that listening to high-tempo music while working out increased participants’ heart rates and altered their perception of the workout difficulty. At higher BPMs (beat per minute), music can help us feel motivated to keep pushing, which is why you’ll hear those electronic tunes coming from cycling and boot camp-style classes. iFIT features 11 Feed.FM music stations, allowing you to choose the genre of music you want to listen to while you work out!
Mix Your Routine Up
Some days, you may not feel like walking or jogging on your treadmill without something extra added to the mix. Many different bodyweight movements can be done on your treadmill when set to a very slow setting. Lunges, quarter squats, calf raises, and butt kicks are a few exercises that can amplify your everyday cardio routine. You’ll naturally work different leg muscles, building strength along the way.
Not interested in doing strength training on the treadmill? Make it a HIIT workout and go off to the side of your machine for cross-training! If you don’t want to plan your own workouts, iFIT has an extensive workout Library filled with hundreds of great treadmill workouts. iFIT Trainers like Hannah Eden, Stacie Clark, and John Peel will coach you through exciting, immersive workouts that’ll keep your interest high.
Take Advantage of Cooldowns
Just as active warmups are key to great workouts, cooling down afterward will help prepare your body for tomorrow’s treadmill exercise. Since you’re done with your workout, you can engage in static stretching for muscle recovery. iFIT also offers a wide range of stretching workouts to guide you through specific movements relevant to the muscle groups you’ve trained on any given day. Those extra 10 to 15 minutes of stretching can make a world of difference in your progress!
NordicTrack Treadmill Workouts
Make treadmill workouts something to get excited about with these easy tips! NordicTrack offers a range of treadmills that will suit both your interests and budget for your home gym. From our most popular Commercial series treadmill to the Commercial x32i and x22i treadmills with an industry-leading 40% incline, find the right machine for you at NordicTrack.
Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. iFIT assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article. Always follow the safety precautions included in the owner’s manual of your fitness equipment.
iFIT is a subscription service available through your NordicTrack treadmill.