The treadmill is a place of both pain and pleasure, it can be the reason you go to the gym and the reason you dread it…
Although hated and loved, the treadmill is arguably the most frequently used piece of fitness equipment in a gym. This is because it has the unique ability of being able to suit beginners, novices and professional athletes. The majority of gyms, small or large, find good treadmill hire options before anything else. This is because a treadmill, unlike most other cardio machines, is used by all gym members. However, the majority of us are not maximising their potential. We don’t realise what amazing machines they really are. They aren’t just for endurance training, you can both cut fat and build muscle with treadmills more effectively that you might have realised.
Today, Matthew from Fit Hire, shares tried and tested tips and tricks on how to maximize the treadmills potential. Whether you are looking to cut fat, increase your stamina or build muscle he has something for you.
Tip #1: Strength training for the treadmill
You might not think that you can actually do strength training without weights on the treadmill, but you can! It works by incorporating interval training into your time on the equipment, like doing a HIIT (high intensity interval training). This will aim to increase the strength in your legs and core which will build the muscle in this area and help you to look more toned. For the following routine you will need some space near or behind the treadmill you are going to use, but if you can do this then it really does work:
- 2 minutes of a brisk walk
- 2 minutes of an easy jog
- 1 minute of running at natural speed
- Sprint for 30 seconds
- 30 seconds rest
- Sprint for 30 seconds
- Hop off the treadmill and do 15 jump squats followed by 10 sit-ups
- Back on the treadmill with 30 seconds off a brisk walk
- Increase the speed to a sprint and sprint for 30 seconds
- 1 minute rest
- Repeat this circuit 3-5 times
Please remember to take care when doing this routine and always find out what speeds you are comfortable at first. You can also change the type of exercise you do in-between the sprints. Alternatively, you can add weight if needed – Weighted vests work well.
Tip #2: Bring the outside in
Ever noticed how running outside seems harder than running in the gym? This is because the ground you are running on outside is never flat, even when it seems it. This challenges your body to work harder and adapt to the uneven ground. All treadmills now have settings where you can increase or decrease the angle of which you run on. However, you don’t need to go crazy with this. Jay Blahnik, the creator of the famous Tread & Shred class at Equinox Fitness Club, says:
“To mimic flat ground, move the treadmill’s incline to 1 percent instead of 0. This makes up for the fact that there’s no forward motion when you run in place. Ramp up the incline to 4 percent or more for hills.”
Tip #3 Find the sweet spot
It may seem obvious, but it’s really important to find out where on the treadmill you should be running. If you run too close to the screen then you change the way your arms swing as you run. If you’re too far away, you will take smaller steps to avoid feeling like you’re going to fall off. Find the perfect place in the middle of the treadmill belt to ensure you’re running naturally and with good posture to avoid any injuries and strains. Most gyms will have looked at many different treadmill hire options before settling on one type so ensure yours is up to date and safely secured to the floor.
Tip #4 Kill the boredom
Many of us enjoy running on the treadmill, but for those who don’t, we can help! The boredom usually boils down to clock watching. Counting the minutes, even seconds, until you are done makes the time drag and causes boredom to set in. Some people try to watch TV on the treadmill, but if you are watching TV then it’s unlikely you are really pushing yourself. So, the best way to cure this is to not set yourself time limits, set yourself song limits. For example, instead of saying “I will run for the next 5 minutes” run for the entirety of your favourite song. Or, create a playlist and run to that, maybe change speeds at certain times of the songs etc. The key is to not keep checking the time, listen to the music and enjoy yourself.
Tip #5 How to target your Glutes on the treadmill
A lot of people squat or deadlift to target their Glutes, but you can actually work on them on a treadmill, very effectively. By increasing the incline to between 8-12% and doing a cardio hill-walk type of routine then you will hit that area of your body quickly and easily. The great thing about this is that there is a much smaller chance of injury and anybody at any level can try it. If you do this for 20 minutes, make sure you adjust the incline angle every few minutes, up and down, to shock your body and get the most out of it. However, remember to keep the speed the same and don’t run during this routine, keep it a steady walk.
Tip #6 Burn fat in 20 minutes
The HIIT exercise routine has taken the nation by storm recently, promising fantastic fat burning results in a short space of time. There are plenty of videos online showing different routines and exercises to do. However, you can perform HIIT on a treadmill! If you are looking to burn fat, try sprinting for 30 seconds, resting for 30 seconds then repeating for a total of 10-20 minutes. This will allow your body to keep burning energy for hours after you have finished in the gym.
Tip #7 Keep track of your stride count
Improving your stride count means improving the efficiency of your run. A professional runner will run about 180 steps a minute so it is good to keep that in the back of your mind. Count how many times your foot hits the belt in a minute and then double it to determine your stride count. Take shorter, quicker strides to improve your stride count and thus improving your overall workout.
Tip #8 Check your equipment
By ‘check your equipment’ we don’t mean the treadmill hire, we simply mean your personal equipment. Think trainers, headphones and clothes. A good pair of running trainers can make a huge difference in how much you enjoy your time on the treadmill. They can be expensive, but shop around. A good pair should last you a very long time and improve your workouts. Headphones can also have a large impact on your exercise, a pair that both sounds great and is secure while running can make all the difference.
Tip #9 Stay Hydrated!
It may sound a little obvious, but, many of us get to that point when running where we don’t want to stop for a water break because it will break our rhythm. It can be hard to get back into it once you step off or slow down. However, staying hydrated is crucial to your stamina and keeping body fatigue at bay. Try to avoid energy drinks too, these can often be misleading. Advertised as a great way of keeping your energy up, they’re really are just full of sugar!!!
Tip #10 Dive in deeper
When a gym is looking for treadmill hire options, they normally source the most modern and impressive machines around. However, many of us never really venture in that deep into their features or functions. Many have fantastic features, from pre-planned exercise routines to HD running videos. Trying something new when you go to the gym keeps it fresh and fun. Considering the different ways to use your treadmill keeps things it exciting and enjoyable.
There we have it, 10 great tips to help you enjoy your time on the treadmill more…
The team at Fit Hire hope that these tips and tricks help you to enjoy your time on this great piece of fitness equipment. Although this guide is focused around working out in a gym it is worth noting that you can actually find great deals for home treadmill hire. If you have any questions at all then please do not hesitate to contact Fit Hire here.