Most of us have a workout companion or a gym acquaintance with a particular distaste for treadmills. Actually, treadmills are a lot more versatile than most people think. Sure, you can use them for standard running or walking, but they’re also good for other forms of low-impact cardio. They can help you pull off some great strength training moves as well. The following are just a few of our favorites.
1. Treadmill Body Lifts
To perform this move, you’ll need a treadmill that comes equipped with sturdy handlebars, like the PT10 from Steelflex. Start by walking on your treadmill at a pace of 3.5 mph, with your hands firmly gripping each handlebar. Lift your body into the air by putting all of your weight onto your arms and straightening them completely, pushing yourself upward in the process.
As you do this, keep your legs moving by making running motions in mid-air as if you were still in motion on the treadmill. Make sure you’re lifting your knees as high as possible toward your chest. Set your feet back down on the treadmill and take one or two steps. Then repeat the body lift sequence detailed above. Continue for a total of 60 seconds.
2. Treadmill Mountain Climbers
If you’re using a power treadmill for this move, you’ll need to make sure it’s switched off. Then arrange yourself in a plank position on top of it. Your arms should be placed palms down on the front of the mill while your legs are extended behind you on the belt, supported by your toes.
Now start walking slowly with your legs, moving the belt manually. Gradually speed up to a run. If you feel yourself speeding up too quickly, adjust your pace so your movements become more controlled and deliberate. Consciously keep your abs tight and controlled as you do this. You’ll also want to take care not to arch your back. Continue for 60 seconds.
3. Sitting Pull-Ups
As with the mountain climbers detailed above, you’ll want to make sure your treadmill is switched off if using a powered option. Assume a sitting position underneath the handlebars toward the top of the belt. You should be facing toward the back of the machine. Your knees should be bent comfortably, and your feet should be flat on the belt in front of you, shoulder-width apart.
Grasp the treadmill’s handlebars with your hands, palms facing inward. Using just your arms and abs, pull your body upward toward the handlebars, with your feet flat on the belt. Keep your abdominals tight as you do this and avoid arching your back at all. Then slowly lower your body back down until you’ve reached the starting position again. Repeat until you’ve completed 10 reps.
To begin this move, switch your treadmill off and sit underneath the handlebars toward the top of the belt. Make sure you’re facing towards the back of the mill. Reach your arms upward and grasp the handlebars firmly. While continuing to hold onto the handlebars, lift your legs into a tabletop position so that your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle.
Slowly twist your torso to the left while simultaneously twisting your legs to the right. Your right leg should be on the bottom and your left on the top after you’ve completed the maneuver. Straighten out your right leg while crossing your left over it to form an L-shape. Switch sides and repeat the sequence. Continue until you’ve completed 15 reps on each side.
5. Treadmill Leg Lifts
Make sure your treadmill is turned off and stand on it as if you were about to start walking on it. Grab the handlebars with both hands, and using your arms for support, sit back into a squat position. Cross your right leg underneath your left.
Now stand back up. As you do so, lift your right leg upward. Bend your knee and place the bottom of your right foot against your left knee. Repeat this sequence 10 times. Then switch legs and do another 10 reps.