Exercises You Can Do on the Treadmill That Aren’t Running

by Jari Love

Here are some exercises provided by strength and conditioning specialist Mike Donavanik that offer an alternative to just running on the treadmill.  The moves will strengthen your entire body and get your heart rate up to burn crazy calories. Try performing these exercises—which Donavanik demos in the videos below—before, after, or even instead of your regular run. 

  1. Walking Lunges

Doing walking lunges across your gym floor is next to impossible. There’s never enough room, and that girl on her cell phone has zero clue she’s standing right in your way. Performing them on a treadmill removes the obstacles so that you can focus on the move and get the most from every leg-burning lunge.

To do: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and turn the treadmill’s speed up to 3 mph (you can tweak this as necessary). Keeping your hands clasped together at chest level, step forward with your right leg and lower your body until your right knee is bent at least 90 degrees. Then, rise up and bring your back foot forward so that you move forward, alternating legs with each step. To focus on your glutes and hamstrings, set the treadmill to an incline of five percent. 

  1. Side Shuffles

Side shuffles work both your inner and outer thighs, while also toning you calves and doubling as a cardio exercise.

To do: Stand sideways on the treadmill with your knees slightly bent, and bring the speed up to between 3 and 5.5 mph. Perform quick and rapid side shuffles, making sure to land softly on the balls of your feet. Switch sides.

 

  1. Low (Squat) Side Shuffles

This exercise works your hard-to-hit glute medius—basically, your side butt. Nice.

To do: Stand sideways on the treadmill, and get into a quarter-squat position, keeping your chest up and core braced. Bring the speed up to 1 to 2 mph. Staying in the quarter-squat position, step toward the front of the treadmill with your closest leg, and then follow with your opposite leg. Switch sides.

 

  1. Walking Plank

And you thought the traditional plank was rough. This variation works the front of your shoulders like no other, while forcing your stabilizers to work harder than ever.

To do: Set the treadmill to 1 to 2 mph, then walk behind the treadmill and get into a plank position, with your hands on the side of the treadmill base. Keeping your body in a straight line from head to heels, place your hands on the treadmill band and walk your hands forward for the duration of the exercise. 

  1. Reverse Mountain Climbers

While a traditional mountain climber will work your entire body, this variation places more emphasis on kicking your legs back, as opposed to driving your knees in. That’s good news if you’re trying to sculpt your backside.

To do: Set the treadmill to 1 to 2 mph, then walk behind the treadmill and get into a plank position, facing away from the machine. Your feet should be on the sides of the treadmill base and your hands on the floor. When you’re ready, bring your feet onto the treadmill, and drive one knee into your chest as the other leg extends back. Switch legs for the duration of the exercise.

 

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Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

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