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Ramp Up Your Treadmill Workouts

One of the latest crazes to hit the fitness world, and particularly California, is the treadmill workout class. Thats all good and fine, but one of the reasons for purchasing your own treadmill was supposed to be so you could workout at home and not need to go near a gym or gym class heaven forbid.

But realistically treadmill routines can become stale very soon. If you have to force yourself to use your treadmill more than likely than not you are bored with not only your machine but the way you use it. Static runs can get old very soon. Treadmills were built for more than just jogging.

Meet The Sideways Shuffle

Ok, so this sounds scarier than it actually is. The trick is to start extremely slow, dont cross your feet, just shuffle them side to side, yes thats right, just like you were taking sidesteps as a kid on the sidewalk to avoid the cracks.

Well like a kid you will soon get the fun factor back into your routine if you think a little out of the box. The side shuffle will also work your legs in a unique way, you will probably feel it a lot more on the hips and the outer thighs.

If you constantly do the same workout your body stagnates. You need to challenge it with something new. So onto the next exercise.

Backwards Walking

Hint, just walk and dont do anything at a fast pace or you will certain come-a cropper. Hold onto the side rails to steady yourself and walk in reverse. This will put a lot more emphasis on your hamstrings.

Heres a super tip, slowly raise the incline and you will feel it a lot more. If your machine has a decline as well, try it that way. If yours goes really steep it will be like using a stepper machine, only in reverse. The key here is to go slowly, you dont want an injury.

Interval Training

This is one of the key cardiovascular exercise routines you can do on a treadmill. But not only does it work on fitness and trim fat, it can also build muscle. Also known as HIIT, this type of exercise gets intense. But if you are new to it take it at your own pace.

You will need a high performing treadmill to do this on. If yours is not up to scratch heres one that is, that is not that expensive. Something like the Cadence g 5.9 or r 5.2 treadmill by Weslo. The Treadmill Reviewers pitted both against each other here: http://treadmillreviewers.net. So heres how you do it. It involves going from walking into sprint bursts, then back to a jogging pace. You rinse and repeat this several times over the course of 10-20 minutes depending on your level of fitness.

Heres how a workout might look.

1. Start walking for 2 minutes to loosen up

2. Slowly increase the pace to a light jog from minutes 2-4

3. Minutes 4-5 work into a brisk jog

4. Sprint at a high tempo for 30 secs

5. Lower to a light jog for 2 and a half minutes (now at minute 8-)

6. From minute 8-10 work into a fast jog

7. At minute 10 work into a faster 30 sec sprint

8. For the next 2 and a half minutes run at a light pace

9. Slow down to walking pace for the next 3 minutes then stop

This workout should take 16 minutes. You can stay on for longer or decrease the time between sprints. Once fully warmed you can sprint as fast as you like. But stay in your comfort zone, dont push your heart rate too fast or you could faint, or even damage your heart. The aim is to increase your fitness or build leg muscles, not to get admitted to hospital.

If you want to build stronger leg muscles use the incline on the machine. For extra intensity raise it up as your workout progresses. Just remember if muscle gain is your goal dont stay on too long, and up your protein shake to compensate for the dispensed calories.

The key to preventing boredom from creeping in on the treadmill is to add variety. But from a health standpoint a lot of research actually shows that doing long low paced jogging routines on a treadmill is actually bad for your health. Long treadmill routines cause the stress hormone cortisol to build up in your body.

This can damage your heart and it also leads your body to hold onto its fat deposits, especially around the midriff. If you see someone 40+ always doing a long low intensity jog on the treadmill and wonder why they arent shifting stubborn fat areas, or looking any healthier you know why. Train smart and your body and mind will appreciate it.

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