10 Exercises to Do on a Treadmill That Aren’t Running

Treadmills … they’re for walking and running, right? Well, yes, but this guest post (and workout!) from fitness expert and founder of DIAKADI Billy Polson will show you that they can do so much more than that. In fact, he’s got 10 exercises to do on a treadmill that are anything but ordinary. If you have a treadmill at home or at your gym but are getting a little bored with the run/walk routine, mix things up with these moves and full workout from Billy!

Exercises to Do on a Treadmill

10 Exercises to Do on a Treadmill That Aren’t Running

Typical gym workouts and equipment can be a bore for all of us from time to time. Adding a creative twist to how you are using your equipment options will not only add some fun into your workout, but will also challenge your body in innovative new ways. Getting access to a treadmill is pretty easy for all of us. Most corporate gyms have row after row of them. If you are traveling this summer, most hotel gyms even have a treadmill or two. Enjoy these tweaks with an “old favorite” piece of equipment.

Tips before you get started:

  • I highly recommend using a Woodway Treadmill, as this is what these moves were tested on.
  • Make sure machine is off and release the emergency clip.
  • If you want incline, turn on the machine and increase incline without increasing speed. Then release the emergency clip. That will keep the treadmill at an incline.

1. Mountain Climbers

Treadmill_Mountain_Climbers

Begin at the foot of the treadmill. Assume a plank position with hands placed on the floor and feet placed on the belt. From here, draw the right knee to the chest and then as that foot places back down, simultaneously draw the left knee to the chest. When the foot comes down, it should be pushing the treadmill belt away to engage glute and hamstring muscles.

Sets: 1-3, Reps: 15-30 seconds

2. Reverse Lunges

Treadmill_Reverse-Lunges

Stand at the foot of the treadmill facing away. Place one foot on the belt and slide the foot backwards to reach a full lunge. Slide the foot back in to come up to standing.

Sets: 1-3, Reps: 8-12 / leg

3. Skateboard

Treadmill_Skateboard

Stand on the treadmill but off to the safety side step. Hold onto the handles and then use the inside leg to push the belt backwards, as if you were riding a skateboard. Make sure there is a slight bend in the static leg to activate glutes, quads and hamstrings.

Sets: 1-3, Reps: 8-12 / leg

4. Plank Walk

Treadmill_Plank_Walks

Begin at the foot of the treadmill. Assume a plank position with hands on the belt and feet on the floor. Lift the right hand off the belt as the left hand pushes the belt forward. Place the right hand back down as the left hand lifts and right right hand pushes the belt forward.

Sets: 1-3, Reps: 15-30 seconds

5. Pikes

Treadmill_Pikes

Begin at the foot of the treadmill. Assume a plank position with the hands on the floor and feet on the belt. From here, draw the belly button towards the spine as the hips lift up and shoulders come into alignment above the elbows and wrists. Slowly return back to plank.

Sets: 1-3, Reps: 10-20

6. L-Sits

Treadmill_L-Sits
Holding your body with your arms on treadmill railing (pictured above), keeping legs straight, lift legs until they are parallel to the ground. Maintain pose until fatigue.  

Sets: 2-3, Reps: Hold to failure

7. Knee Tucks

Treadmill_Knee_Tucks

Maintaining the hold above, keep the body suspended the whole time and draw both knees towards the chest. Avoid letting the feet touch the belt until the final repetition.

Sets: 1-3, Reps: 10-20

8. Hamstring Curls

Treadmill_Hamstring_Curl

Lay down supine at the foot of the treadmill with the glutes as close to the edge as possible. Place the heels on the belt with the knees bent towards the body. Lift the hips up off the ground and then press the heels away from the body. Keep the hips lifted to repeat this move.

Sets: 1-3, Reps: 8-16

9. Single Leg Pikes

Treadmill_Single-Leg-Pikes

Begin at the foot of the treadmill. Assume a plank position with the hands on the floor and feet on the belt. From here, lift one foot off treadmill tucking that knee into chest. Draw the belly button towards the spine as the hips lift up and shoulders come into alignment above the elbows and wrists. Slowly return back to plank.

Sets: 2-3, Reps: 2 seconds up, 2 seconds down

10. Bridges

Treadmill_Bridge

Maintain the position above but hold a static hip bridge without the curl until fatigue.

Sets: 1-3, Reps: 30-60 seconds

Other Treadmill Workout Variations

  • Looking for single exercise additions to your current workout? Add any of these single exercises into your current lower-body, upper-body or core exercise programs.
  • Looking for some HIIT? Do the exercises in a circuit format with 30 to 60 seconds of treadmill sprinting/running between each exercise.

See? So many awesome and challenging exercises to do on a treadmills! —Billy Polson

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