How to Make Your Treadmill Into a Full-Body Workout

(Last Updated On: November 10, 2020)

Treadmills Aren’t Just For Running Anymore 

It’s easy to get in a rut… especially when it comes to working out. Come on now… we’ve all been there!

And when you’re using a treadmill regularly, this rut can be even more mind-numbing.  You end up running, day in and day out.  Where’s the variety?

But don’t worry.  Nowadays, you can actually use your treadmill to do a whole LOT more than just run, walk or jog.

Yup! No need to go outside or go to the gym (not that it’s even an option these days.)  Instead, you can get a full-body cross training working using that trusty home treadmill.

Keep reading for a fun workout routine that will make your treadmill feel anything but boring!

Walking Plank

You may have done planks before, but not like this. Take your plank game to the next level with your treadmill.

Set your treadmill to between 1 and 2 mph and then walk around to the back. Keeping your feet on the ground behind your machine, lower yourself into a plank with your hands on the base, on either side of the moving belt.

When you’re ready, keep your body straight and start walking your hands on the treadmill. Your shoulders and core will thank you for this one.

Reverse Mountain Climbers

Set the speed on your machine to between 1 and 2 mph and walk around to the back. This time, you’re going to go into a plank position, with your hands on the ground and your feet on the treadmill base on either side of the moving belt.

When you’re ready, place your feet on the belt, walking them to maintain the pace. As one leg extends behind you, bring the other knee up to your chest before placing it down on the belt.

Crab Walk

Once again, set your speed to between 1 and 2 mph and walk around to the back of the treadmill. This time, you’re going to be facing away from the treadmill. Keeping your feet on the floor, place your hands on either side of the treadmill belt. Your stomach should be facing the ceiling.

Keep your feet flat on the floor and your hips raised, your knees should be at a 90 degree angle. When you’re ready, place your hands on the belt and walk them forward towards your feet.

This really is a full-body blaster. You’ll feel this in your triceps, core, hamstrings and glutes.

Walking Lunges

We know, it includes the word walking, but you’ll forget all about that once you start feeling the burn.

Start with your feet hip-width apart and set your treadmill to 3 mph. You can adjust this as needed.

Try to keep your hands clasped together at chest level. Step forward with your right leg and lower down until your right knee is bend to a 90 degree angle. Raise yourself back up and step forward with your left leg. Repeat this alternating legs.

If you really want to work your glutes and hamstrings, increase the incline on your machine. It won’t take much to really feel the difference.

Side Shuffles

This first side shuffle exercise is going to focus on your inner and outer thighs, as well as your calves. Plus, you’ll get some cardio in, without running.

Stand sideways on the treadmill, making sure to keep your knees slightly bent. Choose a speed between 3 mph and 5.5 mph. Perform quick side shuffles, making sure to keep your weight on the balls of your feet. This will keep you landing softly to decrease impact on your joints.

Don’t forget to switch sides to stay balanced.

Squat Side Shuffles 

This exercise sounds similar, but you’re going to be doing things a little differently. Standing sideways on your treadmill, lower yourself into a quarter squat. Make sure you keep your chest up, no hunching over.

Only bring the speed up to between 1 and 2 mph for this one. Keeping yourself in the squat position, step toward the front of the treadmill your closest leg, then follow it with your other leg. This will bring you back to your original position. Same as the side shuffles, make sure to switch sides.

You’ll really feel this on in your glutes, specifically your gluteus medius, which can be a hard to work area for many people.

Treadmill Push

Some of you may have heard of, or performed, a sled push as part of your workout before. In fact, it’s one of the star features on the popular NordicTrack x32i Incline Trainer. This exercise uses your treadmill to do the same exercise without a sled, weights, or a bunch of space.

For this exercise you want the treadmill to be stopped. Pull the emergency tag and stand on the treadmill. Grip the handles with both hands, keeping your elbows slight bent. Then drive your legs forward, manually pushing the tread belt with your feet.

Note that not all tread belts can move when the treadmill is turned off. If that’s the case, or if moving the belt is difficult, don’t keep trying. Move on to one of the other exercises.

The NordicTrack Incline Trainers are now designed specifically to allow you to do this exercise. So read our reviews of these machines and this new feature.

Incline Pushup 

For this exercise, you don’t even need to turn your treadmill on. Stand with your feet on either side of the tread belt and place your hands on the handles. Move your feet back until your body forms a straight line from your head to your heels.

Now bend your elbows and lower your chest down until you touch the console of your treadmill. Hold for a breath and then push back up.

Get all the benefits of a traditional pushup without getting up and down off the floor.

Instead of going through the motions next time you prep for your usual run, remember that your treadmill isn’t just for running. Take advantage of all your treadmill can do to and a great full-body workout.

If you’d like to find a great treadmill to bring into your home, check out our Best Buy Treadmills today!