It’s one of life’s great injustices: Running-no matter how religiously you do it, and no matter how far or fast you go-doesn’t guarantee you a sleek physique.
We’ve all seen the rail-thin champions, and probably have at least one running buddy who’s built like a whippet. But we also know runners who are carrying more than an extra water bottle around their waists. Or who wouldn’t be caught dead in a pair of tights.
“Runners are always amazed and frustrated when they can’t get rid of those little stomach ‘pouches,'” says Debbe Marano, a certified fitness instructor and personal trainer in New York City. Is this ringing a bell?
What you need is an overall conditioning program that builds muscle tone as well as endurance, strength, and flexibility. “The only way to eliminate those problem spots is to lower your total body fat and build muscle,” says Marano.
More muscle makes it harder for fat to settle because your metabolism is higher. This means you can burn more calories even when you’re not exercising.
But fat cells can be stubborn. And the truth is, it’s almost impossible to “spot reduce” parts of your body. Yet you can condition the underlying muscles, which will increase your overall lean muscle mass and morph that flesh into toned, tight muscle.
Here we’ll show you how to do exactly that. For each of four common problem areas-the stomach, thighs, buttocks, and arms-we offer an exercise you can do while running, an exercise you can do at the gym, and an exercise you can do at home. If none of these work to your satisfaction, we have a secret weapon guaranteed to do the job. Many runners are lean overall, but have a roll around their middle that refuses to shrink. It hangs around our torsos because we tend to have weak lower backs and abdominal muscles. And like everybody else in America, we’re sick of doing situps. Some better options:
While you’re running: Alternately tighten and relax your abdominals. Pretend you’re clutching a dollar bill between your washboard abs, and hold it for a count of 10 seconds. Do this 10 to 20 times during two or three runs a week.
In the gym: On the hanging apparatus for abs, do a knee raise with a twist. With your forearms on the pads, grab the handles and let your body hang straight down. Slowly raise your knees until your thighs are just past parallel to the ground, and at the same time, rotate your torso and aim your right knee toward the left. Pause for a second, then slowly return to your original position. Repeat on the other side. Do sets of eight to ten.
You can also use a physio ball to do a reverse crunch. Lie flat on your back with your legs bent and your calves resting on the ball. Rest your arms flat on the floor by your sides. Slide your legs to the outside of the ball and squeeze it between your knees. Now lift the ball a few inches in the air, rolling your hips up slightly toward your rib cage. This should be a very small and controlled movement-your hips should only rise an inch off the floor. Return the ball to the floor, and repeat. Do sets of eight to ten.
At home: Try a crunch with a twist. Lie on your back with legs slightly bent and arms to your sides. Keeping your head and neck relaxed and in a straight line with your torso, exhale and contract your abdominals to bring your shoulders slightly off the floor. At the top of the crunch, rotate your torso so that your left hand reaches toward the outside of your right knee. Hold for a slow count of two. Inhale as you lower yourself to the starting position. Repeat 10 times on each side, eventually working up to 30.
Secret weapon: If you have access to a pool, try this “water torture” (yep, this one’s going to be tough). Float on your back while holding a kickboard under your head and shoulders. Now use dolphin kicks (toes pointed, legs together) to propel yourself the length of the pool. Work up to 5 minutes. Most mortals can’t get close to that at first, but eventually you will. And you’ll have the ripped abs to prove it.
A.K.A: The Dreaded “Saddlebags”
The bane of many women, these extra pockets of flab can stubbornly endure miles and miles of running. This is because running doesn’t tone that area. When you run, you exercise your quads and glutes (in front and back), but not the muscles that help you move from side to side. To bust those “bags,” you’ll have to pay extra attention to the muscles in your hips and upper thighs.
While you’re running: Make time for lateral hops. During a run, find a safe place to stop momentarily. Pick an object to use as a visual marker, such as a pebble, stick, or leaf. Stand about a foot to one side of the object with your knees slightly bent, back straight, arms relaxed. Quickly jump sideways over your marker and then jump back, landing quietly and spending as little time on the ground as possible. Do this for 30 seconds, then continue on your way, stopping every 5 minutes to repeat.
In the gym: Do leg lifts. Strap on ankle weights (start with 5 pounds or less), and lie down on one side with your bottom leg bent at the knee and your top leg fully extended. Lift your top leg about a foot off the ground, then slowly lower it until your toe almost touches the floor. Repeat 15 to 20 times, then switch to the other leg. Work up to three sets for each leg.
At home: Try the boxer’s sweep kick. Assume a boxer’s stance, with your hands in front of your chin, elbows at your sides, left foot forward and right foot a few inches back, knees slightly bent. Balancing on your left leg, lift your right knee up and kick your foot straight out, “sweep” it around to the side, then back to the floor. Repeat 15 to 20 times with each leg.
Secret weapon: Buckle up your inline skates. Skating is a killer exercise for your thighs, especially if you squat down low. The lower you go, the more you’ll challenge your legs. Be sure to push out to the side with each stroke, not down or back. If you don’t have skates (or the weather is bad), replicate the motion on a slide board at the gym. Make it a workout by doing 1-minute sprints, with a 1-minute recovery between each.
Glutes get a workout from running, but if you’re genetically predisposed, they’re still a gathering place for excess fat. Maddening, for sure. If your derriere is bigger than you’d like, kick it into gear with some fancy footwork.
While you’re running: Start skipping, which, unless you happen to be 8 years old, is going to be harder than you think (this means it’s working). Every mile or so, skip like a schoolkid for a few hundred yards. Squat down low and leap up high to get the most out of the motion.
In the gym: Do standing jumps, a plyometric (explosive) move guaranteed to trim your backside. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, about 10 inches in front of a weight bench or step. Hold your arms at your sides. Squat slightly, then jump up onto the bench. Focus on landing in the center of the bench, feet flat, as quiet as a cat. Then jump back down to the starting position. This equals one. Do eight to ten at first, working up to 30.
At home: Do a plié squat. Stand with your feet a few inches wider than your shoulders, with your toes turned out at a 45-degree angle. Keep your knees slightly bent, and hold a 10-pound dumbbell in front of you. Bending your knees, lower your pelvis as if you’re going to sit. Squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Pause, then return to the starting position. Do sets of eight to ten.
Secret weapon: Try glute presses. Position yourself on all fours, but bend your elbows so that you’re resting your upper-body weight on your forearms. Extend one leg behind you with your knee bent at a 90-degree angle, the sole of your foot parallel to the ceiling. Tighten your buttocks as you push your foot up just a few inches until your thigh is parallel to the ground. Return to the starting position and repeat 15 to 20 times. Switch legs and repeat. Work up to two to three sets for each leg.

Run to tone your legs, lose weight and strengthen your core

Most people exercise to improve their bodies internally and externally. Through improved mood or body confidence, and defined abs or toned legs. For people who want to tone their legs effectively, run regularly to see quick improvements.

Aerobic exercise, like biking or jumping, burns calories, develops cardiovascular capacity and makes you fit. Anaerobic exercises, like strength training, will tone, bulk-up muscles and reduce fat.

Going on a run is great because running gives you the benefits of both aerobic and anaerobic exercise. The aerobic nature of running will help you burn extra calories, which will result in dropping extra pounds. Running requires the body to exert itself at the muscular level, which tones legs and strengthens the abdomen and waist.

If your goal is to strengthen your legs and glutes through regular running, try to add these variations to workouts. You will certainly achieve stronger and firmer muscles. Hopefully, you will also realize that going for a run has changed from a dreaded workout to an enjoyable activity.

How do you tone your body by going on a run?

Running forces you to work your muscles, particularly your legs, to exhaustion. On a run, your leg muscles — including your quadriceps, hamstrings, calves and glutes — are working hard to propel you forward.

If your goal is to get a well-toned ‘beach body,’ you need to eliminate the excess fat that often covers muscle. How does running help you achieve that coveted beach body? Jogging 10 kilometers or for approximately 60 minutes, can burn around 600 calories for a person that weighs 75-80 kilos. If you maintain a 5 km per hour pace, you can burn up to 800 calories.

Burning off this many calories in one run will help you drop those extra kilos of pesky fat. Losing fat in your legs (which is very common to have), while strengthening them will bring out toned muscles.

Gradually incorporate hills into your runs

A way to get the toned look is to gradually increase the slope of the places you run. Whether you run on a treadmill or on the street, mix it up by incorporating some hill climbs or downhills.

Introducing ramps into your training will force your legs to work harder than normal. Your calves, thighs, hamstrings and glutes will gain strength faster than if you were consistently running on a flat surface. According to Mitchell Whaley, a physiologist at Ball State University, running uphill on a slope of around 2% increases calories burned. It also strengthens legs far more than running on a flat surface.

However, if you have any injuries such as, ‘runner’s knee,’ you should focus on hill climbs with gentle slopes. Downhill slopes can worsen some injuries or cause pain. Always consult a sports or medical professional to double check if you should be running at all.

Modify your stride to tone your legs

If you always run with the same stride at a regular pace, you are going to use and abuse the same muscle groups. Combine your natural running stride with other variations, like brisk walking, zigzagging, high knees, jogging in place, or butt kicks. You will see better results and avoid over-use injuries when you run using different muscle groups.

Vary running surface

Always running on the same surface has similar (usually negative) effects on your body as does always running with the same form. Whenever possible, try to modify your route and run on various surfaces to see how they affect and improve your body.

Each terrain has benefits of how it tones your body and how it makes your body feel. Whether you like to run on sand, asphalt or trails, make sure to mix it up and try new terrains every few runs.

Introduce High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) or speed changes

If you run long distances at a moderate pace 2 or 3 times a week, you will see initial results. Eventually your body will get used to this type of moderate-impact exercise. But, by pushing your body to run harder and faster than normal, you will see improved muscle strength and faster weight loss.

If you want to incorporate speed into your run, here is an example plan. After giving yourself 10 or 15 minutes to warm-up, launch into a 1 minute series. Burst into a sprint during the first 20 seconds, and follow with 40 seconds of relaxed jogging. For best results, do this series several times during a long run.

To add difficulty to your run, bring some small weights along to carry while you run. This can help tone your leg muscles and your arm muscles at the same time, due to a heavier work load for the muscles. You can decide how much and how many weights to carry, and modify the weight based on your fitness goals and physical capacity.

How Running Helps Define Abs

People have been doing crunches and sit-ups with the hope of getting a six-pack – the Holy Grail of fitness. However, they are not as effective as previous thought and many doctors don’t recommend them at all because they can hurt the back if done wrong (which happens very often).

There is good news for people who don’t have time to go to the gym and can’t do planks, knee raises, rollbacks or other abs moves that really strengthen the core. “A major weapon to defined abs is in fact cardio,” according to Dr. David Neuman, an orthopedic surgeon, founder of Pop-Doc, and Dr. Karena Wu, owner of ActiveCare Physical Therapy.

The abs are, unfortunately, some of the hardest muscles to tone in the body because when it is stressed, it tends to store fat in the midsection, Dr. Wu says. Also, posture-wise, she adds, people don’t hold themselves in the right position. “The muscles get lazy and the body takes the path of least resistance.”

Why running?

Any continuous activity that increases your heart rate is considered a cardiovascular exercise, and running is the perfect go-to option because it’s one of the most accessible. Anytime and anywhere you can walk, you can run.

Some of the benefits of running include increasing your lung capacity and your heart muscle strength, burning fat, reducing weight, and making you feel good. But that core benefit that we don’t think about with jogging is toned abs.

Running strengthens the bones on the back, Dr. Neuman says. They help you stay stable when you do why kind of physical activity.

Transverse Abdominis

There are four types of abdominal muscles – the rectus abdominis (the 6-pack muscle), the internal obliques (inner sides), external obliques (outer sides) and the transverse abdominis. All four muscles need to be worked in order to reach peak abdominal strength, and they are all activated at the same time when you’re running.

The transverse abdominis is the deepest of the four. It is located around the abdominal region like a corset. Nothing targets that muscle like running – it is then when “it’s actively recruited,” Dr. Wu says. This is the muscle that creates the lines of definition on the side of your core. “It is the stabilizing muscle that helps you control the motion.”

Stronger core

If you choose running as your cardio exercise, you’re able to engage your transverse abdominis, which also helps reduce the impact forces that occur in your joints.

To strengthen the core even more while running, hold your bully button into your spine, without holding your breath. This will keep the core tighter and power up the limbs. It will also give you that nice side definition on your abdominals.

Do boxing moves, Dr. Wu recommends. You are throwing punches in the air but also twisting your upper torso, which puts the oblique muscles hard at work.

Slightly turn your body to the each side as you run. “This causes a contraction that helps the oblique muscles as well, Dr. Neuman adds.

You burn excess fat

Increased circulation, which is the result of running, helps burn fat. Blood flow in the abdomen helps break down fat cells, Dr. Neuman says.

The truth is that everybody has a six-pack; it’s just underneath all the fat. Cardio must be implemented in order to eliminate excess fat around the abdomen. There really is no way around it. You have to sweat.

You can do all the exercises in the world, but if you’re not burning fat, you won’t get those flat abs. If you don’t burn the calories you consume, they will be stored as fat. Don’t forget that the abdominals include many interconnected muscles that run up the back and stretch down to the glutes (strengthen those muscles) and the thighs.


“I am a firm believer in listening to your body,” Dr. Wu says. But you can’t stay constant all the time. You have to incorporate intervals, especially if you don’t have great endurance.

Go from short to high intensity drills. More speed requires more stability to not fall, which means your abs muscles are working extra hard, she adds.

How often?

If people want toned abs, they need to run at least 3-5 times a week for a minimum of 20 minutes, Dr. Wu says. You can do 2 miles in that amount of time as long as you play around with intervals.

Dr. Neuman adds that running for about 10-15 minutes is a “safe approach” for the abs. “Running is the conditioning aspect of toning.” Supplement with exercises that help increase core strength.

All muscles are worked

When all muscles are targeted at the same time, fat is burned. They get a strength and endurance workout. With this, your abs are able to look defined faster.

Because of the high impact nature of running, the spine will naturally flex (or bend forward slightly) which means with each step, you will have a small contraction of your abdominal muscles. To offset too much of the forward bending nature in the spine, it is best to engage the transverse abdominis so that the spinal column does not get injured.

Arms and abs

You need to swing the opposite arms and legs in sync while running for balance. The abs get a good workout during the rotation of the pelvis, Dr. Wu says. “This is the biomechanical aspect of running.” The abs have to contract to get the body moving forward.

Joint health

According to Dr. Neuman, joint health is the first thing to keep in mind before going on runs, because without it, you could have bone bruising, joint damage or fatigue. Before running to your core, he recommends to keep the joints mobile and flexible.

Pre-run stretches are key. They warm the muscles and get them ready a physical activity. This significantly decreases the risk for injury.

People should be stretching for 5-10 minutes every day regardless of whether they are about to head out for a long run, he adds. If you don’t have time, do about 5 minutes on a bicycle or jumping jacks to get the blood flowing. Then stretch.

More readings:

16 Reasons Your Belly Fat Isn’t Going Away

15 Exercises That Burn More Calories Than Running

7 Tips to Burn More Calories

How to Reduce Cellulite >> Nutrition + Exercises for Toned Legs & Butt

Algae body wraps, anti-cellulite oil or a 10-day serum… Let’s be honest: all those high-priced magic cures that are supposed to get you rid of cellulite over night just don’t work. Hardly any woman can show off smooth and even skin on her thighs. Most of us walk around with orange-peel skin. Did you know that 80% of all women suffer from cellulite? Well, it’s good to know, you’re not alone.

The good news: There are ways to reduce the symptoms of orange-peel skin. Nutrition, foam rolling and your motivation to get fit are the keys to toned legs and a firm butt.

What is cellulite?

First of all, cellulite is not a disease. This term rather describes the fat tissue under your skin which usually is present your in thighs and butt. It is mainly women who suffer from cellulite pockets in their skin. But why is it mostly women struggling with the so-called orange-peel skin? Because they have a thinner skin compared to men. Fat cells and collagen fibers are intertwined in a net-like structure in a man’s subcutaneous tissue. Those fibers are parallel in women, making the tissue less stable. Therefore, fat cells can emerge at the surface by passing in between the collagen fibers. And this is what we perceive as uneven “orange-peel skin.” However, men can also show signs of cellulite when suffering from a lack of androgens, the male sex hormones.

Reasons for cellulite

So, who or what is to blame for orange-peel skin besides the already mentioned weak connective tissue?

  • Genetic predisposition: Unfortunately, those lumps under your skin are hereditary. If your mom is struggling with weak connective tissue, you’re more likely to get cellulite too…
  • Hormones: You feel like a walking orange right before your period? This might be due to changes in your hormone balance. Plus, did you know that also birth control pills can promote cellulite on thighs and butt?
  • Unhealthy lifestyle: Alcohol, cigarettes or stress all have negative effects on your body. Unhealthy food choices foster cellulite too, as excess body fat is often deposited in affected zones like your thighs.

Nutrition tips to reduce cellulite

A healthy, balanced diet is not just great to shed a few pounds, but also to “peel off” that orange skin. Actually, it benefits your entire body. Bigger fat cells in your thighs and backside aren’t just annoying, but they also squeeze your blood vessels. As a consequence, the blood flow in your whole body is hampered, your metabolism slows down and lymph drainage is impaired. This, in turn, makes your skin less tight and nasty orange-peel pockets become even more visible. So, what do we do? Boost your metabolism! Say no to fast food, as well as fatty foods, alcohol and sugar. All those are cellulite’s best friends and foster its existence. Plus, they can all lead to being overweight.

How to use nutrition to get rid of cellulite:

  1. Lots of liquids: Drink enough liquid like water or unsweetened tea (try green tea or nettle tea) during the day. This helps your body transport vital nutrients to its cells and eliminate waste products.
  2. Low-sodium nutrition: Did you know that foods rich in salt lead to liquid retention in body tissue? The bloated tissue makes the orange-peel look even more visible.
  3. Foods rich in potassium: Go for foods like apricots, bananas, potatoes, ginger and artichokes. They have one thing in common: they contain lots of potassium. This important mineral helps with oxygen and nutrient transport to your cells. Moreover, potassium also promotes the excretion of waste products from your body while cells are repaired and renewed. Also nuts with a high Vitamin E content are great for your skin. But, keep in mind that nuts contain lots of fats, too, which promotes weight gain. A handful a day is enough.
  4. Vitamin C: Bell peppers and kiwis are both rich in Vitamin C, which fosters collagen production in your body. And collagen is responsible for smooth and even skin.

A general rule to follow:

Avoid crash diets! The quick weight loss (and gain) can promote cellulite. Plus, you also lose muscle with crash diets, which leads to a more visible and less even tissue.

If you’re looking for nutrition tips, check out our blog posts on reasons to quit sugar, healthy foods that cleanse the body or the difference between good and bad calories!

Exercise tips to reduce cellulite

Now that we’ve talked about the number one ally in your fight against cellulite, it’s time to get active. Literally. If you really want to lose weight and/or tone your body, as well as get rid of cellulite, you need to get moving. Strengthen your butt and thigh muscles to reduce fat cells in these areas and to tighten your connective tissue.

Squats, lunges or a HIIT workout–they all strengthen your legs and basically the entire body. Plus, those exercises will boost your metabolism. Bodyweight-Training is also very effective if you’re looking to work out several muscle groups at the same time. Need some workout inspiration? Check out Fitness Coach Lunden’s blog post about the eight best bodyweight exercises for women. For those aiming at burning fat, too: try tabata training, interval runs, hill workouts or skipping rope! Or just pick one of these 4 amazing fat burning workouts.

Try these legs & butt exercises you can do at home:

And here’s one last tip:

Have you ever heard of fascia training or foam rolling? Fascia is what keeps the muscular connective tissue together in your body. After an intense workout or tons of squats, your muscles need time for recovery. Good thing you can help! Try foam rolling to promote your regeneration.

What’s your secret to toned legs and a firm butt?


Why Are My Legs Getting Bigger From Running?

I get a lot of complaints from women who have found their legs getting bigger from running, which isn’t the desired results for most of us. So let me explain why this is happening.


Running uses your glutes, quadriceps, hamstring and calves constantly, meaning that your leg muscles are working and this will cause them to develop and get bigger in size.

Any form of exercise that engages your muscles will cause them to grow in size. However, some exercises cause more muscle growth than others.

Running will not build as much muscle as weightlifting, sprinting and high-intensity interval training.


We all know that sprinters have very muscular physiques, especially compared to distance runners. Sprinting engages your muscles more and focuses on muscular power. Therefore, sprinting will build more muscle than just steady state running.

Doing a lot of sprint training and plyometric type exercises will develop a more muscular look, but will also help you get lean. If you don’t mind this look, then this is probably a great style of workout for you. If not, it might be best to avoid these style of workouts.

When I was training for a triathlon, I used fast past interval runs (not a full on sprint) to help me develop my cardio fitness quicker. It definitely did this, but what I found was that it actually helped me lean out my legs quicker too.

If you still want to include some cardio interval training, have a read of this blog post which explains how to do the fast past runs.


Your ability to get bulky muscle from running depends on your body type. If you don’t know your body type, to find out.

Ectomorphs find it very difficult to gain muscle and will probably never get bulky even if they do lots of weight lifting. Mesomorphs build muscle easily but can also lose muscle and fat quickly too. Some mesomorphs may get bulky legs whereas others might not.

And finally, endomorphs probably already have naturally muscular legs so find it easy to bulk up.

Running does burn a lot of calories and will help you lose weight all over your body. It may help you lose weight in your legs too. But at the end of the day, it will still build muscle in your legs. I have mentioned this before, but if you are a shorter endomorph build, I would avoid running as it can make your legs bigger.


There are 2 basic types of muscle fibers. Slow twitch fibers are those used for longer endurance style workouts; and fast twitch fibers are those used for short bursts of energy such as sprinting, HIIT and plyometric workouts.

Everyone has different amounts of these fibers, and the amount and type you have will determine whether or not your legs get bigger from running. Someone with lots of fast twitch fibers might have muscular legs, even though they don’t do any type of weight lifting or sprinting. They may even build muscle just from walking.

On the other end of the scale, someone with lots of slow twitch fibers might do lots of sprinting and HIIT and find it difficult to gain muscle.

As you can see, genetics play a huge factor in whether or not your legs will get bigger from running. Some people will run all their life and their legs will stay slim and toned, while others will get bigger legs from running after just a month or so.

You need to adjust your running (and exercise program) to suit your body type and your goals.

Both women are long-distance runners. The difference is their genetics


Running on an incline will also use your muscles more (especially your quads and glutes) and will build them. This is due to the pushdown and jumps motion. If you want a leaner look, always try to run on a flat surface.

Another factor that might cause your legs to get bigger from running is your exercise experience. If you haven’t done much exercise and have very little muscle in your legs, then you start running, you are going to build muscle and this is going to be a significant difference.

But if you already exercise and have muscle in your legs, the change caused by running might not appear as significant. What is considered significantly bigger depends on your preference.

Another thing to keep in mind is that your legs can also swell after a run. This is short-term and the swelling will reduce. So try not to judge your progress based on what your legs look like immediately after a run.


The takeaway points from this are:

  • Running builds muscle in your legs, but doesn’t build as much as sprinting, HIIT and weightlifting;
  • Your body type and muscle fibers (i.e. genetics) will determine whether your legs will get significantly bigger from running. But “significantly bigger” is determined by YOU and what you think is too big;
  • You need to adjust your running (and exercise program) to suit your body type and your goals; and
  • Run on a flat surface and at a steady pace to avoid building more muscle from running.


If running has made your legs bulkier and you would like to lean them out, I should also mention my 3 Steps to Lean Legs Program which is designed to help you get lean legs without the bulkiness 🙂

There are 3 different versions fo my program, one for each body type. Each version combines the right type of cardio and resistance training for one particular body type so you can be sure you’re going to get the best possible results.

And of course, since you cannot train and be on a crappy diet, I included a complete 8-week meal plan in my program.

Also, the resistance training part of my program now has FULL-LENGTH videos that you can follow from warm up to cool down.

To find out more about my 3 Steps to Lean Legs Program click the link below:

To find out more about my FULL-LENGTH VIDEOS, follow this link:

And as always, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask!

Love Rachael xx

Written by Rachael Attard

Rachael is an Australian born certified personal trainer and nutritionist who holds a Bachelor degree in Science.
After struggling for years to find an exercise and diet program that is tailored to women striving for lean and toned body with no bulk she designed her Lean Legs Program. This program is tailored to each body type and focused on helping women get toned but feminine bodies, without getting bulky.
Her mission is to empower women and help them stay in shape in a healthy and balanced way.

The Treadmill Move That Will Tone Your Thighs

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Running is a great way to work out, but the repetitive motion doesn’t always do a body good. The constant forward motion can cause tight hips, overuse injuries, and other conditions. This is one reason why Barry’s Bootcamp trainer Shauna Harrison loves to incorporate treadmill side shuffles into her workouts (like this one).

That’s right-basically, you’re running sideways while on the treadmill. Your neighbors may give you weird looks while you practice this move at the gym, but it’s worth it. “Switching up the movement patterns helps strengthen the under-or less-used muscles, which can enhance performance,” Harrison says. “It’s great for working the inner and outer thighs and the glutes and it’s great for hip strength as well as flexibility. If you run frequently, these are the muscles that may be weak or less mobile.” Working these underused muscles can not only help you avoid injury and lift and tone your lower body but also help with reaction time when you’re running outdoors and have to hop over a branch in your way.

Ready to try the shuffle for yourself? Here’s how to do it.

  • Program your treadmill to a 3.0-3.5, and carefully turn yourself to the right side so you are completely facing right.
  • Grab on lightly to the bar in front of you if needed, not behind you so you don’t trip up. Bend your knees and stay low in your legs, but keep your eyes up and body tall and don’t let your feet cross each other. You can let go of the bar if you feel ready, but don’t feel bad if you’re not comfortable going hands-free.
  • Shuffle like this for about one minute, then face forward again and switch sides so you are now facing your left side. Shuffle for another minute.

If you’re a runner who doesn’t do lateral moves like this regularly, the shuffle will feel slightly unnatural to your body, so remember to take it slow. “You can gradually take the speed and incline up as you get more used to the movement, but there’s no rush to do this fast,” Harrison advises. Incorporate a couple minutes of treadmill shuffling into your normal workouts, and you’ll be a pro in no time.

  • By Leta Shy for POPSUGAR Fitness

What does the treadmill do for your body when running?

On the other hand, running on treadmills, you will get more advantages. According to the fitness trainer when you run on treadmills about 30 minutes per day you will lose up to 400 calories from your body. Running on a treadmill tone ups your muscle’s strength. Heart health will improve very well. The blood will flow at a smooth rate and increase cardiac capacity.

Treadmill benefits for the body

Running or walking on treadmills tone ups your body muscle and increase the strength. Running will lose the belly fat and increase the muscle and strength.

Treadmill benefits for legs

The incline treadmills boost your muscle strength of leg and burn more calories. Besides this, you can tone ups your arm muscle strengths just keep some weight bumbles on your hands.

Are treadmills good for losing weight?

Most of the treadmills users are wanted to know about the above question. I will tell you about the treadmill benefits for weight loss. The treadmill is known as popular cardio equipment for weight loss. You can kick out the extra body weight and calories using a treadmill for 30 minutes every day. You will be able to lose about 400 calories within 30 minutes and using incline that loss amount must be 500 calories. So, do not intake extra calories and keep running on treadmills you must lose your extra weight.

is treadmill good for lose belly fat?

When you run on a treadmill the fat will burn and produce the energy. The fat is the store of glycogen. During running the glycogen convert into glucose and glucose converted into the calories. Finally, your belly fat will be lost and you become slim. If you are an overweight user than you can buy a sturdy treadmill to lose weight otherwise your treadmill will not last for a long time.

Treadmill for your cardio health

Walking or running on treadmills increases cardio output and the heart muscles will be stronger. Your blood pressure will be control. The cholesterol level of your blood will be lower due to treadmill exercise. The most cardio exercise lowers the cholesterol and lowers the blood pressure. The most treadmills have the heart rate sensors to detect your cardio rate.

Treadmills user interface

Treadmills have a great user interface and default user programs that can use any user easily. When you do not have enough time to go out for a workout then you can continue your workout using the treadmill at your home. So, you will stay motivated with the progress data from a treadmill.

Side effects of treadmill walking

If you are a patient of arthritis or gout I will advise you to do not use the treadmill. The using of the treadmill can be injurious for arthritis patients on knee or back. Running or walking on a treadmill increases the impact on the knee and increase stress on the back. Finally, you feel pain on the knee and back.

If you are a newbie to use a treadmill check the user manual properly or take instructions from the trainer otherwise may cause injury.

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