How Long Should I Exercise on the Treadmill for Ab Results?

Vigorously intense aerobic workouts or high-intensity interval training on the treadmill burns a tremendous amount of calories even after your session is over. This type of workout stimulates a very high production of fat-burning enzymes and growth hormone, both of which will help in your quest to get ab results. You should use between a one-to-three ratio and a one-to-five ratio; this means if your work interval is 30 seconds your recovery interval must be 1-½ minutes, 2 minutes or 2-½ minutes. For instance, sprint as fast as you can for 20 seconds on a 1 percent incline then walk for one minute 40 seconds. Repeat this interval for a total of 20 minutes. You must run as fast as you can during your work intervals so be sure to increase the speed appropriately. Do this routine only one to two days per week, reducing risk of injury while increasing your body’s capacity to incinerate fat, including around your abs. Highly intense cardio means you cannot talk, much less sing, during the session. Walk for 20 minutes after each session to cool down and burn even more calories.

We all want those flat abs and unfortunately too many people waste their time doing endless amounts of crunches in order to achieve them, only to find themselves getting nowhere. When in reality there are many exercises one can do to help them tone their core that doesn’t even require you to be on the floor!

Even better, you can buy a multi-purpose tool like a treadmill with our NordicTrack promo codes to help flatten your abs. While many people look to treadmills as merely a means of getting their cardio in, which is great because there are many benefits to cardio exercise, treadmills can actually also help to aid you in that six pack you desire. Pretty unbelievable right?! Well, you better start believing!

However, if you are merely jumping on the treadmill, pressing start and going along with your work out at the same speed and pace day after day you won’t be seeing that six pack anytime soon. While cardio exercise can help you to lose weight and unwanted belly fat allowing those underlying abs to poke through, there are also tips and tricks one can use on the treadmill that can help build your core and tone those abdominals. Try these Treadmill Tips to Flatten Your Abs:

Add Incline To Your Treadmill Workout

First and foremost the most important thing you need to incorporate into your treadmill workout if you are not already is to add incline. When you add incline to your treadmill workout it will contribute to strengthening your core by engaging your lower abdominal muscles.

As you run on this higher incline your lower abs have to contract and work harder in order to lift your knees higher up the steep incline. So the steeper the incline the harder the lower abdominals have to contract.

Treadmills such as the NordicTrack Commercial X22i Incline Trainer can incline up to 40%. That’s a lot of lower abdominal contraction, all from using the right amount of incline. You also use more muscles when walking or running up an incline, and the more muscles being used equals a higher calorie burn, double whammy!

Suck It In As You Exercise

According to How to Flatten Your Stomach While Walking from you should be actively drawing your navel in during your treadmill walks. “Keeping your abdominals engaged, and not relaxed, helps to build the muscles of your midsection. Gaining stronger muscles helps to burn calories more efficiently and lead to weight loss.” Be sure this does not affecting your breathing though as breathing properly and contracting your muscles when you exhale is also going to help strengthen your core during your treadmill workout.

Maintain Proper Treadmill Posture

To work your core during your treadmill workout it’s important to maintain proper posture in order to engage your abdominal muscles. Keep your spine straight, stomach muscles in (as described above), head and eyes forward and your arms down by your sides. Your hands should be open, or only slightly curled, to keep from building undue tension in your body.

By maintaining the proper treadmill position, you are recruiting more of your muscles in this upright position, especially your abdominals. Mentally remind yourself during your workout to check your posture and adjust if necessary.

Try The Treadmill ‘Twist and Shout’

Okay twists only, no shouting. The previously mentioned LiveStrong article suggests rotating your torso to reduce your waistline. “Bend your elbows and swing your arms, rotating your torso. Twisting your torso involves your obliques and can reduce your waistline.” They suggest alternating between walking at a high intensity while twisting your torso one minute, then back off pumping your arms normally for two minutes, then repeat.

While incorporating these tips into your treadmill workout will help to contract and strengthen your muscles while improving your cardiovascular health, they won’t be able to give you a major improvement in strength or size to your abdominals alone. So, be sure to still incorporate strength abdominal moves into your fitness regimen. You can also use NordicTrack promotion codes on a new treadmill or other types of strength equipment from NordicTrack so that you can reach your goals of flatter, toned abs.

Treadmills get a bad rap, and at first glance, it’s easy to see why: The gym surroundings can’t compete with the experience of running in the fresh air, and slogging away for miles in one spot can easily make you feel like you’re getting nowhere fast. Even avid treadmill runners—myself included—get sick of running in place after a while.

But if you look closer, you’ll see treadmills actually offer infinite possibilities for a fun, effective workout. These machines don’t have to be boring. With a little bit of creativity, the time can actually fly by—despite the lack of distracting scenery.

Instead of reverting to your usual run-walk routine, turn your next treadmill session into a total-body workout with one of these methods that fitness pros suggest. By combining cardio and strength, you’ll get a smart and efficient total-body workout that’ll leave you feeling accomplished. And you might even be a little bit excited to come back for your next treadmill workout.

1. Keep a resistance band on hand.

Few strength training tools are as portable and versatile as the resistance band. For this reason, exercise physiologist and celebrity trainer Michelle Lovitt, M.A., instructs her clients to keep a band handy for strength exercises on the treadmill. “ don’t take up any space, and you can work every single body part with a band when you’re on the treadmill,” she says.

You can pick any brand of resistance band, but be sure to buy a band that you can use for every exercise. “Don’t buy a band that’s too intense,” Lovitt says. As different body parts are stronger than others (ex. your back will be able to handle a thicker band than your triceps), you’ll want to start off with a lighter band and work your way up.

Loop the band around one arm of the treadmill to keep it out of the way until you need it for your strength exercises. Some exercises can be done while you’re walking on the treadmill, while others will require you to stop or straddle the belt to perform them.

Since your treadmill work is probably already giving your lower body a good workout, Lovitt’s go-to resistance band moves work your upper body.

Sprinkle these moves throughout your run or walk whenever you start feeling bored.

Bow and Arrow

Stand with your feet hip-width apart or walk at a slow pace, with your arms bent and hands at your chest. Holding one end of the band in each hand, press your left arm directly out in front of you so there’s tension on the band. Keeping your left arm straight and both arms at shoulder-height, drive your right elbow behind you to pull the band back. Bring both hands back to starting position for one rep. Complete all reps on one side before switching and repeating on the other side.

Chest Press

Loop a resistance band behind your back and tuck the band under your armpits. Holding one end of the band in each hand, raise both arms to shoulder-height and bend 90 degrees. Stand with feet hip-width apart or walk slowly. Initiate the movement by punching one or both hands out in front of your chest until your arms are fully extended. Keeping tension on the band, slowly return to start position.

Rear Delt Fly

Stand with feet hip-width apart or walk slowly. Grip one end of the band with each hand and extend your arms straight out in front of your body at shoulder-height. Keeping your arms at shoulder-height, pull the band apart so your arms are straight out at your sides. Return to starting position, keeping constant tension on the band as you bring your hands back toward each other.

Bent-Over Row

Standing with feet hip-width apart, step both feet on the center of the band. Bend forward at the waist, keeping your back flat and abs engaged. Grip one end of the band with each hand so there’s constant tension. Pull the ends of the band toward your ribcage and elbows back toward your hips, stopping at your midline. Squeeze your shoulder blades at the top of the movement. Return to start, keeping constant tension on the band.

Overhead Press

Standing with feet hip-width apart, step both feet on the center of the band. Gripping one end of the band with each hand, bring both hands up to shoulder-height with elbows bent and palms in. Press your arms overhead until they’re fully extended. Keeping constant tension on the band, lower your hands back to shoulder-height.

Biceps Curl

Standing with feet hip-width apart, step both feet on the center of the band. Begin with your arms hanging down at your sides. Gripping one end of the band with each hand, bend at the elbows to curl your hands toward your shoulders with palms facing up. Squeeze your biceps at the top before lowering your hands back down, keeping constant tension on the band.

Overhead Triceps Extension

Standing with feet hip-width apart, step one foot back onto the center of the band. Grip one end of the band with each hand and bring the handles behind your neck. Keep your biceps in close to your head as you push the handles up toward the ceiling until your arms are fully extended and you feel a squeeze in your triceps. Then, alternate bringing one handle down and back up at a time, always keeping your non-working arm extended overhead.

2. Let your heart rate guide you.

If you don’t like hopping on the treadmill without a game plan, grab a heart rate monitor and give heart rate-based training a try. (You can also use the heart rate monitor function on your treadmill, but depending on the model, this can be cumbersome; an external monitor will also be more accurate.) According to Lovitt, this type of training is also the most efficient way to burn fat and build muscle.

Treadmill Workouts For Targeting Abs

When it comes to treadmill workouts, you are not limited to just working your legs. With some attention and effort, you can target your abs and core for a killer workout. These workouts can range in intensity, all depending on your endurance. The following workouts were designed to target the rectus abdominis, which is in the middle of the stomach, and the inner and outer obliques, which are on the sides of the rib cage.

Incline Sprints

  1. Perform a light 5-minute warm-up jog with the deck all the way down.
  2. On your incline treadmill, turn the incline all the way up and sprint as hard as you can for 20 seconds. Squeeze your abs forcefully as you do this.
  3. Grab the handrails, lift yourself up and place your feet on the sides of the deck. Rest for 20 seconds then carefully jump back on the moving belt and do another 20-second sprint.
  4. Alternate back and forth 10 to 12 times and finish with a light 5-minute cool-down jog.

Side Stepper

This workout places more emphasis on the obliques.

  1. Start with about a 10-minute warm-up with the deck down. You want to make sure you already have a good sweat going.
  2. Increase the incline to about 5% and turn sideways. For safety, grab the handrail to balance yourself.
  3. Side step for 30 seconds, adding a small side crunch with every other step. Then turn to the other side and side step again for 30 seconds.
  4. Turn back forward and run for 30 seconds.
  5. Repeat 10 or more times on each side and finish with a light cool-down with the deck flat.

Sprint And Ab Holds

This routine involves the handrails to a higher degree.

  1. Begin with a light warm-up at a jogging pace for 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Turn up the speed and turn the incline up to about 3%, and sprint for 30 seconds.
  3. Safely turn off the treadmill to avoid tripping and grab the handrails – lift your body off the deck.
  4. Lock out your arms and raise your knees up by your chest. Keep your body as upright as possible and legs together.
  5. Hold for 20 seconds then lower yourself back down. This time, place your feet on the sides of the deck.
  6. Rest for 10 seconds, then turn the treadmill back on and carefully hop back on the deck and run for 30 seconds.
  7. Repeat this pattern for 20-30 minutes, and finish with a light 5-minute cool-down.

When you lift yourself up, you also have the option of doing knee raises. For your safety, make sure your treadmill belt has stopped prior to performing your knee raises. Slowly lower your feet to the belt then draw your knees back up to your chest in a smooth, fluid motion. Your triceps and chest will get a great workout as well as they support your body weight.

Trying to isolate your abs with your treadmill workouts takes a lot of physical and mental strength. Make sure to pay close attention at all times and be very calculated with your moves. If performed with good technique, you may notice great results!

DISCLAIMER: This post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. NordicTrack assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.


The treadmill is one of the most criminally-underused pieces of equipment in your gym. Utilised correctly and with the right treadmill workout, the humble exercise machine can be used to burn belly fat, increase fitness and build endurance like nothing else.

There’s a reason CrossFit athletes, Strongmen and, obviously, Olympians include them as part of their training — so why are you shunning it?

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With treadmill running continuing to be one of our most popular topics, we give you one of our best-ever treadmill workouts, designed to blast fat, increase calorie burn and increase fitness. It’s particularly handy if you’re wanting to sweat out belly fat and a weekend of beer-n-burgers, or if you want a quick gym workout — using varying speed and inclines — to set the bar high for any workouts ahead.

Treadmill HIIT Workout

The treadmill workout below is the ultimate test of speed and endurance. How long you can maintain your top sprinting power? For this workout, crank the treadmill up to a 10 per cent incline and prepare to find out how fast you really are.

What Does the Treadmill Do for You?

Todd Durkin, owner of Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego, says “During a treadmill workout, running uphill at a high incline forces you to drive your legs and knees up against the motor power, extend your hips back, and explode off the balls of your feet—all skills that increase your ability to propel your body forward in an all-out sprint on flat ground.”

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Drop In Hard

Once the belt is up to speed, jump on using the treadmill hand rails. Make sure you land with your forefoot first – the impact will be absorbed by your quads, rather than your joints.

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Knees Equals Speed

As soon as your foot touches, drive up with your back knee to power forward in a big stride. Imagine a line reeling in from your shoulder to knee; more leaping gazelle, less Team America puppet.

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Flight of Foot

Landing with the opposite foot, repeat the motion with your other leg; you’re aiming for a constant, fluid pace you can sustain for 30secs at a time. Rest for 30 second after each sprint and do 10 in total.

Your Treadmill Workout Scoreboard

Feel sick? Thought so. Check your pace to give yourself a lift. Welcome to treadmill training.

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8.3mph – Average

At this speed – the average jogging speed for men – you’d take 27secs to cover 100m. We don’t expect you to beat Usain Bolt in a race, but at this rate he could run it three times in the time it takes you…

10.9mph – Fit

Getting up to this speed for 30secs over 10 rounds is a decent effort. As reward, treat yourself to some guilt-free pigging out – by the time you stop you’ll have burned the calorie equivalent of a bacon sandwich.

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12mph – Advanced

Now we’re really getting somewhere. Not only are you in a prime muscle-building zone, you’ll torch nearly 100 calories over the total 10 rounds; you’d have to lift weights for half an hour to burn the same amount.

13.5mph – Elite

This is the average speed clocked by NFL running back Darren Sproles, so if you’re hitting these lofty heights, you might want to consider a career change. Or at least swap those half marathons for track meetings.

Best Home Treadmills

With varying motor power, treadmill belts and the opportunity to sync fitness apps and heart rate monitors, these exercise machines are not to be snubbed.

Reebok ZR8 Treadmill Reebok £453.19 Sportstech F31 Professional Treadmill With Smartphone App Control Sportstech £549.00 Office Fitness Treadmill Office Fitness Klarfit Home Runtasy Treadmill Klarfit £419.99

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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. Crab Walk
You probably haven’t done a crab walk since grade school gym, but it’s still a great exercise. Do it on a treadmill, and it will work your hamstrings, glutes, triceps, and core like crazy.
To do: Set the treadmill to 1 to 2 mph, then walk behind the treadmill and get into a crab position. Place your hands on the side of the treadmill base, facing away from the treadmill and with your back facing the ground. Keeping your feet flat on the floor and your hips elevated, place your hands on the treadmill belt and walk your hands forward.

7. Treadmill Push
Pushing a weighted sled is a seriously challenging exercise. By turning off your treadmill and running forward on it, you can mimic that motion. However! Not all treadmill belts can move when the treadmill is turned off. So if you have trouble moving the belt, stop trying and move on to a different exercise.
To do: Stop the treadmill, and pull the emergency tag. Stand on the treadmill, and gripping the handles with both hands and keeping your elbows slightly bent, drive your legs forward so that you push the treadmill belt back with your feet.

8. Incline Pushups
You’ll never have to scour the gym for a free bench to perform incline pushups again.
To do: Turn the treadmill off, and stand on the side base of the treadmill, with your hands on the top of the treadmill’s handles. Your body should form a straight line from your heels to your head. Bend your elbows to perform a pushup, bringing your chest all the way down to touch the bars/console of the treadmill. Pause, then push back up. To focus on your triceps, keep your elbows tighter to the sides of your body.

More from Women’s Health:
The New Treadmill Workout You HAVE to Try
7 Treadmill Mistakes You Might Be Making
The Completely Inadvisable But Totally Awesome Treadmill Dance You Need to See

As a personal trainer and wellness coach for over a decade, one of the most basic exercises I encourage my clients to do is walk. Whether you were gifted a fitness tracker for the holidays (and aren’t quite sure what to do with it) or you’re just getting back on the fitness bandwagon and are intimidated by the gym equipment, walking outside or on a treadmill is a great place to start.

That’s why we’ve devised a one-month treadmill plan for January that will get you off your couch and help you establish a workout routine. Plus, since walking is a great way to increase circulation, improve mobility and burn calories, you’ll feel your body growing stronger with each workout and set yourself up to attack your fitness goals this year.

The foundation for our treadmill workouts will be interval training. We’ll change up the speed and incline throughout each workout so that your heart rate will stay elevated and you’ll keep your muscles guessing what’s coming next. Research shows that interval training is best for fat loss, so while our main goal isn’t necessarily to shed pounds, but instead make consistent exercise a habit, that may be an extra bonus!

To start, let’s go over the treadmill basics.

Wear gym shoes or tennis shoes for this walking workout (and any gym workout!) to support your feet and ankles. I always recommend stepping on the treadmill before pressing START. This is because you can start walking very slowly without being caught off guard and having to hop on without knowing the pace.

Once you’re walking, you can press the button to increase the pace. For a slow walk, I recommend somewhere between 2.5 and 3.5. You may find that this is too fast or too slow, so adjust it as needed to find your own comfortable, slow-walking pace. This will be your baseline. (Whenever I refer to “baseline” in the workout, you will return to this speed!).

Now that we have the basics down. I’ve developed four different workouts that we will rotate between all month long. Familiarize yourself with each one, and then follow the calendar below to know which workout to perform each day of the month.

The Slow Walk

Establish your own baseline for your slow walk. This walk should be a casual stroll at a consistent pace that you could maintain for 15 minutes. Try out a baseline of somewhere between 2.5 to 3.5 depending on how long your legs are, how often you’re used to walking, and what feels comfortable for you. You could do this slow walk for 15 minutes and that would be considered your workout! On the other hand, if you are a runner, this could be your jog speed, which may be faster. Pick the slow speed that works for you – and keep in mind that this could vary day to day based on how energetic or how tired you may be that day!

The Need for Speed

Once you’re comfortable with your walk pace, it’s now time to find your “sprint” pace. If you’re a runner, this would be your fast run speed. If you’re walking, this is the speed that’s difficult to maintain for more than 1 minute. Pump your arms and walk briskly, making sure to breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth.

This workout will be the following:

3 minutes at The Slow Walk speed

1 minute at this sprint speed

1 minute at the Slow Walk speed

And continue alternating every other minute at the sprint speed.

Continue with this workout for a total of 15 minutes!

The Climb

At your slow walk pace, we’ll start playing around with walking uphill! The increase in level can really work your quads, glutes and hamstrings and serve as a strength training exercise as well as cardio. Simply press the up button on the treadmill and notice how the elevation number increases. Go up to a number that feels like a tough climb that you can maintain for 1 minute. Press down through your heels so that you work the back of your legs as well as the front of your legs. You’ll keep your speed number the same as you work harder to walk because you’re walking uphill.

This workout will be the following:

3 minutes at the Slow Walk speed

1 minute at this climb level

1 minute at the Slow Walk speed

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And continue alternating every other minute at the climb level

Continue with this workout for a total of 15 minutes!

The Recovery

Every strong body needs a day to rest! On this day, do some stretching, foam rolling, yoga, or something else that feels relaxing to your body.

Treadmill workout for ABS

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