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Treadmill Workouts That Will Slim Your Legs

by
author image Andrea Cespedes
Andrea Cespedes is a professionally trained chef who has focused studies in nutrition. With more than 20 years of experience in the fitness industry, she coaches cycling and running and teaches Pilates and yoga. She is an American Council on Exercise-certified personal trainer, RYT-200 and has degrees from Princeton and Columbia University.

You envy the long, thin legs of your runner friend and want a program that will help you get them, too. Treadmill workouts will definitely help you lose fat to reveal slimmer gams, but when you set your expectations, remember your lanky friend was likely blessed with her lean appearance by good genes and a specific body type.

Include these treadmill routines a few times per week to find your legs' lean potential. You'll also need to adhere to a healthy, portion-controlled diet to lose fat and slim your legs. When you do lose pounds, the weight won't just melt off your legs — you can't spot-reduce fat from your body. However, treadmill training gifts you with an overall slimmer frame.

Read More: How to Lose Weight Fast Using a Treadmill

Hill Climbing

Climbing hills sizzles calories more effectively than running or walking along on a flat road, provided you keep your speed consistent. Incorporate hills to help you burn calories and lose weight from your legs, and elsewhere.

Warm up for 3 to 5 minutes at a gradually increasing pace. If you plan to run, jog for an additional 5 minutes at an easy pace. You're then ready to add in the following hill intervals, all performed at the same pace:

  • 1 minute — incline of 3 percent
  • 1 minute — incline of 0 percent
  • 1 minute — incline of 6 percent
  • 1 minute — incline of 0 percent
  • 1 minute — incline of 8 percent
  • 2 minutes — incline of 0 percent

Repeat the set two or three more times for a complete workout. Cool down for about 5 minutes when you're finished with the intervals.

Interval Bursts

Interval training is all the buzz because of its effective fat-burning potential. It's actually been lauded scientifically for having a greater effect on fat loss than steady-state training. A treadmill is the perfect place to perform speed intervals because you can monitor the speed and the time of each segment.

Warm up for 5 to 10 minutes. A longer warm-up supports the hard work you'll be doing in rest of the workout. Keep your incline at 0 or 1 percent, and then perform t10 to 12 bouts of the following interval sequence:

  • 30 seconds of all out running (the fastest your legs will carry you)
  • 4 minutes of easy jogging

Alternatively, perform four slightly longer intervals:

  • 4 minutes — run or walk at 90 percent of your heart rate maximum
  • 3 minutes — reduce your speed so that your heart rate drops to 70 percent of your heart rate maximum

This protocol was used in a study published in a 2013 issue of PLoS One to successfully improve cardiovascular risk factors in middle-aged men. Similar interval workouts proved beneficial in improving the skeletal muscle capacity to break down fat in overweight people.

After either interval workout, cool down to bring your body systems back to a normal level.

Read More: Benefits of Manual Treadmills

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