I love “the hills,” and I don’t mean that really annoying reality TV show. I’m referring to the incline setting on my treadmill. I get bored running on the treadmill when it’s cold outside and I’m stuck inside, so during the winter I always look for ways to mix up my indoor workout. One way I do this is by hitting the hills once a week on the treadmill. By adjusting the treadmill’s incline to 7 or 8 percent, I simulate climbing up a hill, all in the comfort of my climate controlled gym.
The bottom line is you don’t have to run fast on the treadmill to up your calorie burn. By increasing the incline, you increase your calorie burn without having to increase your speed … not to mention that your glutes (and the rest of your legs for that matter) get a great workout! Incline training can be as effective as running and easier on your joints.
Give the hills a try! You can incorporate hills into your workout at any level. Here are some tips to get you started:
Don’t think you are going to just jump on the treadmill and walk at a steep incline for a half hour. Start at a lower incline and a shorter time frame and work up to where you are comfortable.
Try a pyramid workout
Increase your incline every minute up to 10 percent and then come down the other side by decreasing the incline every minute back to 0.
Get your arms involved
Let your hands swing lightly while you walk. Use the movement of your arms to help balance and propel as you would if you were hiking up an outdoor mountain trail.
Once you build up some endurance, add light hand weights for a total body workout. Add intervals to your incline. Personally, I like to walk at a 6 or 7 percent incline at approximately 3.5 mph, and then every few minutes, pick up my pace to a jog for about 30 seconds for some extra oomph!