What Muscles Does the Treadmill Work?


Buying a treadmill is absolutely a good investment. First, you will be able to do your indoor running and walking at any time. Second, you can create your own fitness program that fits your own schedule. If you’ve noticed, even gym-goers spend a good amount of time on a treadmill to burn calories.

But exercise isn’t just about calories. We’re sure that you want to tone your muscles too. So, what muscles does the treadmill work? We’ve got interesting answers for this, and you’ll surely be surprised to know! Here’s a helpful article that will inspire you to hop onto the treadmill in order to run more frequently.

What Is a Treadmill?

A treadmill is a stationary machine and one of the most useful pieces of indoor exercise equipment. Most modern models have features such as adjustable treadmill speed, a heart rate monitor, and automated incline.

Indeed, it is not just features that make treadmills appealing to runners. The health benefits, from improved cardiodvascular performance to better-toned muscles, are also a reason to use a treadmill. People of all fitness levels can use treadmills. If you need some help or, rather, a buyer’s guide, then we’ve got a list of the top picks for best treadmills that are within your budget.

What Muscles Does the Treadmill Work?

Clearly, a treadmill is mainly for walking and running. These activities engage all the muscles in the lower part of your body. It helps strengthen your butt, quadriceps, and thighs. Let’s get more into details.

The Hamstrings

These are the muscles located at the back of your thighs. Notice how firm it can get while you’re running or walking. If you run on a treadmill regularly, then these muscles will gain so much endurance; they’ll become firm and strong!

The Quadriceps

The quadriceps is a group of four muscles on the front and outside of your upper legs. The exercises done on a treadmill definitely help in toning this group. If you’re determined to tone and shape up those muscle thighs, then you can simply program your treadmill on a high incline–about 15 degrees–yet at a low speed. Start walking backward while holding tightly onto the railings.

The Calves

These are the muscles on the back of the lower legs. In human anatomy, these are called gastrocnemius (the most superficial muscle), and the soleus (the broad, flat muscles beneath the gastrocnemius). If you’re aiming for well-defined calves, then a treadmill can help you achieve that. Just set your treadmill to the highest incline and start walking uphill. Having toned and defined calves is good for people who are active in various sports.

The Glutes Or Gluteus Muscles

These are the large muscles in the buttocks. A treadmill workout can help you achieve a better toned and rounded butt, too. Performing lunges, such as walking lunges on the treadmill, is the best way to shape your butt. You just need to set the speed to 3mph and do the walk lunges for 3 minutes. Keep a proper posture and hold onto the railings for your safety.

Different Types Of Treadmills

Now that you know the answers to the question, “What muscles does the treadmill work?” it is important that you choose the type of treadmill that suits your lifestyle and needs. Familiarize yourself just a little bit with the different types and functions of treadmills. And in case you’re about to buy a treadmill, here’s a little guide to help you choose the right one.

Manual Treadmills

Since it’s manual, it doesn’t need electricity to run. The rollers placed underneath make it move when you run or walk. Manual treadmills are lightweight, small, and affordable. However, most reviews said that manual treadmills are only good for walking, due to their design elements and construction materials.

Motorized Treadmills

This is what most people think of when they think of a treadmill. Powered by electricity, they are heavier and larger than manual models, but also come with more whistles and bells. Sometimes they are collapsible, but in general it’s best to find a spot for your treadmill and leave it. On most powered treadmills, you can also set your speed and incline. You can use it both for running and walking.

Medical Treadmills

This type of treadmill is designed for medical use. Most doctors would require a patient to perform a walk or run to get the measurement that they’re looking for with the use of certain medical equipment.

Hybrid Treadmills

Hybrid treadmills can be a combination of various design elements. It can be a treadmill and a stepper, or treadmill and elliptical–it means you can combine elements of a few different types of workout.

Folding Treadmills

There are factors to consider when shopping for a treadmill. If you have little space in your house or unit, then these space-saver treadmills are your best bet. Don’t worry, because you will get the same health benefits from them – they’re just foldable.

Final Thoughts

Walking and running on a treadmill is not just good for your heart, but also for your legs. So, if you’re trying to define and shape the lower part of your body, then the treadmill is surely a great help. In addition, burning calories and losing weight are two of the many benefits you can get from using a treadmill. It definitely helps make your body healthy and strong.

So, have you decided to buy one? Great! But before you buy a treadmill for personal use, make sure to choose one that will suit your lifestyle. That way it’s easier to commit to using it.

Moreover, it’s true that people of all ages can use the treadmill, but it is also best to consult your doctor before doing so. From there, you can begin setting your fitness goals and even tracking your exercises with the use of a treadmill. After all, you are not just investing in exercise equipment. You are investing in your health and well-being.

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Ben is an avid road and trail runner, and has completed multiple marathons and ultras. A former running store owner, he now shares his knowledge and experience writing these articles.