Treadmill Exercises for Thighs

Treadmill Exercises for Thighs

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A treadmill can help you tone and define your thighs.

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The treadmill provides more than just a cardiovascular workout. By adjusting the treadmill settings and your position, you can also target problematic areas like the thighs. Besides building up the thigh muscles, exercising on the treadmill can increase endurance, boost cardiovascular fitness and build stronger bones. As always, check with a physician before making any changes to your exercise routine -- especially if you are new to exercise or have a prior injury or condition.

Go for the Burn!

Tone the back of your thighs by doing walking lunges on the treadmill at a slow pace -- 3.5 mph or slower. Take a step forward and lower yourself into a lunge. As you stand up, bring your opposite foot forward and immediately begin your next lunge. You can also strengthen the front and back of your thighs by using the “hills” option on your treadmill. Or, run or walk at an incline, increasing the grade by two levels every few minutes until you reach level 12. The side shuffle, where you step side to side as you walk on the treadmill, targets the inner and outer thighs. Rotate through all exercises, doing each for a minute or more for a total of 30 minutes.

Don't Repeat Yourself

Vary your workout to keep your thigh muscles guessing and growing. For example, run or walk with your knees high while doing inclines, take bigger steps or put the treadmill in reverse and walk backward when doing walking lunges. Or, jog in a zig-zag pattern while using the “hills” option. You can also wear a weighted vest or hold a medicine ball or a pair of dumbbells while exercising to boost the intensity and work your muscles a little harder.

Perfect Your Form

Always practice proper form when doing thigh exercises on the treadmill. Keep your shoulder blades tucked down and back. Press your hips slightly forward without bending at the waist. Swing your arms as you walk or run to help maintain balance and boost the intensity of your workout. Push off from your toes and raise your knees to hip level as you run or walk to help propel yourself forward and maintain good posture.

Safety Comes First

Do the thigh exercises at a slow pace at first, 2.5 mph or slower, gradually increasing your speed as your strength and stability improve. Keep the muscles in your lower back, hips and abdominals tight as you exercise to help stabilize your spine, protect your posture and keep you from tilting or swaying. Maintain a straight, tall spine throughout each exercise -- never curve or arch your back, which places pressure on the spine and can cause injury or pain.