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Making the Most of Your Treadmill Workout With Weights

May 26, 2008
Many people choose a treadmill as their primary source of exercise for weight loss. The treadmill is a wonderful choice and can burn a significant amount of calories, but there are a few tricks to using a treadmill that can up the burn and therefore increase the amount of weight lost thanks to those minutes walking and running.

In the beginning 15 minutes of your treadmill routine, the leg muscles are simply in the warm up stage. These muscles are large and require a significant blood flow in order to achieve the fat burning stage of the workout. Unfortunately, those first 15 minutes are the ones that we are most excited about completing. It is almost as if once we complete 15 minutes on the treadmill, the rest is downhill.

Getting the most out of your treadmill routine means warming up the legs before stepping one foot in front of the other. There is no sense in wasting 15 minutes of fat burning when the warm up can be completed with weights rather than with walking.

In order to warm up the legs of the muscles before beginning your walk or run, try these exercises for 15 minutes before beginning the work on the treadmill.

* Lunges. Lunges are the most horrid exercise in the world, but they sure do work to warm up the muscles of the legs. A lunge can be performed with not weights and are as simple as placing one foot in front of the other and bending the back leg knee to touch the ground. Then stand up and take another step to repeat the process.

* Squats. If you have a squat bar or smith machine in your home, squats are the perfect way to warm up those leg muscles. Simply using the weight of the bar for sets of 10 repetitions with 1 minute of rest between sets can warm up the muscles quickly and effectively. If you do not have a weight bar, free squats are perfect, but increase the set repetitions to 20.

Now that you have warmed up those leg muscles, every minute of the time your spend on the treadmill will be fat burning time. Losing weight is about burning fat and if the first 15 minutes on the treadmill are doing nothing but warming up the legs, these replacement exercises can help you to achieve more weight loss from the same time on the treadmill.

When using a treadmill for weight loss it is important to change up the routine from time to time. Utilize a treadmill that offers incline and decline to target different muscle groups in the legs. If you are a runner, try walking at a brisk pace for a longer period of time. Running, while great for the heart, can wreak havoc on the knees. Walking for twice as long on the treadmill will keep the heart as a sustained elevated level and thus will burn more calories than running alone.

Work that treadmill routine to the optimal fat burning levels. Losing weight is about burning calories so warm up those legs first and start the burn from the first step not the 16th minute.
About the Author
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