10 Essential Treadmill Tips to Maximize Your Workout

How to squeeze all the juice out of every workout, and make going to the gym worth the effort.


We all know about the health benefits of working out, but let’s face it: going to the gym can be a drag. Sweaty flailing on exercise machines is never up there on my list of stuff I want to do, so I want to make sure I get the most out of every workout. These ten essential tips will help you make sure you maximize the efficiency of your time on the treadmill:

10 Essential Treadmill Tips to Maximize Your Workout

  1. Use Interval Training

Instead of running at the same pace for the entire time, change up your routine with interval training. Run at a moderate pace intercut with short bursts of sprinting to boost. You’ll engage new muscles and boost your energy.

  1. Change the Incline

Running on an incline engages muscles in your lower body, helping you get a stronger workout in the same amount of time. Don’t run on an incline for the entire workout, though. Use interval training here too so that you grow stronger over time. Pick a level that’s doable for you while still a challenge—you’ll be able to work your way up from there!

  1. Find a Good Motivator

For people like me, who prefer going hiking to the gym, getting motivated to hop on a treadmill is tough. Find something to keep your energy high while you’re at the gym, like a great pump-up playlist. Teaming up with a friend as a running buddy or going to classes together can make the trip to the gym easier as well.

10 Essential Treadmill Tips to Maximize Your Workout

Good posture is important — just like your mom always told you!

  1. Perfect Your Posture

Holding onto the handles or leaning back makes exercising easier, but that means it makes it less effective. Stand up straight, as though there isn’t a support in front of you, and look up to maintain your balance.

  1. Don’t Push Too Hard

It’s tempting to start off at a high level or raise the incline to feel the burn, but don’t push yourself too hard. Gradually work up to the highest levels. Time matters more than intensity for beginners.

Get everything you can out of every workout to make it worth your while!

  1. Warm Up and Cool Down

The warm up and cool down portions of the exercise may seem unnecessary. By the end of a long workout, most of us just want to hop off the machine and hit the shower, but those traditions are there for a reason. Jumping right into an intense workout without first warming up and stretching your muscles can be dangerous. As anyone who’s felt lightheaded after getting off an exercise machine knows, cooling off is just as necessary.

10 Essential Treadmill Tips to Maximize Your Workout

Make sure to stretch before hopping on the machine

  1. Mix It Up

Avoid the machine’s pre-programmed workouts. Instead, go in with a plan. Find a routine that complements your goals, whether you want to burn fat, build muscle, or focus on a specific area. That way, you’ll be able to focus your energy. Try to stay away from distracting entertainment like TV, since they can detract from your workout. Instead, go for things that complement the exercise. I’m a fan of the running app Zombie Run, which mixes apocalyptic adventure into the workout to spice things up.

  1. Enforce Consistency

The only way to improve is to practice regularly. Make sure you build a plan and stick to it. That way, you’ll be sure to strengthen your treadmill abilities and get the most out of your exercise plan.

  1. Track Your Progress

To make sure you’re following your plan and meeting all your goals, track your progress. Don’t just note when you go to the gym and for how long. Keep track of your intervals, inclines, and energy level. This way, you’ll stick to your goals.

  1. Don’t Get Competitive

Instead of glancing sideways at the girl running faster than you, focus on your own progress. Shutting down a competitive nature can be difficult, especially in sports, but the only way to improve is to focus on your goals.

Getting to the gym can be hard, and there’s always an excuse to stay home. With these tips, you’ll get the most out of your workout every time.


What’s your best workout tip? What motivates you?

Avatar of Rebecca Givens

Rebecca is Urbanette's Beauty and Health Editor. She is an expert in all things related to beauty, holistic health, organic food, toxins, and fitness. She is a part-time model and nutritionist who grew up in Canada, spent most of her adulthood in Brooklyn, and now lives with her boyfriend David in Zurich, Switzerland. Check out her blog at RadiantPeach.com

Reader Discussion: 122 Comments

  1. Avatar of Brooke Harris

    Brooke Harris

    That was useful, I’m happy that you talk about Fitness in Urbanette also 🙂 I can really find everything here!

  2. Avatar of Della Martin

    Della Martin

    For #8 you should add that it’s important to work out 5 days out of 7. You can’t just work out one day a week and expect to be fit.

    • Avatar of Alexiane Verdito

      Alexiane Verdito

      You have to let your muscles rest between your workouts, so you shouldn’t train every day the same muscle group! 🙂

  3. Avatar of Rosalia Russell

    Rosalia Russell

    Once you see the result of your hard work at the gym, it gonna be the best day of your life! It was for me. Took me so long to get motivated, but now I’d never stop. It feels too good!

  4. Avatar of Karen Abeyta

    Karen Abeyta

    I wish I was addicted to working out the way I use to be…. now I have zero motivation :/

    • Avatar of Elizabeth Gonzalez

      Elizabeth Gonzalez

      A gym buddy/motivator or a coach is all you need! 🙂

  5. Avatar of Jossen Row

    Jossen Row

    My gf is what motivates me. We both want to get fit. And also, I’m her trainer.

  6. Avatar of Connie Schmidt

    Connie Schmidt

    All you need is to focus and keep motivating yourself. I print and paste fitspo to my fridge and cupboards. That worked really well for me.

  7. Avatar of Maxine Ford

    Maxine Ford

    Working out is all about working hard to achieve your dream body. The result will always be priceless, and totally worth the time it takes. If you plan out your day by the hour, it makes it much easier.

  8. Avatar of Esther Devine

    Esther Devine

    I had just finished weight training just one hour ago.

  9. Avatar of Joan Morales

    Joan Morales

    I need a hell lot of work..but getting motivated with this is a good start!!

  10. Avatar of Brittany West

    Brittany West

    Reading this makes it looks so easy 🙁

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