So, your gym routine involves hitting the tready at a steady pace for a whole hour while you take in the latest episode of Real Housewives? Usually we’d recommend your multitasking style, but this is one time where phoning it in just won’t cut it. If you want to make the most of your indoor runs (and enjoy) the fut bod rewards that come with), try our fixes for these common mistakes…

Running at the same pace
Sad news, friends – just because you’re an exercise machine doesn’t mean you’re automatically smashing a workout. If you want to see results from the tready you’ve got to raise the intensity. “You’ve been told time and time again that HIIT training is the way to go and this doesn’t exclude the treadmill,” explains personal trainer Lee Sutherland ( try one of these variations on your next treadmill run to beat boredom and reap a whole lotta results:

  • Sprint for 400m, then walk for 100m.
  • Sprint for 300m, then walk for 300m at a big incline to get your butt and thighs firing.
  • Run for a set duration (say, five minutes) then jog while at a steady incline.
  • Dead-tread – put the machine on a slight incline first, then turn off the power, hold onto the rails and drive with your legs so you move the treadmill. This is a killer!

Watching TV
This one’s all about your fitness goals. If you’re happy to do some steady state cardio while you catch up on Mariah’s World, go right ahead. Any movement is good for you! But, “Don’t confuse this with a workout that will shape that booty and get you under that 5-minute-per-kilometre speed goal,” says Sutherland. Switch off the distractions and you’ll be able to focus on your fitness – and get your workout done faster to boot.

Holding the rails
No one wants to be that girl who flies off the end of the tready, but if this is your biggest fear, allow us to help you loosen that grip. “If you’re new to the treadmill and you’re holding the handles for confidence, just slow it down so you can walk or jog at a pace where you’re feeling safe with your hands by your sides,” tips Sutherland. “Not only will holding the rails make your workout too easy (it takes the load off your legs, reducing effort and calories burnt) but it will also make you walk at an unnatural pace and could lead to strain over time.” As your hands-free confidence builds, increase the pace.

Forgetting technique
Indoor runs feel different, but they should be as close to the real deal as you can make them. “Your running style on the treadmill should mirror the way you’d run outside,” says Sutherland. “Abs engaged, chest up, shoulders back and gaze forward, not down. Lastly, let your arms swing by your sides naturally rather than holding them rigid and watch out for a shortened stride.”

Skipping other workouts
Got an unshakeable bond with your treadmill? Girl, you gotta start seeing other equipment. Boost strength in your glutes and hamstrings (for longer, stronger runs) with weight training – think kettlebell swings, barbell deadlifts and weighted squats. To ensure you’re targeting those important butt muscles when you’re on the treadmill, set the incline to at least 1.

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This story appeared in the September issue of Women’s Fitness.