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Fit Tip: Use Cardio Machines in a Different Way

Since the weather isn't quite warm enough for most of us to exercise outdoors, many of us have been using cardio machines at the gym. They can get pretty boring since they're so repetitive, so try to think of different and maybe even unexpected ways to use them to keep your workouts fresh. Not only will this keep you from getting bored at the gym, but you'll work different muscles too. Here are some ideas:

  • Walk sideways on the treadmill and be sure to take turns leading with both sides.
  • If you're used to running at a constant speed for a certain amount of time, mix it up. Sprint for one minute, walk for one minute, and jog for one minute. Repeat this three-minute interval set for as many minutes as you usually run.
  • If running is your thing, walk for twice as long instead with the incline higher than you use when running.
  • If you want to target your glutes, increase the incline on the treadmill as high as it will go and pretend you're hiking up a steep mountain.
  • Work backwards on the elliptical. Since your feet have places to rest, it's safer than doing it on a treadmill. This will get your backside going.

Want to see the other ideas? Then

  • Let go on the elliptical, don't hold on to the handles. This will work your core and your lower body at the same time. You can also do this on the stepper machine.
  • If you're used to sitting on a stationary bike, try standing and pedaling. You don't have to do it the entire time, but maybe alternate between standing for one minute and sitting for five minutes.
  • Gradually increase the tension on your bike like you are riding up a hill. It's tough but really satisfying, and will get you ready for tackling hills when you ride outside.

Do you have any other ideas? Share them below.


Join The Conversation
dreamsugar dreamsugar 8 years
Instead of standing up on the bike -- lean forward and hover over the seat a few inches.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Awesome ideas...
Alexisis Alexisis 9 years
I was wondering that too about the stationary bike too bahar - I noticed myself slouching into that position after a while on the bike yesterday & tried to correct myself - I thought the way you mentioned was correct but I could be mistaken as well
melda melda 9 years
is that model sitting right on the bike? i read somewhere that we should sit straight while on a stationary bike so we burn more calories and target our thighs? if i am wrong please correct me because currently i don't hold on the handles i try to keep my hands moving too while i pedal.
Linda-McP Linda-McP 9 years
I agree about alternating backwards and forwards on the elliptical. It really does help make the time go faster.
Martini-Rossi Martini-Rossi 9 years
I always alternate going backwards and fowards on the elliptical. It makes the time go a lil faster too.
Renees3 Renees3 9 years
Tips like these are always helpful. For me it's not cold weather thats keeping me in, but HOT. I tried to run outside yesterday in 85deg weather and seriously thought I was going to pass out. I'm not used to the desert heat yet!! So now I'm going to do morning runs and more treadmill stuff! I like the incline idea best!
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
Great tips :) They are also another way for you not to get B-O-R-E-D because we all know it happens!
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