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Fitness Substitute For Running

Can't Run? Celeb Trainer Suggests the Treadmill Climb

Running isn't for everyone. While it makes me feel amazing, it's not so easy on the joints, which prevents some people from enjoying this form of cardio. If an injury has you searching for an alternative that provides similar physical benefits to running, celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak has a wonderfully grueling substitute.

Pasternak has trained celebrities like Alicia Keys, Eva Mendes, and Halle Berry, and recently he's been whipping The Fast and the Furious actress Jordana Brewster into fantastic shape. Women's Health interviewed Jordana and got the scoop about her workouts, learning that she likes having a routine "because everything else . . . is so unpredictable." She shared her routine with WH and said,

I do cardio six days a week, with weight resistance in between. I also work with [celebrity trainer] Harley Pasternak three times a week. I used to run, but can't anymore because [it hurts my knees]. But what's just as effective? Putting the treadmill at an incline of 12— that's steep!—and climbing for 30 to 40 minutes.

Sounds like a workout that would definitely work up a sweat. Here's an uphill treadmill hike workout for you to try. Has an injury prevented you from running?

Image Source: WireImage
Join The Conversation
tropicalsiren tropicalsiren 7 years
Dont feel silly about it! Lots of people at my gym do this(either with or without the incline) and no one cares about it, at least you doing cardio and not hurting yourself. Like i said, im doing this and seeing results fast, i cant run and the eliptical hurts my ankles after a while. Hiking the treadmill has been the only type of cardio that has worked me so far .
Soniabonya Soniabonya 7 years
I have knee issues thanks to a highschool intermural volleyball game with out knee pads. GRRR. I never liked running but it was the fastest way I lost weight. . . tho my knee has been giving me problems. It still aches a bit, even when I cycle or do certain things in water aerobics. I think I'll give this a try, but I agree with the above poster that I feel silly for being on a treadmill without running. :\ How is climbing a treadmill different from doing a stair climber or step thing?
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 7 years
I never could run due to asthma and two months ago, my asthma finally became controlled and my asthma specialist told me to start running to strengthen my lungs. I started running outside, going very slow - 20 minutes of walk/run interval and wouldn't you know that my knee started hurting. I went to my chiropractor and he says I have runners knee and is recommending I do an elliptical instead of running on a treadmill or outside.
PeachyKeen19 PeachyKeen19 7 years
Just place the www in front of it. Speaking of which I was wondering if Fit could a review on this gym/dance equipment: there's two different models on the website and it could be good for stretching and flexibility. Though I'm not sure.
PeachyKeen19 PeachyKeen19 7 years
What about this? Dancers use it for their arches but maybe it will work for Plantar faciitis
WriterChick54 WriterChick54 7 years
I've been doing this uphill treadmill workout since I first saw it back in April. It's a great way to increase endurance. I've run 10 mile races and still haven't been able to get through this whole workout! I read that running on a treadmill only works your quads, but this will help strengthen your hamstrings and butt too if you can't get outside!
tropicalsiren tropicalsiren 7 years
I read this interview in the magazine and started doing it right away. In as little as 2 weeks my butt feels much toned and perky and my legs and tights look leaner. I do it in intervals, this way i work my way up and the time passes faster.
cg130 cg130 7 years
Sounds like great advice!
lydialee_home lydialee_home 7 years
Spectra - I have a problem with plantar fasciitis also. But, I started to do more calf exercise and stretch with a "calf stretcher" after my run, and it helped a lot. The "calf stretcher" that I used is They have it available at the Y's, I am consider buying one now.
bailaoragaditana bailaoragaditana 7 years
I did a bang-up job on my knees (and ankles) in 7 years of figure skating, and I have always had a "rack of doom" - both of which make running hugely painful for me. I do love fast-ish walking and hiking, though. (But I have a serious aversion to treadmills. Give me a swimming pool or the great outdoors, please!)
runningesq runningesq 7 years
I just finished with PT and my tendonitis is gone gone gone :) :)
margokhal margokhal 7 years
Yep. I finally got tendonitis after 4 weeks of running 3x a week, so I'm not allowed to run now. And I did everything I could to prevent it...the doctor said I probably need new kicks, though mine aren't worn out or anything. I've been doing pretty active yoga to make up for the lost time, and I'm on a business trip...actually I've lost MORE weight with the yoga and traveling than with the running! I don't think the treadmill I have at home goes up to 12 though, and I haven't got access or money for a gym membership...too bad.
ndnattie ndnattie 7 years
I have been doing climbing routines on the treadmill pretty often because I want to avoid the pounding on my joints. I work out with a heart rate monitor and the high inclines definitinely keeps my heart rate up just as high as running. Also, alternating between different inclines in intervals makes the workout go by faster too.
Spectra Spectra 7 years
I don't run as much as I used to because I had some serious issues with tendonitis in my ankles and a bad case of plantar fasciitis, so now I get most of my cardio in on the elliptical machine and walking, biking, and jumping rope. I sometimes do the treadmill "climbing" at the gym, but I always feel like I look really silly doing it because I really get into it and swing my arms like crazy.
ella1978 ella1978 7 years
Walking at a steep incline is actually more painfull on my knees than running. I have had chondromalacia since I was a kid. It's common in young girls who play sports. For me, the muscles on the outside of my knee developed faster that the ones on the inside. That pulled my patella off center, and rubbed at the cartelidge, damaging it. Not bad enough for surgery, but enough for pain. And inclines done often enough, and for long enough, really hurt my knees.
sham28 sham28 7 years
That is a LOT of working out! Good for her!
Modus-Vivendi Modus-Vivendi 7 years
I finally broke down and got a treadmill, and I do this same thing if I'm not feeling up to running, although I can't do the top incline for 40 minutes yet.
katie225 katie225 7 years
injury and general distaste for running keeps me from running. i do (and teach) indoor spin/cycle as well as turbo kickboxing instead of running. i'm a very bottom-heavy gal, so running is just completely painful for me. my feet will hurt, my shins will hurt, my lungs will hurt, and i get a cramp in my side. cycling and TKB do not result in this! perhaps i will try to climbing the treadmill if i ever work out on the machines.
mydiadem mydiadem 7 years
Foot and knee injuries keep me from running, I'll try every few months but after 20 minutes my foot hurts too much and for a few days afterwards. It sucks to be limited!
Chrstne Chrstne 7 years
Wow, great idea. Tearing my ACL really made running kind of suck for me. That and flat feet do it, too.
fleurfairy fleurfairy 7 years
My lungs prevent me from running. No matter how much I try to become a runner, it just doesn't happen. The burning in my lungs and my spleen area is excruciating.
laellavita laellavita 7 years
Pati - not holding onto anything is best, because you can inadvertently put too much pressure on the handles and therefore take some of the work away from your legs and core if you do.
patiwroblewski patiwroblewski 7 years
I'm doing that always for 20 min after using the elliptical...It is too soon to say if it's as effective as running for me. but I heard its bad for the back again. And I have difficulties figuring out which is better holding on to those front pulse measuring handles or the sides of the treadmill for balance. Or not hold on to anything. If anyone has advice on that...thanks for sharing
kclulu kclulu 7 years
Sounds like a good one for the bum, will have to give it a try. For some reason though there is always a little part of me that thinks if I am not running, I am not working hard enough.
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