Some people have the idea that treadmills are “lazy” ways to exercise. Nothing could be further from the truth. These sleek exercise machines can give you an intense cardio workout. Does the treadmill build muscle, too, though? ZOZOFIT takes a look.
Does the Treadmill Build Muscle or Only Help With Cardio?
The answer to this question surprises many people. Using a treadmill actually can help you get bigger leg muscles. That said, there’s a big “but” at the end of that statement.
Treadmills Build Endurance
Most of the time, treadmills focus on endurance. They’re excellent for staying physically fit and active. When you first start, you may only be able to jog for a minute or two. After a while, a five-minute jog seems like nothing.
This happens because your legs are building muscle fibers that center on long-distance activity. If you’ve ever seen the legs of marathon runners, you’ve probably noticed that they look streamlined, not bulky. But they’re powerful.
Treadmill Workouts Are Good for Your Lower Body Muscles
Aerobic exercise such as treadmill workouts can lead to some muscle growth. However, this mainly applies to people who don’t normally exercise.
Does the treadmill build muscle compared to what your old self looked like? Absolutely. Instead of flaccid legs and soft hamstrings, you can work toward a stronger, more muscular lower body.
The Type of Exercise Matters
The legs of some athletes are much larger than those of long-distance runners. Take a look at:
- Soccer players
- Basketball players
- Tennis players
Why the difference? It comes down to the way the legs have to work in those sports.
Instead of running long distances at low speeds, soccer players need to start, stop, move and sprint constantly. This type of movement builds a higher proportion of fast-twitch muscle fibers and bulkier lower-body muscles.
How Can You Build Muscle With a Treadmill?
If you want to target muscle growth with a treadmill, you need to create a high-intensity workout for it. Instead of burning calories with a 30-minute walking session, increase your heart rate with a more challenging run.
High-Intensity Interval Training With a Treadmill
To crank up the intensity of your treadmill program, you need to increase the incline. The amount of incline depends on your current fitness level. Try to work up to a 10% incline.
Make sure to warm up your muscles first for a few minutes. Then, increase the speed of the treadmill so you’re running or sprinting.
Keep up this pace for 30 seconds to one minute. Rest for two or three minutes and repeat. Perform 10 sprints in total.
Does the Treadmill Build Muscle Quickly?
HIIT with a treadmill can provide many fitness benefits, but muscles don’t appear instantly. Depending on how often, how long and how hard you exercise, it can take a few weeks or a few months before you see results.
That’s why using a fitness tracker such as ZOZOFIT is so helpful for staying motivated. Track your progress with the precision of modern tech. Then when people ask, “Does the treadmill build muscle?” you can proudly show off your progress.