Treadmills are a reliable way to gain lower body strength.
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A treadmill offers unparalleled convenience, providing a consistent platform to exercise despite weather, road or time constrictions. Those looking to strengthen their legs will be able to do so by regularly running or walking on a treadmill. Trying a variety of techniques will help maintain enjoyment and provide a balanced leg workout.
Do the Shuffle
Instead of walking straight ahead, try walking sideways. According to Shape, the sideways shuffle will work out your inner and outer thighs and calves, as well as your hips and abs. Before you start, locate the kill switch so that you can stop the machine if you have trouble with the movement. Put your right hand on the front rail and your left hand on the left rail, facing your body to the left, and step from foot to foot, keeping your feet facing towards the left. Make sure to switch sides to keep your workout balanced.
Modern treadmills generally have incline features which can tilt the surface of the belt up to 10 or 12 percent to mimic the conditions of running or walking uphill. This provides a greater challenge and more strengthening opportunities than a level surface. About Time notes that working out on an incline will build more muscle in the upper and lower thighs, glutes, ankles and calves. Working out on an incline will also stretch your calves, helping you to build longer, learner calf muscles.
Running or walking on a trail or road can offer many benefits. Hard surfaces such as asphalt and concrete, however, can cause stress on the feet, legs and joints over time. A treadmill, especially one with built-in shock absorbency, can provide a lower impact workout that will still strengthen your legs. A treadmill also helps you stay aware of your pace, as it's easier to notice when you slow down due to fatigue. This may encourage you to run harder for longer.
Feet Foes and Shin Woes
If you notice any pain in the front of your feet or shins, you may be overtaxing your dorsiflexor muscles. If you've been running on a fast, steep incline, try lowering the speed and incline and spending more time on a level surface to allow your muscles to warm-up. It may also be helpful to stretch your calves before stepping onto the treadmill. Avoid holding onto the treadmill bars, which will lower the effectiveness of your workout.