Training on Your Treadmill

Treadmill Training – Treadmill or Outdoor Walking?

Those who are actively pursuing bodybuilding know that the level of high intensity interval training (HIIT) is an important factor in gaining and maintaining a desired level of fitness. While there are many ways and exercise methods to get the daily requirement of HIIT, a running/walking interval workout is a good workout for most muscles if done in an effective manner. Effective meaning that many muscle groups are worked out and the heart rate level is attained and maintained for the desired interval duration. Treadmill training is one option for getting this workout accomplished.

When working out, comparing treadmill training against walking outdoors brings up several points. While these workouts are quite similar in design, there are several differences to consider when comparing the two. When taking a run or a walk outside, there are many variables that are not present while running or walking on the predictable treadmill. More muscles are worked by walking outside than by using the treadmill. Balance and stability are challenged by walking outside in ways they are not by treadmill training. For example, outside there are stops and starts for crossing roads that help build the muscles’ ability to stop completely and start up again from a dead halt.

By the same token, treadmill training does not provide a workout for climbing muscles the way an outdoors walk can do by necessitating steps over small obstacles, down or up roadside curbs as well as up and down steps. Forward motion is exerted by the acts of dodging other people out for a walk or a run or dogs that are roaming about as well. Downhill walking is a completely different muscular challenge than uphill walking, but the treadmill can only offer uphill inclines for the indoor workout. Balance muscles also get a better workout via the treadmill due to sloping sidewalks and roads that are found outdoors.

There are many fitness fans who have tested this comparison for themselves to see how the muscles felt after a good treadmill training session in contrast to how they felt after a good outdoor running/walking session. Most of them reported that after walking outdoors, among different grades of inclines and several stops and starts, they felt more winded. The next day also brought more soreness to the glutes and hamstrings for some that went on an outdoor walk. This information leads us to say that overall, for all around muscle workouts, walking or running outdoors beats the treadmill in working the muscles harder.

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