What are the best treadmill alternatives?

What can I do instead of the treadmill?

Not everyone likes running or afford to have a treadmill at home. Yes, it’s an effective cardio workout machine, but there are many other alternative exercises and equipment from which we can choose from to get almost the same results.

On this list, you will find the answers to questions like how you can exercise at home without a treadmill, what cardio you can do instead of running, and some exercise equipment alternatives. If you have more ideas, feel free to add your tips to this open list at the bottom.

#1 Jump Rope

The skipping rope is a cheap yet powerful tool to have a cardio workout. It develops not only your cardiovascular system but also improves your coordination, balance, and endurance. Plus, there are various jumping variations to make your workout more versatile and exciting. You can do circuits, but the best is if you combine it with bodyweight exercises like push-ups.

#2 Plyometric workout

Plyometric exercises are excellent to boost explosive power, but they also increase the heart rate quickly. Do various explosive high and long jumps, squats, lunges, burpees, push-ups. These moves are perfect for building muscles and burning fat.

#3 Climb stairs or use the treadclimber

If you live in a city, one of the best ways to exercise is right in front of your nose. Choose long stairs somewhere in the town where there is no heavy traffic and for 20 minutes walk or run up and down. You will get out of breath for sure. Climbing stairs not just makes your cardio perfect but also shape your legs and buttocks.

At the gym, you can use treadclimber which is a powerful machine to burn calories.

#4 Cycling indoor or outdoor

Riding the bike is an excellent option for someone who finds running boring, like me. You can go faster and discover the areas around where you live. Depending on the bike you have, you can cycle in extreme places, very fast or at a steady speed. You can also have interval training by switching between slow and fast sets.

You can also have a stationary bike at home, which lets you choose from various programs and resistance.

#5 Rowing machine

I think among the workout machines the rower is the best alternative for the treadmill. Rowing is a full-body workout engaging almost all the muscles of the body. Because of that, you hit two birds with one stone. You burn a lot of calories and shape your entire body. Plus, the rowing machine is a cheaper and more compact item than the treadmill.

#6 Running outdoor

My friend, who runs marathons, tells me that running on the treadmill is far from reality. And, she runs only on the machine if the weather is so bad that it’s impossible to be outdoor. When you are outdoor, you have to defeat such enemies like the wind or the uneven surface that each leads to better performance. Not to mention you are out in the fresh air.

#7 Boxing workout

The best is if you join a club where you can learn the basics, but there are a lot of sources online as well. Boxing is full of complex and intensive moves that boost the heart rate and activates the entire body. After learning the basics you can do shadow boxing, or punch the heavy bag, and make rounds with short rests between. Boxing training is perfect for developing cardio, endurance, and releasing stress.

#8 Bodyweight HIITs / Circuit Training

Hing intensity interval training (HIIT) is proven to be one of the most effective ways to workout. Generally, it means we combine short bursts of intense exercise with lower intensity activity or with rest. The best is if we combine resistance training with aerobic activities. Bodyweight exercises like push-ups, burpees, squats, etc. are natural moves for the body to build functional strength.

For example, you do burpees for 45 seconds then you easy march in place for 30 seconds, and you make 6 rounds.

The variations are limitless, and we can easily create a HIIT workout for our fitness level or goals. There are a lot of applications with ready to use programs as well.

#9 Do traditional sports

Last 30 years gyms and fitness studios became very popular, and a lot of people think the only way to get fit and shaped is by joining. What did the people do before the “gym era” to get fit? They played tennis, football, badminton, basketball, rugby, etc. Activities that we can play with our friends. Sports that make us not only as healthy and fit but also great opportunities to build relationships.

#10 Dance

Did you know that you can burn 200-400 with half an hour continuous dancing? Sounds good. Of course, that depends on the type of dance you do and your weight. Hip-hop, salsa, Zumba are intensive dances that burn calories quickly, although we need to learn the basics.

#11 Walking

Ok, walking doesn’t seem to be the “king of the fat burning workouts”, but it’s a low-intensity training which is excellent for weight loss and health. It’s the most recommended physical activity by scientists because it exercises the body naturally and healthily for example it doesn’t put such stress on joints like running. To get the most from it, don’t walk at a steady pace but do intervals by switching to brisk walking periodically.

To sum up

As you see, there are many alternatives to running on a treadmill, we just need to be a bit creative and forget the machines and the gym. All these activities substitute the treadmill perfectly and maybe more enjoyable than running at the same place.

Do you know other cardio alternatives for the treadmill? Share with us below.

Written by Imre

Imre has been working out for over 20 years. He likes all sorts of strength training and boxing. Since he's a busy father he works out only at home.