The treadmill may not be your favorite piece of exercise equipment, but you might be swayed after hearing about its effectiveness. If you know how to use it, the machine can work in your favor on multiple levels, including helping you build cardiovascular endurance, strengthen your entire body, and tone your butt and legs. Michael Olzinski, MSc, Equinox and Lululemon run coach shared in a previous interview how running at a slower speed on a higher incline is best in terms of form and progress. But it turns out you don’t have to run to reap all the benefits. Simply walking on an incline can be beneficial, too.
Benefits of Incline Walking
“I absolutely love incline walking for multiple purposes,” Olzinski told POPSUGAR. “Glute development, aka ‘booty gains,’ comes from building muscular strength, improving body composition, and having great posture. All of these things can be improved with some very good and strong incline walking sessions.”
However, you won’t get the same effects by mindlessly walking and scrolling through your phone. The most important thing to do during an incline walking session is to be “present and purposeful,” according to Olzinski. “Make it intentional and pump the shoulders, drive the feet behind the hips so that you get full extension, and try to make it so that it is cardiovascularly challenging,” he said.
You also want to focus on completing big, full strides rather than small steps in order to build your booty. Full hip extensions are key to targeting the glutes, so get your knee behind your pelvis as you tackle hills.
What Treadmill Incline You Should Be Walking
Michael says that anything below an eight percent incline isn’t enough to challenge your body. He typically starts clients there, then helps them work their way up to 10 percent, then 12 percent. And when someone is really advanced, he makes them wear a weighted vest with 15 to 20 percent their body weight.
Incline Treadmill Workout For Your Butt
Here’s a great example workout from Olzinski that includes a quick treadmill session, followed by some booty-boosting exercises:
Equipment needed: Treadmill and a set of medium-weight dumbbells
Directions: After a five-minute walking warmup, complete three sets of the workout below.