Half an Hour to a Better Booty
By Anna Sachse
When you think of good ways to get in a summer workout, treadmills are probably not very high up on the list. But the fact is, by the time the temperature reaches 90 degrees, it’s actually dangerous to exercise outdoors—your chances of experiencing serious dehydration, sunburn and heat exhaustion or heatstroke, skyrocket. Case in point: organizers actually shut down the 2007 Chicago Marathon mid-race because the 88-degree weather was too hot to handle; but not before someone collapsed and died.
So then, now that summer is upon us, if you want to keep that body bathing suit-friendly, it would do a booty good to get busy with the treadmill. Of course, nobody wants to spend too much time indoors when the weather outside is delightful for other, non-exercise-related activities, such as barbequing or playing a fierce game of Marco Polo in the pool; so the following three workouts can all be completed in 30 minutes.
The Need for Speed
Jog at a nice, easy pace for 10 minutes; you want to sweat a bit but also be capable of carrying on a little conversation. At the 10-minute mark, set the treadmill at a speed faster than you are used to—you don’t want to shoot off the back, but it should definitely be difficult and render you incapable of chatting. Focus and power through it—you are only going to do two minutes at this pace, after which you get to once again jog at an easy pace for two minutes. Repeat this fast two minutes followed by the slow two minutes, four more times. You’ll have a two-minute slow jog at the end, but try to cool down more with some walking if you have time. Regardless, all the pace changing might make you forget you’re on a treadmill, while also helping to increase your general running speed, blasting 300-400 calories and improving your body’s ability to take in and use oxygen.
Head for the Hills
Running hills is hell-a hard; you won’t be able to think about anything else during this workout. But it will seriously scorch through calories, increase lung capacity and sculpt your quads, calves, abs and behind. The workout itself is simple. Start with 10 minutes at a moderate jog to warm-up your muscles for the stress they are about to face. At the 10-minute mark, increase the elevation to between three and eight-percent, depending on your fitness level. Don’t worry about speed—just pick one that will allow you to run this way with proper form for 10 minutes. It should definitely be difficult, but you don’t want to be staggering. Just think about the fact that after these 10 minutes, you can jog again, as slow as you want, for 10 minutes, and then stop.
The mission here is walking backwards. Okay, so you might look silly in the moment, but who cares when you’ll look hot later on? According to Lorra Garrick, CPT, for www.walking.about.com, walking backwards (keep those hands off the handlebars!) forces your postural muscles to take serious action, and standing taller makes anyone look better. This workout also kicks your butt, legs, hips and the muscles that control your ankles (great for those who want to improve their inline skating). There is no set regime here; just play around with it for 30 minutes. Start slow and then, once you feel comfortable, increase the speed in half mile-per-hour increments, until you reach four MPH. Try running for a bit, even at six to eight MPH, and then maybe fiddle with the incline—a 15-percent incline at two MPH will quickly lead to a nice burn in your thighs. Alternate speeds, inclines and even direction, so that you never get bored.