Tips to Get Toned Legs Using A Treadmill

Treadmill running to get toned legs

George Rudy/

By Simon Gould

Treadmills by their very nature are excellent at exercising your lower body. Running works out all parts of the lower legs and butt. The legs are targeted in many ways. First you get the fat reduction from regular treadmill running. Then you get the shape and toning of the legs from using the incline with a tougher workout. Following my system your legs will look slimmer and have a more appealing shape in no time.

How to burn fat on the legs with a treadmill

First to give the legs a nice toned look we need any excess weight on the legs to go. We need to burn fat around the buttocks, thigh and hip areas. By regularly running the workouts will achieve this goal. This will take time but combining multiple leg workouts will get you there quicker. Consider some strength training on the lower body, as well as the treadmill.

Burning fat means losing 3,500 calories per pound of fat. Running on a treadmill for 10 minutes burns around 130 calories. So if you run on a treadmill and eat fewer portions you will start losing body fat. This will happen all over your body including your butt, thighs and legs. This is essential to give you a better body shape as you don’t want skinny legs and a large waist.

Try using a walk/run method first if you’re not used to exercising. Do 2 minutes of walking then 2 minutes of running then back to walk and keep going. Every week increase the amount of running by 2 minutes until you’re doing a total of 20 minutes then remove the walking intervals. Then you’ll be running for 20 minutes and be well on your way to cutting body fat around the legs.

How to tone the legs with a treadmill

The parts of the lower body we’ll be targeting with the toning workouts are the gluteus maximus (butt), the back and front of your legs (quadriceps and hamstrings) and your calves. We will do another 20 minute workout but this will be harder as we’re taking the body into the anaerobic zone. This is over 80% of your maximum heart rate for a brief time to strengthen them and shapen the legs.

In order to achieve the workout level to tone the legs we’ll be using the incline. That is why a treadmill is so perfect for toning the legs. No where else can you select how steep the incline is and how long it lasts. The workouts will last 20 minutes again and we advise you do these once or twice a week. This way your legs will get stronger and more toned as time goes on.

Don’t worry about getting muscley legs that won’t happen with this workout and how often you’re doing it. First brisk walk 2 minutes on 0% incline then 2 minutes on 6% then back to 0% then up to 6% again. You can set the 6% incline to a different number for you. Whether it’s lower or higher it needs to be tough for you to do and you look forward to the 0% recovery.

Burn fat and tone for maximum effect

Combine both the fat burning and toning workouts to blast the legs from both sides. The fat burning regular workout try and do 3 times a week or more and the toning workout once a week. This may seem like a lot but to get true results you have to make a commitment and you’ll be getting fitter as well.

You should be noticing the results quite quickly and this will give you momentum to spur you on. Although this is only 20 minutes a day feel free to extend the fat burning workouts so you’re running 30 minutes a day for even greater health benefits and weight regulation. I’m confident you’ll be smiling in as little as 3 weeks with the results you’ve got.

Try weight baring exercises too

A treadmill can do all the toning you need it to. But you may want to go that little bit extra, and you can do that by weight training on your legs. You can do this by using your own body weight or use special weights like dumbbells are barbells. A gym will have several machines that can help. You could target your legs in every way and from every angle.

You could do weight baring exercises at home like squats, lunges and calf raises. Resistance bands can be useful to get that extra little bit of burn. Do these kinds of exercises on 2 days of the week. The good thing is you’ll be targeting the butt, hips, thighs and calves. It’s more workouts but the rewards are worth it, you’ll have the best looking legs in town.


The secret to toning is burning calories and losing weight. Our bodies become so much more aesthetically pleasing when we are a sensible weight. Regular exercise and a good diet will lose you weight and give you a nice figure. But it’s not something you can do once a week, it requires a real commitment to exercise around 3 times a week to see results.

Men and women can get results by making a real lifestyle change if you’re not used to exercising often. If you’re on the couch a lot you’ll find it difficult at first. But exercise makes you feel so good and there are so many health benefits it would be a shame not to get into a new routine. After a short while you’ll start seeing the look you want and everyone will notice.

Thinking of buying a treadmill? Here’s my favorite, I always recommend it when asked.

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