Which Muscles Do Treadmills Work?


Treadmills are exercise machines that allow people to walk or run on a belted machine indoors. These machines are mainly for cardiovascular exercise, but users often find that treadmills work a variety of leg muscles as well. The quadraceps, hamstrings, calf muscles and glutes are worked by a treadmill. The cardiovascular exercise also works the heart, which is the most important muscle in the body.


  • The main muscle that treadmills work is the heart. Treadmills provide cardiovascular exercise which raises the heart rate and strengthens the overall health and stamina of the heart.


  • Exercising on a treadmill works out the quadracep muscles, a group of muscles on the front of the thighs. This muscle group includes the rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, and the vastus intermedius.


  • The hamstrings are on the back of the thighs and are effectively toned through treadmill workouts. Hamstrings can be pulled easily so adequate stretching should be performed before using a treadmill.


  • The proper name of this three-part muscle group is the gluteal muscles. The gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus are located in the buttocks and used extensively during treadmill exercise.


  • The calf muscles are located on the backside of the lower leg, between the ankle and knee. These muscles act as stabilizers for the body during walking and running.

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