Can Walking on a Treadmill Make Your Butt Bigger Without an Incline?

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A treadmill is an all-weather cardio alternative for walkers and runners. Some run for marathon prep, while others walk for weight loss or general fitness. A treadmill's motorized belt can help you walk off 314 calories or run off 606 per hour if you weigh 160 pounds. Keeping the treadmill flat will burn calories, but you'll need more than that for a bigger butt. Talk with a doctor before beginning an exercise routine, especially if you have a prior medical condition.

The Glutes

  • You need to shape the glutes, or the butt muscles, for a bigger, rounder backside. The glutes are actually a set of three muscles. Your gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus are so aptly named because their sizes, which range from largest to smallest. And the gluteus maximus acts as blanket, covering the lesser two. You may equate your leg muscles -- the thighs and calves -- with a jog on the treadmill; however, your glutes see a bit of use on the moveable track. As you step forward, slightly squeeze your glutes. Your glutes help boost your speed.

Incline Vs. No Incline

  • Setting your incline to zero is OK if you're warming up, but it will do little to firm your backside. Set your treadmill's incline between 15 and 30 to tap into your full glute-building potential. Not all treadmills incline to 30, or even beyond 15. You may even find it difficult to sustain an incline of 15 for a 20- to 30-minute workout. Alternate your inclines every four minutes if you're exercising for 20 minutes, and every five minutes for 30-minute workouts. Start with an incline of 3.5 percent and increase it by 4.5 to 6.5 percent after four to five minutes. Alternate between high and low inclines. Don't lower the incline below four and don't raise the incline past 12. Match your speed with the inclines, going fast as you climb and slower as you descend. Reduce your incline between two to four for the last four to five minutes to cool down.

Glute-Building Alternative

  • Don't permanently rule out a zero incline -- just get creative. Set your treadmill's incline to zero, hold on to the front panel or side railings, and lunge forward. Treadmill lunges provide the same glute-busting benefits as they do on land; however, on a constantly moving treadmill belt, lunges test your balance. They also activate your thighs -- the quads and hamstrings -- and glutes, using these muscles more than your lower back. Start at a slow 1.5 miles per hour, and keep your knee from lunging past the tip if your shoe. Look straight ahead and keep your upper body tall. Start with one minute of lunging, followed by one minute of walking or jogging, alternating the two.

Stretching

  • Limit the odds of post-workout cramps and strains by stretching. Pick active lower-body stretches, such as squats, leg lifts and walking lunges. End with calf stretches, since treadmills place tension on the lower leg. Stand on a step, or a box, with your heel and instep hanging over the rear edge. Rise onto your tiptoes and lower your feet 10 times.

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