26 Treadmill Alternatives – Have Fun Cardio Alternatives!

Treadmill Alternative

You can still achieve the same results if not better using treadmill alternatives!

Treadmill Alternatives

I hate the treadmill! (Or the dreadmill as I like to call it!) There I’ve said it! Yep…I hate it! But I’m not going to leave you there ‘coz I’ve got some great treadmill alternatives for ya 😉

What I hate more is no matter where I am in the world, no matter what gym I go into, whether it be a well known gym, or a backstreet bodybuilders gym I ALWAYS see someone banging it away on the treadmill for over an hour – at the same monotonous pace.


Before I qualified as a personal trainer, I thought I was the only person who had this feeling! I was also under the school of thought that if everyone was doing it, then it must work. How wrong was I?

By replacing your treadmill ‘workouts’ with some of the alternatives I’ve written below you’ll be able to;

  • Stay focused longer: So you can burn more fat in the long-term.
  • Burn more fat: Use these treadmill alternatives to burn more fat during your workout as well as AFTER your workout too
  • Get fitter – FASTER: By constantly changing your workout and exercises you’ll keep you body ‘on it’s toes’ and constantly challenge it too keep burning fat and help you get fitter – faster.
  • Exercise and workout LESS: Get better results in less time.
  • Spend less time in the gym: Nobody want’s to spend their life in the gym – and neither should you. Get into the gym, do your workout and be out in quicker than 30 minutes –  sometimes 20…or even 10!
  • Actually have FUN: Having fun while you workout and make progress is essential to stay motivated
  • Burn more calories: Trigger the afterburn effect so you’ll burn calories in your sleep.
  • + so much more

If you want to lose weight….

For fat loss, long boring cardio doesn’t work very well. In-fact research has proven that just 20 minute workouts using HIIT and resistance training will burn more fat and calories than hour long cardio sessions.

So not only is long traditional cardio boring, it doesn’t work either! So if you’re looking to get rid of belly fat, then you need to do something else….

Like I mentioned above to achieve fast fat loss, your workouts must include high intensity interval training, and workouts must have some sort of resistance involved. So today I am going to give you 26 treadmill alternatives to spice up your workout!

Health & Fitness Related

1) Swimming

Swimming is fantastic! Not only do you change the treadmill for water, but you’re also changing the gym environment for a more relaxed atmosphere. People who have had injuries and are in some sort of rehabilitation normally take to the pool to exercise.

I personal know one woman who lost a considerable amount of weight through swimming alone. She suffered from rheumatoid arthritis, and her ankles wouldn’t have been able to take the pressure of running, so she took up swimming.

Within a few months of going 4 times a week she lost an enormous amount of weight.

2) Hill Sprints

I first started doing hill sprints when I was a teenager doing pre-season althletics training. Simply put – hill sprints work. 

You’re not only sprinting – which is by far one of the best ways to burn fat and get fit, you’re not only adding a progression to your training by going uphill but you’re saving yourself a massive amount of time. 

Hill sprints are great alternative to fall back on if the motivation ‘devil’ comes to visit. A few of these bad boys and you’ll be sorted. 

3) Jump Rope / Skipping Rope

You can use this treadmill alternative at home.

Almost everyone has a jump rope / skipping rope lying about somewhere. If you don’t have one, you can pick one up at a local store for about the price of a coffee.

A jump rope can be used in more ways than one.

Use it on it’s own = Great workout!

Use it with some bodyweight exercises = Fantastic Workout!

Use it as part of a bigger circuit with other equipment = Unbelievable Workout!

Which workout are you going to choose?

4) Rowing Machine

Aaaahhh I love the rowing machine! So much more effective than the dreadmill! The rowing machine is great for an over all body workout. Remember though posture is vital when using the treadmill. Too many times I see people slouched over the machine – injury waiting to happen. Make sure that your back is straight and not slouched over like everyone else!

5) Spinning

While I don’t recommend heavy doses of spinning due to the repetiveness and increased likelyhood of injury, spinning once in a while is another great way to add an alterntive to your training.

6) Boot Camps


Martial Arts / Fighting

7) Kickboxing

8) Muay Thai

9) Krav Maga

I did Karate for about 5 years as a child, and I’ve looking into getting back into this side of things. Krav Maga is something that has taken my fancy. 

The videos are pretty impressive. It’s another way to not only keep active in another way but will help you psychologically too. 

Once I get further into actually doing something, I’ll update this bit! 

10) Brazilian Ju Jit Su

11) MMA


12) Boxercise: Boxercise has exploded is past few years. Boxercise is basically using pads and bags, and punching the life out of them! Most trainers these days have specific Boxercise qualifications, so if you hold a gym membership, ask a trainer.

Nothings’ stopping you from doing boxercise with a workout partner however. Not only do you not have to pay money for a trainer, but having a workout partner will help motivate you as well!

Sports Related

Do you enjoy playing any types of sports? Do you look at any sports and think you’d like to have a go at it? Well playing sports is a great alternative to the treadmill.

13) Football / Soccer: My person favorite is football (soccer). But any sport that requires you to work hard is beneficial. Some other examples are;

14) Tennis

15) Squash

One sport I haven’t played but would love to have a go. You’ll never see someone come out of a squash court without breaking a serious sweat. 

High intensity – the perfect recipe for fat loss!

16) Badminton

17) Basketball

Basketball is huge in the States – not so much in England where I live. That said I have seen a slight increase in the particpation rates in the last 12 months amongst some of the young people I’ve been working with on our projects. 

One thing’s for certain you’ll be able to find a basketball net almost anywhere -no matter where you live!

18) Handball

19) Tchouckball: I first see this sport a few years back when I was looking to add to my qualifications portfolio – I ended up choosing Badminton but I have never forgot how fun this sports looks!

If you’re into team invasion game sports, and there’s a few of you that want to get fit Tchouckball is a great way to do it!

20) Cycling

…and I don’t mean the cycle machine in your local gym! If you’ve got a bike get out and have a ride. As well as alternative to the treadmill it’s a great alternative to spinning too. 

21) Ultimate Frisbee

22) Dodgeball: I’ve just recently finished my Level 2 in Dodgeball and I can tell you from first hand that it helps burn fat but it’s extremely FUN to do too! I mean how often do you get to throw balls at people – for fun?

Word of warning though, make sure you have a nice hot bath after a few games of dodgeball. You’ll more than likely be feeling it in the morning!

Side Note: I know from working in the sports industry you can find sports clubs that are free to join, and most offer beginner lessons.


23) Zumba

24) Street Dance

25) Salsa

Circuit Training

26) Looking to rev up your metabolism? Then circuits are a great way to do just that.

Another one of my favorites! If you perform enough exercises under a specific time period and repeat as many times as needed you will defiantly be working out! I normally like to aim for 6 exercises performed for 30 seconds each. Rest for 2 minutes and then repeat twice over – completing 3 sets of 6 exercises. Of course, you can have 10 stations of exercises if you want! Circuit Training is super effective when it comes to fat loss.

Another way to do circuit training is to reach a certain number of reps instead of performing the exercises for a set time. So again using our 6 exercise example above, you would aim for 30 reps for each one.


Cardio doesn’t have to be boring. Here I’ve highlighted 26 ways to spice up your cardio workouts, but there are countless ways to swap the treadmill for something more fun.

Everyone gets bored, and if you’re doing the same sort of workouts week in week out then you’ll eventually reach a point where you’ll start to feel bored. So if you’ve reached that point in your workout, or you’re just looking for more ways to achieve the same results, then try out some this great treadmill alternatives!

Until next time,

Take Care, Keep Focused….

…and make those workouts FUN!



  • Xenia

    Reply Reply August 16, 2016

    Great article! Thank you for the alternatives!

  • Mrs Jones

    Reply Reply May 8, 2014

    I think this is one of the most vital information for me. And i’m glad reading your article. Thanks

    • Chris Sherlock

      Reply Reply May 29, 2014


      Thanks for dropping by and your kind comments – means a lot 🙂


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