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Can You Get Fit Running On The Spot?

Running on the spot is an excellent physical activity that brings plenty of benefits. You can easily incorporate it into your training or do it as a separate workout.

The best thing is you can run on the spot anywhere and anytime. It can bring certain benefits for your health as well as help you burn calories and get more fit. Let’s find out more!

Does Running On The Spot Count As Exercise?

Running on the spot is an aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercises consist of swimming, running, walking, cycling, or other physical activities you know as “cardio”.

During these exercises, your heart rate and breathing increase. In fact, the definition of aerobic exercise means “with oxygen”.

When you incorporate this type of workout into your daily or weekly routine, it helps you keep your lungs, circulatory system, and heart healthier.

When running on the spot, you need to move, work, and contract your muscles the whole time. That makes them more flexible and boosts their stability and strength.

It’s best to do this exercise on a carpet or yoga mat since this way you’ll reduce pressure and stress on certain parts of your body.

man running in the middle of the bridge

Does It Do Anything To Improve Physical Fitness?

Running on the spot can certainly carry great benefits for you:

  • It can help you keep your knees healthier and stronger, which can eventually reduce the pain in that area.
  • You develop agility and balance, together with better coordination in general
  • You burn calories and fat, activate your body, and elevate your heart rate which helps warm up your body if there are other exercises you want to do after this
  • It helps you improve your lung capacity as well as boost circulation and cardiovascular function.
  • It’s a great way to change your routine and make it less boring with new exercises you incorporate into your training

Running on the spot can definitely be beneficial for you and improve your physical fitness.

How Does Running On The Spot Compare To Regular Running Or Jogging?

Both running and running on the spot are aerobic exercises that engage the bigger muscles of your body: hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, and glutes. They also both activate and stabilize your core, which is the essential part for a better posture and generally doing most of the other exercises properly.

You work the upper body too since you swing your arms while running. Still, even though some benefits are similar, there are differences between these two exercises.

When you run in place, you activate muscles in a different way than you do in regular running. First of all, you don’t move forward which is why you don’t use the muscle groups that propel you to do that.

Instead, you’re lifting the knees straight up, which means you rely less on your glute strength – especially compared with how you do with normal running.

Also, when you go for regular running, you’re activating both glutes and hamstrings, which reduces stress on the hip flexors.

You work your upper body when jogging forward more than when jogging in place. That’s because your arms move and create momentum that propels your body forward.

young woman outdoors running

The benefit of jogging on the spot is you can do it anywhere and anytime. That way, it may be easier for you to get off the couch and start doing the exercise when you know you can perform it in the comfort of your own home.

You can modify both exercises and adjust them to your own preferences. For instance, when you’re running forward, you can gradually increase your efforts or set certain distances where you sprint, then later go back to the regular pace.

When it comes to running on the spot, you increase the intensity by, let’s say, bringing the knees higher or using weights that will create resistance.

Both of these are effective when it comes to making your workout more challenging, but intensifying the forward running mostly comes as a bigger demand on your body.

When running on the spot, you’re mostly landing on your toes – and that can help you build lower leg and ankle strength. On the other hand, using the balls of your feet and toes can also lead to more pressure on your hips and knees.

Forward running and running on the spot both bring certain benefits, but also have differences in engaging muscles and overall effect on your body.

Is It Good To Do Running On The Spot?

Running in place certainly comes as an excellent addition to your warmup routine. It will prepare your body for the upcoming training and warm up your muscles so you don’t hurt yourself.

This exercise is also a good way to cool your body down after the training. Still, you can do it as a workout itself, especially if you’re in a place where you can’t do some physical activities that require more space or time.

That way, running on the spot can be a helpful solution when:

  • You’re in an airport and have lots of free time due to a long layover. In these situations, our body definitely needs ae good stretch and something that will boost its cardiovascular system.
  • You’re in a hotel room and have some time to work on your body, but don’t feel like doing a whole workout.
  • You want to burn off some steam and relax after a long stressful day at work, especially if you spent most of your day sitting.

Running on the spot is a great way to activate your body and it brings lots of benefits. However, if you’re up for longer cardio training, you might consider adding some more exercises to get the best results – if you have conditions to do that, of course.

You may notice muscle soreness, discomfort, or fatigue after doing it for a longer time. It’s best to challenge your body in different ways, including outdoor aerobic activities or additional workouts you can do at home.

Family running on lawn outside house

Does Running On The Spot Burn Calories?

Jogging or running on the spot place is a quite effective aerobic workout that can reduce belly fat and help you lose weight. However, if your goal is to lose weight, you’ll definitely achieve it faster when jogging forward.

When you leave your house, you get a better chance to change terrains and make it all more dynamic – which puts greater challenges on your body. For instance, running uphill is harder and more demanding than running on a flat surface.

For comparison, a 150-pound person will on average burn 272 calories in 30 minutes running on the spot, while a 30-minute run forward will burn around 425 calories.

All in all, running on the spot does burn calories, but less than some other aerobic exercises like regular running.

How And When To Incorporate Running On The Spot Into Your Workout Routine

Warming your body up is one of the essential things when it comes to doing your workout. Start with a couple of simple warm-up exercises and/or generally running on the spot at a slower pace.

Running on the spot not only fits into a warm-up routine but can also be a part of a cool-down phase of your workout. That way, you can finish training by walking or lightly running in place for a couple of minutes. After that, you can add some stretches.

When running on the spot, don’t forget to activate your upper body by moving your arms back and forth. Start at a slower pace at the beginning, and then gradually increase the intensity by lifting your knees higher and moving your feet more quickly.

This is how to properly do running on the spot:

  • Bring your right foot and left arm up simultaneously.
  • Do the same with your left foot and right arm. You want to coordinate your movements so one arm is activating with the opposite leg in a natural rhythm.
  • Make sure you gradually start lifting your knees to hip height. Your back needs to be straight, and the core has to be active and engaged all the time.
  • Don’t lean forward as you’re lifting your knees. Your head is also straight. Don’t look down because you may want to lean forward.

Pay attention to form because only doing it properly can help you burn calories and generally get the benefits this type of training brings.

You can do running in the spot as an interval workout, and add different drills or challenges throughout the training. For instance, you can go with a 10-minute interval.

Over time, increase the intensity by lifting your knees higher (always aim for the hip height). You can also extend intervals to, for instance, 15 or 20 minutes.

When is best to take a break? That’s something you’ll have to recognize for yourself. This is an example of how you can set an interval training:

  • Stand in the upright position with your feet hip-width apart. Always stay upright. Your back is flat and core engaged. Lightly jog on the spot for 4 minutes.
  • Increase speed, spread your feet to be shoulder-width apart and do your best for the next minute. If you don’t want to do the running this way, you can leave feet hip-width apart and go with some high knees.
  • Do one more minute where you lightly jog in place. This is like a sort of active resting.
  • Go with another minute of faster running on the spot.
  • Slow down once again, but keep up with the medium pace.
  • Go with the high knees for one more minute.
  • Take a rest, you deserve it! Now consider how many sets of running on the spot you want.

Of course, this is just one basic example of how you can do running on the spot – feel free to adjust it to your own preferences. If you want to make it more intense and dynamic, include methods like butt kicks and jump squats.

Sports woman walking after the training outdoors

What About Walking?

Walking is also an excellent physical activity where you can engage your body. You can choose the pace and do it longer because running on the spot puts more pressure on the joints. That’s why it’s harder to run on the spot for a longer time.

When you run in place, you definitely put stress on your body. On the other hand, it has a good effect on the cardiovascular system and burns more calories.

Both walking and running (on the spot) are great and beneficial activities for your body. It’s best to combine them, but if you need to choose, go for the one that fits your goals better.

Some Final Words

Running on the spot belongs to the group of aerobic exercises we also know as “cardio.” It’s a great way to activate your body, engage your muscles, and stay fit.

It brings similar benefits as regular running, although it activates different muscles in different ways.

For instance, running relies on the strength of your glutes, while running on the spot usually involves high knees – where you don’t use your glutes that much.

Both of these activities have their benefits. Still, one of the great things about running in place is you can do it anywhere and anytime you want. Running on the spot can also help you boost your cardiovascular system and burn fat, depending on the intensity of your workout.

However, if you have an option to choose, it’s best to combine running on the spot and regular running rather than choosing just one. As we train, we aim to put higher challenges on our bodies – which is something we can’t achieve with running on the spot by itself.

For better fitness results, it’s recommended to combine this type of running with other workouts, including aerobic exercises like walking, regular running, etc.