Is Running In Place Effective? Benefits and Effective Workout

There are many ways that people can include running into their fitness routine. Some people enjoy going for a jog around their neighborhood, while others prefer a high-intensity treadmill workout. However, these running options aren’t available for everyone. If you’re limited to a small space with no machine, you might be wondering “is running in place effective?”

Running in place is an effective aerobic workout. It’s a great way to burn calories, improve your posture, and increase circulation. While this is a common way to warm up, it’s also possible to get a high-intensity workout from running on the spot.

What Is Running In Place?

Running in place is as simple as it sounds. It’s where you do running exercises in one spot. This is a very common practice for warm ups before workouts, but more people are realizing its benefits as a workout. People generally focus on high knees, but you can also include kicks and squats to keep things challenging.

So, you might be wondering “is running in place good cardio?”. While it’s an effective cardio workout, it doesn’t provide the same benefits for your muscles as when you run outdoors or on a treadmill.

Now, just because the benefits aren’t 100% the same, doesn’t mean that running in place isn’t a good way to keep up with your exercise routine. There are times when people need to get exercise but don’t have the option to go outdoors or access to a treadmill.

7 Benefits Of Running In Place

Why do I love running in place workout? I enjoy the convenience of this type of exercise. If your weekly schedule is packed, you can still find time to do a quick running in place workout no matter where you are. This can be done on your break at the office, while you’re catching up on your favorite TV shows at home, or even stuck waiting at the airport.

Running in place is a simple way to not fall off track with your fitness routine when life gets too busy. But, other than convenience, what are the health benefits of running in place?

1. Burn Calories

Is running in place effective for weight loss? Running is a great way to remain at a healthy weight. Every form of running is an effective way to burn calories, even if you’re in one spot. The movements of running in place can be brought to a high intensity, allowing you to burn more calories.

So, does running in place burn calories at a high rate? The average runner could burn between 472 to 690 calories for every hour of movement.

2. Increase Circulation

Did you know that running in place could be beneficial to your artery health? This movement is a great way to improve your circulation. As you run in place, your body will respond by expanding capillaries and growing more blood vessels. This can help your body generate energy and feel healthier.

3. Better Mood

Studies have shown that regular exercise can help people stay in a better frame of mind. It’s easy to fall off track with your fitness routine when your life gets busy. Unfortunately, this doesn’t just affect your body, it also affects your mind. Running in place is a quick and easy way to get some physical activity in so your mood isn’t affected.

4. Improved Posture

Pay attention to your form when running in place. If you do this correctly while using your ab muscles, it can help to improve your posture.

5. Cardiovascular Health

Running on the spot can get your heart pumping. This is a great way to boost your cardiovascular health. Since this is a form of aerobic exercise, it’s an efficient way to keep your heart healthy and continue to pump oxygen through your body.

6. Stability & Balance

Running on the spot is also a great way to improve your coordination. This is important if you also include other types of running workouts in your routine (ie sprints, distance runs, etc). When your balance and stability have improved, you’re less likely to fall or get injured.

7. Strengthen Your Body

Any form of running is an efficient way to keep your muscles in great shape. It’s most effective on your lower body muscles. However, it can also be beneficial for your core. When running on the spot is paired with strength workouts, you can build a very powerful body.

What Is The Disadvantage Of Jogging In Place?

Does jogging in place work? Jogging in place does work, as long as you take precautions. There are some risks involved with jogging in place if you’re not prepared. Running in place for too long can put stress on your lower body muscles. The main areas that feel this are the hips, shins, and ankles.

So, how long should I run in place? This is 100% up to you and what your body can handle. Jogging in place for 30 minutes or longer isn’t always necessary. In fact, you can get an efficient workout from running in place for only 15 to 20 minutes. Try doing a shorter and higher intensity run on the spot instead of a slow pace for longer.

How To Make Running In Place An Effective Workout

Do you find yourself in a situation where you’re limited for working out because of your location or busy schedule? Running in place is a great solution for you to still be able to get an efficient workout in. However, you’ll want to make sure you approach this the right way to make the most of your workout. Here are some of our expert tips on effectively running in place.

Running in place workout

1. Warm Up/ Cool Down

A lot of people run in place as a warm-up. When this is your main exercise, you will end up running at a higher intensity than you would if you were just warming up. For that reason, you need to warm up first. A warm-up is important to prepare your body for the exercise and reduce the risk of an injury.

Your warm-up should be approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Make sure this includes stretching and moderate movements. When you’re finished working out, you should also perform a cool-down. This will help regulate your blood flow and prevent muscle soreness afterward.

2. Proper Footwear

The great thing about running in place is that you don’t have to go anywhere. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t gear up the same way though. Running in place still puts an impact on your feet and body. Proper running shoes will support your feet and provide a cushion. This can lessen the impact and reduce your risk of injury.

3. Use A Mat

One of the benefits of exercising indoors is that you can use a slip-proof exercise mat. This mat is an extra layer of cushioning between your feet and the hard surface of the floor. Finding ways to minimize impact when running can help you run for longer without getting hurt.

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4. How You Move

How effective is running in place? Well, this depends on how you approach your workout. Simply jogging in place for 10 minutes will help you stay healthy, but it won’t be enough to lose weight or challenge your lower body muscles.

If you want to make running in place as effective as possible, it’s recommended to add more intense movements to your routine. High knees and jump squats are excellent ways to turn up the intensity of your workout. If you want to focus on your hamstrings, butt kicks are an excellent way to work this area.

5. Proper Form

As mentioned above, running in place is a helpful way to improve your posture. To make sure you get the full benefit of this, you need to maintain proper form during your workout. Always make sure to raise your opposite arm as you raise your leg. For example, if you are lifting your left leg, you should move your right arm along with it.

Keeping the proper form while running in place can be challenging if you do this exercise for a long period of time. That’s why it’s recommended to keep sessions on the shorter side.

6. Listen To Your Body

Don’t let a short workout fool you into thinking your muscles didn’t work hard enough. When you get into the habit of running in place regularly, your lower body muscles will get a lot of action.

If you want to perform at your best, you will need to give your muscles time to recover. Listen to your body and take a rest when you’re feeling tired. If you push yourself too far, you could end up with an overuse injury.

Running workout

Running In Place vs Regular Running

Is running in place the same as normal running? Believe it or not, you actually use different muscles and movements for these two exercises. You might have been under the impression that the only difference was where you go. But, to make the most of each running workout, you need to move your body in a specific way.

The main difference is that when you run on the spot, you won’t be using your muscles to propel forward. This is a great way to improve the strength of your lower legs and ankles. However, the downside is that you will be landing on your toes more.

Regular running will require you to work your glutes more. This is because you move your legs at a different angle. While running in place can keep you healthy, it doesn’t have as many benefits for your body as regular running. More of your muscles get worked during regular running and less pressure is put on your knees and hips.

Running In Place As An Aerobic Workout

The #1 reason to run in place is to get a good aerobic workout. An aerobic workout is any exercise that increases your heart rate and breathing. They can be done at your preferred intensity.

Jogging or running in place is a great start for an aerobic session. If you want to take things to the next level, you can add different movements to your in-place routine. This includes aerobic movements, such as:

  • Lunges;
  • Squats;
  • Torso twists.

Other ways you can switch up your routine for aerobic exercise is to do push-ups and tricep dips after you run in place.

If you enjoy running in place and want to challenge yourself with a similar aerobic activity, try doing jump rope. This inexpensive form of exercise has a lot of the same benefits as running in place, such as improved stability and burning calories.

Is Running In Place Ever Performed As An Anaerobic Workout?

An anaerobic workout is fast and challenging. This is when you perform the exercise at a high intensity for a shorter period of time. These exercises require a short burst of energy to perform at your maximum effort.

So, can running on the spot be an anaerobic workout? If you want an anaerobic workout, you can get one from running in place. The best way to do this is one minute on and one minute off. This is how it works:

  1. Always start with a 5 to 7-minute warm-up. This should include stretching and light movements to prepare your body for the workout.
  2. Set a timer. From this point, your session will take 10 minutes.
  3. Run at your maximum intensity in place for 1 minute.
  4. Rest for 1 minute.
  5. Repeat this process 4 more times.
  6. Perform a cool down to regulate your blood flow.


Is running in place a good cardio exercise?

Running in place is a very effective cardio workout. It is a great way to reduce the risks of heart disease and other cardiovascular issues.

Is jogging in place better than jogging outside?

Jogging in place puts less demand on your body. This is because when you jog outside, there are more challenges (such as uphill terrain or hard concrete surface).

Is running in place the same as running on a treadmill?

Running in place is different than running on a treadmill. Running on a treadmill is more similar to running outdoors when it comes to movement. Your foot will move at a forward momentum on the treadmill to keep up with the speed of the motor.


You can get an efficient workout from running in place. This is a great aerobic workout that can help you burn calories, and improve stability and circulation, among other benefits. You can also switch up how you run in place if you want to get an anaerobic workout in. People don’t have to use a gym or track to get a good workout in.

Do you run in place as a regular workout? Let us know about your results in the comments below.

Also read:


  1. Calories burned per hour // State of Wisconsin: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/publications/p4/p40109.pdf
  2. Exercise and your arteries // Harvard Health:
  3. More evidence that exercise can boost mood // Harvard Health: https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/more-evidence-that-exercise-can-boost-mood

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