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What is Jogging in Place?

By Bethany Keene
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Jogging in place is, essentially, exactly what it sounds like. It is when the body and legs are moved in a similar manner as if a person is jogging, but without moving from one set point. This is not the same thing as running on a treadmill, where it feels to the body as if it is actually going somewhere.

When a person jogs in one place, it does get the heart rate up, making it an aerobic activity. It can be an effective way to burn calories, lose weight, and increase physical fitness. Despite this, many people do not recommend jogging in place as a regular source of exercise. It uses different muscle groups than true running or jogging, and will typically not prepare anyone for sustained distance running or jogging either outside or on a treadmill.

To get the most benefits from this exercise, it is necessary for the individual to perform the exercise correctly. The best method is to lift the knees one at a time, straight up, and as high as possible, similar to jumping. The person should not simply stand and kick the feet out behind the legs. If he jogs in place by lifting the knees rapidly, the heart rate will quickly increase, and aerobic benefits will begin. Many people find it helpful to time themselves when exercising, as well as to regularly check their heart rate, both to see where improvements need to be made and to see progress.

A person might jog in place at a stoplight while running outside, for instance. This is a way to ensure the heart rate does not drop while waiting to continue moving. Of course, one of the main benefits of jogging in place is that the exercise can be performed entirely indoors. This means it that is not necessary for the exerciser to use much special gear, aside from supportive sneakers and workout clothing. He is also able to avoid the elements outside.

Most fitness experts recommend jogging in place as only one part of an exercise routine that contains other aerobic and strength activities. Jumping rope, dancing, crunches and bicycle crunches, squats, leg lifts, lunges, weight lifting, and even aerobic kickboxing are all exercises that can be performed inside in a relatively limited space. Including a variety of exercises as part of a varied routine ensures that the entire body is worked out, and it also helps to prevent boredom. Individuals should remember to keep the arms moving as well.

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Discussion Comments

By anon357951 — On Dec 08, 2013

Jogging in place is a good exercise regime. It's hassle free work out, that means no need to worry about outdoor conditions, irrespective wherever you are like at home, on business tour, on vacation. All you need is a 4X4 feet area and 20 minutes of time to get yourself to always be fit. Jogging along with a nice music video is fun. I had lost about 10Kg in three months.

By wander — On Jul 11, 2011

@lighth0se33 - The interval training your doing is actually what my personal trainer recommended for me. Apparently interval training is one of the best ways to keep your heart rate up and to keep you from getting too used to a routine.

For myself I jog in place for 2 minutes very intensely and then I will walk for 3 minutes and repeat. I have found doing these short bursts of exercise really keep me going and motivated. Plus, I tend to be able to stick to the program longer if I know there is a break coming up soon. Nothing is worse than trying to go all out for a solid 15 or 20 minutes.

By Crispety — On Jul 11, 2011

@Sunny27 -Wow that is a great idea. I also hate jogging, but I love cycling outdoors. I know that you don’t burn the same amount of calories when you ride a bike, but I love the change of scenery when I ride my bike and I find that if I am entertained I will tend to go farther distances without realizing it.

When I want to step up the intensity, I usually take a spinning class and these cycling calories that I burn off in a spinning class are far more than any jogging routine.

By letshearit — On Jul 10, 2011

When you are trying to lose weight every bit of extra exercise counts, so adding jogging in place to your daily life is a great way to burn a few extra calories.

After I saw a nutritionist about choosing a meal plan that would be best suited for me, she also gave me a lot of exercise tips. One of them was that while working in the kitchen I should make it a habit to jog in place while waiting for things to be finished. You'd be surprised at how much exercise you get in while preparing breakfast, lunch and dinner. I also jog in place when waiting for elevators and in line. It may look strange, but my shrinking waistline doesn't care.

By Sunny27 — On Jul 10, 2011

I personally don’t like jogging in place because I burn more calories jumping rope. I have a video game that I have used on my television that has a fitness application for jogging in place. The screen offers a counter that tells you how long you have been running as well as the distance that you have covered. It also has a scenic picture on the screen that really looks like you are jogging.

The problem is that every time I jog in place the bottom of my feet burn so much that I stopped doing this. This is why I picked up jumping rope because I read that I actually burn more calories and the intensity is a lot harder.

I can jog on a treadmill for forty minutes and be fine, but if I do six sets of 250 jumps for thirty minutes, I feel like I just ran a marathon. It is really intense. There are people that go faster than I do, but I still get that runner’s high when I work at this intensity for this long.

When I get better at it, I am going to get a weighted jump rope that will really burn a lot more calories and fat.

By Perdido — On Jul 10, 2011

I’ve been wondering how to burn more calories, and I think I am going to take up jogging in place. I can’t stand to exercise outdoors in extreme weather, hot or cold, so this exercise will be perfect for me to do indoors.

I realize that I will have to work up my tolerance to be able to jog for any extended period of time, but I’m going to start out with 5 minutes each day and go from there. I think 15 minutes would be a sufficient amount of time to get a good workout.

I found a calorie burning calculator online last week, and I entered my weight and the amount of time I plan to jog in place. Since I weigh 127 and I want to jog for 15 minutes, it told me that I could burn 115 calories per workout. I plan to do other types of exercise as well, but this will be a significantly effective addition to my routine.

By lighth0se33 — On Jul 09, 2011

I have not reached the level of physical fitness required for jogging down the road, but I do like to alternate walking with jogging in place. I take a 30 minute walk down my road, and I stop at certain intervals to jog for a minute or two. This really increases my heart rate, and I have always heard that short bursts of cardio distributed throughout a routine workout are best.

I really love to jog in place right in front of this house where the dog tries to intimidate people by growling and walking behind them. He makes me really angry because he is a bully, so I just jog there while he growls, totally ignoring him and not going anywhere. He has figured out that I'm not afraid of him, so I think that takes the fun out of it for him.

I must admit I take my longest interval of jogging in front of that house. I stay there twice as long as the other spots, and I burn more calories there.

By Penzance356 — On Jul 08, 2011

I recently went to a retro fitness session at my local gym. I am always looking for new ways to burn calories with exercise, and this sounded like something fun to try.

We started the routine with some jogging in place and I was quite surprised to find it a challenge. It sounds like something that's easy, but I struggled to manage more than a minute.

This kind of exercise may not be too popular these days but it seems like a good way to warm up before hitting the treadmill.

By Bhutan — On Jul 08, 2011

@Comfyshoes - That sounds like a good workout. I think that jogging calories are not the same when you jog on a treadmill instead of going outside and running.

I think if you make the incline reach a .5 then it should be even with the pavement outdoors. The only time I like jogging on a treadmill is when the weather is bad outside, otherwise I jog outdoors.

I find the treadmill really boring and often have to have the television on in order to get myself through the workout. I guess when you are outside there is a change of scenery that is refreshing that you don’t get indoors.

I really like jogging on the beach and the scenery cannot get more beautiful than that. I also feel more relaxed because to me it is so therapeutic.

By comfyshoes — On Jul 07, 2011

I prefer jogging in place vs. jogging outside. I'd rather work out on my treadmill indoors instead of jogging outside because I am more comfortable inside because I am in an air- conditioned home.

Also, I can measure my distance and calories burned when jogging in place because my treadmill tells me. This really motivates me more because I always like to challenge myself and try to beat my time when I work out.

I also like to do interval training exercises that are much easier to do on a treadmill then when jogging outside because you cannot measure it with the treadmill so much better.

For example, I have a workout that I do in which I jog for one minute at a five mile per hour pace and increase the intensity by a half of mile per minute until I reach eight miles per hour. After I finish this portion, I walk briskly at a pace of four and a half miles per hour for two minutes until I repeat the interval again. Interval training like this makes jogging more fun as well as burning more calories.

By starrynight — On Jul 07, 2011

@JessicaLynn - I'm with you. If I'm jogging, I at least want to feel like I'm getting somewhere. I think jogging in place does have it's uses though. As the article mentioned, it's good for keeping your heart rate up if you're already jogging.

I think jogging in place could also be part of a thorough warm up too. It's not that objectionable if you don't have to do it for long!

By JessicaLynn — On Jul 07, 2011

Jogging in place sounds like just about the most boring exercise ever! I'm actually relieved this isn't recommended as a regular form of exercise.

I always see people jogging in place at street corners waiting for lights to change. That I get. If you're already jogging I can see why you wouldn't want your heart rate to go down. However if I was going to pick an exercise to do for an extended amount of time jogging in place wouldn't be it!

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