I Tried the TikTok-Famous Treadmill Strut, and It Actually Made Me Crave *More* Time on the Tread

Photo: Getty Images/wera Rodsawang
Trends on "FitTok" come and go. But the viral Treadmill Strut has been going strong for almost two years now. The workout involves “strutting” (aka walking, but maybe with a bit of ‘tude) on a treadmill, incrementally increasing your speed by .1 mile per hour every time the song changes.

While you can absolutely apply the technique to any playlist, TikToker Allie Bennett, who's the mastermind behind the workouts, has crafted more than a dozen for followers to strut along with—including an Affirmations Strut, Selena Gomez Strut, and Midnights Strut, all of which indicate which speed to start at for the most empowering, beat-driven gait. She picks each song strategically so the tempo matches your prescribed pace. Most of her playlists are about 30 minutes long (with some stretching up to an hour).

Now’s when I tell you that I’ve tried almost all of them. The reason? After scrolling through Bennett’s feed (and her Spotify), I started to wonder how incorporating the treadmill strut into my own workout routine could impact my body and mind. There was only one way to find out.

How I strut

Since I was already embarking on a weight lifting challenge when I got the idea to start strutting, I used Bennett’s walking workouts as a warm-up. Though, after just one walk-through, I decided to modify it. Walking on a treadmill with zero incline feels unnatural to me after years of having to be on at least level one at Orangetheory, not to mention after becoming a fan of the 12-3-30 workout (despite it sometimes being damn near impossible to do—I mean really, who knew walking could be such a heart-pumping workout?).

While Bennett suggests certain speeds to start at, she doesn’t mention anything about incline. After trying it on zero once, I decided to add my own twist to the treadmill strut. (Friendly reminder that there’s no shame in doing what works best for you when working out.) To make the walking workout a bit more difficult in an effort to boost my heart rate and better awaken my muscles before lifting, I chose to start each strut at a level five incline and bump it up every time I increased my speed. (Admittedly, I was overzealous and tried to do the entire strut on level 12 the second time I did the workout. Yeah, it wasn’t exactly sustainable.)

I strutted this way as a warm-up four days a week (on lift days), and let it serve as my main workout on my mobility day. The other two days of the week, I laid off because rest is essential, y’all.

Here’s the thing though: Strutting on a treadmill is so fun—especially when paired with Bennett’s playlists—that on my off-days, I’d find myself wanting to run to the gym solely for the tread. Fortunately for me, around the third week of my experiment, my Bowflex Tread 22 arrived, and I started lacing up my lululemon Blissfeel sneakers (my new all-time faves alongside the Chargefeels—truly, they kept my feet, shins, and joints happy as can be while I was consistently spending more time than ever before on a tread). That meant I could strut whenever I dang well pleased. In doing so, I ended up strutting twice per day on most of my lifting days, because in addition to being a great warm-up, I found the technique to be particularly uplifting during a mid-day slump.

Now, in some instances—whether I had gotten to the gym later than intended or I simply didn’t have the time between deadlines to strut for 30 minutes in my basement—I’d cut the strut down. Instead of walking for the full playlist, I’d increase the speed and incline for a mile and call it quits. Even then, though, I found that it gave me a quick burst of energy that left me craving more.

The final verdict

Point blank: Allie Bennett’s treadmill strut technique is a game-changer. Not only does it make the treadmill less boring, it also serves as an infinitely-modifiable warm-up or standalone workout. And, when paired with her well thought-out playlists, strutting can become a powerful emotional outlet. Did my body look different after adding these walking workouts? Not really. Did I feel notably more energized and warmed-up? 100 percent. I even experienced less muscle soreness from lifting.

If you decide to start strutting yourself, take my word: The Yeehaw! Treadmill Strut is iconic and so well-timed. It starts with Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5,” passes through Taylor Swift’s “Picture to Burn” and “Gaslighter” by The Chicks, before concluding with Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats.” It’s so good that you won’t want to strut to anything else.

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