The time between January and March is commonly known as winter, but for outdoor runners who aren’t trying to bundle up in cold-weather gear and brave the elements, it’s better known as treadmill season. When you’re used to the varied landscape and terrain of running outside, it’s easy to understand why you might dread the tread. But you don’t have to. In fact you could use your time indoors to become faster and stronger by learning to adjust the incline on your treadmill so you can set yourself up for success. (Same goes for anyone who’s resolved to add for cardio to their gym workouts.)

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You see, switching up your treadmill’s incline changes the muscles you emphasize during your workout, says Jason Fitzgerald, a USA Track & Field-certified coach and the founder of Strength Running. “Running a variety of inclines forces the body to engage different muscles , increases the aerobic demand of the run , and boosts muscular strength, which can help prevent injuries.”

Most treadmills can go from a zero to 15-percent incline (the equivalent of a very steep hill) with a one percent treadmill incline being the closest thing to what it feels like to run outside, according to research. “As the incline increases, the muscles are forced to do more work as the body must produce more power to propel itself not only forward but also up against gravity,” says Fitzgerald. Ipso facto, you burn more calories and build more muscle.

Plus, you’re turning your miles into more of a total-body workout when you increase your incline, explains Corinne Fitzgerald, head coach at Mile High Run Club. “We tend to run closer to the ball of our foot, use our core and arms more, and take faster steps when running up a hill,” she says, which can make you a more energy efficient runner and reduce your risk of injury when compared to landing on your rearfoot, according to research from Harvard University that looked at rates of injuries in endurance runners.

The best treadmill workout is going to vary speed and incline regularly—you want to keep your body guessing. One easy way to begin playing around with inclines is to start at your typical run pace and then increase the grade by 0.5 percent every one to two minutes, says J. Fitzgerald. See how high you can go with good form (torso upright, knees high, elbows swinging straight behind you, core engaged, and landing on your forefoot). Then, decrease your incline in 0.5 percent increments every one to two minutes.

Another option is to try increasing your incline by two to five percent and running at that grade for one to three minutes before lowering back to flat ground for the same amount of time. Then, once you’ve got the hang of hills…

Try This Treadmill Incline Workout

Time: 20–30 minutes

  • 5-10 minutes: Warm-up (walking or jogging)
  • 1 minute: Steady state pace (i.e. a run where you can carry on a conversation) at a 1 percent incline
  • 1 minute: Maintain pace at a 2 percent incline
  • 1 minute: Maintain pace at a 3 percent incline
  • 1-2 minutes: Recovery, at a walking or light jogging pace
  • 1 minute: Steady state pace at a 4 percent incline
  • 1-2 minutes: Recovery, at a walking or light jogging pace
  • 1 minute: Steady state pace at a 5 percent incline
  • 1-2 minutes: Recovery, at a walking or light jogging pace
  • 1 minute: Steady state pace at a 5 percent incline
  • 1-2 minutes: Recovery, at a walking or light jogging pace
  • 1 minute: Steady state pace at a 4 percent incline
  • 1-2 minutes: Recovery, at a walking or light jogging pace
  • 1 minute: Steady state pace pace at a 3 percent incline
  • 1 minute: Maintain pace at a 2 percent incline
  • 1 minute: Maintain pace at a 1 percent incline

“I suggest running up hills with an effort around 85 percent of your maximum,” says C. Fitzgerald. “You’ll be working hard to get to the top of each incline repeat,” she says.

That said, if you’re not quite ready to run, walk through this same program instead. “Be sure to use your arms in both running and walking, though,” she says.

When To Not Adjust Your Treadmill Incline

Before you start tinkering with the incline knob or button on your treadmill, it’s important to first ensure your form is on point. A lot of people naturally feel the need to lean back in order to compensate for the increased incline. Still others hold onto the hand rails. Both are big no-nos say pros.

Hanging on to the machine reduces activation of the leg muscles, which essentially defeats the purpose of increasing incline. So, whether you are walking, running, or sprinting, you should never set the incline or speed so high that you can’t move hands-free with proper form.

Similarly, leaning backward alters your posture and gait meaning you’re not getting the full power of your glutes to power you uphill. Instead, you should bend forward slightly at your ankles, says J. Fitzgerald. Focusing on landing on the balls of your feet can help here too.

Finally, “if you have any issues with hip flexor tightness, high inclines can cause irritation to those muscles,” says Joy R. Miles, an endurance coach with Fitness Formula Clubs indoor triathlon series in Chicago and a USA triathlon-certified coach.

Better to stick to a moderate incline (two to three percent), and in truth, pretty much everyone should avoid extreme inclines (anything past seven percent or so) in their everyday workouts. “The only reason to take the incline to its max is when you are training for something specific, such as a very steep hike,” says Miles.

We’re inclined to agree.

Mara Santilli Fitness Contributor Mara is a freelance journalist whose print and digital work has appeared in Shape, Brit+Co, Marie Claire, Prevention, among other health, fitness, and wellness outlets.

30 Percent Treadmill Incline: How Not to Hold On


Here’s a simple way to reap maximum benefits with a 30 percent incline, which can be achieved only if you do not hold onto the treadmill.

You may think you’re getting an amazing workout by using a 30 percent incline on a treadmill, but if you’re holding onto the machine, you’re cancelling out the effects of this generous slope.

I’m a former certified personal trainer, and I have worked out on the high tech treadmills that go up to 30 percent incline.

I know what you’re thinking: “How can anyone walk on a 30 percent incline without holding on? They’ll be thrown off!”

Yes, you will certainly fly off if you’re gripping the bar or console, body leaning way back. Let go in this position, and your butt will go flying right through the wall behind you.

If you’re body is tilting way back and you’re holding onto something in front of you, of COURSE you’ll fall backwards if you let go!

So how do you not fall off a 30 percent incline if you let go?

First of all, keep your body vertical. If you were walking up a hill outside that had a 30 percent grade, your body would be vertical.

In fact, a typical staircase is well more than 30 percent grade. When you climb a staircase, your body is vertical, which is why you don’t fall backwards.

And certainly, a healthy person can climb a staircase without gripping the railings.

Apply this practice to a treadmill that’s positioned at 30 percent incline. Keep your body vertical, hands off the machine, and start walking.

“But wait! I’ll fall off!”

Ahh, here’s where a little smart training comes in. Instead of setting the treadmill at a speed that’s more suitable for a mountain lion, set it at 1.5 mph.

Yes, I said 1.5 mph. Before you pout that this is too slow, give it a try: Walk 10 minutes at 30 percent incline without your hands making contact with the treadmill.

What seems like a crawl is actually comparable to the pace that you’d choose if you were hiking in the mountains on a similar grade.

Many people will find it difficult to continue beyond 10 minutes at 1.5 mph without holding on.

Either their calves will start burning, their Achilles area will start aching, their hamstrings will become sore and/or they’ll become uncomfortably winded. Plus, many will feel a nagging ache unfolding in their lower back.

All these signs mean that your body is out of condition for high incline walking. Holding onto the treadmill will not condition it, not in the least, never.

The only way to gain fitness for this mode of cardio is to walk without holding onto your treadmill.

To set the treadmill at 30 percent, the speed at 3 mph and then hold on is just plain insanity.

Now, if 1.5 mph proves to be unchallenging, then raise the speed to 2 mph and see how five minutes of that goes without holding on. Find your speed. It may even be only 1 mph.

The only way that you’ll gain fitness benefits from 30 percent incline work on a treadmill is if you mimic walking up a same-grade hill outside. And how would you walk outdoors?

1) Body vertical

2) Hands not holding onto anything

3) Pronounced hip and knee flexion due to the very acute angle formed by your vertical body to the hill before you.

These three features must be duplicated on the treadmill, and the only way to do that is to keep your hands off the machine (except for brief heart rate check or brief, temporary steadying while you adjust the speed or sip water).

It’s extremely unrealistic to think you can walk a 30 percent incline at 3 mph without holding on.

To sustain this pace hands off requires exceptional cardiovascular and musculoskeletal conditioning. So just because you’re not this advanced doesn’t mean you should hold on!

Instead, go down to 1.5 mph or 1.2 mph and let go. If this is too difficult, go down to 1 mph. Remember, you’re at 30 percent incline; you can’t expect to move like a mountain lion.

Using a 30 percent incline without hanging onto the treadmill will force adaptations in your core, hamstrings, calves, Achilles tendon, quadriceps and other muscles.

If you hold on, you’ll be wasting your time. If letting go is too exhausting, you’re going too fast, even if it’s “only” 1.5 mph.

Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified through the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained women and men of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health.

If you think you’re going to have to sacrifice your hardcore workout to put walking on the schedule, think again.

Science has shown that walking can hold it’s own against exercises typically seen as more effective — boasting some pretty impressive mental and physical benefits.

Take it back to the basics, without losing any intensity, with this walking workout that combines intervals, incline and changes in direction, designed by Nikki Glor, celebrity trainer, group fitness instructor and creator of the Anti-Aging Walking Workout.

Minutes 1–3 (Warm up): Walk at 1.5 incline and speed of 3.5.

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Minutes 3–6 (Steady state): Keep incline to 1.5 (where you started) and walk with a wide stance — to work the inner thighs — for 2 minutes. Then walk for 2 minutes like a supermodel and cross your feet slightly as you step. This works the outer thighs.

Minutes 6–15 (Intervals): Increase the incline to 6 and walk one minute at 4.5 speed fast interval, one minute at 3 speed for a recovery interval. Repeat four times. Recover on the last minute before going uphill…

Minutes 15–21 (Toning): Walking uphill forward (works glutes and calves). Set uphill incline at 15 (as high as it goes) and speed at 3mph. Walk forward for 2 minutes. Then … If you are coordinated and feel strong enough to try this, keep the same incline, as high as it goes, and LOWER speed to 2mph. Turn around while steadying yourself on the handles. Walk uphill backwards (works quads) and pick your feet up high to avoid tripping. It will feel faster than the speed reads so I encourage starting at a low speed and increasing it only if you want more of a challenge. Do this for 2 minutes (or 100 steps, don’t turn your neck around to look at treadmill clock, you could lose your balance.) Turn back around by holding the handles and repeat faster forward uphill walk and slower backwards uphill walk one more time each.

Minutes 21-23: Keep Incline at 15 (all the way uphill) and do a side step hop. Turn to face the right handrail and step with your left foot out. Hop and bring your right foot close to your left food to land. Quickly step your left foot uphill again. It will look like you are skipping sideways uphill. Do one minute facing the right handle and one minute facing the left handle. (If you skipped walking uphill backwards in the last section, you can do this more times.) This side skip works the inner and outer thighs!

Minutes 23-27: Lower the incline to 1.5 (where you started) and walk with a wide stance — to work the inner thighs — for 2 minutes. Then walk for 2 minutes like a supermodel and cross your feet slightly as you step.

Nikki Glor performing the “Dead Sled.”Courtesy Nikki Glor

Optional: Try the dead sled: Turn the treadmill off, hold the front handles and push the floor away with your legs! You’ll really rev those leg muscles, work the core and get out of breath fast with this interval you can repeat until those muscles are “dead.”

Minutes 27–30: Lower speed to 2.5 and cool down. Follow with a stretch of your calves, quads, hamstrings glutes and hip flexors.

Think walking can’t be a good workout? Check in with us tomorrow.

Get Faster this Winter with Treadmill Speed Workouts


Winter is here and the cold weather means that many of you won’t be able to continue your speed workouts outside. However, this is not an excuse to ignore this part of your training. Treadmill speed workouts are a great alternative way to get faster during the winter months.

Speed workouts on a treadmill don’t involve arbitrarily jogging at whatever pace is comfortable or simply sprinting as fast as you can. To get the most out of your workouts, you still have to follow fundamental speed training principles and understand the limitations of treadmills. (Check out STACK’s Speed Training page.)

To get faster this winter, perform the following two treadmill speed workouts on non-consecutive days. When combined, the two workouts are a great substitute for traditional outdoor training.

Note: Perform a proper dynamic warm-up before each workout.

Treadmill Speed Workout 1: Less is More

Many athletes believe that running for distance will increase speed. This is flawed thinking. You must perform short and intense workouts that feature work intervals of five to 15 seconds. Anything shorter than five seconds and you will struggle to get near your top speed. Anything longer than 15 seconds and your form will begin to break down.

  • Set treadmill to 75 percent max speed
  • Sprint for 5 to 10 seconds; rest for 20 to 30 seconds
  • Repeat for specified reps; add .5 to 1 mph between sets

Sets/Reps: 2-3×5-6 with 2-minute rest between sets

Treadmill Speed Workout 2: Move Mountains

Studies have found that running on a treadmill decreases stride length and ground contact time (1). Since the belt is pulling your legs, you don’t need to put as much force into the ground to propel you forward. This is a serious problem since a longer stride equates to greater speed.

To counter these effects, set the incline to at least one percent. This forces your legs to put more power into the ground and increases your stride length. Start with a low incline and gradually increase as you advance in your training.

  • Set treadmill to 75 percent max speed at a 1-percent incline; jog for 1 to 2 minutes
  • Increase incline to 6-7 percent and adjust speed to 75-80 percent max; run for 3/4 mile
  • Decrease incline to 1 or 2 percent; jog for 1-2 minutes
  • Increase incline to 8 percent and adjust speed to 85-90 percent max; run for 1/2 mile
  • Decrease incline to 1 or 2 percent; jog for 1-2 minutes
  • Increase incline to 10-12 percent and speed to 100 percent max; run for 1/4 mile
  • Decrease incline to 1 or 2 percent; jog for 1-2 minutes

Sets/Reps: 1-5xsequence (do not allow form to break)

If you are an endurance athlete, this principle can dramatically improve your leg strength, which is particularly beneficial for hill climbs. Below is a variation specifically designed for long-distance runners.

  • Set treadmill to jogging speed
  • Work up to 6 to 12 percent incline
  • Adjust treadmill speed to allow for 30-second sprints (8 out of 10 difficulty rating)
  • Sprint for 30 seconds; rest for 30 seconds
  • Repeat sprints for specified reps

Sets/Reps: 1-3×8-10

Rest for Success

Speed and conditioning are two different things. You will get in shape as a byproduct of speed work, but this isn’t your primary goal. Make sure to take longer periods of rest between reps to allow your body to fully recover. Running fast requires an immense amount of power and energy, and you need those stores available in order to sprint full speed each rep. Research suggests that a rest period of two to three minutes is best in order to maximize speed gains and technique (2).

This principle should be used in conjunction with the sample workouts above. Whether you are manipulating the speed of the treadmill, the incline, or both, it is imperative that you allow your body to recover between sets in order to make each successive set as explosive as possible.

Learn more about Athletes’ Performance and the professional and elite athletes they support on the Athletes’ Performance page on STACK.


1.) V,Wank Frick, & D. Schmidtbleicher (1998). Kinematics and Electromyography of Lower Limb Muscles in Overground and Treadmill Running. International Journal of Sports Medicine. 19(7): 455-461

Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Seriously, all it takes is 20 minutes to increase speed and burn calories.

Running burns calories. There’s no doubt about that. But to really blast fat, running in one pace just won’t cut it.

To burn the most calories in the least amount of time, a high-intensity workout that gets the heart pumping and fires up your metabolism while using the largest muscles in the body is the way to go—especially since swim suit season is around the corner. One bonus is that high-intensity workouts improve run speed too!

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has been around since the 1970s but has become all the rage in recent years, topping the list of the hottest fitness trends. It gained new attention when Japanese trainer and scientist Dr. Izumi Tabata found that this form of training not only increases aerobic capacity and stamina; it also improves anaerobic capacity, or ability to build muscle, shares Kimberly S. Clay, PhD, MPH, MSW and Executive Director of Play Like A Girl!

HIIT is short, intense periods or exercise at maximum ability, followed by short rest periods. Combinations of intense cardio, like sprinting and strength training in a short period of time forces you to push yourself harder and farther, making your workout more efficient.

“Using the HIIT method, you can even get a super effective treadmill workout in 20 minutes or less. Essentially, it takes 60 seconds of intense activity, then 30 seconds of rest, done 8 to 10 times to maximize results,” says Clay.

Notice your heart rate recovery during the rest. As you get stronger, your heart rate will recover quicker, which is a sign of endurance strength, which improves your run pace.

20-Minute HIIT Treadmill Workout

  1. Start with a 5-minute jog at a reasonably steady pace to warm-up and get your muscles ready to go.
  2. At the 5-minute mark, choose your “high-intensity speed” (aim for 10.0) and sprint at that speed for a minute.
  3. Select your rest speed and walk at rest speed for 30 seconds.
  4. Repeat the sprint at the highest intensity you can maintain adding an incline (preferably, 4.0) to mimic normal outdoor running conditions, and follow with 30 seconds of rest and recovery.
  5. During recovery, walk at rest speed to lower your heart rate and prepare for the next high-intensity interval sprint.
  6. Complete 8 to 10 rounds for a total of 20 minutes, including the workout and recovery.
  7. Cool down with a walk at a lower speed for two to three minutes, and stretch it out to avoid cramping.

This 20-Minute Treadmill Interval Workout Builds Speed and Stamina

Got 20 minutes? Then you have just enough time to hop on the treadmill for this high-intensity interval (HIIT) treadmill workout from Debora Warner, a running coach and CEO of the Mile High Run Club.

Warner calls it a “Peak to Peak” workout, since it alternates between challenging bursts of effort and lighter recovery periods. It also combines two types of interval training—hills and speed—to deliver a high-intensity sweat session in less time. As you probably already know, interval workouts are an efficient way for runners to build strength. Not only do they burn more calories than running at a steady pace, but they also help improve speed and stamina.

RELATED: 11 Ways to Hate the Treadmill Less

“All runners do interval and speed training or hill work to improve performance,” Warner explained in a Facebook Live with Health at Mile High Run Club’s New York City studio. “It’s the only way to get faster and improve endurance.” (Check out the full video below.)

RELATED: The Best Treadmill You’ll Actually Want to Use at Home

Ready to break a sweat? The first 10 minutes of Warner’s treadmill interval workout are comprised of hill intervals, which fire up your glutes and build strength. The final 10 minutes are speed intervals, helping you to push your pace.

Before you get started, pay attention to your form: Warner recommends that you “run tall,” which means keeping your chest and ribcage up and open, and making sure your shoulders are relaxed. Your arms should be kept at 90-degree angles, with your wrists and elbows in line.

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This post was originally published on September 29, 2016 and has been updated for accuracy.

Undoubtedly, there are few things better than enjoying some fitness exercises outdoors, but this is not always possible because of the restricted time, bad weather, or other considerations. An easy way to get around these issues is to do different workouts on your home treadmill.

As treadmills are becoming really common home equipment nowadays, it’s not surprising that people have started to look for different ways to utilize their home treadmill. However, many people still think that the exercises you can do on a treadmill are really limited, like, you can walk or run, and that’s it. If you are someone who thinks that treadmills are just for runners, joggers, and walkers, you are in for a surprise.

Below, Treadmill Guru has presented the top 10 treadmill workouts for everyone who is interested in keeping their body in a good shape and want to get out of the boredom of just running at the same speed on their treadmills. By trying out these interesting treadmill workouts, you should be able to notice that your strength, stamina, speed, heart rate, and workout duration will increase and you won’t dread your treadmill sessions.

Top 10 Best Treadmill Workouts

It is important to warm up before starting your workout in order to prevent future injuries. Start walking at 2.5-3.5 MPH for 60 seconds and then start shaking out your stride by stretching out a bit longer than your usual stride. Continue like this for 5 minutes and toward the end of your warm-up, put the incline to 6% and take some normal steps. Once you are all warmed up, go ahead and pick one or more of the workouts below to try out on your treadmill.
1. Treadmill Hill Workout

Treadmill hill workouts are a good choice for all of them who love running over hills, and for the rest of us who just want to suffer less when running hills. This exercise will boost your speed, duration, and your stamina.

In the first 5 minutes, the speed should be 5 MPH and the incline set at 1%. Then change both of them for the next 30 minutes by adjusting the speed and the incline between intervals of 3-6.5 MPH and 1-5% respectively.

Depending on your skill level, the intervals where you speed up and run up a steeper incline can be just 30 seconds long and 90 seconds of walking, or if you are more experienced, you can do 90 seconds of pushing with 30 seconds of recovery walking. In the last 5 minutes, be sure to cool-down by setting the speed level to 4 MPH and the incline level to 1%.

2. Treadmill Hike Workout

This treadmill hike exercise is more focused on your backside, and its most important feature is that while the time passes, the incline increases and the speed tends to fit your skills in order to offer you safety and ease while you exercise. You can choose either the 45-minute workout or the 20-minute workout if the time isn’t in your favor.

  • Start with a 5-minute warm-up with your speed set at 3 MPH and incline at 2%.
  • Exercise the rest of your minutes with the speed limits from 3.5 MPH to 4 MPH and incline levels from 4% to 12%. If you own an incline trainer like the NordicTrack Commercial x22i treadmill, you can reach much higher inclines as this machine goes from -6% to 40% incline for greater calorie burn.
  • Keep the same rhythm in the last 5 minutes as in the beginning.

3. Sidewinder Workout

This workout aims to increase your heart rate, strength, duration, and stability. If you struggle with stability or your treadmill width is smaller than 20”, then it might not be the exercise for you.

  • 5 minutes warm-up (Gradually increase speed from 2.4-3.5 mph)
  • 2 minutes sideways walking (1 minute facing right, 1 minute facing left – Speed 2.2 MPH)
  • 2 minutes sideways walking (1 minute facing right, 1 minute facing left – Speed 2.4 MPH)
  • 1 minute forward walking (Speed 4.5 mph)
  • 1 minute forward walking (Speed 3.5 mph)
  • 2 minutes sideways walking (1 minute facing right, 1 minute facing left – Speed 2.6 MPH)
  • 2 minutes sideways walking (1 minute facing right, 1 minute facing left – Speed 2.8 MPH)
  • 1 minute forward walking (Speed 4.2 MPH)
  • 1 minute forward walking (Speed 3.5 MPH)
  • 2 minutes sideways walking (1 minute facing right, 1-minute facing left – Speed 2.8 MPH)
  • 5-minute cool-down. (Gradually decrease speed from 3 to 2 MPH)

As you perform this exercise, be very careful as you transition between facing different directions. The first few times you switch sides, you may want to stand on the side rail first to help you get your bearing.

4. Pressed-For-Time Workout

A pressed-for-time workout aims to work with your upper body. In order to perform this exercise, you need to hold in your hand something that weighs 2-5 pounds. Of course, you should hold them while you are walking and never while running, as this may be risky for your safety and throw your stride off-balance. This particular pressed-for-time workout includes:

  • 5 minutes warm up (2.5-3.5 MPH)
  • 5 minutes walking and doing 10 reps each: overhead press, front raises, upright rows, and lateral raises
  • 4 minutes just walking (waiting for the upper body to recover; rest dumbbells and continue to walk)
  • Repeating the second and the third step two more times after changing the incline to 3%.
  • 5 minutes cool down (3 MPH – incline 1%)

Don’t push yourself to carry the heaviest weight you can manage. Instead, work with weights that are comfortable, because, by the end of your workout, those weights will feel significantly heavier.

5. Sprint Interval Workout

Are you ready to shed a few pounds and really push your treadmill workouts? A sprint interval workout is a perfect choice. It serves as a calorie burner, and it raises your anaerobic capacity.

  • Start with 10 minutes of warming up and gradually increase speed from 3-5 MPH.
  • Continue with a sprint in which your heart rate is 85-90% of its maximum. If you are wondering how to calculate your heart rate, all you need to do is to remove your age number from 220. (Increase speed gradually from 5-9 MPH)
  • Continue with 2 minutes of walking, in which your heart rate should be around 120 to 130 beats per minute. (Speed 3.5-4 MPH)
  • Continue with 20-30 minutes of alternating between sprint running (5-9 MPH) and slow walking (3.5-4 MPH). Shoot for intervals of 1-minute sprinting and 2 minutes of walking.
  • End it with 5 minutes of cooling down (2.5-3 MPH).

For beginners, sticking to 30 seconds of sprinting and 2 minutes of walking is a perfectly acceptable adjustment to this workout. Be sure to listen to your body and tailor it to suit your needs.

6. Gauntlet Workout

This workout combines different kinds of exercises which aim to cause different changes to your body. Some of them are focused on your lower body, some on your upper body, and others tend to burn more calories overall. There is also a mix of full-body strength moves with running.

Beginners might find it difficult, so it is best that this workout is performed by more experienced exercisers.

7. Never-a-Flate-Moment Workout

A never-a-flat-moment workout is a highly efficient workout for burning calories, and you are sure to feel the burn. Here are the steps you need to follow in order to perform this exercise:

8. Side Shuffles

If you want to strengthen your thighs’ muscles, then you need to do side shuffles. This exercise is performed at a speed limit between 3-3.5 MPH to ensure that you are safe while traveling in a different direction than you normally do on a treadmill.

In order to do side shuffles, you should turn yourself to right on the treadmill and flex your knees, stay low in your legs but keep your eyes up and body tall and don’t let your feet cross each other. As you walk, stay slightly squatted and pick up your feet. After 2 minutes, switch sides and shuffle while facing the left side of your treadmill. Do this for a total of 10 minutes to really feel the burn.

9. Walking Plank

This exercise is really similar to ordinary planks, and if you find regular planks difficult, then you should put more effort into this one.

A twist on the standard plank you are used to seeing, with a walking plank, your legs should be positioned off of the treadmill, but in a straight line away from it, and your hands will be on the running belt.

Set the speed at 2 MPH and get into position, with your hands on the side rails. Once you are confident you are ready, put your hands on the belt and try to do the walking plank for at least 5 minutes. You may be surprised how difficult it is to maintain this demanding position!

10. Crab Walk

This exercise concentrates on your hamstrings, glutes, triceps, and core. It has difficulty in performing it, but it is really fun in a goofy way. Most of you may know what position to take, but for all of them who don’t, here is the explanation:

Set your speed to 1 to 2 MPH, stay in a crab position, with your hands facing away from treadmill on the side of treadmill base, your feet flat on the floor, your hips elevated and your back facing the ground. Place your hands on the treadmill belt and start walking your hands forward.

We really hope that this article has helped you, and if you have already tried one of the workouts, let us know. We would be really delighted if you share your experience with us.

  • The Use of Treadmills in Pre-Industrial Times
  • How to Run Correctly with Proper Form and Technique

Intervals are hands down one of the best ways to crank up the rate that your body burns fat. If you’re trying to drop weight but you don’t like the idea of spending hours and hours in the gym, you need to learn to utilize treadmill interval workouts.
Learn more about how this kind of training bumps up your caloric burn: Most Effective Training for Weight Loss
Far too often, people who are trying to lose or maintain weight will padlock themselves to a treadmill with a good book or gossip magazine and just spend and hour or two lugging away, tenaciously watching the calorie ticker go up and up… but they really aren’t paying much attention at all to their “workout”, and it can make the time they do spend at the gym relatively futile.
Treadmill interval workouts force you to be aware of your body and your exertion level, and if it’s not high enough you can quickly adjust it- instead of wasting time at the gym, spending an hour and a half unenthusiastically putting one foot in front of the other while reading about a celebrity’s newest drama disaster.
Warm up:
Walk at a comfortable pace at zero incline for 5 minutes.
Walking Interval:
Crank your intensity up a notch from your warm up; you may also want to add a bit of an incline into the mix. Everyone’s exact mph will be different but you should be walking fast enough that holding up a conversation would be moderately difficult. Hold this pace for 2 mintutes.
Running interval:
As soon as you’ve finished your 2 minute walking period, dive straight into a minute long running interval. Again, the exact pace is going to depend on many different variables, however, you should be working hard enough that you would rate your exertion at 8 or 9 out of ten. You should not be able to hold up a conversation during this period and reading any smutty celeb magazines should be nearly impossible!
Repeat, alternating intervals for ten repetitions for a total of a 35 minute routine
As soon as you finish either interval, go straight into the next one. Repeating this pattern 10 times makes for a 30 minute plan, 35 including your warm up. Be sure and do a 5 minute cool down and stretch thoroughly when you’re finished.
This burns about 320 calories (exact figures will depend on your weight, fitness level, muscle content, ect) and stokes up your metabolism. Do this workout 3-4 days of the week for your cardio fix; you can also easily couple this routine with a strength training component.
If you or your joints aren’t fans of running or jogging, you can still get your heart rate up and implement the fat blasting interval structure; try the Treadmill Incline Workout.
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The 30-Day Treadmill Workout Challenge That’s Actually Fun

“I just love running on the treadmill!” said maybe about three people ever. After all, it’s dubbed the “dreadmill” for a reason. But whether you’re training for a race or just trying to get in your dose of cardio, the treadmill is often unavoidable in February when heading outside to run isn’t an option (for most of the country, anyway). That’s why we tapped the queen of cardio, ultramarathoner Robin Arzon, New York Times bestselling author of Shut Up and Run, and vice president of fitness programming and head instructor at Peloton, to create a total-body treadmill workout that is fun, tough, and actually engaging.

In addition to helping you beat boredom, the roughly 30-minute-long interval workout will help you become a stronger runner by improving your endurance, speed, and power over the month, while also sculpting your entire body with killer hill intervals and bodyweight moves that incorporate the turned-off treadmill. (You can also opt to do them on a mat instead.) Don’t worry, you’ll also have time for recovery—which can mean a jog or a walk if you’re a beginner—to get your heart rate down and prepare you for the next interval. And most importantly, since the program is built around your own personal base pace (more on how to figure out that number below), it’s designed for all levels of athletes—even those brand new to running. (Related: 11 Science-Backed Reasons Running Is Really Good for You)

Need a little extra motivation? Look no further than Arzon’s 30-minute playlist filled with power tracks to help you “get off your ass when you really just want to watch Netflix.” (This girl gets us.)

How it works: The first week, you’ll follow the workout as-is. If you’re new to running, start implementing this workout into your routine two days per week, Arzon suggests. The rest of the week you’ll spend doing low-impact workouts like spinning or yoga, plus one “long” run—whatever that means to you. While this is a great opportunity for those training for longer races to get their miles in, it can also be swapped for 60 minutes of sustained cardio, such as 30 minutes on the StairMaster and 30 minutes on elliptical, Arzon says. For the rest of the month, you’ll focus on improving one component of the workout each week—speed, hills, or endurance—while keeping the other areas the same. (This ensures you don’t increase your total distance by more than 10 percent per week, a good safety measure.) Even though you’re only making one component harder at a time, you’ll probably see improvement across the board, she says.

Before you begin your treadmill workout, start with some pre-run dynamic stretches that will improve your range of motion and loosen up your muscles to help reduce your risk for injury. And after you finish your cool-down sesh, turn the treadmill off and use it for some quick static stretches that will help loosen up tight quads, glutes, lats, and hamstrings. (Speaking of which, here’s how to prevent the most common running injuries.)

30-Day Treadmill Challenge

Pre-Run Dynamic Stretch: Butt Kicks

While standing tall with arms at sides in running position, kick heels back one at a time to touch glutes. Perform 20 total kicks.

Leg Swings

While holding on to the treadmill with left arm for stability, swing left leg to side, and then back across torso. Perform 10 times, then repeat with right leg.


Stand with arms out to sides, then bend down, touching right hand to the top of left foot. Come back up to standing, then touch left hand to right foot. Continue alternating, for a total of 20 twists.

Toy Soldiers

Standing tall with core engaged, lift right leg straight out in front of you as you touch left hand to toes. Repeat 10 times, then switch to left leg.

Bodyweight Circuit: Triceps Dips

A. With the treadmill turned off, place hands on the side of the treadmill with fingers facing forward and legs extended fully in front of you.
B. Bend elbows to lower your hips toward the floor until elbows are at about a 90-degree angle. Perform AMRAP for 1 minute.


A. With the treadmill turned off, come into a high plank position with hands placed firmly on either side of the treadmill, directly beneath your shoulders.
B. Lower chest down toward the base of the treadmill, keeping back straight and neck in a neutral position.
C. Straighten arms to return to starting position. Perform AMRAP for 1 minute.

Mountain Climbers

A. With the treadmill turned off, come into a high plank position with hands directly below shoulders, firmly gripping either side of the treadmill base.
B. Alternate driving knees into the center of body for 1 minute.

Elevated Lunges

A. With the treadmill turned off, place right foot behind you on the side of the treadmill, keeping toes pointed out and foot flexed.
B. With hands on hips, come down into a low lunge position so that left leg forms a 90-degree angle, keeping knee over ankle. Drive back up to starting position. Perform AMRAP, then switch sides.

Post-Run Stretch: Hamstring Stretch

With the treadmill turned off, bring right leg up to the right side rail, touching hands to toes as you bring head down toward knee. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds and repeat on the left side.

Quad Stretch

With the treadmill turned off and left hand holding on to the railing for support, grab right ankle with right hand, bringing heel to glute. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds, then switch sides.

Glute Stretch

Holding on to the treadmill railings for support, cross left ankle over to right knee, then bend right knee and extend arms out to bring hips back into a seated position. Hold for at least 15 to 30 seconds, then repeat on the other leg.

Lat Stretch

With feet spread wide on either side of the treadmill and hands holding the console, lean forward, keeping a straight back. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds.

Week 1

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Photo: Ja Tecson

Find Your Base Pace

Before you begin, you’ll need to figure out your base “run” speed or “base pace” which will be your building point for the rest of the workout. How? The talk test. Start running and find the speed that feels challenging while still allowing you to sing your favorite song or hold a conversation for a few minutes without panting, Arzon says. (You should feel like you’re giving about 40 to 50 percent of your effort—after all, you’ll be adding speed onto this throughout the workout!) To figure out your “jog pace” for the workout, subtract about 1.0 from your base pace number. A good rule of thumb: You should feel like you want to be going faster, she says.

Be sure that you aren’t pressed right up against the treadmill—if you’re hugging the console then you probably need to adjust your speed, Arzon says. And remember to keep your chest up and eyes forward—no looking down at your feet!

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Week 2

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Photo: Ja Tecson

Speed It Up

In week two, you’ll take each interval in the speed block 0.2 faster, including your base pace.

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Week 3

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Photo: Ja Tecson

Up the Incline

Take each interval in this hill section of the workout 0.5 steeper. You’ll be feeling the burn!

One important form tip to keep in mind: As you up your incline, shorten your stride and lean into the treadmill slightly, Arzon says. Remember to use your arms to maintain momentum and don’t hold on to the arm rails—even on a serious climb.
(More on that here: 5 Treadmill Tricks to Help You Burn Double the Calories​)

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Week 4

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Photo: Ja Tecson

Build Endurance

This week, you’ll add in one extra minute of running (at a speed of your base run plus 1.5) before you jump back down to a recovery jog in order to build your endurance.

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Workouts on a treadmill

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