The best HIIT treadmill workouts that can make your cardio fun

These routines are far from monotonous.

We understand that treadmills aren’t always the most exciting method to exercise. But adding some HIIT treadmill workouts to your routine can help liven things up—plus bring some serious performance benefits to your running game.

Due to the current COVID-19 epidemic, many gyms are still closed, so stepping on a treadmill at your favorite studio or gym is not an option right now. But if you invested in a treadmill as part of building an at-home workout space, chances are pretty high you want to put it to use. After all, at-home treadmills may be costly, so you’ll want to make the most of your investment. (Plus, with the weather still cold, recording miles indoors seems even more enticing.)

Exercising on a treadmill is useful doing it at home is safer than braving the crowds at a commercial facility—but it may be tedious, especially if you merely get on to complete a fixed amount of kilometers. One method to keep things fresh is to change the intensity of your workout, such as by adding high-intensity interval training (HIIT) to the mix. You’ll be alternating brief bursts of hard, all-out effort (either with speed, inclination, or a combination of both) with less intense recuperation with HIIT treadmill exercises.

Hannah Eden, a CrossFit and IKFF-certified trainer at iFit, tells SELF that HIIT is great for increasing endurance and saving time. “Short bursts of high-intensity work will help increase the volume of oxygen your body can consume during intense exercise, allowing you to work for longer periods of time with a higher heart rate,” Eden explains. “The lower-intensity exercises will provide a basis, a reasonably comfortable pace from which you may progress. The mix of high and low intensity activity will boost your endurance and strength, allowing you to run faster for longer periods of time with less effort.”

Even a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) treadmill workout might get monotonous if you keep using the same one. That’s why we assembled a range of trainer-recommended treadmill routines to assist optimize your time on the ’mill. Remember that the speeds and inclines are provided as a guideline only; feel free to change them depending on your fitness level or where you are in your running adventure. Feel free to play about with them to make sure you’re comfortable with the settings you select.

See also Burn Fat and Lose Weight Fast with hasfit’s Free 30-Day Workout Challenge!

Get-Focused

Get-Focused: The workout that will help you concentrate

Many people may not be laser-focused on the task at hand when they go on a treadmill: “Too frequently, their mind is elsewhere,” says Andia Winslow, a certified personal trainer and inventor of the Fit Cycle. As your body adapts to the varying inclines and speeds, this program will keep your mind focused. Put your phone down for this one; you’ll need to keep your attention focused on the work at hand.

How to go about it:

  • Warm up for 5 minutes by walking at a speed of 2.5 to 3.5 mph.
  • 1-minute strider: This isn’t a jog or a sprint, but something in the between (4 to 7 mph with elongated strides)
  • At a 5% inclination, take a 3-minute walk (3.0 to 3.5 mph).
  • At a 5% gradient, a 1-minute strider (4.0 to 7 mph)
  • At an inclination of 8%, take a 3-minute walk (3.0 to 3.5 mph).
  • 1-minute strider (4.0–7 mph) at a slope of 8%
  • 5-minute cooldown at a 1% inclination (3.0 to 3.5 mph)

Workout for Lateral Walking

Yes, you can get an excellent treadmill exercise without breaking into a run. According to Katina Brock, C.P.T., this walking-only workout stimulates your glutes, raises your heart rate, and improves balance. “Don’t be fooled by the lower speeds,” she adds. “The amount of effort this produces will surprise you.” When walking sideways, or laterally, use a light touch on the rails for stabilisation, but do not help with your arms. Keep your feet responded by pointing to the side of the treadmill, not forward. You can shuffle your feet together and apart, or, at slower speeds, cross one foot behind or in front of the other.

See also  Chest Workout With Dumbbells: Main Benefits, Disadvantages, Importance and 15 Best Exercises

How to go about it:

  • Warm up for 5 minutes by gradually increasing your pace from 2.4 to 3.5 mph.
  • 2.2 mph lateral walk for 2 minutes (1 minute facing right, 1 minute facing left)
  • 2.4 mph lateral walk for 2 minutes (1 minute right, 1 minute left)
  • 4.5 mph forward walk for 1 minute
  • 3.5 mph forward walk for 1 minute
  • 2.6 mph lateral walk for 2 minutes (1 minute right, 1 minute left)
  • 2.8 mph lateral walk for 2 minutes (1 minute right, 1 minute left)
  • 4.2 mph forward walk for 1 minute
  • 3.5 mph forward walk for 1 minute
  • 2-minute lateral walk at a speed of 2 mph with a 5% inclination (1 minute right, 1 minute left)
  • Reduce speed from 3.0 to 1.8 mph over a 5-minute cooling period.

A 30-Minute Workout

According to Eden, the goal of this 30-minute workout is to keep your effort steady at specific percentages of your maximum heart rate. If you have a fitness tracker, it will generally tell you your maximum heart rate, but if you don’t, you can estimate it based on your evaluations of perceived effort or exertion, she adds. (Working at 80 percent of your maximum capacity, for example, will be “not nearly all you’ve got,” Eden says; working at 40 percent, on the other hand, should be pretty simple for you.) This makes each level relevant to each individual.

Eden describes the program she devised, which initially appeared on iFit’s Fast and Fit HIIT series, as “a wonderful HIIT workout to get the greatest benefits in a short amount of time, and is excellent for anybody from beginner to intermediate.” “Beginners can push themselves outside of their comfort zone and immediately return to a comfortable pace because the rigorous training is just for a short period of time.”

How to go about it:

  • Warm-up for 5 minutes with dynamic drills including high knees, hip openers, and butt kicks, then easy jogging.
  • Run for 30 seconds at 80% effort.
  • Walking for 30 seconds at 20% effort
  • Rep 10 times in total.
  • To recuperate, go for a 2-minute jog at a conversational speed (40 percent -50 percent effort).
  • 10 times more, repeat the 30-second run/30-second walk block.
  • 3-minute cooldown: Take a 3-minute walk.

The Workout for Never-a-Flat-Moment

According to Brock, using an inclination can help you enjoy the benefits of HIIT without the requirement for speed. You won’t be sprinting here, but the elevation will force you to put in some serious effort.

How to go about it:

  • 1 minute at 3.0 mph, 2 minutes at 3.5 mph in a 3-minute warm-up
  • 2 minutes at a speed of 3.5 mph with a 7% inclination
  • 2 minutes at a speed of 4.0 mph and an inclination of 4%
  • 2 minutes at a speed of 2.8 mph and an inclination of 10%
  • 2 minutes at 3.2 mph, gradient of 6%
  • 2 minutes at 3 mph, slope of 8%
  • 3 mph and a 3% inclination for 1 minute
  • 1 minute at 6.5 mph, 1 minute at 3.5 mph, 2 minutes at 6 mph, 2 minutes at 4 mph, 1 minute at 3.2 mph
  • 3 minutes at 15% incline, 1 minute at 1%, 3 minutes at 10%, 1 minute at 2%, 3 minutes at 12%: 11 minutes endurance intervals at 3.2 mph: 3 minutes at 15% incline, 1 minute at 1%, 3 minutes at 10%, 1 minute at 2%, 3 minutes at 12%:
  • 3 minute cooldown: 2 minutes at 2.8 mph on a 3% slope, 1 minute at 2 mph on a 1% inclination

Workout on the Hill Ladder

Jason Loebig, a Nike Running coach, Barry’s Bootcamp instructor, and cofounder of Live Better Co., designed this progressive hill treadmill exercise with hard attempts at changing inclines to develop your strength during short conditioning intervals, making it both effective and efficient.

See also  The Rock Arm Workout for Maximum Muscle Gain, Arm Sizes, and Strength

“This workout will assist any runner trying to enhance leg strength, leg drive, foot speed, running posture, and fitness,” Loebig tells SELF. “By altering the tempo, this treadmill session can be made harder or easier, making it an excellent strength-building exercise for any runner.”

According to Loebig, the focus of this workout should be on posture, leg drive, and generating progressive speed. Your “sprint” speed should either maintain or grow as you progress through the 10-round exercise, which means you should be cautious about how you begin if you are unclear of your present pace and speed potential. All sprints should be performed on an inclination, and all walking recoveries should be performed on level ground. Then, 10 seconds before the next race begins, change the gradient and prepare to go all out.

How to go about it:

  • Light jog, high knee hugs, high knees, quad pulls, butt kicks, and A-skips for 30 seconds to 1 minute per warm-up drill
  • Sprint for 30 seconds at the stated incline (round 1 at 2 percent , round 2 at 3 percent , round 3 at 6 percent , round 4 at 8 percent , round 5 at 6 percent , round 6 at 4 percent , round 7 at 2 percent , round 8 at 4 percent , round 9 at 6 percent , round 10 at 8 percent )
  • Walking recovery time of 90 seconds (no incline)
  • Complete a total of 10 rounds
  • Cool down with a gentle jog, figure-4 stretch, standing forward-fold stretch, and calf stretch for 30 seconds to 1 minute each.

 Workout for Speed and Endurance

You’ll alternate between one minute of hard work and one to two minutes of easy recovery in this heart rate–based speed endurance exercise by Garrett Shinoskie, C.S.C.S.

How to go about it:

  • Warm up for 5 to 10 minutes by walking or jogging at a reasonable speed.
  • 1-minute run: Set a difficult pace where your heart rate reaches 80 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate.
  • to 2-minute recovery: Slowly increase your pace to a moderate walk or jog until your heart rate returns to normal (usually between 120 to 130 beats per minute)
  • For 20 to 30 minutes, alternate running and recuperation periods.
  • 5-minute cooldown: Slowly walk or jog at a comfortable speed for 5 minutes.

Sprinting Workout

Sprinting Workout

During these brief sprint intervals, push yourself to your limits, then catch your breath and recuperate during the lengthier rest periods. According to Shinoskie, this form of training increases anaerobic power and capacity while also breaking up the monotony of a conventional treadmill workout.

See also Do These Exercises to Work Your Upper Glutes

How to go about it:

  • Warm up for 5 to 10 minutes by walking or jogging at a reasonable speed.
  • 15-second sprint: Sprint as fast as you can—your heart rate should be between 85 and 90% of your maximum (you shouldn’t be able to sustain this pace for much longer).
  • to 2-minute recovery: Slowly increase your pace to a moderate walk or jog until your heart rate returns to normal (usually between 120 to 130 beats per minute)
  • For 20 to 30 minutes, alternate running and recuperation periods.
  • 5-minute cooldown: Slowly walk or jog at a comfortable speed for 5 minutes.

The Treadmill Workout (On and Off)

Incorporate a few full-body strength routines (off the treadmill, of course) in between jogging sets to spice up your normal treadmill workout. According to Shinoskie, hopping on and off the treadmill will keep your heart rate up throughout the strength routines, providing cardiovascular benefits as well as putting muscles like your arms and core in the spotlight.

How to go about it:

Warm up for 5 to 10 minutes by walking or jogging in a comfortable area.

For you, 60 seconds of fast running

  • Swings with a kettlebell for 30 seconds
  • Push-ups for 30 seconds
  • Plank for 60 seconds
  • You have 60 seconds to run at a leisurely pace.
  • Rep four to six times more.
  • 5-minute cooldown: Walk or jog at a comfortable, reducing speed for 5 minutes.

Burnout in 16 Minutes

This treadmill workout was designed by NASM-certified trainer Nate Feliciano, owner and head of training at Studio 16 in New York City, to work more than just your legs.

“This workout is great since it works your core and upper body as well as boosting your heart rate,” Feliciano tells SELF. “You may use this as a warm-up for a workout or as the workout itself.”

See also  Do These Exercises to Work Your Upper Glutes

You’ll be doing a pair of routines on the treadmill for this one—the sled push and the plank walk—so it’s a good idea to know what they entail: For the sled push, some treadmills feature a sled setting with handles below the console that enable you to hold in front of you rather than to your sides. Turn the treadmill off, grab the handlebars, and thrust your legs backwards as if you were running. The friction from the belt will provide resistance to your movement. (This should only be done if your treadmill has a stable hold area.)

Set the treadmill to 1–2 mph for the plank walk, then move behind the treadmill and adopt a plank posture with your hands on either side of the treadmill’s base. Place your hands on the treadmill’s belt and begin to “walk” your hands forward once your body is in the plank position.

How to go about it:

  • 1 minute brisk walk
  • 1-minute sprint (Start off slowly on the first round to acquire a feel for the treadmill, adds Feliciano, and don’t push yourself to your maximum straight away.)
  • On the treadmill, push a sled for 1 minute.
  • Plank walks for 1 minute
  • Repeat this process four times total.

As you can see, HIIT treadmill workouts are a great way to mix up your cardio routine and have some fun. If you’re looking for a new challenge, or just want to switch things up, be sure to try out these workouts the next time you hit the treadmill. And if you’re looking for more ideas on how to make your cardio workout more exciting, be sure to check out our other posts on HIIT workouts and outdoor running trails. What’s your favorite type of HIIT treadmill workout?

Commonly asked questions

Get the answers to your most commonly asked questions

how to execute a high-intensity interval training program on a treadmill?

Here’s how to conduct high-intensity interval training on a treadmill:

  • Make sure the treadmill is completely flat. Warm up by walking at 2 mph for 5 minutes.
  • For 30 seconds, run at 9 to 10 mph.
  • For 60 seconds, walk at 3 to 4 mph.
  • Rep 5–10 times more.
  • To cool down, do a 5-minute walk at 2 mph.

That’s it! You now know how to do a HIIT workout on a treadmill. Be sure to start slowly and increase your speed and incline gradually as you get stronger. And, most importantly, have fun with it! The best part of HIIT is that you can always switch up the exercises or the order to keep things interesting. 

How effective is a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) treadmill workout?

HIIT activities, according to a 2017 research, can help you lose weight and burn calories in less time. The goal is to work extremely hard for brief bursts of time and then rest in between. This burns a significant amount of calories, which aids in weight loss.

What does a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) treadmill workout include?

You’ll be alternating brief bursts of hard, all-out effort (either with speed, inclination, or a combination of both) with less intense recuperation with HIIT treadmill exercises. Hannah Eden, a CrossFit and IKFF-certified trainer for iFit HIIT is great for building endurance and saving time.

How often should a newbie do a high-intensity interval training treadmill workout?

Not to add that running is a high-impact workout that may be harsh on the joints, particularly the knees, so you should be cautious. Three HIIT treadmill workouts per week are recommended, with at least one day of recovery in between.

How long should a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) treadmill session last?

A HIIT session should last between 30 and 60 minutes, including warm-up and cool-down time. HIIT Ratios: Each high intensity interval has a work phase and a recovery phase, as stated above.

How to execute sprints on the treadmill for a high-intensity interval training session?

Warm up for at least 2-3 minutes, then gradually increase your recovery pace. Set treadmill to Sprint Speed and run for 15-30 seconds (times vary depending on ability/comfort levels). Reduce treadmill to Recovery Speed and catch your breath for 60-90 seconds. Rep 8 times more.

Posted in workout and tagged , , , , , .