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The 4 Best Treadmill Workouts For Weight Loss


Explore four of the best treadmill workouts for weight loss that combine interval training with speed and incline that you can do right in your home gym. Mix up your workout time with these simple routines for the best results possible in your weight loss journey!

The truth is, a treadmill is the perfect tool to reach your fitness goals. You can get a kick-butt cardio workout using the speed and incline adjustments on your treadmill to create intervals that burn more body fat in less time. 

An effective treadmill workout can help you reach your fat loss goals a little quicker. Plus, you can easily adjust the intensity of your workout to a level that works for you.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with doing your own thing on your treadmill. In other words, it’s a bonus if you even turn it on and use it because most people don’t. But you can get a lot more out of your workout with a treadmill routine. Routines with high-intensity intervals, a steep incline, or maximum speed are an effective way to amp up your output without as much time needed on the machine.

Ready to try something new and actually see results? As a Certified Personal Trainer and treadmill user, I’ve created four of the best treadmill workouts to do at home. They will help you burn fat, lose weight, and keep your workout routine interesting!

Benefits of Treadmill Workout

While strength training is essential to build strong muscles and keep your metabolism revved, you also need cardiovascular exercise. 

The CDC recommends individuals get at least 150 minutes of heart-pumping cardio each week. You can divide that number up however you like; do five 30-minute cardio sessions per week, three-hour-long sessions per week, or do 10 or 20 minutes here and there throughout the day. The treadmill offers just one awesome way to get your cardiovascular exercise in for the week, and there are so many things that make it a viable option for pretty much everyone. 

Working out on a treadmill…

Allows you to walk or run no matter the weather

Helps you train for your first 5 or 10 k

Allows you to work in intervals by adjusting the speed or incline

Makes cardio workouts accessible to all fitness levels, no matter what intensity level

Offers a low-impact flat ground alternative to running or walking on pavement

Helps you track your progress by seeing extra calories burned, miles logged, and more

You can even get a foldable mini treadmill, or walking pad, to use during your work day!

Thinking the treadmill still, means boredom? Think again. Read on to learn the secret to maximizing your treadmill workouts…it has a little something to do with swapping intervals in place of steady-state cardio.

How Intervals Help Maximize Your Treadmill Workouts

Many people automatically assume that the treadmill equals steady-state cardio alone.

First of all, there’s nothing wrong with steady-state cardio. Walking or running at a brisk pace is great for your heart. But, if you want to lose weight, you do need to incorporate higher intensity intervals in order to jumpstart your weight loss.

Intervals require you to up your intensity for short bursts of time in order to get your heart pumping and fat burning, before returning to a lower intensity and repeating the cycle again. With a treadmill, you can create intervals by adjusting both the speed of the machine and the incline. You can really get your heart pumping when you increase your speed and force yourself to work harder than simply going at a comfortable pace.

Plus, when you adjust the incline it not only helps you burn more calories but it can help you target different muscles—your glutes and thighs in particular get targeted when you work at an incline. Toning your legs and glutes while you get your cardio on? Yes, please!

Tips For Treadmill Workouts

I recommend using the following tips to get the most out of your treadmill workout.

Warm ups

Warming up is an important part of any workout. High intensity interval training is no different. A short warm up raises your heart rate and helps your muscles get ready for exercise. I recommend at least five minutes of warming up. Since you’re already getting on the treadmill anyway, the best way to knock this out is a moderate walk at a comfortable pace to prepare your body for what is to come.

Cool Down

Once you complete your workout you’ll want to bring your heart rate back down. A cool down will slowly reduce your respiration back to a normal rate. I recommend reducing your speed every one to two minutes until you hit a fairly easy pace. Then walk for about three to five minutes while your body eases into a calmer state. 


I recommend completing your post-workout stretch as quickly as you can after your workout. Ideally you would be stretching within five to ten minutes after you’re done with your hiit treadmill workouts. Try this free 10 minute stretch routine after your workout to prevent injury and muscle soreness. 


Staying hydrated is important in any fitness routine! Grab your favorite water bottle and get setup before you start the workout. Drinking water regularly during exercise helps you stay hydrated and able to complete more exercise. These are my favorite tips for drinking more water every day.

Perceived Exertion

Each of the treadmill workouts below is designed for you in terms of your own perceived exertion. What does that mean? Perceived exertion is how hard you feel you’re working. By tuning into how hard you’re working, you differentiate between when something feels easy, comfortably hard, or difficult. Of course, it would be impossible (and inadvisable) to try and stay at a high intensity for a prolonged period of time. This is why intervals are such a smart way to work out. You push yourself, then you come back down to a more comfortable pace, continuing this cycle. These workouts are more than just a walk in the park!

As you review the workouts below, think about the idea of moving from light activity where you are still breathing through your nose.  Move into the “push harder” stages where you are working at a moderate pace and breathing through your mouth. It’s noticeably challenging.  And if you can, move into the vigorous pace which would feel like you are working hard.  It’s borderline uncomfortable and at the very least, hard to keep up a conversation. 

4 Treadmill Workouts For Weight Loss

Alright, now that you’re hopefully abandoning your preconceived notions about what a treadmill can do, let’s get down to the fun part! These four treadmill workouts were designed to help you bust through a workout rut, challenge you, and help you burn more fat in less time. Whether you’re a walker, jogger, or runner, these four treadmill workouts will all work for you. Do one of them a few times and then move to the next or mix and match throughout the week to keep your body guessing. Either way, you’ll be glad you did!

PS: We made all of the workouts printable! You can get them by clicking the button below. Just print and take it with you to the gym or your home machine.

20-Minute Speed Intervals Treadmill Workout

This quick workout involves high-intensity intervals focusing on changing up your speed, which will give you more of a calorie burn than walking on a treadmill at a moderate pace for an hour. You’ll do 4-speed intervals at 1 minute each, with 2 minutes of lighter work in between. It involves some short bursts up to a 7.0 mph speed which is no doubt high-intensity training. But always listen to your body and if that is too much for you, use a speed that feels difficult for your body. There is no one right speed for everyone. You’ll bookend your workout with a 5-minute warm-up and cool down.

The “feeling” column is helpful in identifying how hard you should feel you’re working, or your “perceived exertion.” This workout is great for anyone looking to up their calorie burn, or runners who are looking for a little speed work. Hit your stride and have some fun!

How To Do The 20-Minute Speed Intervals Treadmill Workout

30-Minute Hill Climber Treadmill Workout

Get ready to work with inclines in this 30-minute hill-climber workout! This workout provides a 5-minute warm-up and then takes you on a series of speed and incline changes that give you the feeling of hiking on a mountain. Your speed will vary a little in this workout, but the focus is primarily on raising your incline.

The varying heart rate and aerobic/anaerobic combination will torch calories and fat and really increase your fitness level! Not to mention, anytime you raise the incline on your treadmill you target different muscle groups to mix things up and give your glutes and thighs a run for their money. Consider it the next best thing to hiking an exotic mountain somewhere—no plane ticket required.

How To Do The 30-Minute Hill Climber Treadmill Workout

30-Minute Interval Treadmill Workout

This workout is all about getting a solid 30-minute interval run. It provides you with a fairly steady jog/run combination, so you’ll alternate between jogging at a lighter pace and running a little more intensely. This 30-minute workout is great for anyone looking to prepare for a 5k or those of us who want to get some nice cardio exercise in that can help us lose weight. Your incline will stay the same throughout this workout, it’s just the speed that will vary. Again, if this speed feels too easy or too difficult adjust accordingly to your body. If you prefer to walk, use speeds between 2-4 mph. 

How To Do The 30-Minute Interval Treadmill Workout

The Walker’s Butt-Burner Treadmill Workout

For all of you walkers who want to lose weight, this 15-minute workout takes your typical walk in the park and upgrades it into a calorie-burning, butt-building workout. Not only will getting your heart rate up help burn up extra fat, but the incline challenges are a great way to shape up your glutes. You’ll start with a 5-minute warm-up and then walk a steady pace, changing the incline and speed throughout. Remember to use your arms and keep your abs tight as the hill increases; you can even engage your glutes too to boost the toning effects of this workout.

Give these four treadmill workouts a try to beat boredom, mix up your workout routine, and burn more fat in less time. Machines like the treadmill don’t have to be boring or ho-hum; they can actually be the perfect way to use intervals to get fit and lose weight.

How To Do The Walker’s Butt-Burner Treadmill Workout

Give these four treadmill workouts a try to beat boredom, mix up your workout routine, and burn more fat in less time. Machines like the treadmill don’t have to be boring or ho-hum; they can actually be the perfect way to use intervals to get fit and lose weight.


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