5 Best Treadmill Exercises & Workouts for Weight Loss

Treadmill workouts can be a great way to add variety in your regular workout routine. (Image via Unsplash / Chuttersnap)
Treadmill workouts can be a great way to add variety in your regular workout routine. (Image via Unsplash/Chuttersnap)

Treadmills are easily one of the most popular pieces of gym equipments. Part of why treadmills are so popular is that they're easy to use and don't require a lot of skill to operate. You don't want to spend hours on a treadmill figuring out how to operate it.

Even if you're looking for a way to add variety to your workouts, treadmills can provide a simple solution. They can help you be more efficient with your workout time while not skimping on intensity.

What Makes Treadmill Workouts for Weight Loss Effective?

The treadmill can be intimidating, but there are ways to make it work for you. When you’re on the treadmill and feeling like you’ve reached your limit, change up your pace or incline for variety.

You can also add some sprints or jogs to your workout to burn more calories. Remember: every little bit helps.

Is Treadmill Worth an Investment for Weight Loss?

Remember to exercise a variety of different muscles and work at different intensities to achieve the best results.

A treadmill is ideal for weight loss as long as you eat right and get enough sleep. Spin bikes are better for HIIT, while stationary bikes are better for endurance training.

Best Treadmill Workouts for Weight Loss

Here's a look at five such workouts:

1) Incline Walk

You may have heard of the popular 30-minute treadmill workout called 12/3/30. That means, set your treadmill to a 12% incline, speed at 3 km/h, and walk for 30 minutes.

Here’s the full workout:


How to do it?

  • Try walking at a 12% incline for 30 minutes.
  • After 5 minutes, increase the incline to 1%.
  • Walk for another 30 minutes.
  • After your cool down, decrease the incline again to flat or 1%.

2) Sprint Interval

This workout alternates bursts of high intensity exercise with recovery periods. You can exert a lot of energy and burn calories quickly, but the body will continue metabolizing fat during rest.

Here’s how to do an effective HIIT treadmill workout:


How to do it?

  • Warm up on a treadmill by walking for 3-4 km/h
  • Increasing the speed to 15-16 km/h; run for 30-45 seconds, and decrease the speed to 5-6 km/h.
  • Repeat this run/walk sequence 5-8 times.

High intensity interval training (HIIT) allows you to create workouts that suit your fitness level, using your rate of perceived exertion (RPE) to make decisions about your workout speed and timing.

If you're more advanced, you might want to increase the speed of high intensity bursts. You may also want to alternate between sprinting and jogging, instead of sprinting and walking. As long as you feel like you’re pushing yourself every time you sprint, you’re doing it right.

3) Low Intensity Steady State (LISS) Cardio

If you’re a beginner, try an LISS workout to burn more calories with less effort. If you’re new to running on a treadmill, set your speed to the lowest setting, and jog for as long as you can.

The key is to stay in the fat burning zone, which is about 70-80% of your maximum heart rate. A performance treadmill will let you check your heart rate while you work out by grabbing onto the handles.


How to do it?

  • Start walking at a flat incline, around 3 km per hour, to warm up.
  • Increase your speed to what is comfortable for you—approximately 6-8 km per hour for most people, but feel free to experiment with what works best for you.
  • Run for 20-30 minutes, and decrease your speed; Walk at three kilometres per hour to cool down.

4) Run - Walk - Jog

This workout borrows from the HIIT trend, mixing up your running and walking speeds so that you never get bored. That, with the fast pace, can help you fly by the clock without breaking a sweat.


How to do it?

  • Warm up with a gentle walk, and increase your speed to a jog for 30-45 seconds.
  • Decrease your speed, and walk for 30-45 seconds.
  • Increase your speed to a brisk jog for another 30-45 seconds.
  • Repeat the entire sequence 5-8 times, and cool down with a slow walk.

5) Classic 5K

The 5K run is a great accomplishment for novice, intermediate, and experienced runners. It's all about running for 5 kilometers without stopping, at your pace.


How to do it?

  • Setting your treadmill at a flat incline, walk for a few minutes to warm up, and increase your speed slightly. Run till the treadmill reads 5 km.
  • To cool down, decrease the speed, and walk for a few minutes.


The treadmill is an efficient and fun exercise machine that boosts the heart rate and is suitable for casual to experienced athletes.

If you’re starting a fitness journey, treadmills are a great addition to your regimen. We’ve provided information on the various treadmill workouts you can try that are simple to do from home and can last anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour.

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Edited by Bhargav
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