The treadmill is one of the best types of fitness equipment to buy if you’re building an at-home workout space.
Besides, treadmill running is a convenient exercise and a safer option than risking the crowds at a commercial gym. In addition, the exercises will help you achieve wellness and fitness goals, burn a lot of calories, and boost your mood.
Even better, the machine provides a lot of versatility by allowing you to try out various workout routines.
But, what are the most effective treadmill workouts to perform at your home gym without spending a lot of time on the equipment?
Well, read on to discover 6 quick & effective treadmill exercises that will help you put your machine to good use!
6 Effective Treadmill Workouts
#1 Treadmill Sprint Intervals
Performing sprint workouts on the treadmill is a great way to transform the typical 20- 30 minutes treadmill workout.
Plus, the exercises will help to build your aerobic capacity, burn more fat and build more speed than low-intensity, steady-state workouts.
Generally, treadmill sprints involve running for short intervals at your maximum speed, followed by long rest periods to catch your breath and recover.
This type of exercise routine breaks up the monotony of a typical treadmill workout and improves your aerobic capacity and power.
Here’s an example of how to perform a treadmill sprint interval workout:
Set your treadmill at a 1 percent incline and walk or jog at an easy pace for 5 – 10 minutes to warm up. This will get your muscles warm and blood pumping as you prepare for the workout.
Sprint at your max speed for 15 seconds to get your heart rate to about 85% – 90% of your max.
Perform a slow to moderate jog or walk for 1 – 2 minutes until your heart rate recovers.
Alternate sprint and recovery intervals for about 20 – 30 minutes.
Finish your workout with a 5-minute cool-down by jogging/ walking at a comfortable pace as you gradually slow the pace.
#2 Pyramid Workout
The pyramid workout combines walking and running intervals on the treadmill, helping users burn a lot of calories.
More importantly, the exercise involves setting the incline at 1 percent and brisk walking or jogging at an easy pace for about 3 minutes to warm up.
This is intended to help you build endurance and prepare you for increased effort.
After the warm-up sessions, perform the following intervals:
- Run at a medium pace for 30 seconds, followed by a 30-second walk.
- Run at a medium pace for 1 minute, followed by a 1-minute walk.
- Run at a medium pace for 2 minutes, followed by a 1-minute walk.
- Run at a medium pace for 3 minutes, followed by a 1-minute walk.
- Run at a medium pace for 4 minutes, followed by a 1-minute walk.
- Run at a hard pace for 3 minutes, followed by a 1-minute walk.
- Run at a hard pace for 2 minutes, followed by a 1-minute walk.
- Run at a hard pace for 1 minute, followed by a 1-minute walk.
- Run at a hard pace for 30 seconds, followed by a 30-second walk.
- Lastly, finish your exercise with a 2-minute brisk walk or easy jog to cool down.
#3 Treadmill Hill Workout
Hill treadmill workouts feature hard efforts at different inclines to boost your strength during short conditioning intervals, making them both efficient and effective.
It’s suitable for treadmill users that want to build their leg strength, running posture, and foot speed and enhance their leg drive.
Also, it allows you to make your workout routine easier or harder by adjusting the pace, especially if you’re using the most comfortable treadmill for strength-building.
In essence, you have to either increase or maintain your speed as you undertake this workout.
Therefore, you need to be conservative about starting the exercise, especially if you’re uncertain of your speed potential or current pacing.
More importantly, you should perform all sprints at an incline, while walking should be done on flat ground. Also, remember to readjust the inline 10 seconds before starting the next sprint.
That said, here’s how a treadmill hill workout routine is done:
- Start with a 30- 60 seconds warm-up drill. This may include exercises like light jogging, quad pulls, A-skips, high knees, or butt kicks.
- Set the treadmill incline at 1 percent and perform an easy jog or brisk walk for 5 minutes to warm up.
- Raise the incline to 2 percent and walk on the treadmill for 1 minute
- Reduce the incline to 1 percent and run at a comfortable speed for 1 minute
- Raise the incline to 3 percent and walk for 2 minutes
- Reduce the incline to 1 percent and run at a comfortable speed for 2 minutes
- Raise the incline to 4 percent and walk for 3 minutes
- Reduce the incline to 1 percent and run at a comfortable speed for 3 minutes
- Raise the incline to 4 percent and walk for 4 minutes
- Reduce the incline to 1 percent and run at a comfortable speed for 4 minutes
- Do an easy jog or brisk walk for 5 minutes to cool down.
#4 Treadmill Strength Workout
To increase the effectiveness of your strength workout on the treadmill, keep the incline at 1% when you reach a steady-state pace.
This will help to increase the effort needed to maintain your pace at that incline, making the workout more efficient.
How do you do a strength workout on a treadmill?
Like any other treadmill workout, start with a 5-minute warm-up session (jog or walk).
Set the treadmill incline at 1% and walk or run at a steady-state pace for 1 minute
Increase the incline to 2% and maintain the steady-state pace for another 1 minute
Lower the incline to 1% and maintain the initial pace for 1 minute
Maintain the steady-state pace at a 3% incline for another minute
Continue alternating 1 minute at 1% incline and 1 minute at a higher incline until you reach the highest incline level on your machine, maintaining a steady-state pace throughout the workout.
Wrap up your workout with a 5-minute jog or walk to cool down.
#5 HIIT Workout
High-Intensity Interval Training is one of the best treadmill workouts for users that don’t want to stick to running or walking.
Instead, it helps to break the monotony of treadmill workouts by adding various movements between your run/ walk intervals. At the same time, it builds core and leg muscles while helping treadmill users burn a lot of calories.
Specifically, HIIT workouts cycle between quick run intervals and recovery/ cool-down periods.
Typically, they involve running at full speed for about 30 seconds after a quick warm-up session, followed by an easy jog or walk for 2 minutes.
Repeat that cycle 8 – 10 times, and your workout will be complete.
Here’s another example of a treadmill HIIT workout you can perform at home:
- A brisk walk on the machine at a comfortable pace for 2 minutes to warm up.
- Increase the treadmill speed up to level 6 and jog at that pace for 2 minutes.
- Next, walk at an easy pace for 1 minute to rest.
- Increase the treadmill speed to level 7 and run for 2 minutes
- Walk for about 30 seconds to recover
- Increase the treadmill speed to level 8 and run for 45 seconds
- Walk for another 30 seconds to recover
- Increase the treadmill speed to level 8.5 and run for 45 seconds
- Walk for 30 seconds to recover
- Increase the treadmill speed to level 9 and run for 90 seconds
- Finish your workout with a 5-minute walk to cool down
#6 Walk & Jog Intervals
If you’re just starting out on your running or recovering from injury, walk & jog intervals may be the best treadmill workout for you.
The exercise gives your body adequate warm-up time to get your muscles moving and the blood flowing. Besides, you don’t need to overexert yourself until your body is ready to pick up a faster pace.
In fact, you can set your own pace for this exercise and even start with a slow jog for the 1st several runs.
Afterward, you can increase your jogging pace for each run once you feel good and well-prepared for more.
That said, here are the steps you need to follow to keep this workout simple but effective:
- Walk for 1 minute, followed by a 1-minute jog.
- Alternate between the jog and walk intervals for about 20 to 30 minutes.
- Finish the workout with a 5-minute walk at a comfortable pace to cool down.
When performing any of these workouts, it’s important to maintain proper exercise techniques to ensure the effectiveness and safety of your routine.
In addition, you may need to adjust each workout program to achieve optimal results depending on your needs.
Last but not least, make sure you incorporate proper nutrition, rest, and warm-ups into your workout program to build body strength and see continuous progress.