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Burn Fat and Get Fit with these 10 Treadmill Workouts

Girl on treadmill

Good treadmill workouts not only help with fat burning and weight loss, but numerous studies show that improved fitness from running improves heart health.

So, whether you’re trying to lose weight, train for a 5K race, or just need an excuse to get out there and stay active, there’s plenty of evidence showing that running is one of the most beneficial ways to exercise available.

Benefits of Treadmill Workouts

  • Treadmills are easier to use than other gym equipment
  • You can program fat burning workout into the treadmill, so you can just set it and go
  • You can easily keep track of the progress you are making over time
  • You only need to set aside as little as 10 minutes of your time each day
  • A motorised treadmill will force you to maintain the right pace – hard to do outside.
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Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T1407M Foldable Manual Walking Treadmill
JLL T350 Digital Folding Treadmill, 2021 New Generation Digital Control 4.5HP Motor, 20 Incline Levels,0.3km/h to 18km/h, 20 Programmes, Bluetooth & Speakers, 2-Year Parts&Labor,5-Year Motor Cover
CITYSPORTS Treadmill 440W Motor,Electric Walking Machine Bluetooth Built-in Speakers,Adjustable Speed, LCD Screen&Calorie Counter,Ultra Thin and Silent,Intended for Home/Office
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T1407M Foldable Manual Walking Treadmill
Best Seller
JLL T350 Digital Folding Treadmill, 2021 New Generation Digital Control 4.5HP Motor, 20 Incline Levels,0.3km/h to 18km/h, 20 Programmes, Bluetooth & Speakers, 2-Year Parts&Labor,5-Year Motor Cover
JLL T350 Digital Folding Treadmill, 2021 New Generation Digital Control 4.5HP Motor, 20 Incline Levels,0.3km/h to 18km/h, 20 Programmes, Bluetooth & Speakers, 2-Year Parts&Labor,5-Year Motor Cover
Our Pick
CITYSPORTS Treadmill 440W Motor,Electric Walking Machine Bluetooth Built-in Speakers,Adjustable Speed, LCD Screen&Calorie Counter,Ultra Thin and Silent,Intended for Home/Office
CITYSPORTS Treadmill 440W Motor,Electric Walking Machine Bluetooth Built-in Speakers,Adjustable Speed, LCD Screen&Calorie Counter,Ultra Thin and Silent,Intended for Home/Office
Best Budget
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T1407M Foldable Manual Walking Treadmill
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T1407M Foldable Manual Walking Treadmill

Recommended Treadmill Features

There are some key features that will help you get the most of out of your treadmill workouts.

While fancy LCD touchscreens and patented shock absorption systems are nice to have, I recommend you get a treadmill with at least the following features:

  • A decent motor with enough horsepower for speeds of 10km/ hour or more
  • At least one user defined treadmill workout program available
  • Power incline (so you don’t have to get off to change the incline level)

Before you buy a treadmill check out as many treadmill reviews as possible and get the best advice on selecting a treadmill that fits your needs and budget.

Tracking Your Progress

Treadmill led display for tracking progress

Most treadmills have a LED display that can help you track your progress during your treadmill workout. If not, be sure to keep a journal and log all your times, speeds, incline levels, and distances so you can clearly see how much progress you are making as you advance.

Keeping track of your progress can also help you calculate how many calories you are burning during each session.

Best Treadmill for You?

If you don't have your own treadmill yet check out our buying advise, recommendations for overweight beginners, and price comparison table to pick the best treadmill for your needs and budget.

Variety is the Spice of Life

When incorporating treadmill workout as part of your exercise routine make sure you add in some workout variety.

If you stick to doing the same routine every time, then the number of calories you burn will become reduce over time as your body adapts to the movements and your muscles become more efficient - making the treadmill workout both easier and less effective.

Not only do regular changes keep your body challenged but it will also keep your mind engaged and help you stay motivated.

Measuring Intensity

Most of the programs below use an intensity level instead of an actual speed. This is how hard the effort feels. Called “rate of perceived exertion (RPE)” if you want to get technical.

I think this is more helpful as everyone is starting at a different level of fitness.
So just jump on the treadmill and manually increase the speed until it feels about the right match for the level of intensity and amount time you need to run.

Intensity Level
(out of 10)

Description

2

Comfortable Walking speed

4

Power or Fast Walking (almost jogging)

6

Slow-Medium Jogging (can just still hold a conversation)

8

Running (a pace you could hold for only 5-10 mins)

10

Sprinting Hard (in 2 min you’ll be gasping on the floor)!

Once you get a handle on a particular workout you can program your speeds into the treadmill for next time. As you get fitter and the workout gets easier just nudge the speed and incline up until to get back to the right intensity level.

And when you put the speed up it means you’re fitter – congratulations!

Moving up the incline

Some treadmills only have 3 incline levels available, some have 20. Some use percentages, some use arbitrary numbers like 1 through 5.

I use low, medium, and high in these treadmill workout descriptions – so you can more easily fit the workout to your model of treadmill. Again, play around with the incline until you hit the right intensity.

How to use this guide

Treadmill workout

In this article I give you 10 great treadmill workout routines to help you torch fat fast and get you back into shape quickly without having to spend hours slogging away. Who doesn’t want that!

Jump straight to the workout you want from the table of contents below or read through this article and see what takes you fancy. Let's start your treadmill weight loss plan today! 

Depending on your workout plan (how long you run and how often), it's possible to lose weight quite quickly. 

Let’s get started!

Treadmill 500-Calorie Workout

If you want to lose weight fast, then try this treadmill workout routine designed to burn 500+ calories in just over half an hour. 

Everyone’s metabolic rate differs but the calculating the calories you burn when running depends mostly on your weight and running speed.

You can get an estimate for your own specific calorie ‘burn rate’ when running from the handy myfitnesspal calculator.

This routine is based on an average person who burns 500 calories in 35 minutes of moderate intensity running.

Time (mins)

Intensity

Incline

Description

0 - 5

4

Low

Warm up

5 - 10

6

Low

Up the pace fast walk/ slow jog

10 - 15

8

Low

Running pretty hard here

15 - 20

4

Low

Active Recovery Walking    

20 - 25

6

Low

Up the tempo

25- 30

8

Low

Get after it!

30 - 35

4

Low

Cool down

This a ‘ladder workout’ where you slowly increase your speed, then back off and do it again.

The warm-up and cool-down are built-in with a low intensity.

10-Minute Treadmill Workout

If you only have a small amount of time to squeeze in a workout, try this treadmill workout routine.

It uses intervals to up the intensity, so you get the most out of your 10 minutes.

Start by maintaining a consistent pace as you slowly climb to the top of a moderate hill. As you decrease the incline, steadily increase the pace and end in a flat one-minute run.

This treadmill workout plan is designed with intermediate users in mind and includes incline changes.

Time (mins)

Intensity

Incline

Description

0 - 2

6

Flat

Get in the groove

3 - 4

6

Low

Turn it up  

5 - 6

6

Med

Go hard

7 - 8

8

High

Climb the mountain

9 - 10

8

Low

Sprint down the hill

You’ve only got 10 mins so the warm up is built in to the program. You’ll need to warm down walking to your next activity for the day!

20-Minute Treadmill Workout

This killer twenty-minute treadmill workout mimics a tough outdoor run. Your incline will vary from a flat road to a steep hill. 

This treadmill workout alternates raising your heart rate (during the tough hills) and dropping your heart rate back down (a little) during active recovery periods on lower inclines.

Time (mins)

Intensity

Incline

Description

0 - 2

3 - 4

Flat

Warm up

3 - 4

4

Flat

Active Recovery

5 - 6

6

Low

Power Walking

7 - 8

4

Flat

Active Recovery

9 - 10

8

Low

Running

11- 12

4

Flat

Active Recovery

13 - 14

9

Low

Flat out sprinting!

15 - 16

4

Flat

Active Recovery

17 - 18

6

Low

Jogging

19 - 20

3 - 4

Flat

Cool down

Beginners may want to start slower with no or only a slight incline. You will then increase your speed and incline slightly in 2-minute intervals as you progress.

30-Minute Treadmill Workout

This is the perfect thirty-minute treadmill workout. It will introduce you to endurance, speed and incline training in one treadmill workout! 

This treadmill workout for weight loss can also be adapted to more advanced runners by increasing the speed and incline of each interval.

Time (mins)

Intensity

Incline

Description

0 - 10

5

Flat

Warm up/ endurance/ jogging

10 - 12

8

Low

Fast Running

12 - 14

4

Flat

Active Recovery

14 - 16

8

Low

Fast Running

16 - 18

4

Flat

Active Recovery

18 - 20

8

Low

Fast Running

20 - 30

5

Flat

Endurance/ jogging/ warm down

HIIT Treadmill Workout

With High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), you can take advantage of the benefits that can come with running with intensive bursts of effort. 

The high-intensity treadmill workout involves anaerobic exercise, combined with rest periods, or active recovery at low speeds.

HIIT training will help burn more calories by treadmill workout than if you were just to do a steady cardio training session.

HIIT training keeps the treadmill workout challenging and keeps your metabolism elevated long after you’ve finished the workout. You will continue to reap the rewards of elevated metabolism for up to two days afterwards!

This treadmill workout to burn fat allows you to ‘pick you own adventure’. In-between the warm-up and cool down you get to decide on the number of sprint repeats you do based on how you’re feeling that day, or how much time you have available.

This treadmill workout uses a 1:2 work to rest ratio. You may think you can go again after less this amount of rest – but don’t. It’s more important that you go faster in the work set than make it harder by cutting the rest shorter.

Time (mins)

Intensity

Incline

Description

10 mins

5

Flat

Warm up/ endurance/ jogging

- 1 min

9

Low

Fast Running

- 2 mins

3

Flat

Active Recovery

- repeat the fast running/ recovery 4 to 10 times.

This treadmill workout is harder than it looks!

Fat Burning Treadmill Workout

Treadmill fat burning workouts

If burning away fat is your primary goal and more important that maximising fitness (or at least initially) one method that will be helpful in burning fat will be daily brisk walking treadmill workouts.

The goal here is to walk daily at a steady pace so you don’t need rest days. This adds up to more calories burned that fasting jogging only done a couple of times a week.

Maybe you are wondering how to use a treadmill for weight loss or burn.

The pace is all important for this, I could give you a complicated formula for your heart rate to make sure you stay in the optimal fat burning zone, but who wants that?

The easy way to know you’ve got the right pace is that you can still breath through your nose – easy!

So, jump on the treadmill start at a brisk walking speed – focusing on your breathing. If you need to start breathing through your mouth stop until you recover, then drop the speed down and continue.

Start out at 20 minutes per day. The goal is to work your way up to a hour a day. I know this seems a lot, but you’ll be surprised how quickly you can progress.

Try to walk at least 5 days a week. Once it starts to feel easy bump the time up by 5 minutes a day for the next week.

Soon you’ll be doing 60 minute treadmill workouts!

Incline Treadmill Workout

This treadmill workout changes the incline to mimic outdoor hill running.

The incline adds intensity really focusing the workout on your posterior. This is a great treadmill workout if you want to focus on your 'butt' or glute muscles.

Time (mins)

Intensity

Incline

Description

10 mins

4

Low

Warm up/ endurance/ jogging

- 3 mins

6

Low

Jogging

- 2 mins

8

Low

Active Recovery

- repeat 5 times

5 mins

6

Low

Active Recovery/ Cool down

Treadmill Sprint Workout

To keep your fitness routine challenging, it is important to keep changing it up, or you will stop seeing results as your body gets used to doing the same thing every day. Enter the sprint treadmill workout.

This treadmill workout does have some risk of injury if you are new to running. So I recommend you speed a few weeks on some of the other less intensive workouts.

This will give your legs a chance to build you up some resilience below full out sprinting.

Another little trick we will use is to set the treadmill to a low incline. This greatly reduces the risk of a hamstring injury.

This treadmill workout is based on a 1:4 ratio of work to rest. It’s important you don’t shortcut the rest even if you feel ready to sprint again.

The focus here is to make the treadmill workout hard by ensuring the sprint is a ‘maximum effort’.

Ok, let’s do this!

Time (mins)

Intensity

Incline

Description

10 mins

4-5

Low

Warm up/ endurance/ jogging

30 sec

6

Low

Sprint

2 mins

8

Low

Active Recovery

30 sec

4

Low

 Sprint

2 mins

6

Low

Active Recovery

30 sec

8

Low

Sprint

2 mins

4

Low

Active Recovery

30 sec

10

Low

Sprint

10 mins

4 -5

Low

Active Recovery/ Cool down

Treadmill Power Walking Workout

The power walking treadmill workout combines butt-toning hills with calorie-burning cardio to work your hamstrings and glutes all while keeping the pace reasonable.

This is a fantastic fat burn treadmill workout and you won’t have a chance to get bored with this workout!

Time (mins)

Intensity

Incline

Description

0 - 5

4

Flat

Warm up walk

5 - 10

5

Flat

Up the tempo

10 - 15

6

Flat

Power Walk – almost running

15 - 20

4

Med

Easier pace but up a hill

20 - 25

5

Med

Up the tempo

25- 30

6

Med

Power walking – this is the hard set

30 - 35

5

Flat

Solid pace on the flat

35 - 40

4

Flat

Cool down/ active recovery

If you want to challenge yourself more, increase the incline setting one level for the whole treadmill workout.

5K Treadmill Workout

If you want to get into running more regularly, a great entry point is to sign up for a 5K race. This type of run is a realistic goal for any beginning runner.

If you are new to running it generally takes two to three months to train for a 5K race.

If you have a goal time figure out the speed you’ll need to hold to make that time. For example, if you want to the 5k in 30 mins that means a treadmill pace of at least 10km/hr.

A good reality check is to just jump on the treadmill plug in the target pace and see how long you can hold it.

Now back to the workout! This treadmill workout is based on completing the 5k distance but varying the pace.

This means you’ll get used to the distance and running at race pace or faster, but won’t wreck yourself in the process.

Distance (m)

Intensity

Incline

Description

1,000

4

Flat

Warm up/ endurance/ jogging

1,000

8

Flat

Hit your race pace or 8/10 intensity

1,000

4

Flat

Active recovery fast walking

1,000

8

Flat

Hit your race pace or 8/10 intensity

1,000

4

Flat

Cool down/ endurance/ jogging

There – you’ve just done 5k! This treadmill workout should be done on a flat incline. If your actual 5k is hilly make sure you do some incline workouts during the week.

This should be your big run for the week. To make sure you are prepared mix in some of the other workouts for a total of 3-4 runs per week.

If you can maintain this schedule, you will be in an excellent position to complete the 5K race. Good luck!

Treadmill Dancing (Bonus Treadmill Workout)

If you begin to tire of the routines that you are performing weekly, take a break and have some fun with treadmill dancing. Like this:

You can play your favourite songs and come up with your routine or even combine your other routines. It will keep you interested enough to keep getting on the treadmill to lose that weight and reach your fitness goals.

Conclusion

Get fit with treadmill workout

With all the benefits to maintaining a regular fitness schedule there are many different reasons to take up running.

While you may be hesitant to start your running journey, it is important to remember that even a few steps are a strong beginning.

Consider starting with the fat burning treadmill or the 10-minute workouts on your own treadmill, giving you the chance to start running in a controlled environment.

Then work your way up to the HIIT and even 5k workouts.

We shared our treadmill workouts to lose weight. Now it’s over to you. Time to take the first step!

FAQS

How Do I Burn More Fat On a Treadmill?

As mentioned, sticking to the same routine every time or running at the same pace for hours makes your body adapt to the same movements and exercise. As a result, the treadmill workout becomes easier, less effective and importantly, you won't be burning fat.

So, it's best to mix different speeds. Interval training guarantees you have the most out of the treadmill experience. Begin with an easy jog and, over time, ramp up the pace to a sprint for 45 seconds. Then, recuperate for a few seconds and repeat the process many times.

Alternatively, especially if you don't fathom the idea of sprint ups, you can increase the incline to your most challenging point. Trying out different incline levels engages more muscles in your body hence burning more fat. Incorporate these two techniques, and you will get the best results from your treadmill workout. 

Is A Treadmill Good For Losing Belly Fat?

Yes. A treadmill is one of the most effective ways to lose belly fat. Even more, you can get rid of the visceral fat lying beneath your stomach muscles for good. So constantly putting in several minutes, 30 minutes, on a treadmill every day is a powerful tool for fighting belly fat.

Use the different speeds and incline techniques to ensure your heart rate is perfect for fat burning. Still, you must include healthy eating, watching your calories intake, and lifestyle choices for the best results.  

What's The Best Incline Level To Not Hurt Your Legs?

First, it's vital to seek help or consult an exercise specialist if it's your first time on a treadmill. As you begin to ramp up the intensity of your workout, increasing the treadmill's speed and incline, you may feel some pain around the knee joints.

A 3% incline on the treadmill is comparable to the outside ground. Working out between 0.5% and 3% inclines alleviates pressure from your knees that may have caused pain and irritation on the knee joint. 

Setting the incline on the very flat level, 0%, is not suitable for your legs. Also, walking on high slopes for long periods puts excessive pressure on your knees, causing irritation and pain.

Can I Burn Fat On A Treadmill Without Running?

You can burn fat on the treadmill without having to run. For starters, increasing the inclination, walking on a higher slope is an effective workout to burn calories. However, walking on very high inclines for long periods may cause injuries and pain to your leg.

Other possible ways to burn fat on the treadmill without running include: walking backwards, opposite your usual workout. Your back has to face the front of the treadmill. You might need some practice before trying out this technique.

Also, walking normally and concurrently lifting your arms upwards and moving them in a circular motion can be effective. Drop the arms after a few minutes to your side. Repeat the process several times. 

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Last update on 2021-09-23 / Amazon Product Advertising API

About the author

I'm Jamie and I test out new models in sports retailers, or buy and sell them new or second hand so I can review a wide range of models and put together the best advise on which treadmill is right for you. So if you are looking for a cheap treadmill for walking, a gym quality treadmill to run sprints, or something in-between I can point you in the right direction.