4 Treadmill Incline Workouts To Burn Calories And Boost Fitness

by Сашка

Want to ramp up your treadmill workout for a higher intensity workout that burns more calories and gets your heart rate up? The incline treadmill workout is about to be your new best friend.

Read on to find out why you should try an incline treadmill walking workout (or even a running incline workout!) and get your pick of the best incline treadmill workouts to try.

Jump straight to the workouts here:

  • Best incline treadmill workout for beginners
  • Best 20 incline treadmill workout
  • Best incline treadmill workout for weight and fat loss
  • Best 30 minute incline workout

What Are The Benefits Of Incline Treadmill Workouts?

Adding an incline may not seem like it’s doing much but there are plenty of benefits that come with:



  • Burns more calories. When you walk on an incline, you are moving against gravity and your bodyweight acts as resistance. Your leg muscles have to work harder to move against this resistance, which means more muscle fibres are recruited and more calories are burnt.

  • Works the cardiovascular system more. The added intensity that comes from incline workouts mean the heart has to beat faster to supply the muscles with oxygen and nutrients, making incline workouts a great way to challenge and improve cardiovascular health.

  • Engages different muscles. Incline treadmill workouts engage the body slightly differently. The glutes and quads have to work harder, as do the muscles that make up the calves, the smaller peroneal muscles that sit to the side of the calf, and the tibialis anterior muscle which sits on the shins.

  • Adds variety to your workout. If you find treadmill workouts monotonous, changing the incline can help to add variety and keep things more exciting.

  • Improves everyday stamina. Building up your endurance for incline walking will allow you to battle hilly terrain with ease when you are out and about.

Why Are Incline Workouts So Hard?

Incline workouts are very challenging, and the greater the incline the harder they feel. This is because walking or running on an incline involves moving the weight of your entire body up against gravity. It also utilises the leg muscles differently, so if you’re new to incline walking they may not be conditioned in this movement. As you practice incline walking more, it will get less challenging, although it’s unlikely to ever feel easy!

Can Anyone Do Incline Treadmill Workouts?

Incline treadmill workouts are suitable for all abilities, and it is easy to adjust the speed and incline to match your fitness level. If you’re new to incline workouts, it’s important to build up your exposure gradually to allow the muscles and tendons to get used to working in this new position. Ways you can do this include:



  • Starting on the lowest incline

  • Keeping initial incline workouts to 10 minutes

  • Alternating walking on an incline with walking on a fast surface

Read also:
Functional Ab Workout

As your body adjusts, you can increase the incline, the speed, or the duration to make the workouts more challenging.

Never used a treadmill before? Check out our beginner guide to the treadmill here.

Incline Treadmill Workouts To Try

Below are some treadmill incline workouts for different levels and goals. You can adjust the speed or incline to make the workouts more or less challenging if needed. You should avoid using a speed or incline where you need to hold onto the

Beginner incline treadmill workout

This 10 minute incline treadmill workout is ideal for beginners who want to build up their stamina and get their muscles used to incline walking. Including the warm up and cool down, this is just 16 minutes.



  • Warm up: 3 minutes

    • Speed: 5kph
    • Incline: 0%
  • Workout: 10 minutes

    • Speed: 5kph
    • Incline: 5%
  • Cooldown: 3 minutes

    • Speed: 4kph
    • Incline: 0%

20 minute incline treadmill workout

If you’re ready to take it up a notch, this 20 minute incline treadmill workout maintains a high intensity while altering incline and speed to keep the workout interesting.



  • Warm up: 5 minutes

    • Speed: 5kph
    • Incline: 0%
  • Workout: 20 minutes

    • High incline, low speed: 4 minutes
      • Speed: 4kph
      • Incline: 15%
    • Low incline, high speed: 3 minutes
      • Speed: 6.5kph
      • Incline: 2%
    • Recovery: 3 minutes
      • Speed: 5kph
      • Incline: 0.5%
    • High incline, low speed: 4 minutes
      • Speed: 4kph
      • Incline: 15%
    • Low incline, high speed: 3 minutes
      • Speed: 6.5kph
      • Incline: 2%
    • Recovery: 3 minutes
  • Cooldown: 5 minutes

    • Speed: 4kph
    • Incline: 0%

Fat burning incline treadmill workout

Looking for the best incline treadmill workout for weight loss? This interval workout combines high calorie burning intervals with low intensity recovery periods to burn a higher number of calories in a shorter period of time.



  • Warm up: 5 minutes

    • Speed: 5kph
    • Incline: 0%
  • Workout: 15 minutes

    • High intensity interval: 1 minute
      • Speed: Choose a speed that you can run at for 1 minute, but not much longer
      • Incline: 5%
    • Recovery interval: 2 minutes
      • Speed: 4kph
      • Incline: 1%
    • Repeat 5 times
  • Cooldown: 5 minutes

    • Speed: 4kph
    • Incline: 0%

12-3-30 Treadmill Workout

The 12-3-30 treadmill workout is an incline workout that has become popular after trending on social media and is named after the treadmill settings and workout time: 12% incline, 3mph (that’s 5kph for UK treadmills), for 30 minutes. Because it requires just one speed and incline throughout, it’s great for people who want to get a workout in without having to think about what they’re doing.

While the official trend doesn’t include a warm up or cool down, we recommend adding these in.



  • Warm up: 5 minutes

    • Speed: 5kph
    • Incline: 0%
  • Workout: 30 minutes

    • Incline: 12%
    • Speed: 5kph
  • Cooldown: 5 minutes

    • Speed: 4kph
    • Incline: 1%

Try adding in one or more of these incline workouts 2-3 times a week to see an improvement in your cardio fitness levels. For well rounded fitness, make sure to include some strength training and flexibility work each week too – find your nearest gym here to get started.

Looking for more ways to workout on the treadmill? Step it up a note with these treadmill HIIT workouts.

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