Effective Hill Workouts on Incline Treadmills

Are you looking for intensive workout sessions to get in better shape quickly? Try hill workouts on incline treadmills. By using the inclined feature of your treadmill, you can maximize your workouts and burn a huge amount of calories.

The incline and decline feature of the treadmill allows you to mimic walking and running uphill and downhill.

It gives you the flexibility of increasing the intensity of workouts by adding intervals of higher intensity with various levels of incline.

With some treadmills, you can adjust the incline during your workouts while some require you to do the incline settings at the beginning of workouts. You must know how to make adjustments to the incline prior to starting your workouts.

Basics of hill workouts on incline treadmills

  • While you may be all pumped up for doing intensive hill workouts, you should follow a set routine.
  • Begin by doing warm-up routines on your treadmill for 5 to 7 minutes. You can either do level walking or walking with only a slight incline at a slower speed.
  • Go with the slower speed with a slight incline in the beginning. This will prepare your body for higher-intensity exercise.
  • Maintain a steady posture and take smaller steps for uphill walking using more incline. It is better to lean forward a bit and avoid leaning backwards.
  • Once you have achieved the comfortable speed and proper rhythm of steady uphill walking, you may get off your hands from the handrails.
  • Make gradual progress towards increasing the duration, incline, and speed of your uphill workouts on incline treadmills.

Popular hill workouts on incline treadmills

Steady-State Treadmill Hill Workouts (30 minutes)

A steady-state hill workout is designed to maintain your heart rate steady at the desired level while doing hill walking or running. You can achieve this by making changes to your incline level and speed settings.

Once you are done with your warm-up, you can experiment with different speeds and inclines for zeroing in the setting that ensures an intensive but manageable workout for 30 minutes.

You can add variety to your uphill walking or running by mixing the slow walks at higher inclines with faster walks at lower inclines.

Treadmill Threshold Interval Workouts (40 minutes)

The threshold interval workout is designed for providing high-intensity workouts during easier and harder intervals. Begin by warming up for 5 minutes with level walking at an easy pace.

Now set the pace and incline that increases your heart rate in the range of 85% to 92% of your maximum heart rate. You can use a heart rate monitor, app, or heart rate chart to find this number.

Ensure to walk for 8 minutes at 85% to 92% of your maximum heart rate. Now decrease the incline and slow the pace to walk for 2 minutes at an easy level. Repeat this cycle at least 3 to 4 times.

Powerful Hill Workout (50 minutes)

As the name suggests, it is the powerful hill workout on the incline treadmill that increases your metabolism and builds power with high-intensity interval sessions.

Begin by warming up for 5 minutes with level walking on a treadmill. Now increase the speed and run for 5 minutes.

Now start running at a 4% to 5% incline at a speed that makes you breathe vigorously and requires you to put in hard efforts for 90 seconds. Follow this with easy jogging at 0% incline for 3 minutes. Repeat this cycle 8 times.

After you are done with 8 cycles, set your speed to run easy for 5 minutes. Now walk for 2 minutes to get your breathing and heart rate down.

Hilly Tempo Workout (45 minutes)

It is a robust and high-intensity hill workout that combines a tempo run and a hill workout. It increases your redline threshold and builds your stamina for running hills.

Begin by warming up with level walking for 2 minutes. Now run easily without much effort for 8 minutes.

Run for 5 minutes at a 1% incline along with a speed that increases your effort level to zone 4. Recover by jogging or walking for 2 minutes.

Run for 5 minutes at a 2% incline along with a speed that increases your effort level to zone 4. Recover by jogging or walking for 2 minutes.

Run for 5 minutes at a 3% incline along with a speed that increases your effort level to zone 4. Recover by jogging or walking for 2 minutes.

Run for 5 minutes at a 4% incline along with a speed that increases your effort level to zone 4. Recover by jogging or walking for 2 minutes.

Now run easy for 5 minutes followed by walking for 2 minutes for bringing down your breathing and heart rate to normal levels.

Advantages of Treadmill Hill Workouts

Adding hills workouts to your treadmill routine brings the following benefits.

  • It enables you to elevate your heart rate up to higher levels at reduced speeds.
  • It provides the flexibility of doing intensive exercises in your selected intensity zone.
  • It offers a moderate level of intensity for individuals recovering from injuries or who require less impact on their joints.
  • Uphill running or walking on incline results in stretching of calves and Achilles tendon while recruiting the postural muscles in new ways.
  • It provides an excellent workout for the calves, quadriceps, and glutes in the buttocks.
  • It gives you a variety of hill workouts for avoiding any treadmill boredom.

How many calories do you burn walking uphill?

When you walk uphill or add incline to a treadmill workout, you end up burning more calories per mile. As per the American College of Sports Medicine, with every 1% of the grade, there is a 12% increase in the number of calories burned.

This is equivalent to 10 more calories per mile for a person weighing 150 pounds. It means by 10% grade you would burn twice as many calories per mile. Thus hiking leads to the burning of many more calories per mile as compared to walking.

MET findings show that you burn 6.6% fewer calories per mile when going downhill as compared to walking on flat ground. It is equivalent to burning 5 fewer calories per mile for a person weighing 150 pounds.

Walking a 1-mile uphill followed by a 1-mile downhill walk would burn 43 more calories in a person weighing 150 pounds than walking for 2 miles on flat ground.


Hills workouts on an incline treadmill provide robust ways of intensive exercise sessions with treadmill workouts. It helps you to burn more calories over the same amount of distance and time as walking on flat ground.

With hill running or walking, you can improve your aerobic capacity and stamina. It helps you to achieve higher fitness standards. It strengthens the muscles in your legs and butts so that you can endure exercises while performing squats, lunges, and plyometric jumps.

Include more hill workouts in your treadmill sessions that challenge your body and engage your muscles in different ways than running on flat grounds. It enables you to run faster and get the benefits of actual hill running without actually running faster.


Preksha is passionate about writing articles that will inspire readers to make better choices. You will find her eating desserts for lunch, dinner and any time of the day. Also, she is the chief playlist engineer for any road trip.

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