The 20-Minute Hill Hike Treadmill Workout

After a quick look at my running workouts page, I recently realized that I don’t have a lot of treadmill workouts on the blog. So that had to change ASAP.

I have already added five treadmill workout posts to my editorial calendar, and hopefully I will get to publish them before the end of this month.

I have already posted the first workout here. If you are a beginner then you should check that out.

The Treadmill Hike Workout

So today I present to you: The incline walk treadmill workout.

This is a treadmill workout that’s low on the intensity scale compared to the other running workouts I usually share on my blog, but it does not mean that it’s easy.

This simple and short workout will push your muscles and cardiovascular system to the max without putting too much stress on your joints and body. Hopefully, you will like it and do it much more often.

Benefits of Treadmill Incline Training

Here is a bullet list of the benefits you are going to reap from doing treadmill hikes:

Builds lower body muscles. Walking (and running) at full incline is ideal for building muscle in the glutes and legs. By exercising on a steep incline, you also build more muscles in your upper and lower thighs, calves and ankles.

In fact, when you walk on a 9 percent incline you can boost up the activation of your glutes maximus, the main muscle in the glutes, by 345 percent, your bicep femoris, a quadriceps muscle, by 630 percent and a calf muscle known the gastrocnemius, by up to 175 percent, when compared to walking at 0 incline, according to a gait & posture study by the University of Colorado.

Good Stretch. A steep incline can also stretch your calves, thereby helping building flexible and lean calf muscles—key for a stronger push-off and injury prevention.

Boosts heart rate. Opting for full inclination on the treadmill boosts your heart rate without the need to change your walking speed. This can come in handy if you are a beginner, or recovering from an injury and want to put the least amount possible of stress on your body.

Kills boredom. The treadmill can get tedious and boring. In fact, the typical treadmill workouts are so dull. You hop on the machine, start rolling and go until it’s time to stop, all this without leaving your place.

Good news is treadmill hikes are excellent for changing up your treadmill workouts, breathing more life to your treadmill workouts, and making them more enjoyable and challenging at the same it.

Varity, after all, is the spice of life.

Burns mad calories. Walking on the treadmill at full inclination burns more calories than walking at the same speed on zero incline. Why? Because incline training forces your body to push harder, thus leading to more energy expenditure.

Emulates outdoor running. The incline option gives you the opportunity to mimic a run on natural terrain anytime of the day or season, even in the comfort of your own home, without fretting about extreme weather conditions or safety concerns.

Make your workout more challenging and feel more “real”.

Great for hiking. If you do any sort of hiking or mountain climbing, this workout will come in handy because it will help you build endurance and strength for uphill climbing. For more challenge, carry a 25-pound backpack and put your hiking boots and gear.

Stay fit all year round. The treadmill is a great piece of machinery. It can offer you the opportunity to walk and run indoors without braving freezing temperatures, dark mornings or unfriendly terrain. So it can really help you get fit and stay that way all year round.

Low Impact. This workout routine is also great if you are out of shape or nursing an injury because it’s low impact, but really challenging.

A 20-Minute Hike Treadmill Workout

Most treadmills have an incline option, with models going up to 15 percent grade, or even more. But in case your treadmill does not go all the way up to 15 degrees, you could always use a 10 percent incline. If you are looking for challenge, then speed it up a bit and adjust your speed accordingly.

Try this 20 minute hike treadmill workout. Do this workout two to three times a week to build endurance and strength indoor.

If you are a beginner, or really out of shape, start with a speed of 2.5 to 3 mph and stick with it. However, if you are advanced and know what you are doing here, then you can up the ante and go up to 5 mph.

Just keep in mind that you are the boss. You call the shots. So feel free to adjust the incline and speed so that you still receive a challenge tailored to your own fitness level and goals.

Beginners be careful. If this is your first time on the treadmill, then be careful and do not go all out on your first few training sessions. Instead, start with incline level you can walk on without much trouble, around 4 to 6 for the beginners, then gradually increase the incline and intensity with each workout as you get stronger and fitter.

Plus, please be extra careful if you have any problems with your hip flexors, whether it’s injury or tightness. Steep incline can cause pain, even injury, to those muscles.

Without further ado, here is the routine:

First Five-Minute

Start the routine with a proper warm-up. Walk or jog slowly for five minutes then start to gradually and slowly increase the incline by increments of 1% every minute (while keeping the same speed), so that by the end of the first five minutes you are at a 4 to 5 percent incline.

Two-Minute Incline

Increase your incline to 8 to 10 percent and keep the same speed. Shoot for a level of perceived exertion of 7, on a scale of 1 to 10.

One-Minute Recovery

Reduce your incline to 4 to 5 percent but keep the same speed. Recover and get ready for next round.

Three-Minute Incline

Increase your incline to 12 percent and keep it up for two minutes. For more challenge, you can increase the speed as well, but keep your RPE less than a 8, on a scale of 0 to 10.

One-Minute Recovery

Reduce your incline to 4 and recover.

Four-Minute incline

This is the longest and hardest incline interval. Increase your incline to 15 then stick with it for at least four minutes. Keep good form at all time. Shoot for an RPE of 9. Push your hardest here.

Five-Minute Cool Down

Congratulations! You made it.

Now slowly and gradually reduce your incline to 2 percent and jog slowly for 5 minutes to cool down.

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I love this hike treadmill workout and I’m sure you gonna grow fond of too. So please do the above workout as soon as you can, and remember to stay within your fitness level.

In the meantime thank you for reading my post.

Feel free to leave your comments and questions below.


David D.

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