How to Do HIIT Treadmill Workouts

How to Do HIIT Treadmill Workouts

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Alternate sprinting and walking to make your treadmill workout more intense.

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High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, alternates short bursts of exercise performed at near-maximum effort with longer periods of moderate exercise. HIIT increases your workout's overall intensity and helps improve your endurance and all-around fitness while burning more fat than standard workouts. Perform an HIIT workout using almost any form of aerobic exercise, including treadmill training.


Warm up with five to 10 minutes of light aerobic exercise. To warm up on the treadmill, simply walk for five to 10 minutes at a low speed -- about 30 percent to 40 percent of your maximum effort -- with no incline.


Step off the treadmill and perform some dynamic leg stretches. Do at least 10 repetitions each of stretch -- such as leg kicks, walking with high knees and butt kicks -- to hit all your major lower-body muscle groups. Return to the treadmill and walk at a moderate pace for a minute.


Begin your first interval by increasing the treadmill's speed and sprinting at 80 percent to 95 percent of your maximum effort for 30 seconds.


Reduce your speed to about 50 percent to 60 percent of your best effort and walk for 90 seconds to complete one interval. Perform eight intervals.


Cool down by walking at a slow pace for about five minutes, then perform static stretches of your hamstrings, quads and calves.


  • Experiment with different time intervals and speeds to determine which suits you best. Increase your sprinting time if you decrease your sprinting intensity, or decrease the time if you sprint harder.
  • Consult a trainer to help develop a workout that suits your needs.
  • Perform interval workouts twice a week for six weeks. Doing HIIT training more frequently may lead to greater risk of injury.
  • Program your treadmill, if possible, instead of switching your speed manually.


  • Speak with your physician before you begin an HIIT program to make sure the routine isn't too intense for you.
  • Attach the treadmill's safety device to your clothing so the treadmill will stop if you fall.
  • Stop your HIIT workout and seek medical assistance if you feel pain, dizziness, nausea or shortness of breath.
  • Changing treadmill speeds from moderate to intense can be tricky. If you're new to HIIT training, practice with small increases and decreases in speed, then work your way up to more aggressive transitions.