Walking or running uphill on the treadmill is great for targeting your booty and adding an extra challenge to your cardio session. "The longer you're up on the incline, the more your hamstrings and glutes are going to fire up," Peloton Tread instructor and RRCA-certified run coach Becs Gentry told POPSUGAR. If you're new to inclines, though, Becs has a few pointers since, like anything you're doing for the first time, you'll want to ease into it and stay safe.
Becs said that beginners tend to have this fear that, as the treadmill gets higher, the belt gets shorter, which makes them crowd the front of the treadmill. "They come very close to the crossbar and then that inhibits them from actually running with proper form because they haven't got the space to lift their knees and drive their arms efficiently," she explained. Due to this, she suggested that they refrain from going any higher than an incline of about eight percent for an extended period of time if they're jogging or running. Walking on those higher inclines with proper form, she said, is fine.
Beginners, Becs continued, should ease into these uphill treadmill runs by walking on a four- or five-percent incline, then gradually taking up the speed every 20 seconds. Staying on that incline, decrease the speed back to a walk, then up again. "If you're like 'OK, I'm up here for a while, but I'm allowed to walk, too,' it could give you that momentum to keep going," Becs said.
If you're unsure how to incorporate intervals of incline runs into your treadmill session, no worries! Becs gave us a 20-minute workout you can try out yourself. And, you can also find more beginner hill classes on the Peloton Digital app.
20-Minute Beginner Incline Running Treadmill Workout
This workout consists of a five-minute warmup, intervals of hill climbs interspersed with recovery walks and jogs, and a four-minute hill decline with 15-second intervals. As you climb those hills and the incline goes up, feel free to slow your pace. In fact, Becs said that's preferred. The speed ranges seen below are simply suggestions. You'll only be on a 10-percent incline twice during the workout for 15 seconds each time.
Note: when you see "confident steady run" below, it means the kind of pace you can sustain for a long period of time while having a light conversation, according to Becs. Of course, you can dial the intensity up or down depending your fitness level. Here are some dynamic warmup moves and static cooldown stretches to do as well. Have at it!
Time Speed (MPH) Incline Notes 0:00-5:00 2-4.5 0 Warmup walk/jog 5:00-7:00 4.5-6 2 Confident steady run 7:00-8:30 4.5-6 3 Confident steady run 8:30-9:30 4.5-6 4 Confident steady run 9:30-10:00 4.5-6 5 Confident steady run 10:00-10:15 4.5-6 6 Confident steady run 10:15-10:30 4.5-6 7 Confident steady run 10:30-12:00 2-3.5 0 Recover walk 12:00-13:00 3-4.5 0 Jog 13:00-13:45 4.5-6 8 Confident steady run 13:45-14:15 4.5-6 9 Confident steady run 14:15-14:30 4.5-6 10 Confident steady run 14:30-16:00 2-3.5 0 Recover walk 16:00-16:15 2-3.5 10 Fast walk/light jog 16:15-16:30 2-3.5 8 Walk 16:30-16:45 4.5-6 8 Confident steady run 16:45-17:00 2-3.5 6 Walk 17:00-17:15 4.5-6 6 Confident steady run 17:15-17:30 2-3.5 6 Walk 17:30-17:45 4.5-6 6 Confident steady run 17:45-18:00 2-3.5 6 Walk 18:00-18:15 4.5-6 6 Confident steady run 18:15-18:30 2-3.5 4 Walk 18:30-18:45 4.5-6 4 Confident steady run 18:45-19:00 2-3.5 4 Walk 19:00-19:15 4.5-6 4 Confident steady run 19:15-19:30 2-3.5 4 Walk 19:30-19:45 4.5-6 4 Confident steady run 19:45-20:00 2-3.5 3 Walk