3 Treadmill Incline Running Workouts For Weight Loss

Treadmill Hill Walking

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By Simon Gould

When it comes to weight loss running pretty much beats everything hands down. You'll burn at least 100 calories per mile. Running is described by the CDC as vigorous physical activity.

CDC says you only need to do 1 hour and 15 minutes a week for substantial health benefits. That's doable and one of the many benefits is the regulating of your weight. If you eat a good diet as well as the exercise you'll be looking better in quick time.

For these running workouts we're assuming you can run 20 minutes. If you can't then consider our couch to 5k. That will get you from running a minute at a time to 30 minutes in one go. It will start you losing weight then these hill workouts will finish the job.

Hill running is quite hard so we'll try and take it easy. Change the incline if you're struggling in the middle of a run. As this is for treadmills we're going by minutes of running.

Treadmill incline workout #1

We're not going to get you just running at an incline and leave it at that. You're going to have recovery runs in between the heavy hills. The speed of your run is up to you. Try and keep at the same speed throughout the run and only the incline will change. If you don't have miles on your treadmill then substitute it for kilometers:

  • 5 minutes 0% incline warm up
  • 1 mile 2% incline
  • 2 minutes 0%
  • 1 mile 3%
  • 2 minutes 0%
  • 1 mile 4%
  • 5 minutes 0% cool down

Treadmill incline workout #2

This is a pyramid workout. You can tell that by the pattern of the inclines. This one will get the calories burning and the weight will drop off. There is a peak at the middle, if you find this hard reduce the speed but leave the incline as it is. The 2 mile middle run is the longer of the runs you will see:

  • 5 minutes 0% incline warm up
  • 1 mile 2% incline
  • 2 minutes 0%
  • 2 miles 3%
  • 2 minutes 0%
  • 1 mile 2%
  • 5 minutes 0% cool down

Treadmill incline workout #3

The last workout will have you running at the same incline each time. It will be quite steep and is repeated with recovery breaks in between. Make sure you fully recover and if not, run easy for a further minute. This is the hardest one but you'll see amazing results if you can stick to it regularly:

  • 5 minutes 0% incline warm up
  • 1 mile 4% incline
  • 3 minutes 0%
  • Repeat 3 times
  • 5 minutes 0% cool down

What speed do I go?

As you're running to lose weight, I'm assuming you maybe slightly heavier for your frame. So when it comes to speed you really don't need to run very fast. I always recommend around 5 mph or more. You're not exercising to win a race but to lose weight. You can do that at any speed.

The fact that you are actually running and not walking means you're doing vigorous exercise as per the World Health Organization. You will lose weight quite quickly if you can regularly do the routines above. That's the key to successfully losing weight, to exercise regularly. Also to eat sensibly.

Think about your joints

Running on an incline can be very stressful to your knee joints. I recommend you only do a hill run routine once per week. Even though a treadmill has cushioning. It doesn't lessen the impact enough to warrant running on an incline regularly.

If you feel any pain, especially sharp pain. Then stop exercising and seek medical help. Running through pain is not a good idea because you can make the problem worse. You'll struggle to lose weight if you're injured, so take care and don't over do it.


To get the most out of these incline runs we recommend you do one a week around your normal running schedule. It gives the muscles a different workout and helps promote a bit of strength as well as weight loss.

The treadmill is so good because it helps prevent too much stress on the joints unlike running outside. This is especially so if you're a bit heavier. Good luck and I hope you find these workouts helpful.

Thinking of buying a treadmill? See my top 3 recommended treadmills for 2022

Meet The Author

Simon Gould

I'm Simon Gould. I've been around treadmills my whole life. From running on them at an early age to working in treadmill dept's of national stores. I've run outside and I've run on treadmills and I prefer running on treadmills. I still run on one nearly every day and love it.

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