This 20-Minute Treadmill Workout Will Get Your Heart Pumping

This 20-Minute Treadmill Workout Will Get Your Heart Pumping

As far as gym equipment goes, it’s an oldy but a goody – but have we really untapped the full potential of the treadmill? Apparently not!

“Most of us just use the treadmill to warm up and cool down before and after a workout or jump on for a solid walk or run,” said Genesis Health + Fitness National Fitness Manager Sam Merza. 

“What many people don’t know is that you can actually make the treadmill your entire workout as it’s surprisingly versatile and can be a great option when you don’t have much time to spare to be moving around to different pieces of equipment on the gym floor. It’s also a great winter option to get some running into your workout on the days the weather is not appealing for an outdoor run.

“The biggest piece of general advice for using treadmills is to remember that they will actually ‘turn’ your feet for you on 0% incline. To counter this, ensure you always use them with at least 1% incline so that it better mimics road running.

“Also, your hamstrings are required more while sprinting than when you jog. For balance, make sure you sometimes include sprints in your treadmill time.”

Here is Sam’s 20-minute all-in-one treadmill sweat sesh – give it a whirl next time you’re at the gym: 

warm up Treadmill


Warm Up

  1. Incline 1% – Walk – jog – walk for a total of 5 mins.
  2. Take it slow and start your legs moving with some walking, increase to a light jog and then return to a brief walk again, just to loosen up the body. 
  3. Stop the treadmill.






  1. Set your feet on the outside edge of the tread (belt) of the treadmill – 20 squats.
  2. One foot at the front, one at the back – 10 lunges each leg.
  3. Repeat x 2.

Hill Challenge

  1. Treadmill on, increase the incline to 4-6% to start.
  2. Quick walk for 30 secs, then increase speed by 1km every 1 min for a total of 5 mins.
  3. Treadmill off.
  4. Rest 1 min.


  1. Drop to 1% incline. Begin increasing speed to running pace. Once at pace then;
  2. Complete 30 secs of quick sprinting.
  3. Option 1- Beginner: Slow the treadmill then STOP – once it halts take 30 secs rest. After rest, bring back to sprint pace as quickly as safe and do 30 secs of sprinting.
  4. Option 2 – Advanced: Use handrails and step off to the side panels to rest 30 secs while the belt continues spinning at your running pace. Rest 30 secs then use the rails to support yourself as you re-engage the belt at sprint pace. 
  5. Repeat for 5 sprints.



Finisher: The ‘Dead’mill

  1. Turn treadmill off.
  2. Set your body low and begin pushing your legs to drive the belt around under your own power. Hands will be braced on the hand supports.
  3. Do 30 secs with feet flat – long, strong and slow pushes (targeting hamstrings and glutes).
  4. Do 30 secs on your toes – quick sprinting steps (targeting quads and calves).
  5. Repeat x 3.

Cool Down

  1. 3-5 min walk on treadmill.
  2. Stretch out legs thoroughly.

By Nikolina Ilic

Nikolina is the web-obsessed Digital Editor at Men's and Women's Health, responsible for all things social media and .com. A lover of boxing, she spends most of the time in the gym or with her husband and daughter. She was previously a Digital Editor at GQ and Vogue magazine.

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