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30-minute Treadmill Workout for Your Whole Body

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When you think of treadmills, you probably think of running or at least walking on an incline. To be fair, that’s what the majority of people do on them. But, what if you could turn it into a fun and interesting 30-minute whole body workout? Here’s what you can do.

First 10 Minutes

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3-Minute Warm-up

Starting with a three-minute warm-up, get on your treadmill and just press Go. As you’re walking, start increasing your incline to five percent and your speed to a comfortable fast pace. You should be able to keep a normal conversation throughout the entire three minutes. 

This is also a great time to think about your posture. Check your core muscles and make sure they are engaged, roll your shoulders up and back to prevent them from creeping up to your ears, and pay attention to your hips, ensuring they’re aligned and squared off.

2-Minute Jog

Stay with the five percent incline and slightly bump up the speed so you’re gently jogging. Nothing too crazy or fast, just enough to feel your body getting warmer and your heart rate slowly increasing. Check your jogging posture and avoid any jumps while you run. Try to increase your cadence (the time your legs are in the air as opposed to touching the ground), but don’t increase the speed.

Hinge at the hips just a little so that you’re leaning forward and try to maintain this posture whenever you’re doing a running interval.

3-Minute Run

Lower the incline and increase the speed to a comfortable, easy run, just focusing on lifting your feet and using the entire heel-to-toe area on the ground. Increase your cadence and try to find a breathing pattern that will guide you through the entire running series. 

Keep on leaning forward as you run, relieving your lower back from the pressure. Check your running form and avoid lifting your heels too high. Instead, focus on lifting your knees and adding an arm swivel, helping propel you forward.

2-Minute Jog

Back to the jog, lower your speed, and assess your body. Does the jog somehow feel easier at this point after the run? In most cases, it will feel like you’re walking or should be walking. It’s just your body getting adapted to the speed.

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Second 10 Minutes

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1-Minute Side Hops Left

Turn to the left side and bend your knees, performing side hops as the treadmill keeps running. You can lower the speed if you need it, but keep your form proper. Activate your abs and try to keep your upper body straight and practically steady as your legs do all the work.

1-Minute Side Hops Right

Turn to the right side and do the same thing, but with your right leg forward.

1-Minute Backward Walk

Lower the speed a lot and turn around so your back is facing the treadmill. Grab onto the sidebars and start walking backward. The muscles in your body are challenged in a whole different way, especially as they’re trying to maintain a balance. 

Take it slow and allow your body to get adjusted to walking backward, especially if it’s your first time doing so.

2-Minute Jog

Turn around and increase the speed, getting back to your jogging interval.

3-Minute Run

Increase the speed to running and stay at it for three full minutes, getting your breathing to a comfortable pattern.

2-Minute Tabata

Tabata is a popular form of exercise where you perform a certain movement for a specific amount of time at maximum speed, intertwined with short periods of complete rest. 

How does it translate to the treadmill? With sprints, of course. You’ll be doing 20-second sprints and 10-second full stops by jumping on the side rails. Increase your speed to where you feel like you’re catching your breath. Your sprint should be a sprint, not a slightly faster run. Challenge yourself, but don’t overdo it, good form still comes first.

At the end of your 20-second interval, grab onto the sidebars and jump on the outsides of your running belt. Come back to your breath and recharge before the next 20-second interval. You should be doing four rounds of intervals.

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Third 10 Minutes

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1-Minute Jog

Slow down your heart rate and bring your breathing back to normal with a short jog. Your body might be getting tired at this point so respect your boundaries. It’s always ok to slow your speed down a little. You’re not looking to crush any records.

30-Second Side Hops Right

Repeat the side hops, but try to increase your speed a little bit this time around.

30-Second Side Hops Left

Perform the same on the left side.

1-Minute Backward Walk

Lower your speed and do another backward walk, maybe challenging yourself to remove your hands from the sidebars.

2-Minute Run

Turn around and increase your speed to running, checking your form and focusing on lifting your knees and minimizing the time your feet are actually on the ground.

3-Minute Tabata

Repeat the sprint intervals, but this time do six instead of four.

2-Minute Incline Walk Cooldown

Bring the incline back to five percent and lower your speed to a walk. Utilize these two minutes to bring your heart rate down and begin to cool down your body. Add some arm stretches and feel your spine elongate as you lift your arms high into the air.

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Stretching

Don’t forget to stretch after your workout. You can utilize the treadmill and lift one of your legs on the sidebars, stretching your hamstrings and hips, or you can simply get off the treadmill and do your stretching on the side.


Treadmill workouts don’t have to be boring. Try this the next time around when you don’t feel like lifting weights or the weather doesn’t permit working out outside.

Karla Tafra Karla Tafra
Karla is a certified yoga teacher, nutritionist, content creator and an overall wellness coach with over 10 years of international experience in teaching, writing, coaching, and helping others transform their lives. From Croatia to Spain and now, the US, she calls Seattle her new home where she lives and works with her husband. Read Full Bio »
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