20-Minute HIIT Treadmill Workout to Get Fit, Fast

20-Minute HIIT Treadmill Workout to Get Fit Fast

Photo by Bethany Joy Kibbe

There’s a reason people flock to the treadmill: It’s convenient, weather (and excuse) proof, and the numbers don’t lie. But slogging through mile after mile can get old — fast. So we’re officially turning off autopilot and trading our steady state cardio for this HIIT-style Woodway Curve treadmill workout.

If you’ve spotted these swanky, curve-shaped machines at a boutique or big box gym near you, then you’re in luck. “Because it’s self-propelled, it’s more efficient than a conventional treadmill,” says Xavier Quimbo, co-founder and owner of Speedplay in Los Angeles. Regular treadmills force you to use your quads for power, because you’re bouncing off a moving surface. “But the nature of the curve encourages proper running mechanics by shifting the focus to the posterior chain of the leg.” (Aka your hamstrings and glutes.) “It also provides less impact on the joints, so you can go stronger, faster — without the high risk of injuries” Quimbo adds.

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Even better? Unlike a traditional belt, which can cap runners around 12 mph, “the Curve lets you can go as fast as your legs can take you,” says Quimbo, whose top speed is a cool 17.5 mph. (Think you can beat that? You’ll get your shot in just a few!)

Don’t think we’re only here to sprint, though. Take a page from Speedplay’s playbook and try this cardio-meets-strength HIIT workout, designed by Quimbo exclusively for Daily Burn. We promise it’ll be the most efficient 20 minutes of your day.

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The 20-Minute Treadmill Workout

After a solid dynamic warm-up, perform the following six exercises for 60 seconds each. Repeat for a total of three rounds, with zero rest in between. The name of the game is quality of movement, and of course, speed! Note: The Woodway Curve is used here, but a conventional treadmill will work, too. You’ll also need a resistance band, looped securely below the console in front of you. (We’re not just running for it here!)

HIIT Treadmill Workout Sprint

GIFs: Jordan Shakeshaft / Life by Daily Burn

1. Sprint

Yup, we’re hitting our stride right out of the gate. “This will create the ‘high’ intensity that we need for this workout to be most effective,” Quimbo says.

How to: Hop on the Woodway Curve treadmill, and go as fast as you can for this first 60-second interval. On a conventional treadmill, pick a sprint pace that suits you, set it, and prepare to hit stop at the end of 60 seconds. “With either one, be sure to posture up, work on a longer stride and generate more speed with a strong arm swing,” Quimbo says.

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HIIT Treadmill Workout - Skate Exercise

2. Treadmill Skate

Skater boys and girls, prepare to torch the glutes, hamstrings and calves with this dynamic move. While only one leg is on the tread at a time, that doesn’t mean you’re not firing up both to keep you strong and steady.

How to: Stand on the right side of the treadmill, both feet placed on the safety side step. (If you’re using a conventional treadmill, make sure the belt is at a complete stop before starting. You will be the force that makes the belt move on this one.) Holding onto the handles, step your right (inside) leg onto the belt, driving the belt backwards as if you were pushing a skateboard forward. “Make sure to keep a slight bend in the standing leg and use the full length of the tread for the drive,” Quimbo says. Switch legs after 30 seconds.

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HIIT Treadmill Workout - Resistance Band Row Exercise

3. Band Row

This is where that resistance band comes into play. Catch your breath from the sprints and skates with this upper body-focused move that will strengthen your postural muscles.

How to: With the band anchored around the front of the treadmill, place both feet wide, securely on the safety side steps. Keeping a tall spine and a slight bend in your knees, grip the handles and pull your elbows back. Squeeze your shoulder blades together as you pull back, pause for a beat, then slowly release the handles forward.

HIIT Treadmill Workout - Side Shuffle Exercise

4. Lateral Shuffle

It’s time to venture outside the lines. This move has you facing sideways to hit the hips, glutes and legs from all angles. And don’t worry — this one’s not about speed. “On the Woodway Curve, you’re free to control your pace, but if you’re on a conventional treadmill, set it to a low speed, between 2.5 and 3.5 mph, depending on your ability,” Quimbo says.

How to: Turn to face right, and grab lightly onto the side bar for balance. Keeping your chest and eyes up, side step your feet. (You can let go of the bar if you’re feeling steady, Quimbo says.) Lateral shuffle for 30 seconds, then turn to face left for the remaining 30 seconds.

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HIIT Treadmill Workout - Knee Tuck Exercise

5. Elevated Knee Tuck

No workout is complete without working the core. This movement might look tricky, but it delivers two benefits in one: abdominal strength and shoulder stability.

How to: Facing the front of the treadmill, place both hands firmly on the side bar. With strong arms and a tight core, lift both knees up towards your chest. Keep your feet together and knees slightly apart, chest up. Tap the tread after each rep. Or, “If you’re a total beast,” Quimbo says, “stay fully elevated for the entire minute.”

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HIIT Treadmill Workout - Bicep Curl to Tricep Extension Exercise

6. Band Bis to Tris

Last but not least, we blast the arms. You’ll get double the trouble by combining this resisted bicep curl with a tricep extension. If you think you need weights to tone your arms, you’re sorely mistaken!

How to: With both feet planted on the safety platforms, grip the handles of your resistance band. Maintaining a tall posture with a slight bend in your knees, perform one bicep curl with your palms facing up. Then, when your palms reach just below chest level, switch your palms to face down and do a tricep extension, arms extending behind you. Pro tip: “Keep your core engaged to minimize swinging in your body,” says Quimbo. Repeat for one minute, then HIIT the top of this list for rounds two and three!