Treadmills For HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) – What You Need To Know

A treadmill is an excellent way to get exercise into a daily routine, even if you are only interested in High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). HIIT is a great way to burn extra calories and trim away fat.

It essentially involves doing exercises of high intensity that require a lot of effort, interlaced with less intense workouts, and it is easily done on a treadmill of the right kind!

But how do you pick a good treadmill for HIIT? It has to meet the correct requirements in order for that kind of workout to be effective and safe.

That is why we have put together a handy guide to help you understand what you should be looking for in a treadmill for HIIT workouts.

1. Controls

HIIT training requires you to be able to change the intensity of your workout quickly and without too much of a fuss in between. As such, a treadmill that can be used well for this purpose needs to have controls that are within easy reach and are very responsive.

The buttons on the control panel should be large and easy to see and hit with your fingers, and there should be a set of these controls on a handrail or somewhere within arm’s reach for extra convenience.

In addition, all controls should have very quick responses, allowing you to transition between a very slow pace to brisk run in seconds, or letting you change the incline without needing to wait for too long for the changes to take effect. Hence, you want a treadmill that has quick controls as a feature.

What this means is that it will allow you to change a speed in whole numbers instead of decimal points, and once you select your new speed, the machine will gradually but quickly speed up or slow down to accommodate your request. The same goes for incline options.

2. Deck

You want to have a lot of leg room and space on either side of you when you are working out on a treadmill, and that space must be sturdy as well. Chances are, as you continue and advance in your HIIT workouts, you will be using settings that give you a high intensity run with a pretty high incline.

So the deck needs to be able to fit your full stride comfortable. You should not feel squeezed into the running belt or need to change the way you move to fit into the treadmill’s deck, and your feet should never accidentally hit any part of the treadmill when you run normally. A 60” long belt is usually recommended.

But that is not all you need from a deck. It needs to be sturdy, yet gentle on your joints as you exercise. There are many treadmills that offer cushioning and shock absorbing features in their running belts, which will reduce the stress and strain on your knees, back, hips, and other areas of your body as you run.

Intense workouts can be damaging for your body without the right equipment, which is why it is extra important to ensure that the treadmill you buy will protect you from injury.

That also means that aside from those features, a running belt should be thick enough that you don’t feel the hardware beneath.

A deck should also be accompanied by stable side rails. Usually, when you are changing intensities between intervals, you need to jump off of a running belt that is moving very quickly and onto the side rails of your treadmill.

It’s not hard to see why it is necessary that these side rails are strong enough to take your weight and the impact of you moving to them.

They should also be wide enough for your feet to easily rest on them without slipping or tripping so that when you straddle the belt, you are not in danger of falling over. Its surface should be flat and have a good, rough traction in order to grip the base of your shoes without trouble.

3. Handrails

You will be performing a large variety of movements and exercises while doing interval training on a treadmill. This may involve calisthenics that you will need support while doing.

Therefore, handrails are an essential part of any treadmill. You will want to purchase a treadmill with sturdy handrails that you can reach and hold on to easily. Usually, this means getting a treadmill with both front and side handrails.

Make sure that they are at the right height for you – or can be adjusted to that height – and test them out before buying to make sure that they conform to your body’s natural movements and gait.

As mentioned previously, it is also a good idea of handrails has a set of controls on them for you to easily reach when needed. Some handrails may even have a heart rate monitor on them that works by reading your thumbs where you grasp the grip, so if that is a feature you find appealing, look out for treadmills that have those as an option.

4. Training Options

HIIT training needs a wide range of speeds and inclines in order to provide the necessary intervals of intensity for a complete workout. As such, you should take note of the options that a treadmill provides before making a purchase.

There is no point in buying a treadmill that doesn’t go up to the speed that you want it to!

So check how many speed settings a treadmill has before buying it. Going up to 12 mph is generally the accepted speed limit, although some may even reach 15 mph.

Read up on product reviews as well to make sure that the treadmill reads speeds accurately, as some may have incorrect speed settings that claim to be higher or lower than they are.

You should also look for a number of degrees of incline that a treadmill can provide. The higher the incline, the more intense the workout. Some even have options for declines as well, so you can train both ways.

Many treadmills also come with pre-set training programs and applications in their consoles. These may include fat burner plans, heart rate workouts, and cardio exercises, and some of these might be suited for what you want to do!

Some treadmills even have a nifty feature where they can imitate real life terrain in terms of declines and inclines when you map out a route to follow on a map application. Make purchases based on your own needs and requirements!

5. Safety

HIIT is no easy workout, and it is necessary that some safety precautions are present in your exercise environment. There are many treadmills that come with a safety key feature that you should wear constantly while you are running on it. Essentially, a safety key is one that can be inserted into a slot in the treadmill, while its other end is connected to a clip by a wire or string.

Essentially, a safety key is one that can be inserted into a slot in the treadmill, while its other end is connected to a clip by a wire or string.

You would then attach the key to yourself while you are running, so that if you trip and fall, the key will be tugged out of its slot in the treadmill, which will cause it to completely stop. Without this function, falling can get you thrown

Without this function, falling can get you thrown backward and off of the treadmill, and if you don’t have a lot of space around it, you are likely to get burns from the fast-moving belt.

Some treadmills also have a feature where, if you aren’t wearing a safety key and you step off of the machine for longer than twenty seconds, it will slow to a stop.

However, this may interfere with your training as you may need to step off of the running belt and onto the side rails to perform other exercises while using your treadmill. Keep in mind what you plan to do before purchasing a treadmill with a feature like this – or just keep the safety key on.

Keep in mind what you plan to do before purchasing a treadmill with a feature like this – or just keep the safety key on.

6. Durability

This is a factor that goes without saying, but with all the claims made by companies that manufacture treadmills, it is important you are able to tell a machine that will last from one that isn’t as well-made. Treadmills are an investment, and as such, you will want one that will last for decades without too many problems cropping up.

A wide majority of treadmills will be built from a steel frame, as they should be, as the material is strong and can hold up under intense workouts. High-quality components, such as well-made flywheels and rotation belts, allow for a product to be more reliable and durable, which is also important for your safety.

Materials of a good quality will also allow for a workout to become smoother and more consistent. There should be no noise coming from your treadmill; loud sounds are usually signs of either part that don’t fit well together or a motor that can’t handle the speed you are going at.

A durable treadmill will not jerk suddenly in the middle of a run, and it will not wobble or shake even when you are going at high speeds in an inclined position. Treadmills that fail to maintain stability can pose a safety threat to you; falling off one of these machines is never fun!

You should, however, expect to need to perform routine maintenance on your treadmill every once in a while. Proper lubrication of the running belt is important for smooth workouts and to prevent the tread from wearing out, and you may need to tighten a few screws or bolts as they come loose over time to prevent damage.

This is normal. Some treadmills may require more maintenance than others, though, so if you aren’t that confident in your mechanical abilities or lack spare time, then you can look for one that requires very few check-ups and fixes.

7. Progress Tracking

Being able to track your progress will give you a sense of motivation, and it is also great for gauging areas that need improvement and setting realistic goals. While you can, of course, purchase separate tracking devices that can record the amount of physical activity you perform in one day, having a treadmill that can keep track of what you have done so far is always handy!

Most treadmills come with an LCD console that is easy to see and access during workouts, and they will often display some statistics as you run or walk. This can include time, distance, speed, and calories burned, although some treadmills have step counting or heart rate measuring technology. This data should all be clearly visible to you.

Be aware that some treadmills automatically wipe your progress when you turn it off without saving, and some do not have a save function at all, in which case they merely display figures but don’t do anything to track progress.

There are many treadmills that have consoles that come with inbuilt USB ports of Bluetooth compatibility so that you can transfer your data to a computer or device.

Some even automatically sync to certain workout applications or a software created by the treadmill manufacturers themselves. This is a great feature to have as it helps you have a fixed record of all the progress that you have made so far.

Do bear in mind, though, that less expensive treadmills can sometimes record data inaccurately, especially in areas such as burned calories or heart rate monitoring.

As such, if you purchase a budget-friendly treadmill, don’t rely entirely on its readings and don’t take the data it records as 100% fact until you are able to double check it with another progress tracking device.

8. Warranty

Treadmills that will be used for HIIT will take a lot of abuse from those intense workouts. Hence, you really want it to be able to withstand what you are dishing out – but sometimes, machines aren’t perfect and do break down.

That is why it is important to make sure that the item you purchase comes with a warranty – or at the very least, if you are buying a cheaper treadmill, some form of guarantee.

Many high-quality treadmills offer a lifetime warranty on certain areas of their products and long warranties in all other areas. Carefully read all details regarding these aspects before making a purchase, as it can be vital to ensuring that you get the most out of the treadmill that you purchase.

You should know how to contact customer service and be aware of any steps that need to be taken for you to set up the warranty in the first place. On a similar note, check out reviews of a company before buying any products from them.

Customer service should be efficient, polite, and take their customers seriously. You might want to think twice before purchasing a treadmill from a company known for being difficult to contact or reach unless you are especially handy and can fix any problems that arise with the machine yourself!

And Now You Are Ready!

With these things in mind, you are now well-equipped with the knowledge you need to purchase a treadmill that is the right fit for you, both physically and metaphorically.

When you are doing HIIT exercises, the job of finding a good exercise machine can become even harder, but as long as you choose one that has the features you need and is of a high, durable quality, you will be fine.

A treadmill is a big investment in your fitness life, and as such, it is vital that you pick out one that you can be happy using for a long time to come.

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