A low-impact high incline treadmill workout: 12-3-30

i amIf you’re not a runner, walking is a low-impact way to work up a sweat. But when you want to kick it up a notch, cranking up the incline on the treadmill is a surefire way to get your heart pumping. Just ask Lauren Giraldo, a TikTok star who came up with the viral “12-3-30” workout that can’t stop raving about the fitness community.

The 12-3-30 workout is easy: You walk on the treadmill at a 12 percent incline and 3 mph for a total of 30 minutes. Giraldo first shared details about the workout in a video that has now received 2.8 million likes, saying it’s the only form of exercise to reach his fitness goals. “I was so intimidated by the gym, and it wasn’t inspiring,” she said. “But now I go and do this one thing and I can feel good about myself.”

Apparently many people were excited to get in better shape by walking alone. And while walking by itself is already beneficial, doing it at a bend really checks out. Besides providing a cardio boost, it also strengthens your muscles.

“Treadmills have fitness-enhancing benefits, including improved cardiovascular function, higher calorie burn and glute strengthening,” says Holly Roser, personal trainer and owner of Holly Roser Fitness. “It’s the best possible form of cardio outside of running, because you’re using your whole body. It’s not like when you’re on a bike or on the elliptical, where the machine helps you move, making it less effort on your part. Also low-impact, Which is easy on your joints — especially those with knee pain or lower back pain.”

“Treadmill incline has the benefits of improving cardiovascular function, higher calorie burn and glute strengthening.” -Holly Roger, trainer

Don’t be fooled, though: this workout is anything but easy. The 12 percent trend can be incredibly challenging, and that’s why Roser says you shouldn’t jump right in if you’re new to working out. “A lot of people, especially beginners, can’t stand such a steep incline for such a long time,” she says. “Doing so can increase knee pain, calf stiffness, aggravate old injuries, and increase plantar fasciitis pain if you’re not wearing the right shoes for your feet.”

If you’ve already been working out for three to six months, you can go with the 12-3-30 workout. If not, start hill work on the treadmill. This way, you can work your body up to an ultra-challenging 12 percent incline. “Start with inclines up to 5 percent, then drop to 2 percent, repeat for 15 minutes,” she says. “Then go from 8 percent incline (which is still really hard) to 3 percent, repeat for 10 minutes. Then go from 10 percent incline to 5 percent incline. This gives your lungs, knees and hips recovery time.”

If you want to run instead, try this treadmill hill workout:


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