Incline Walking vs. HIIT for Weight Loss

Hey Angels and Alphas,

We all know there’s never a one-size-fits-all way to achieve weight loss, and there are many strategies out there that are all backed by science and will ultimately help you achieve your fitness goals.

But all angels and alphas know that the most important thing in your fitness routine should be sustainability, or in other words, adopting healthy habits such as eating right and moving move, that can easily be incorporated into our day-to-day lives.

And when it comes to exercise, both HIIT and walking bring positive results. 

For people who are just eating into regular cardio practices, walking is an amazing entry point. Research has shown numerous times that it improves your mood, heart health, and your weight loss results. Not to mention, it helps you live longer. 

One study that surveyed over 50,000 regular walkers found a 20 percent decrease in all-cause mortality among the people who walked on a regular basis.

And once you’ve, pardon the pun, made your first steps in your walking habit, it’s a good idea to start challenging yourself and achieving more calorie burn.

Both HIIT and incline walking fit that bill. So let’s take a look at the individual benefits and help you make a decision between the two.


High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, can sound quite intimidating. To be more specific, the part where it says “high-intensity.” That being said, this faster-paced workout technique incorporates intense bursts of activity followed by comfortable rest periods, and it’s, believe it or not, ranked as one of the most beginner-friendly forms of exercise. 

Plus, studies have proven that it improves your athletic performance, revs up your metabolism, and enhances cardiovascular health. Score!

HIIT has long been proven to be an effective form of exercise for those wishing to put on some muscle, burn calories, and skyrocket their metabolic rate so they burn more fat. 

When it comes to HIIT-style walking, basically this is a choose your own adventure type of scenario. It’s easy to adjust your work effort inside intervals that suit you – maybe you’ll speed up for 30 seconds then rest for a minute or vice-versa. You can change the terrain to add more resistance, incorporating terrains such as hills, sand, flat surfaces, and more.


Incline walking is precisely what it sounds like… heading for the hills. Or the incline treadmill at your gym. This particular type of workout will target the posterior chain of your body, including your glutes and hamstrings, utilizing those large muscle groups to spike your heart rate up and burn extra calories.

You can easily tackle hills outdoors and get the added benefit of the calming effect of nature and fresh air, or just hop on your gym treadmill and put the incline on full blast. Just be aware that if you’re on a treadmill, you should not hold on to the sides. This lessens your effort and leads to poor biomechanics that provide inaccurate information on the treadmill screen.

Similarly, you have to remember that what goes up must come down (unless you’re on a treadmill.) If you’re walking at your local hills, you likely have to walk downhill, as well. This will put more load on your thigh muscles and your knee joints, and you have to make sure your legs are strong enough unless you want to get a little knee pain. This doesn’t mean you have to avoid hill walking, just keep that in mind so you can prepare better.

For the perfect incline walking form, just imagine pulling yourself up the hill you’re walking on by using the back of your legs (hamstrings) rather than leaning forward so you’re pushing the hill with your quads. Makes sense?


HIIT walking will offer massive calorie burn for a short amount of time, making it the favorite for those who want fast weight loss results. And depending on the format you follow, it can lead to more calorie burn when compared to incline walking. 

However, incline walking is also an excellent fat-burning workout, but it can be a little bit stressful on your joints. If you don’t have pre-existing knee injuries, go for it, but even if you do, make sure your knees can handle the downhill portions involved.


It’s ultimately going to come down to personal preference. What you should know, however, is that both are viable options for those of you looking to get rid of pesky fat stores. 

That being said, incorporating both types of training will help you mix your routine up, and ultimately, what matters is choosing the type of exercise you’ll do consistently. For some, it’s HIIT, for others, it’s incline walking, and for the rest, it might be a varied combination of both.