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Kaley Cuoco shares her postpartum HIIT treadmill workout

The "Big Bang Theory" actor, who is mom of 7-month-old daughter, Matilda, is touting the benefits of walking. Try her go-to walking treadmill workouts.
Kaley Cuoco
Kaley Cuoco welcomed her daughter, Matilda, in March 2023.  Five weeks later, she was on her treadmill.Mario Anzuoni / Reuters
/ Source: TODAY

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Kaley Cuoco knew her postpartum workout journey would begin with small steps. So she embraced her treadmill. 

“Putting that incline up is so good for your muscles, and for your circulation,” Cuoco, 37, tells “I’ll also walk backward, which is amazing for your butt and legs. It pretty much works everything.”

Cuoco says each treadmill session is roughly 25 minutes.

Cuoco’s longtime trainer Ryan Sorensen tells that for a backward walking workout, he puts the machine at a "steep" incline of 12-15% and sets the speed to a "slow walking pace" of 1.8 to 2.2 miles per hour. For those with knee pain, Sorensen recommends starting on a flat ground.

According to a 2021 study, walking backward on a treadmill for 30 minutes over a four-week period increases balance, pace and cardiopulmonary fitness. 

Kaley Cuoco’s 10-minute HIIT walking treadmill workout

If walking backward sounds daunting, try Cuoco's forward-facing HIIT interval routine instead. It's comprised of 10 rounds, each one minute long with 30 seconds of work and 30 seconds of rest. She begins the workout at a 1% incline and 6.4 speed, then each round, Cuoco ups the intensity by adding 1% inline and .2 speed.

  1. Start at 1% incline and 6.4 speed.
  2. Walk for 30 seconds at this setting.
  3. Rest for 30 seconds. (Walk at any pace or incline that feels like a rest to you).
  4. Increase the incline by 1% and speed by .2 (i.e. the second round setting will be 2% incline and 6.6 speed).
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 for 10 rounds total.

Kaley Cuoco's fitness tips

Cuoco confesses there are days where she’d rather cuddle with her partner, Tom Pelphrey, and their 7-month-old daughter, Matilda, than exercise. 

“But then I remind myself that it’s just an hour of my day, and like eating, it’s important for my body and my heart,” Cuoco explains. “And you never leave a workout and go, ‘I wish I didn’t do that.’ Even if it wasn’t the workout you envisioned, even if it it was a little bit more low-key. Getting a good sweat sets the whole tone for the day.”

Kaley Cuoco
Kaley Cuoco, who partnered with Brooks Running, stepped out in a hot pink pair from the brand's Ghost Max series.Vivien Killilea / WireImage

Cuoco opened up to while promoting her partnership with Brooks Running, a company she says "saved" her throbbing feet.

“I worked out late into my pregnancy and my feet started hurting aggressively. I would go to bed crying at night. And my partner, Tom, has been wearing Brooks for years, and he was like, ‘Dude, you need to get on the Brooks train,’” Cuoco says. “Well, I bought my first pair and it was a game changer. Now it’s all I wear."

At the moment, Cuoco is loving the brand’s Ghost Max series.

“I train in them, I walk the dog in them,” she says. “I also feel like nowadays, sneakers are so freaking cool — you wear them with a dress and look as cute as can be. I don’t even own heels anymore.”

Though Cuoco and Pelphrey both work out in Brooks, you won’t find them working out together. 

“We like very different things. He does a lot of lifting. He does a ton of pull-ups and I can’t even do a single one,” she says. “That’s our hour to ourselves!”