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6 Incline Treadmill Benefits

Reviewed by: Oleksiy Torokhtiy (21 years of Oly Lifting experience)

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Walking or running on a treadmill is a great way to stay fit, but do you know that cranking up th incline can take your workout to the next level, and not just in the literal sense?

Incline treadmills have a lot of benefits that go way beyond what you get from flat treadmill workouts. When you adjust the incline, you can simulate uphill walking or running, which ups th intensity of your workout and it makes it more effective. This will help you burn more calories and strengthen and tone your muscles, especially those in your legs and glutes. 

In this article, we’ll explore the main benefits you get from an incline treadmill and you’ll see it black on white what the change in incline does for your health and fitness. 

Incline Treadmill Benefits Review

6 Incline Treadmill Benefits

Incline treadmills are like a secret weapon when it comes to getting in shape. They have some fantastic benefits that you might not even realize. People assume that incline is not necessary as it doesn’t do much. Well, the reason people don’t use or like Incline – is that it makes the workout exponentially more difficult. So if you’re looking for a more significant challenge, using incline to achieve it might be a straightforward way to do it!

✅ Calorie Burning

When you crank up the incline on a treadmill, you’re making your body work harder, and that means you’re burning more calories. It’s like taking your usual walk or jog and turning up the intensity – your body will thank you later, I promise!

Woman on an incline treadmill

✅ Building Leg And Glute Muscles

You know those killer hills that leave your legs feeling like jelly? Well, incline treadmills can help you train for those moments. By simulating uphill terrain, you’ll be targeting those leg and glute muscles like a champ. Say hello to toned legs and firm booty!

✅ Lower Impact On Joints

Running or walking on an incline can reduce the impact on your joints. When you’re going uphill, your feet don’t hit the ground as brutally, which means less stress on your knees and ankles. It’s a win-win for your body!

✅ Improved Cardiovascular Fitness

When you work out on an incline treadmill, your heart has to pump harder to keep up with the increased demand from your muscles. This extra effort helps strengthen your cardiovascular system, making it more efficient over time.

✅ Boosts Endurance And Stamina

Training on an incline helps to build your endurance and stamina. As you continue to challenge yourself with steeper slopes, you’ll notice that those flat surfaces become a breeze, and you’ll be able to run or walk long distances with ease.

✅ Enhanced Mental Focus

Running or walking uphill forces you to concentrate on your form, balance, and technique. This added focus can help improve your overall mental game, making you more aware of your body’s movements and better prepared for any challenge that comes your way.

The incline on treadmills is more than just a fancy feature – it’s a fantastic tool for improving overall fitness. If you already own a treadmill that doesn’t have an incline feature, I would suggest you give it a thorough consideration as a significant upgrade opportunity.

Running on Treadmill

What to Look For in the Best Incline Treadmill?

If you’re on the hunt for the best incline treadmill, there are some key features you’ll want to keep an eye out for. Trust me, I’ve been there, and knowing what to look for can make all the difference. Let’s go through them together:

1. Adjustability

Look for a treadmill with a wide range of incline options, so you can really customize your workout. It’s great to have the ability to go from a flat surface to a challenging uphill climb at the touch of a button. Plus, if you can find a model with a decline feature, that’s even better – downhill training can be just as beneficial!

Tips From the Champ

Using an incline treadmill properly is super essential for getting the most out of your workouts and avoiding injuries. It’s not all about jacking the treadmill to its max incline setting and hitting it with all you’ve got. Here are some tips that help you make that transition from non-incline to incline in a more natural way.

Oleksiy Torokhtiy
Oleksiy Torokhtiy

Olympic Weightlifting Champion

2. Monitor Functionality

A user-friendly monitor is essential. You’ll want a clear display that shows your stats and progress, and if you can find one with built-in workout programs or interactive features, that’s a bonus. I personally love the ones that let you virtually run through different scenic routes – it keeps things fresh and exciting.

3. Portability

If you’re like me and need to move your treadmill around from time to time, portability is a must. Look for models with transport wheels and a folding design to make your life easier when it comes to rearranging your workout space.

4. Versatility

The best incline treadmills offer more than just a steep slope. Check for features like customizable cushioning, various speed options, and even heart rate monitoring. The more versatile the machine, the more you can tailor your workouts to meet your specific needs.

5. Comfort

You’ll be spending a lot of time on your treadmill, so comfort is key. Look for models with cushioned running surfaces that can help reduce the impact on your joints. Also, consider the size of the running deck – you want enough space to move comfortably and safely during your workouts.

classes on the best treadmill for walking

6. Price/Quality

Finally, it’s essential to find a treadmill that offers good value for your money. While you don’t have to break the bank, it’s worth investing in a quality machine that will last you for years to come. Look for reputable brands with solid warranties and a track record of reliability.

So there you have it! Keep these features in mind when you’re shopping for your incline treadmill, and you’ll be well on your way to finding the perfect fit for your fitness journey. Good luck, and happy running!

Recommended Incline Treadmill

NordicTrack Commercial X22i Incline Treadmill

NordicTrack Commercial X22i
  • Speed Range: 0-12 MPH
  • Max Incline: 40%
  • Folding: No
  • Weight Limit: 300 lbs
  • Item Weight: 417 lbs
  • Product Dimensions: 70.2” L x 39.6” W x 71.6” H
  • Display: 22’’ Smart HD Touchscreen
  • Warranty: 10-year frame, 2-year parts, 1-year labor
  • Workout Programs: 30-day iFIT trial included
  • Additional Features: Quiet drive incline tech, Android 9 OS, Bluetooth Headphone Connectivity, 2x 3’’ Digital-Amplify Speakers, Hands-free speed & incline adjustments, Cushioned deck for maximum comfort, Stats tracker, Dual auto breeze workout fans

First off, the adjustability of this treadmill is top-notch. With inclines up to 40%, which is wild, and declines down to -6%, you can simulate any hill or valley in your workout.

The monitor functionality is another aspect where this treadmill shines. The monitor looks amazing. Big and responsive buttons, not cramped up in one place. Plus, the iFit integration allows you to run virtually anywhere in the world, keeping your routine fresh and exciting. 

Now, you might think a machine this advanced and heavy (417 lbs, Yikes!) would be a pain to move around, but the X22i is surprisingly portable. Its easy-to-use transport wheels make moving it a breeze, so you can easily reposition it within your home gym or workout space.

The FlexSelect cushioning system allows you to switch between a softer or firmer running surface, catering to your personal preferences and joint comfort.

As for the price, the X22i is indeed an investment. But considering its top-of-the-line features, durability, and functionality, it’s worth every penny.

How to Use an Incline Treadmill Right?

Using an incline treadmill properly is super essential for getting the most out of your workouts and avoiding injuries. It’s not all about jacking the treadmill to its max incline setting and hitting it with all you’ve got. Here are some tips that help you make that transition from non-incline to incline in a more natural way.

1. Warm-Up First

Before jumping on the treadmill and cranking up the incline, make sure to warm up with a light walk or jog on a flat surface for a few minutes. This helps get your blood flowing and your muscles ready for the challenge ahead. Trust me. Your body will thank you later!

2. Gradually Increase The Incline

Don’t go from 0 to 100 in a second – instead, gradually increase the incline as your body gets accustomed to the new challenge. Studies indicate that running at a 7% incline can increase glute activity up by 83%! You can start with a slight angle and work your way up over time. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is your fitness level!

3. Maintain Proper Form

When using an incline treadmill, focus on keeping your body upright, your shoulders relaxed, and your core engaged. Resist the urge to lean too far forward or hold onto the handrails for dear life. This way, you’ll target the right muscle groups and avoid putting unnecessary strain on your back.

Working on Treadmill

4. Adjust Your Stride

As you increase the incline, your stride naturally shortens. That’s perfectly normal! Just make sure you’re landing on the balls of your feet and pushing off with your toes to maintain a smooth and efficient gait.

5. Mix It Up

Be bold and play around with different speeds, inclines, and workout routines. This will keep your workouts exciting and prevent your body from hitting a plateau. Plus, it’s a great way to challenge yourself and build both strength and endurance.

6. Cool Down And Stretch

After you’ve conquered that incline, remember to cool down with a gentle walk or jog on a flat surface. This will help your heart rate return to normal and reduce the risk of injury. Follow that up with some stretching to keep your muscles loose and limber – trust me, your legs will thank you later!

With these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to mastering the art of incline treadmill workouts. Just remember to listen to your body, have fun, and keep pushing yourself – you’ll be amazed at the progress you can make!


What Incline Is Best for Losing Weight?

The best incline for losing weight on a treadmill is one that challenges you without causing discomfort or strain. Incline walking for fat loss is effective because it raises your heart rate more than flat-ground walking. This pushes your body into better condition while burning more calories.

Studies show that even a 1% incline helps burn 12% more calories. The metabolic cost increases by 17% at a 5% incline and 32% at a 10% incline. However, it’s essential to adjust the angle based on your fitness level and personal preference.

Is a 12 Incline Good?

A 12% incline can be good for increasing the intensity of your treadmill workouts and targeting different muscle groups. It’s crucial, however, to consider your fitness level and comfort before attempting such a steep incline.

12% might not sound like a lot, but this level can put an enormous strain on your body, and if not prepared, it is an open invitation for possible injury. If you’re new to incline training, start with a lower slope and gradually work your way up as your fitness improves.

What Is a 12-3-30 Workout?

The 12-3-30 workout is a 30-minute treadmill fitness routine that involves walking at a 12% incline and 3 miles per hour. It can only be done with an incline treadmill. This workout is known for its simplicity and effectiveness, as it helps increase calorie burn and build endurance while being low-impact and suitable for various fitness levels.

It is a lower-body workout that can offer health benefits like strengthening bones and muscles and preventing or managing chronic conditions. The 12 3 30 routine was popularized by social media star Lauren Giraldo in 2020, who claimed she lost 30 pounds by following it.


So there you have it, folks! Now you know everything there is to know about incline treadmills and their benefits. Armed with this knowledge, you’re ready to conquer your fitness goals and make an informed decision about the perfect incline treadmill for you. Remember, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step—or in this case, an inclined step.

I highly recommend NordicTrack Commercial X22i Incline Treadmill. It’s one of the best in the market, and even though it’s an investment, the higher price is completely worth it.

I’m eager to hear and learn from your experiences and if you’ve used the treadmill I recommended, share your thoughts on it (or anything else regarding this topic) hem through the comment section below! I hope the information you’ve read in this article helped you make an educated and informed decision so that you can spend your money on something that will put a smile on your face long-term.

Happy stepping!

Also read:


  1. The great outdoors: how a green exercise environment can benefit all // Extrem Physiol Med:
  2. A Paradigm of Uphill Running // Johnny Padulo, Douglas Powell, Raffaele Milia, Luca Paolo Ardigò:
  3. Energetics and biomechanics of inclined treadmill walking in obese adults // Med Sci Sports Exerc:
  4. How to Walk at an Incline to Lose Weight // Zach Lazzari:
  5. Predicting the Metabolic Cost of Incline Walking from Muscle Activity and Walking Mechanics //  J Biomech:
  6. What’s The “12-3-30” Workout—And Is It Good For Weight Loss? // HealthMatch:
  7. Photos by Torokhtiy Media Team.

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Ihor Shymechko

Author: Ihor Shymechko
Pro Olympic Weightlifter, Coach

Experience: 26 years
Best Results: Snatch – 208 kg,
C&J – 240 kg

Ihor has been a professional weightlifter since 1996, boasting over two decades of competition experience. His notable achievements include clinching the European Championship in 2009 and securing a silver medal in the 105kg division at the Senior World Championships in 2011. Ihor represented his country in the 2008, 2012, and 2016 Summer Olympics. After retiring from competitive weightlifting, he transitioned to coaching, leveraging his vast experience to guide athletes who now compete on both national and international stages.

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Oleksiy Torokhtiy

Reviewed by: Oleksiy Torokhtiy
Olympic Weightlifting Champion

Experience: 21 years
Best ResultsSnatch – 200 kg,
C&J – 240 kg

Oleksiy Torokhtiy is a professional athlete boasting 20 years of experience in Olympic weightlifting. With multiple European and World titles under his belt, he has showcased his prowess in two Olympic Games (Beijing 2008 and London 2012). Upon concluding his illustrious career, Oleksiy dedicated himself to coaching. By 2022, he had conducted over 200 weightlifting seminars worldwide. He is the visionary behind an international sportswear and accessories brand known for its motto, “Warm Body Cold Mind.” Additionally, he is an esteemed author and the creator of a series of training programs and eBooks.

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