Incline Treadmill to tone up? Well, YES!

by Ankur Garg
Incline Treadmill to tone up? Well, YES!
Incline Treadmill to tone up? Well, YES! I have a lot of people ask me what is my favorite type of cardio to tone up and see results fast and the answer is always Incline treadmill. You can see results in as little as 2 weeks all it takes is 30 minutes per day. I like to do a 10% incline for 30 minutes at 2.5-3.0 speed might not sound hard but it’s very effective.
The incline feature on treadmills challenges the cardiovascular system which is always a plus. Even if you are overweight or recovering from an injury, you can adjust the incline so that you still receive a challenge tailored to your circumstance. Working out on an incline causes your lungs to breathe deeper and increases blood flow to the lungs and heart.

The Principles of Incline Training

Engaging the incline feature on a treadmill simulates going uphill.  Walking uphill is a great way to work your body and really get the heart pumping without having to crank up the speed.  

Most modern treadmills are equipped with the incline feature and can reach grades up to 10 or 12%.  Today’s treadmills also frequently come with built-in hill-climbing programs.  Such programs automatically increase and decrease the incline level for a workout similar to walking or running up and down hills outdoors.  The incline levels may be adjusted manually as well.

To get the best results from the incline feature on your treadmill, allow your hands to swing freely during workouts, as you would if you were actually going up a hill or mountain.  Avoid holding onto the handrails!

Benefits of Incline Training on a Treadmill

Of course, one benefit of training on a treadmill—with or without the incline–is being able to exercise in a controlled environment.  You can escape those extreme weather conditions and still get in your daily run or walk.

Use of the incline feature offers additional benefits, too.  Included among those benefits are:


  • Walking or running on a level surface doesn’t use as much energy as walking or running on an incline.  By increasing the incline level on the treadmill, you will increase the number of calories burned during your workouts.
  • Incline training works the leg muscles differently and more efficiently than training on a level surface.
  • Incline training provides a great cardiovascular workout without having to increase speed. 
  • The lower impact workouts on a treadmill decrease the likelihood of injury or strain to knees, hips, back, and ankles.
  • Incline workouts on a treadmill really stretch the calves and help you build long, lean calf muscles.
  • The incline feature allows for variation and helps prevent boredom during exercise sessions.


More About Incline Training


The incline feature on a treadmill is intended to mimic uphill climbing.  Most individuals who are climbing uphill do not travel quickly, but maintain a nice, slow, steady pace.  Follow this practice while working out on your treadmill, and you should be better able to maintain the incline level for longer periods of time. 


If you are just beginning an exercise program, begin at a low incline level and speed.  Do only as much as you can comfortably do.  As your endurance and strength improve, gradually increase the intensity and length of your workouts.


So what are you waiting for?  Hop on your treadmill, set the incline level, and imagine you are surrounded by the wonders of Nature as you hike up a beautiful mountain trail.


  • Using a treadmill on an incline increases the number of calories burned. Without an incline, you will burn an average of 500 calories. By setting your incline at 15 percent, you will increase your calories burning by 60 percent when running or by 150 percent when walking.


  • Exercising on an incline treadmill builds more muscles in the ankles, calves, and upper and lower thighs & glutes more than walking on a level surface. The incline of the treadmill stretches the calves, thus building long, lean muscles. The steeper you set the incline, the more you’ll benefit. You should not hold onto the handrails if you have to do so drop down the speed or incline.

  • By raising and lowering the track, you can emulate outdoor conditions with the incline treadmill. An incline treadmill affords the opportunity to squeeze in a quick workout that mimics a run or natural terrain anytime of the day or night, in the privacy of your home, without you having to worry about extreme weather conditions.

  • So give it a try challenge yourself to 4 weeks of incline treadmill training and see if you love it as much as I do …I think you will especially the results in the mirror Winking smile


  • Simply adjusting the incline a few inches manually can make you feel like you’re running up or down a hill. Some treadmills have automatic programs that increase and decrease the incline level so that you can get the most out of your workout and meet your fitness goals without interrupting your focus to readjust settings. This gives you the ability to control your workout in a way that you can’t when running on natural terrain. Exercising on a machine allows you to structure hill work that is very specific to your goals and level of fitness.


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by Ankur Garg


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