How To Use An Incline on A TreadMill

Health & Dietician Blog


Welcome to a guide that unlocks the potential of your treadmill workout! In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of how to use an incline on a treadmill, turning sessions into a dynamic and rewarding experience.

Whether you’re just starting your fitness journey or seeking to level up your workouts, understanding how to leverage the incline effectively can make a significant difference.

Benefits of walking on an incline

Boosting your exercise routine can enhance performance, overcome plateaus, and maintain motivation. An easy tweak you can make is incorporating inclines into your walking or running workouts. Here are five advantages of walking on an incline.

1. Burn More Calories and Fat

Boosting your treadmill with an incline can amp up your calorie burn, be it running or walking.

Studies from the American College of Sports Medicine’s Resource Manual for Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription reveal that with every 1% increase in incline, your body burns approximately 12% more calories. For someone weighing around 150 pounds, that translates to an extra 10 calories per mile.

2. Improve Stamina

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, set by the Department of Health and Human Services, recommend that adults partake in a minimum of 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, or alternatively, 75 to 159 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity each week. Striving for about 75% of your maximum heart rate during exercise contributes to improved cardiovascular fitness.

Integrating walking or running on an incline proves to be an effective method for elevating your heart rate. The incline boosts the workload, leading to an increased heart rate — all without the necessity to escalate your speed, thereby minimizing the risk of potential injuries.

3. Build Muscle

Running on an incline prompts your leg muscles to undergo heightened exertion, effectively activating the muscles within your calves, hamstrings, and glutes.

The degree of incline and the duration of your workout directly impact the extent of observable outcomes.

To witness notable advancements in strength, it’s advisable to consider elevating the incline to around 15%. This deliberate increase in incline level can lead to substantial improvements.

How To Use An Incline On A Treadmill

If you’re aiming to achieve significant outcomes through the incline feature on your treadmill, it’s essential to keep the following guidelines in mind:

  • Begin with a proper warm-up routine.
  • Focus on refining your technique for uphill walking and running.
  • Introduce alterations to only one aspect at a time — whether it’s speed, incline, or duration.
  • Select Your Incline: Choose a treadmill incline that challenges you but allows walking without holding on. If you find yourself reaching for handrails, lower the incline and speed to a more comfortable level.
  • Stay Upright: Maintain a vertical or slightly forward-leaning position as you climb. Utilize your glutes and calves to propel yourself uphill, experiencing a burn down your posterior chain.
  • Arm Action: Drive your knees up while pumping your arms to build momentum for climbing. Keep your knees soft and shoulders rolled back for an effective technique.
  • Head Up: Avoid the common tendency to look down while walking uphill. Keep your chin up to open your airway, allowing optimal oxygen intake and preventing strain on the back of your neck.
  • Adjust Intensity: If unable to walk the incline without holding on, lower the speed and/or incline until you feel comfortable. Maintain an intensity level around seven on a scale of zero to 10, ensuring a challenging workout without overdoing it.

Incorporating inclines into your treadmill training is a valuable practice for every runner. If you’re seeking a treadmill equipped with incline features, the experts at G&G Fitness are readily available to assist you in finding the ideal fit.

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