Incline treadmills are exercise equipment that allows users to adjust the incline or slope of the running surface. Unlike regular treadmills with a fixed flat surface, incline treadmills can simulate uphill running or walking. This added feature provides a more challenging workout and offers a variety of benefits.
The main difference between incline and regular treadmills is the ability to adjust the incline. Normal treadmills typically have a flat surface that remains constant throughout the workout. On the other hand, incline treadmills can be adjusted to simulate different terrains, such as hills or mountains. This allows users to target different muscle groups and increase the intensity of their workouts.
Incline treadmills use a motorized system to adjust the angle of the running surface. When the incline increases, the treadmill’s front rises, creating an uphill slope. This forces users to work harder to maintain their pace and engage more muscles in their lower body. The incline can usually be adjusted manually or through pre-programmed workouts on the treadmill’s console.
Benefits of Using an Incline Treadmill for Your Cardio Workout
Using an incline treadmill for your cardio workout offers several benefits, including helping you achieve your fitness goals more effectively.
1. Increased calorie burn: One of the main advantages of using an incline treadmill is that it can significantly increase your calorie burn compared to exercising on a flat surface. Running or walking uphill requires more effort and energy expenditure, which leads to a higher calorie burn. This can be especially beneficial for those looking to lose weight or maintain a healthy body composition.
2. Improved cardiovascular health: Incline treadmill workouts improve cardiovascular health. The increased intensity of exercising on an incline helps strengthen the heart and lungs, improving their efficiency and endurance. Regular incline treadmill workouts can also help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease.
3. Enhanced muscle activation: Incline treadmill workouts engage more muscles than on a flat surface. The incline targets the muscles in your lower body, including your calves, quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. Incorporating incline workouts into your routine can strengthen and tone these muscles more effectively.
4. Reduced impact on joints: Incline treadmills offer a lower-impact alternative to running or walking on a flat surface. The incline helps absorb some of the effect and reduces stress on your joints, particularly your knees and ankles. This makes incline treadmill workouts a great option for individuals with joint issues or those recovering from injuries.
Top Features to Look for in an Incline Treadmill
When choosing an incline treadmill, several key features should be considered to ensure you get the most out of your workouts.
1. Incline range: The incline range refers to the maximum angle to which the treadmill can be adjusted. Look for a treadmill with a wide incline range, ideally between 0% to 15% or higher. This will allow you to vary the intensity of your workouts and target different muscle groups.
2. Speed range: The speed range determines how fast the treadmill can go. Look for a treadmill with a wide speed range that suits your fitness level and goals. Most incline treadmills range from 0.5 mph to 12 mph or higher.
3. Motor power: The motor power of an incline treadmill is measured in horsepower (HP). Look for a treadmill with a powerful motor that can handle your workout needs. An engine with at least 2.5 HP is recommended for most users.
4. Belt size: The size of the running belt is an important consideration, especially if you have a longer stride or prefer a wider surface. Look for a treadmill with a belt at least 20 inches wide and 55 inches long to ensure comfortable and safe workouts.
5. Console features: The console of an incline treadmill should be user-friendly and offer a variety of features to enhance your workout experience. Look for a treadmill with a clear display, easy-to-use controls, and built-in workout programs. Additional features such as Bluetooth connectivity, speakers, and heart rate monitoring can also be beneficial.
Best Incline Treadmills on the Market: A Comparison
Several top-rated incline treadmills on the market offer a range of features and performance. Here are four of the best incline treadmills currently available:
1. NordicTrack Commercial X32i: The NordicTrack Commercial X32i is a high-end incline treadmill that offers an impressive incline range of -6 % to 40%. It also has a speed range of 0-12 mph and a powerful 4.25 CHP motor. The X32i features a large 32-inch HD touchscreen display, built-in workout programs, and iFit compatibility. It also has an adjustable cushioning system for added comfort.
2. ProForm Pro 9000: The ProForm Pro 9000 is another top-rated incline treadmill with a wide range of features. Its incline range is -3% to 15%, and its speed range is 0-12 mph. The Pro 9000 has a 4.0 CHP motor, a 22-inch HD touchscreen display, and iFit compatibility. It also has built-in speakers, heart rate monitoring, and a spacious running surface.
3. Sole F85: The Sole F85 is known for its smooth and quiet operation, making it a popular choice among users. It has an incline range of 0% to 15% and a speed range of 0.5-12 mph. The F85 features a powerful 4.0 CHP motor, a 10.1-inch LCD, and built-in workout programs. It also has Bluetooth connectivity, speakers, and a cushioned running surface.
4. Horizon 7.4 AT: The Horizon 7.4 AT is a user-friendly incline treadmill with a variety of features at an affordable price. Its incline range is 0% to 15% and its speed range is 0.5-12 mph. The 7.4 AT has a 3.5 CHP motor, an 8.5-inch LCD, and built-in workout programs. It also has Bluetooth connectivity, speakers, and a folding design for easy storage.
NordicTrack Incline Treadmill Review: Pros and Cons
The NordicTrack Commercial X32i is one of the top incline treadmills on the market, offering a range of features and performance. Here is an overview of the machine’s pros and cons:
– Impressive incline range of -6% to 40%
– Powerful 4.25 CHP motor
– Large 32-inch HD touchscreen display
– Built-in workout programs and iFit compatibility
– Adjustable cushioning system for added comfort
– High price point compared to other incline treadmills
– Large footprint may not be suitable for small spaces
– Some users may find the touchscreen display too large or overwhelming
ProForm Incline Treadmill Review: Performance and Durability
The ProForm Pro 9000 is another top-rated incline treadmill offering various features and performance. Here is an overview of the machine’s pros and cons:
– Wide incline range of -3% to 15%
– Powerful 4.0 CHP motor
– 22-inch HD touchscreen display and iFit compatibility
– Built-in speakers and heart rate monitoring
– Spacious running surface for added comfort
– Higher price point compared to entry-level incline treadmills
– Some users may find the touchscreen display less responsive
– Assembly may be time-consuming and require assistance
Sole Incline Treadmill Review: Smooth and Quiet Operation
The Sole F85 is known for its smooth and quiet operation, making it a popular choice among users. Here is an overview of the machine’s pros and cons:
– Incline range of 0% to 15%
– Powerful 4.0 CHP motor
– Quiet and smooth operation
– Bluetooth connectivity and speakers
– Cushioned running surface for added comfort
– Limited console features compared to other incline treadmills
– Some users may find the display size too small or too basic
– Assembly may require assistance and be time-consuming
Horizon Incline Treadmill Review: User-Friendly and Space-Saving Design
The Horizon 7.4 AT is a user-friendly incline treadmill that offers a variety of features at an affordable price. Here is an overview of the machine’s pros and cons:
– Incline range of 0% to 15%
– Affordable price point compared to other incline treadmills
– User-friendly design with easy-to-use controls
– Bluetooth connectivity and speakers
– Folding design for easy storage
– Lower motor power compared to other incline treadmills
– Smaller display size may be less immersive for some users
– Limited built-in workout programs compared to higher-end models
How to Maximize Your Incline Treadmill Workout for Optimal Results
To maximize your incline treadmill workout and achieve optimal results, here are some tips to keep in mind:
1. Warm up properly: Before starting your incline treadmill workout, warm up your muscles and joints with dynamic stretches or light cardio exercises. This will help prevent injuries and prepare your body for the upcoming workout.
2. Vary the incline and speed: To challenge your body and target different muscle groups, vary the angle and acceleration throughout your workout. Start with a moderate slope and gradually increase it as you progress. You can also incorporate higher rate or steeper incline intervals to increase the intensity.
3. Engage your core: When running or walking on an incline, engaging your core muscles is important to maintain proper form and stability. Focus on keeping your abs tight and your back straight throughout the workout.
4. Use proper form: Pay attention to your running or walking form while using the incline treadmill. Keep your head up, shoulders relaxed, and arms swinging naturally. Avoid leaning too far forward or backward, as this can strain your joints unnecessarily.
5. Cool down and stretch: After completing your incline treadmill workout, cool down with light cardio exercises and static stretches. This will help prevent muscle soreness and promote recovery.
Sample workouts to try:
– Beginner workout: Start with a 5-minute warm-up at a 0% incline and a comfortable pace. Then, increase the incline to 5% and walk for 2 minutes. Decrease the incline to 0% and jog for 1 minute. Repeat this cycle for 20-30 minutes, gradually increasing the intensity as you progress.
– Intermediate workout: Begin with a 10-minute warm-up at a 0% incline and a moderate pace. Then, increase the angle to 8% and run for 3 minutes. Decrease the angle to 0% and walk for 2 minutes. Repeat this cycle for 30-40 minutes, gradually increasing the intensity as you progress.
– Advanced workout: Start with a 10-minute warm-up at a 0% incline and a brisk pace. Then, increase the angle to 10% and run for 5 minutes. Decrease the angle to 0% and sprint for 1 minute. Repeat this cycle for 40-50 minutes, gradually increasing the intensity as you progress.
Choosing the Right Incline Treadmill for Your Fitness Goals
Incline treadmills offer a variety of benefits and can be a valuable addition to your fitness routine. When choosing the right incline treadmill for your fitness goals, consider the incline range, speed range, motor power, belt size, and console features.
The NordicTrack Commercial X32i, ProForm Pro 9000, Sole F85, and Horizon 7.4 AT are all top-rated incline treadmills that offer a range of features and performance. Each machine has its pros and cons, so it’s important to consider your specific needs and preferences when deciding.
Incorporating incline treadmill workouts into your routine can help you burn more calories, improve cardiovascular health, enhance muscle activation, and reduce impact on your joints. By following proper form and varying the intensity of your workouts, you can maximize your results and achieve your fitness goals more effectively.