5 Incline Treadmill Benefits

Do you enjoy hill climbing? Are you missing the workout to your thighs and glutes from hill climbing?

What if you had a treadmill that works your body in the same way as climbing hills that you can safely use at home?

Sometimes circumstances mean that you can’t get outdoors. Maybe you don’t have the time or the weather is bad?

With a home treadmill, you can still get that workout. But, if you love hill-climbing, a regular treadmill may not cut it for the intensity of the workout that you’re after.

Most regular treadmills have an incline of 5 to 15%. An incline of 1% is considered equal to a regular walk on the flat in the outdoors. For added resistance, an incline treadmill can incline as much as 40%.

So now it’s possible to maintain your climbing fitness ready for when you hit those hills.

Incline Treadmill Benefits

Here are some of the key benefits of working out with an incline treadmill…

Great For Weight Loss

Incline treadmills increase calorie burn more than regular treadmills as the incline makes your body work harder. The intensity of your workout is the key factor to losing weight. The higher the intensity, the higher the burn.

So how much weight can you lose with an incline treadmill?

Calorie Burn

To lose weight you need to burn more calories than you put in your body. This is called a calorie deficit.

The rate at which your body burns fat depends on many factors. Every person is different. The calories that you can burn using a treadmill depends on your weight and speed. The heavier and fitter you are, the more you will burn. But, if you’re small and unfit, you’ll burn less calories.

How To Calculate Calorie Expenditure

To calculate your calorie burn rate, you need to find the MET rate metabolic equivalent rate).

Researchers at the University of Arizona developed the Compendium of Physical Activities to establish the MET rate for various activities.

Your base MET rate is the rate of calories you burn while sitting, which is an average of 1 calorie for every kg. A man who weighs 75kg would therefore spend 75 calories per hour while resting.

An activity with a MET of 2, such as working at a desk will burn twice that amount i.e. 150 calories per hour.

Here’s how to calculate your calorie expenditure:

  • First calculate your weight in kilograms (1kg = 2.2lb)
  • Find the MET value for the activity e.g. walking at 2.5mph on a flat surface = MET level 3
  • Multiply the kilograms by MET level, which you can find in the walking section compendium of physical activities

So, a man who weighs 84kg (185lb) who takes his dog walking for an hour will use 252 calories.

84(kg) x 3 (MET rate for dog walking) = 252 calories

A woman weighing 57kg (125lb) who walks for one hour (MET level 6.3) on an incline treadmill will burn considerably more:

57kg x 6.3 (MET rate for incline treadmill) = 359 calories.

How much time do you need to spend on a treadmill to lose 1kg?

There are 7,700 calories in 1 kg.

So if 1 hour of hill climbing burns 359 we can calculate how many sessions a woman weighing 57kg needs to do to lose 1kg.

7700 ÷ 359 = 21.4 hours of hill climbing on an incline treadmill.

Provided the woman doesn’t consume more calories than she needs, she could theoretically shed 1kg of fat in 3 weeks if she walks for one hour every day. But, to be realistic, a person’s weight can fluctuate from week to week regardless of diet and exercise. It’s always best to gauge weight loss by the fit of your clothes.

Weight Loss Plateau

Many who try to lose weight over a long period will hit a point when their body doesn’t seem to shift any weight even if they are putting in lots of hours on a treadmill. This is called a plateau.

Many become disheartened at this stage, but this is the crucial time to step up the intensity of your workouts. This is where a good incline treadmill comes in.

To increase the intensity, choose more challenging workouts. Some incline treadmills randomly up the incline level so that you don’t get used to the workouts.

This way you can supercharge your weight loss progress.

Remember, sweat is fat crying. Get that jiggle tum to cry you a river.

Shorter Workout Time

To decrease your workout time while still burning calories an incline treadmill can increase the intensity of your workout so that you still burn.

Interestingly, the higher the intensity you work at, the more your body will continue to lose fat over the course of the day.

When you work out, you should maintain your heart rate at 70-85% of your maximum heart rate for the best calorie-burning effect. The harder you work, the shorter you can make your workout time.

Never exercise more than 90% of your maximum heart rate.

Using the incline on the treadmill can double the number of calories you burn. 20 minutes on a 10% incline would burn double the calories as if you were using an incline of 0.

Strengthens and Tones

Treadmills aren’t just for cardiovascular workouts. You can use your incline treadmill to get a shapely peachy behind.

The butt is made up of three muscles: gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. They’re called glutes for short.

The trick to building a shapely butt on an incline treadmill is to isolate the muscles during your workout.


You may not think so, but you can do lunges on a treadmill. After warming up with 10 minutes of walking, turn the speed to 2 to 3 miles an hour and set the incline to 15%. Instead of walking on the treadmill, do walking lunges. This will build a more shapely booty as well as strengthen your core and thigh muscles.

Try to aim for 1 to 2 minutes of walking lunges without putting your hands on the handrails. After the first couple of minutes of walking lunges, alternate to a recovery period of normal walking with a small incline.

Just with 20 to 30 minutes a day, 3 times a week for 2 weeks on an incline treadmill, you should start to notice increased strength and muscle tone in your quads, glutes, hamstrings, ankles and calf muscles.

Incline Glute Walk

This treadmill exercise will build a delicious derriere in no time.

Start the treadmill off on the flat and begin with a light walk to warm up. When you get a good speed going after about 5 minutes, increase the incline to 8% to 10%. The goal is to gradually increase the incline for the duration of your workout.

If you can, do 20 to 30 minutes at an incline of 15%. This is a good goal to work for to get a good cardio workout and build that booty.

For optimum results, you must get the technique right. The trick is to push through the heel. Never hold on to the treadmill, or you’ll burn fewer calories. So land on your heel and drag the belt backwards with your foot. While you do this, lift and squeeze your glutes.

Make every step with purpose and keep a nice butt-squeeze.

Next, crank it up to a steep incline. Keep lifting, dragging and squeezing. If you do this for 20 to 30 minutes you’re really going to start to feel the burn in your glutes.

Squat Walk

For a real booty-booster, try the squat walk. Standing sideways on the treadmill assume a wide-legged squat position.

Make sure that your knees are not over your toes and shoot your behind right out.

Turn the treadmill on to a slow walk, say 2 to 3 miles an hour.

When the belt starts moving step sideways while in the squat position. Keep your form in position and keep stepping sideways. After 2 minutes turn around and swap sides for another two minutes.

Lunge with Kickback

This is the same as the walking lunge only this time you add a kickback between each step. Before you step forward, raise the heel of that leg as high behind you as possible then bring it down for the next step.

This is a great butt lifter as the leg raises targets the muscle at the top of your butt, giving a lifting effect.


Another great way to raise your glute activity is sprinting on the treadmill. Put the treadmill on a 1% incline and go hard at it for 20 to 30 seconds, then walk for a minute and a half. Repeat for around 25 minutes and you’ll get a good cardio workout and your glutes will be firing for sure.

When you raise the incline of the treadmill you will start to work the muscles differently, so it’s a good idea to vary the incline during your workout. When you raise it, stand straight up tall and make sure you press on your heels to work both the front and back of your legs.

Don’t hold on, keep your arms free so that you can keep walking.

Remember that the longer your stride and higher the incline, the more you’ll work your glutes.

Factors to Consider when Buying an Incline Treadmill

To get the most out of your treadmill, you’ll want to establish what features are best for you. To avoid spending money on features that you won’t use, use your fitness goals to determine what is best for you.

Who Is Going to Use It?

Is it just you? Or are others going to use it? You’ll need to consider the weight and height of the people who will use the treadmill.

Treadmills have weight limits that can go up to 450 pounds. Heavier people will probably need to stick to low-impact exercises such as walking and will benefit from higher inclines.

For taller people, anything shorter than 54 inches will be unsuitable. People who stand 6 feet or taller need a longer belt, especially if they are running due to a longer stride.

If you’re buying a treadmill for weight loss, you should make sure that the model you get has an adequate incline.

Some incline treadmill models increase the incline at random intervals to make sure you don’t get used to the workouts. This type of workout is great for weight loss as it gets your heart pumping and burns more calories.

Some treadmills allow you to connect a heart monitor to a treadmill to give an accurate reading on the calorie counter.

What’s Your Budget?

Your budget is probably going to be the most important factor to consider when buying a treadmill. You want as much bang as you can get for your buck.

So what makes a good quality treadmill?

Good quality treadmills are quiet, comfortable, simple to use and durable.  Models that cost $1000 and upwards will be more reliable and of better quality.

Auto/Manual Incline

Some treadmills have an automatic incline function while others have a manual one. If your budget allows, always go for a treadmill with an automatic incline.

Drive motor

One of the most vital factors is the motor that powers your treadmill as this will do a lot of work.

5 Incline Treadmill Benefits

The length of the warranty period will give you a good indication of the quality of the motor. The longer the warranty, the better the quality of the parts. Continuous-duty horsepower (CHP) refers to the amount of power that the motor generates.

If you’re going to use your treadmill for mainly walking you can get away with just 2.0 horsepower. This will bring the price down.

Joggers will want a bit more continuous power, so you’ll want at least 2.5 continuous horsepower.

But, if you’re sprinting, you really need a horsepower of 3.0 to handle higher speeds.

For heavier people that weigh over 200lbs, you’ll want to add an additional 0.5 on to the minimum horsepower. So if a heavier person is going to be jogging, they’ll want a minimum horsepower of 3.5.