Incline Treadmill Reviews

By: Jason Parker

An incline treadmill is a perfect option if you want a machine that helps build muscle and improve cardiorespiratory health, and can’t make it to the gym every day. Incline treadmills provide all of the benefits of a standard treadmill, but they offer an additional variable—the incline angle. Here’s what you’ll need to consider when selecting an incline treadmill for your home gym and our recommendations for the best around.

Benefits of an incline treadmill

One of the biggest benefits of working out on an incline treadmill is improved cardiovascular fitness by elevating your heart rate during a workout. The American Heart Association recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of cardiorespiratory training per week. In addition to improving cardiorespiratory health, an incline treadmill provides the following benefits.

  • Assists in weight loss and managementYou burn more calories walking or running on an incline treadmill than you would walking or running on a flat surface at the same speed.
  • Builds muscle—Walking or running on an incline targets the calves, hamstrings, and glutes, activating them more than if you were to walk or run on a 0% incline.
  • Alleviates pain for those who’ve had knee surgery—Inclined walking is beneficial for seniors and those who have undergone knee surgery, since the decrease in internal knee abduction during incline walking can reduce pain, decrease the rate of osteoarthritis, and reduce cartilage degeneration.
  • Improves performance at work and in everyday activities—Walking or running on an incline can be effective in preventing and treating low back pain, particularly for people who often sit for long periods of time.
  • Enhances athletic performance—Interval training on an incline has been found to improve distance running performance, making this type of machine an excellent option for exercisers who are training for a 5K or marathon.
  • Reduces chance of cardiovascular disease—Completing regular cardiorespiratory workouts on an incline treadmill helps decrease the risk of developing a cardiovascular disease since it improves the heart’s ability to function.

Any walking or running will benefit the exerciser, regardless of whether that exercise is done inside on a standard treadmill or outside. But a treadmill with an adjustable incline might be a better option for those seeking to work out in the comfort of their home.

What to look for in an incline treadmill

Before purchasing an incline treadmill, make sure you check the features and product specifications, including incline levels and adjustability features. It’s always helpful to test a machine before making a final purchase—while you’re testing a treadmill, check to see how easy it is to adjust the incline of the treadmill deck. Here are some other features to consider when purchasing an incline treadmill:

  • Top speed—Incline treadmills typically have a maximum speed of 4 mph, unlike regular treadmills, which typically have speeds up to 12 mph.
  • Treadmill space—Though most treadmills typically require a large amount of space, incline treadmills tend to be smaller and have space-saving designs for better storage. Allow for 24–36 inches in front and on both sides of the machine and 72–84 inches behind the machine.
  • Machine size—The walking deck is one of the most important features of an incline treadmill. Test out the machine and make sure you can comfortably walk on the incline without feeling too cramped.
  • Track design—Some incline treadmills will look like regular treadmills while others will have two long pedals (treadles). Treadles are preferred for those who want a more low-impact exercise.
  • Workout programs—The best incline treadmills will come with workout programs to help you achieve your fitness goals. Check for programmed workouts in your machine.
  • Shipping and installation—Since incline treadmills are typically shipped in parts, consider opting for white glove service so you won’t have to install the machine by yourself.
  • Warranty—A warranty can let you know if a treadmill provider stands behind its product. Make sure you understand the terms and conditions of your product warranty to know what is and isn’t covered in the event that a repair is needed.

To choose the best treadmill for your home, search for a well-designed, ergonomic machine with the features you desire at a price you can afford. It never hurts to check out treadmill reviews to ensure you’re considering all of the factors important in making your decision.

Best incline treadmills for a home gym

1. NordicTrack X11i incline trainer: best incline treadmill overall

NordicTrack makes a variety of treadmill products, including commercial-grade treadmills, treadmill desks, and incline trainers. We love the NordicTrack Incline Trainer Series, which includes some of the best treadmills designed for home gym use.

The NordicTrack X11i allows exercisers to burn five times the calories with a 40% incline. Built with NordicTrack iFit technology, the machine also offers 44 customized workouts, integrated heart rate monitoring with a chest strap, maximum speeds up to 12 mph, and a 4.25 CHP motor.

Free shipping is provided in addition to white glove services that range from $99–$249. This type of incline treadmill comes with a lifetime warranty on the frame, motor, and deck, a six-year warranty on parts and electronics, and a three-year labor warranty.

2. Bowflex TreadClimber TC100: best treadle incline treadmill

Bowflex is one of the most trusted and renowned gym equipment manufacturers in the world, producing all types of home gym equipment, from treadmills and ellipticals to home gyms and max trainers.

The Bowflex TreadClimber TC100 gives exercisers an intense cardio workout that burns up to 2.5 times the calories of a regular treadmill workout at the same speed. Perfect for those on a budget, this three-in-one cardio machine also caters to those seeking a walking workout that’s friendly on the joints.

The TC100 features a max speed up to 4 mph, a heart rate monitor with integrated contact grips, a fully backlit LCD display, and a compact design perfect for smaller spaces. Standard shipping is $200 in the contiguous United States and $499 for those in Alaska and Hawaii. White glove services are also available for an additional price.

Another great perk of the Bowflex TreadClimber TC100 is that it comes with a two-year warranty for the entire machine.

3. LifeSpan Fitness TR1200i folding treadmill: best incline treadmill for small spaces

The LifeSpan Fitness TR1200i folding treadmill is perfect for walking, jogging, or running and comes with six compression shock absorbers to protect your knees, back, and joints. The machine comes with 15 steep inclines, a maximum speed of 11 mph, 21 exercise programs, and a 300-pound weight capacity.

Complete with EZfold technology, this incline treadmill utilizes a hydraulic shock that assists you in folding and unfolding the machine. Once folded, simply roll the treadmill to your desired location using the four transport wheels located on the front and back of the machine. Whether you live in an apartment or single-family home, the TR1200i makes it easy to store your machine and maximize your space.

Free shipping is provided and white glove services are offered for an additional fee. This machine comes with a lifetime warranty on the frame and motor, a three-year warranty on parts, and a one-year labor warranty.

4. Sole TT8 Treadmill: best treadmill for various inclines

Sole Fitness designed this premier treadmill to appeal to those who want a variety of incline levels. Not only does the Sole TT8 treadmill have 15 incline levels, it also features six decline levels, making the machine highly adaptive to all exercisers.

This incline treadmill has a 4.0 CHP motor, Bluetooth capability, speeds up to 12 mph, built-in interval training workouts, and a 10.1-inch LCD display. Free shipping is provided in the contiguous US. Sole offers a lifetime warranty on the frame, motor, and deck, a five-year warranty on electronic components, and a two-year labor warranty.

5. ProForm Performance 400i: best budget-friendly incline treadmill

For those seeking a no-frills, budget-friendly treadmill, the ProForm Performance 400i is your best choice. Costing only $999, this treadmill is one of the most affordable on the market. The 400i has an incline range of 0–10% with a top speed of 10 mph and three easy-to-understand programmable workouts. It also provides an auxiliary port for tablets, phones, and mp3 players.

ProForm provides free shipping and installation for the 400i and also includes a lifetime warranty for the frame, 25-year motor warranty, and one-year labor warranty.

Want to read more treadmill reviews? Check out House Method treadmill reviews and find the best incline treadmill for your home gym.

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