Looking for a low impact exercise that burns as many calories as jogging?
Incline trainers and high incline treadmills just may be the answer.
Using an incline trainer or incline treadmill at a low speed but with a high incline burns calories and builds leg muscles, all while being much easier on the joints than jogging or running.
I’m going to show you the best incline treadmills of 2021 and point out a few things worth considering when making your choice.
- TOP 10 Best Incline Treadmills 2021
- FreeMotion i11.9 Incline Trainer
- FreeMotion Commercial Incline Trainer
- Sole TT8 Light Commercial Incline Treadmill
- 3G Cardio Elite Runner Treadmill
- StairMaster HIITMill Incline Treadmill
- Bowflex TreadClimber TC100
- Bowflex BXT116 Treadmill
- ProForm PRO-9000 Treadmill
- GoPlus 2.5 HP Folding Incline Treadmill
- Nautilus T614 Treadmill
- How Do You Choose the Best Incline Treadmill?
- What is the Best Incline Treadmill?
- Is Incline on Treadmill Bad for Knees?
- What is a Good Incline to Walk on Treadmill?
- Is it Better to Walk Fast or on an Incline?
- Incline Treadmill vs Elliptical – Which is Better?
- What is the Benefit of Changing up Speed and Incline During Your Workout?
- Does Incline Walking Build Butt Muscle?
TOP 10 Best Incline Treadmills 2021
How Do You Choose the Best Incline Treadmill?
Firstly, What is an Incline Trainer? Is it Different from an Incline Treadmill?
An incline trainer may look like a treadmill, and it effectively is. The main difference is that a true incline trainer can reach a much higher incline and usually includes a decline too.
Incline trainers often reach 30% incline while treadmills with an incline function more commonly reach 10-15%.
What are the Benefits of using an Incline Treadmill or Incline Trainer?
Using a high incline has many benefits:
- Incline walking uses more muscles and so burns more calories than walking or jogging on a flat surface.
- Walking or climbing the incline builds leg, calf, glutes and hamstring muscles.
- Walking at an incline is easier on the joints and lower impact than jogging or running.
What Keep in Mind before Buying an Incline Treadmill
If you want to use the treadmill to build calves, quads and glutes, you will need one that inclines.
All the inclines treadmills in our list go up to at least 12%, and many go up to 15%. You can use these steep inclines at lower speeds to build muscle as you simulate hiking or climbing.
Most incline trainers have even higher inclines. Our list includes two models that incline up to 30% for a serious booty building climb.
Other things to consider include:
If you are tall, or you plan to do any jogging or running, look for a longer deck length.
Most of the Treadmills and trainers I reviewed have 60” long decks, which is ideal for running. Less than 55” and you’re getting into walking only territory.
This includes everything from the quality of speakers or fans (if there are any), to whether a chest heart rate strap is included or whether you have to rely on the pulse sensors in the handles.
You also might want to consider whether the console allows convenient places to hold your phone, drink bottle or tablet, how big the screen size is, whether there are built-in workouts and how easy it is to customize your own.
Max User Weight
This is important if you’re a heavier person. Most high-quality machines have a maximum weight limit of 300 – 400 lbs but some cheaper machines might be nearer 200 lbs.
Ease of Movement
If you have a small apartment and you don’t want your treadmill to be the center of attention 24/7, choosing a lighter weight model that can be folded up and easily moved out of the way could be the best option.
The larger treadmills on this list are really heavy and likely to be impossible to move once they’re set up. However, lighter weight treadmills are less stable and will probably wobble a bit when you run, so it’s a tradeoff.
If you’re interested in folding treadmills specifically, we have a great list of the best folding treadmills.
This is kind of an obvious one, but the price range of treadmills can be anything from $500 to $3,000.
So, your budget is going to play a large role in deciding which treadmill you end up getting.
Unfortunately, the cheaper models will definitely be lower quality – there are no short cuts when it comes to getting a good treadmill. The investment in a high-quality machine could save you the hassle of annoying break downs.
Alternatively, if the budget is restraint but you don’t necessarily want a cheap treadmill, choosing a manual treadmill over an automated one could be an excellent compromise.
Manual treadmills are incline treadmills by default because they use the driving force of your legs in conjunction with gravity to make the belt turn. They provide a tough workout while saving you the worry of electrical parts failing and needing replacing. Check out our list of the best manual treadmills if you’re interested in this option.
Similarly, if you know you’re just going to be using your treadmill for walking, you could also save money by choosing a treadmill designed specifically for walking.
It will have a lower top speed and smaller deck and the motor will be designed for consistently running at low speeds. Have a look at our guide to the best walking treadmills if that makes sense to you.
Lastly, if you’re still not sure, why not take a browse of our list of the best overall treadmills for more ideas?
What is the Best Incline Treadmill?
This depends on your budget… Both the Sole and Bowflex treadmills are excellent choices. If I were to buy an incline trainer for my home, it would be the FreeMotion i11.9 Incline Trainer without question.
Is Incline on Treadmill Bad for Knees?
Not at all, provided you work up to the incline slowly so that it’s not too much of a shock for your muscles.
Walking at an incline is better for the knees than running on a flat surface as they aren’t forced to absorb the shock of impact.
What is a Good Incline to Walk on Treadmill?
There is no single incline that is better than any other as it depends more on how fast you’re walking and how long you walk at that incline. Mixing it up provides the most varied workout and will use the most muscles.
The steeper the incline, the harder it is to walk. But you burn a similar number of calories walking for longer or a slower speed on a less steep incline.
Is it Better to Walk Fast or on an Incline?
Either is fine depending on what your goals are. Walking at an incline will use more of your leg muscles but walking fast is still a great workout.
Incline Treadmill vs Elliptical – Which is Better?
This mainly depends on whether you want to be able to work out your arms at the same time. If you do, an elliptical would be a better choice for you. We have a list of the best ellipticals right here to get you started.
However, an incline trainer can give you a better variety of workouts as you can vary the incline and speed.
What is the Benefit of Changing up Speed and Incline During Your Workout?
Different angles engage different muscle groups. For example, a high incline strengthens calves, quads and glutes, while a flat incline at a faster speed will improve cardio and aerobic endurance.
It’s definitely a good idea to switch things up to get the most out of your incline treadmill or trainer.
Does Incline Walking Build Butt Muscle?
Yes. One of the primary muscles used to walk, hike or climb up an incline are your glutes, or butt muscles, so it follows that walking at an incline can build butt muscle.
That brings us to the end of this guide to the best incline treadmills for 2021.
What incline trainer or incline treadmill are you planning to get?
Drop me a line in the comments below and let me know, and be sure to subscribe to stay in the loop for all the latest reviews.