Incline trainers (also referred to as incline treadmills) are a relatively new exercise equipment innovation combining the treadmill with the stepper. It’s a treadmill in function but a stepper in workout type. Essentially it’s a treadmill that offers a very steep incline for intense “hill climbing” simulated workouts.
Some incline treadmills incline to 40%. Some incline trainers also offer a decline option to simulate walking or running downhill.
What’s so great about an incline trainer?
If you’ve ever worked out on a step or stair climbing machine, you’ll appreciate the intensity and effort required to do a “climbing style” workout. That’s what incline treadmills offer – but also offering the features and benefits of a regular treadmill. Yes, you can set them to lower inclines to function just as a regular treadmill.
Pros of an Incline Treadmill
- Burn more calories. The steeper the incline, the more calories you’ll burn.
- If you aren’t into running, but want an intense workout, incline treadmills will deliver.
- Low impact workout option. Get an intense workout while walking which is much, much lower impact than running or jogging.
- Replicate downhill walking and running. Real life running includes running downhill which uses different muscles than running on flat or uphill terrain. Some incline treadmills offer downhill gradients.
- If you get an incline trainer with iFit technology, you can run or walk terrain simulated from all over the world. Imagine the tremendous training opportunities. You can train for a specific race in your home. If you’re running the Seattle marathon, which has hills, then program the Seattle marathon route in your iFit Live powered by Google maps and you can run the Seattle marathon terrain in your home.
- Best of both worlds – an incline trainer is really just a treadmill that offers a very steep incline. You can still run on these machines.
Cons of an Incline Treadmill
- Shorter walking deck. No incline treadmill that I’ve found offers a 60″ long deck. That said, you can still comfortably run on 50″ to 55″ decks (a common running deck length).
- If you set it at a very high incline (steeper than 15 – 20%) you’ll likely need to hang onto the handles. I find holding onto handles while working out reduces effort. Holding on is an assist which I like to avoid. I’d rather set the incline to a lower grade and not need to hold onto handles. When I work out on steppers I set the workout to a lower speed so I can do the workout without hanging onto handles. That said, don’t compromise your safety by not holding onto the handles.
Note From Brigadoon Fitness
We have said it before and we’ll say it again – treadmills are one of the best exercise machines out there. From beginners to exercise enthusiasts you can get a good workout or warm up on a trainer.
Why would you use an incline treadmill? It’s a great way to increase your calorie burn and build muscle. Walking up an incline not only works your buttocks, legs, and thighs, as well as your cardiovascular system, it also uses more muscles throughout your lower body including your claves and glutes. You can lose more fat, including in the belly area, when you walk on a treadmill because it raises your heart rate.
Walking on a 15% incline is considered the optimum to build muscle and get the most benefits. Both the True Fitness TC900 and the TC400 have up to 15% inclines. Then there is the Alpine Runner that has a whopping 30% incline. All of these machines will help you with strength, cardio, and your running speed.
For more information about running on an Incline Treadmill click here.
Give us a call today to find out how you can own one of these True Fitness Treadmills.