There is one invaluable feature in your treadmill that provides you with “extras” in your calorie burning and cardio exercise. It’s pragmatic and it’s not a gimmick. This is the incline.

Inclines in treadmills simulate and mimic uphill walking conditions and you may opt to jog or run as well. Generally, inclines are adjustable up to 10% gradient but many contemporary higher-end treadmills provide adjustments of up to 15 percent.

But what exactly are the benefits of working out with treadmill inclines? As a matter of fact, there are many benefits for walking on inclines whether you go for losing weight, improving your cardiovascular fitness or building leg strength and stamina. Exhaustive studies have been conducted on calorie burn since calorie burn is a paramount consideration and subject affecting fitness regimes and routines. Everybody is conscientious about this subject.
In a report from an article on CBS, it was stated that a person weighing 73kg or 160lbs. walking at a constant 7kph for duration of 30 minutes will burn about 145 calories. This too is on level or flat surface with no incline. Add on 5% incline and the person will burn about 243 calories. If incline is increased to 10%, calories burn would be around 345.


According to an article on a study with calorie burn published in 1996, the “Journal of Sports Sciences” stated that running on a treadmill with a 1% incline indoors reflects the energy expenditure in an outdoor run. In a 30 minute run at 10kph, a 59kg or 130lbs. person would burn around 295 calories. But commonsensically, the amount of calorie burn would depend largely on speed, size and efficiency.

Walking on treadmill is one of the exercises prescribed for improving cardiovascular health, Yet, for some people, the only way to increase their heart rate is simply to walk faster. Still, this might not be appropriate for people with joint problems or injuries. Therefore, walking on inclines would be one effectual and practical way to increase workload. Invariably, this raises the heart rate.

What may come as a remarkable surprise to many is the discovery that walking on an incline causes the body to burn a greater amount of fat than running quickly on a flat road. Why this is so is because when you run fast on flat surface, your body taps into your carbohydrate storage rather than your fat. Hence walking on inclines of treadmills is a good way of shedding away body fat.


On the other hand, with muscle building, walking on inclines increases leg muscle activation and operation. It activates our calf muscles and hamstrings. Working out on inclines work your leg muscles differently as compared to level surfaces. They stretch the calves and help build long and lean muscles. To get the best from walking on treadmill inclines is to walk naturally and swing your arms freely like you are naturally walking up a gentle hill. Maintain a slow and steady pace.

For significant strength training, inclines are typically above 15%. You may even find some extreme inclines on special machines that go up to 30% gradient.

So if you have been wondering about just “how good” the incline on your treadmill is and whether it’s just a design add-on, do think again. The incline is altogether a truly invaluable feature that can be activated at your fingertips!