What Incline Should You Run On A Treadmill? The Exact Answer Is Here!

If you’re looking for a way to get in shape without spending time and money on gym memberships, then there’s no better option than the treadmill. 

It’s an affordable home workout machine that can provide cardiovascular benefits and help improve your muscle tone. Yet, if you are a newbie, you may be unsure about the treadmill incline.

What incline should you run on a treadmill? According to many experts, 1% to 2% is the ideal incline when running on a treadmill. Then, you can increase 3% or 4% when you get advanced workouts.

Let’s refer to the article from Vint to get the exact answer!

What Is The Incline On A Treadmill? 

Normally, a treadmill comes with a flat surface. However, if you want more challenges, you can replace the flat surface with the gradient one. 

Running or walking on a level surface is always tougher than running on a smooth road. Increasing the inclination during each workout is a great method to burn more calories and develop muscle.

This concept is different from speed. When you increase the speed, you have to run faster, but the gradient is another thing. 

The incline essence is the same as the inclination of the hill when you set the gradient with 1% or 2%. It doesn’t mean level 1 or level 2. The hill slope is graded as a percentage. Each gradient is displayed as a percentage rather than a level.

For example, when you run on a treadmill with an inclination of 2, the treadmill’s gradient is two percent. The gradient varies from 2 to 15 percent. You can increase the percentage, depending on your needs. 

The incline of the treadmill 

The incline of the treadmill 

What Incline Should You Run On A Treadmill? 

The ideal incline depends much on the level of workout you are on. In particular, beginner walkers should start with a 1% or 2% inclination on the workout machine. It will better represent minor height variations as well as wind resistance that one might encounter outside.

Once a novice has mastered their balance on the machine, they should walk without using the handrails. To stabilize the body, the muscles will have to work a little harder.

After a period, you’ve become used to walking on the equipment and have a basic fitness level that allows you to walk for 20-30 minutes at a time. 

At this point, raising the inclination from a 2-4 percent grade will be beneficial. It will make you feel like you’re strolling or running through a park or a neighborhood with low hillsides. 

You may set up manual or pre-programmed hill courses on most treadmills to experience interval training, including higher speeds with larger gradients followed by slower and flatter stretches.

Alternatively, you can combine different inclinations in a workout time. For instance, for the first 5 minutes, run or walk at a 1 or 2% inclination, then increase to 3 or 4 percent within 3 minutes, and finally return to 1 or 2 percent for 2 minutes. 

You can adjust interval training to meet your fitness levels and goals. For optimum results, it’s better to have a personal trainer, especially if you haven’t done any workout for a long time or have health issues.

The recommended inclination 

The recommended inclination 

What Are The Advantages Of Using The Incline On A Treadmill? 

Many exercisers choose to run and walk on the incline as it brings a wide range of benefits compared to working out on a flat surface. Here are some of the outstanding advantages you can gain from it. 

Support Weight Loss

Running or walking on a level surface burns fewer calories per mile than training on a running machine with the inclination option. 

It is especially beneficial for people who are trying to lose weight. As a result, increase the inclination and experience the burn.

Several factors are affecting the calories amount burnt include weight, intensity, incline, and handrails. For example, heavy exercisers tend to burn more calories than lighter ones. 

Weight loss

Weight loss 

Bring A More Realistic Running Experience

Many researchers state that jogging on a treadmill with a 1 to 2% inclination simulates a more genuine running experience. 

That’s because the gradient accounts for the wind resistance that you don’t encounter on a jogging machine.

When you’re jogging outside, you’re continually pushing your body into the air against the wind. 

As a result, this 1% to 2% inclination will make you feel like you’re jogging outside, even if you’re in the comfort of your own home.

Realistic experience 

Realistic experience 

Prevent Injury

Some exercisers report that their legs are hurt when running on an incline with 0%. However, everything seems fine when they start with 1%. 

Most people do not run on a fully level surface when they run outside. As a result, the 0% inclination will make you feel like you’re jogging downhill.

Moreover, running downhill also puts a lot of strain on your joints and legs, leading to long-term injuries. Hence, jogging on a 0% elevation causes your legs to suffer more than running on a 1% or 2% gradient.

Improve Strength

Jogging on a treadmill with an inclination is an excellent technique to build strength, much like running up a hill. Besides 1 or 2%, you can adjust your machine up to 10 or 15%. 

Uphill running requires a higher oxygen intake, which will improve your total endurance. Moreover, as compared to jogging on a flat surface, running on an elevation forces your muscles to work harder and builds leg strength.

As a result, training on a jogging machine with an inclination will help you increase leg strength, allowing you to run faster.

Strength improvement 

Strength improvement 

What Are The Disadvantages Of Using The Incline On A Treadmill? 

However, everything has two sides, and the incline is not exceptional. It exists some drawbacks, as shown below:

  • Jogging on an inclination, like running uphill outside, might make you exhausted faster.
  • Once you reach a 2 percent inclination, your legs will begin to weary, resulting in a shorter workout.
  • You’ll run slower if you increase your inclination in addition to getting a shorter exercise.
  • Most workouts should be done at a 1 to 2% inclination, but you risk injuring yourself if you go higher than that.


Does Walking On An Incline Support For Weight Loss?

The answer is yes! Walking on a treadmill gradient engages various muscle groups in both the lower and upper body. The more muscular activity a workout produces, the more energy it uses and the more fat it burns.

What Is A Good Incline Setting On A Treadmill?

The best incline settings for you will depend on your fitness level and goals. A 1% to 2% percent elevation is a decent place to start, and you may progressively raise the gradient as needed.

If you are unsure how to set the right inclination, you can watch this video:

Which Treadmill Has The Best Incline Features?

You can consider the NordicTrack Incline Treadmill series as they can provide an inclination of up to 40 percent. 

It supports weight loss

It supports weight loss

In A Nutshell

This article has completely solved the commonly asked question of beginning exercisers: What incline should you run on a treadmill? 

To sum up, the ideal inclination is from 1% to 2%, and then you can increase 3% or 4% when you get advanced workouts. 

Hopefully, the answer will be helpful for you. Thanks for reading, and see you in the next post!

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