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Best Treadmills with Incline

Running uphill is a great way to sweat - a LOT. Treadmills with incline can help to simulate hill running, and get you in shape in the comfort of your home.

Cardiovascular exercises are essential parts of any fitness plan, as they help speed up your heart rate and increasing blood circulation, strengthen your lungs, and overall keep you fit and feeling strong. Using a treadmill gives you all the benefits of outdoor workouts without the worry of uneven terrains, tripping over curbs, and hard sidewalk surfaces. If you want to take your cardio to an entirely new level, then you need to try out a treadmill with incline. Inclines can help you to burn even more calories with the added benefit of targeting specific muscles for toning.

How incline works on treadmills

Inclined treadmills are quite different from the traditional treadmills in that they have a ramp that can be adjusted within a range of angles. In some of these treadmills, the workout surface can be tilted up to 30 – 40 percent, although most traditional treadmills incline to 10 - 20 percent max. The additional incline means that more energy is required to overcome the extra gravity - picture yourself running or walking up a hill versus up a flat field. Another significant benefit of using treadmills with incline is that they are actually easier on joints than the traditional treadmills.

Another significant benefit of using treadmills with incline is that they are actually easier on joints than the traditional treadmills.

What to look for in incline features

You need to consider various features - depending on your preference - before getting an inclined treadmill. Some of these features include:

Automatic or Manual Incline

Before you decide on which incline treadmill to get, you need to determine if you want an automatic or manual incline. The incline on automatic treadmills will adjust automatically; all you have to do is press a button to choose the degree of incline you want. The ramp will lift up (or sometimes down) to the desired angle without you having to miss a single stride. Pretty cool right? Well, this, of course, makes automatic incline treadmills more expensive.

The manual incline treadmill usually has about 2 or 3 possible angles, and you would have to toggle through these angles manually. This also means that if you want to increase the incline in the middle of your workout, you will have to stop, get off the machine to lift the ramp to the correct position, and then restart. For people who are keeping track of their target heart rates, stopping mid-step will mess with your numbers, not to mention the mental capacity of having to get back into the workout zone.

Incline or Decline?

Another decision you have to make is in selecting an incline or decline treadmill. While some treadmill ramps can go both up and down at different angles, most only go up. 

Using an incline treadmill helps raise the heart rate more than when using the decline treadmill. Also, the incline treadmill engages several muscles of the glutes, inner thighs, the quadriceps, the calf, and the hamstrings. 

Treadmills that decline will allow you to pay more attention to the hip extension and knees, so it works the hip rotators, the abdominal muscles, the hip flexors, and the calf muscles. You should note that a declined angle puts more strain on the knees and hips, so if you are prone to joint injury, you may not want to shell out the extra cash for a decline feature.

1) Proform 505 CST available for $599 on Amazon

Key features
  • Bluetooth and iFit enabled
  • Speed range of 0-10 mph
  • 2.5 HP (horse power) motor
  • 6-inch backlit LED display.
  • Grip-based heart rate monitor.

ProForm is a reputable health and fitness brand with many fitness products on the market. The ProForm 505 CST treadmill is another one of their great products. 

The 505 CST is a sturdy, entry-level product that boasts a space-saving folding feature. The 18 workout options are one of its major selling points, though you can even access more workouts online with the iFit coach feature (iFit requires a paid subscription). Compared to many other treadmills on the market, the ProForm 505 CST is pretty budget friendly treadmill that is well suited for beginners, considering its features and quality build.

Image Source: Amazon

What about the incline feature?

The ProForm 505 CST comes with a 0-10 percent incline, which is decent but won't give you a very intense workout effect. It is an automatic incline, which is adjustable with a press of a button, so you don’t have to interrupt your workout to change the angle.

What's not so good about this treadmill?

Although this treadmill has many amazing features, it is not without its flaws. The 10mph speed is a bit short, as the average man's running speed of 12-13 mph. Therefore, if you're an experienced runner and you prefer your treadmill to reach top speed, this treadmill isn’t the best choice for you. Also, the heart rate monitor is not wireless compatible, as it uses a heart rate grip sensor. Experienced runners will find the grip sensors to be fairly inaccurate, as you'll have to stop running to hold onto the sensor to get a reading. The 20-inch wide and 55-inch long running area may feel a bit cramped, especially for people with a longer stride length.

Pros:
  • The folding feature helps in saving space.
  • You have 18 workout options to choose from.
  • The iFit coach allows you access more workouts online.
  • It uses an automatic incline.
Cons:
  • The 10 mph maximum speed is only suitable for walking and jogging.
  • The heart rate monitor is not wireless compatible.
  • The narrow running area makes it uncomfortable for tall people,
  • It does not include a decline feature.

2) Sunny SF-T7515 available for $325 on Amazon

Key features
  • Speed range of 0-8 mph
  • 1 HP motor
  • 12 percent automatic incline
  • Pulse grip heart rate monitor
  • Maximum weight of 250 lbs.

Sunny Health & Fitness have been in the health and fitness market for over a decade now, and they have some great products to their name. The Sunny SF-T7515 is one of their latest products on the market. This durable treadmill boasts 12 different workout programs and a soft-drop folding system. It has a Bluetooth enabled console, which makes for comfortable use. The most significant advantage of using this treadmill is its highly competitive price, which some people find to be too good to be true especially considering all its features.

Image Source: Amazon

What about the incline feature?

The Sunny SF-T7515 treadmill has 12 incline levels; from 0-12 percent. It uses an automatic incline, so you can easily adjust the angle from the built-in controls in the handlebar, or from the console. Considering that this treadmill is less than $500 and has a more-than-average automatic incline, it offers a pretty good bargain. 

What's not so good about this treadmill?

This treadmill does have some drawbacks, which is not surprising, as we do not expect it to be a world-beater at its price. One of the most significant disadvantages though is the 1 HP motor, which is quite low power and makes it unsuitable for prolonged use. Also, the 8 mph maximum speed makes it only suitable for walking and light jogging. It uses a pulse grip heart rate monitor, which isn't wireless compatible, and the speakers are not the best you would find on the market.

Pros:
  • It is a budget-friendly treadmill.
  • The soft-drop folding system makes it easy to store away.
  • It boasts a Bluetooth enabled console.
  • It uses a quick button automatic incline.
Cons:
  • It is not suitable for prolonged use because of its low power motor.
  • The treadmill doesn't reach running speeds.
  • It uses a heart rate monitor that is not compatible with wireless.
  • Low quality speakers.

3) AFG Sport 5.5AT available for $735 on Amazon

Key features
  • Speed range of 0.5-10 mph.
  • 10 percent automatic incline.
  • 2.5 CHP motor.
  • Maximum weight of 300 lbs.
  • 3-LED display.

The AFG Sport 5.5AT is one of the numerous products AFG Fitness have on the market. This sturdy treadmill is particularly designed for use in the home. It uses an impressive 2.5 CHP motor that gives the treadmill a range of speed between 0.5-10 mph. This is a bit below the average speed, so it is not a great choice for intense running sessions, but it's fast enough for most people. Unlike some of the other items on this list, the AFG Sport 5.5AT only comes with nine workout programs. This treadmill comes at a decent price at well under a grand, which many people would consider to be adequate for its available features.

Image Source: Amazon

What about the incline feature?

The AFG Sport 5.5AT offers up to 10 levels of incline, which is 0-10 percent. The incline is automatic one and it can be adjusted slowly from the arrow keys or from the quick keys on the console. The 10 percent incline is not that great especially compared to some commercial grade treadmills, but it still adds a reasonable level of difficulty to your workout.

What's not so good about this treadmill?

Some of the observable flaws of this treadmill include the 10 mph maximum speed that doesn’t offer more than a fast jogging workout. Also, this treadmill offers nothing in terms of online connectivity. When compared with some other products (such as those provided by Proform), the display on the AFG Sport 5.5AT looks pretty basic. The treadmill is also not very suited for use by tall people, as it has a belt size of 20" by 55", but it is large enough to accommodate most users under 300lbs.

Pros:
  • Easily adjustable automatic incline.
  • It uses a powerful 2.5 CHP motor.
  • It is a budget-friendly workout equipment.
  • The motor is very quiet.
Cons:
  • It does not include a decline feature.
  • It offers no online connectivity.
  • The speed doesn't reach fast running levels.

4) Nordic C 990 available for $999 on Amazon

Key features
  • iFit enabled.
  • 7-inch touchscreen display.
  • 3.0 CHP motor.
  • 12 percent automatic incline.
  • Speed range of 0-12 mph.

NordicTrack is a manufacturing company that is very well known for producing exercise equipment sold online and in stores. They have various equipment on the market and the Nordic C 990 treadmill is one of their most popular products. 

It uses a 3.0 CHP motor that gives you a lasting, smooth and consistent power. One of its most significant selling points is the 32 pre-loaded workout plans you have access to, meaning that you'll have plenty of options for variety. It also has a subscription-based iFit coach feature that allows you to access more workouts online. The Nordic C 990 is a bit on the expensive side of the aisle, which is not really surprising as it competes pretty well with treadmills in its price range.

Image Source: Amazon

What about the incline feature?

The Nordic C 990 boasts an automatic 0-12 percent incline, which speeds up the rate you burn calories. It is an automatic incline, so with a single click of a button, you can easily control the incline angle. Unlike some other treadmills though, it doesn’t come with a decline feature.

What's not so good about this treadmill?

There really isn’t much to complain about with this treadmill. One thing could be the fact that although it has the capability for a more accurate chest strap heart rate monitor, it only comes with dual grip heart rate sensors, which is pretty inadequate for a treadmill in its price range. Also, some users find the regular iFit subscription fee to be quite steep.

Pros:
  • You can get more workouts online with the iFit coach.
  • It uses an impressive 3.0 CHP motor.
  • it boasts 32 built-in workout programs.
  • The automatic incline is easy to operate.
Cons:
  • More expensive
  • The treadmill doesn't come with a chest strap heart rate sensor.
  • No decline feature
  • Some users find the iFit subscription to be steep.

5) Proform Pro 2000 available for $1795 on Amazon

Key features
  • 32 built-in workouts.
  • iFit enabled.
  • Speed range of 0.5-12 mph.
  • 3.5 CHP motor.
  • -3-15 percent incline.

Considered as one of the best treadmills on the market, the ProForm Pro 2000 - another excellent product from ProForm – has a speed range of 0.5-12 mph, making it not only suitable for jogging and walking but you can also use it for running workouts. 

This foldable treadmill has a 60-inch long and 22-inch wide track, which is quite roomy. The 3.5 CHP motor makes for a smooth experience - no worries about this machine not being able to keep up with you! 

It also has a 7-inch workout screen and a subscription-based iFit coach app. For a treadmill in its price range, the ProForm Pro 2000 does a really good job in captivating users by offering many useful features - but it does come at a much steeper price.

Image Source: Amazon

What about the incline feature?

The ProForm Pro 2000 boasts a 15 percent incline and a -3 percent decline, which offers you variety in your workouts and keeps you from getting bored. The incline control is automatic, so you don’t have to interrupt your workouts to change the angle. You can use the steeper angles to train specific muscles on different days.

What's not so good about this treadmill?

The iFit monitor is sold separately, adding to the cost of acquiring the total package (which is already pretty steep).
This is not a concern about the device itself, but some customers have noted the product arriving damaged on delivery. It is therefore advised that you make your purchase from a reputable vendor, and double check the warranty provided.

Pros:
  • it supports running workouts.
  • The treadmill uses a 3.5 CHP motor.
  • It features an iFit coach app.
  • This treadmill has a -3 percent decline feature.
Cons:
  • You have to get the iFit monitor separately.
  • The braking system is not very efficient.

6) Bowflex Treadclimber TC10 available for $999 on Amazon

Key features
  • Two pedals or treadles.
  • Maximum speed of 4 mph.
  • Goal Oriented Coach technology.
  • Maximum weight of 300 lbs.

Bowflex is an experienced, well-known brand that has been producing fitness equipment for decades. The Bowflex Treadclimber TC10 is one of their most popular products. 

The Goal-Oriented coach feature allows you to set weekly training goals and the trainer notifies you as you make landmark progress. The Treadclimber is quite space efficient and some users even compare with a compact treadmill.The maximum speed offered is 4 mph and the belt is divided to feel almost like an elliptical. If you are interested in running workouts, this isn't the device for you. Many users consider the price to be a bit over the top considering the Treadclimber's limitations, but what it does, it does well.

Image Source: Amazon

What about the incline feature?

Unlike the traditional treadmill, the Treadclimber has two pedals (called treadles) that are normally flat but can be inclined up to a remarkable 40 percent. The pedals are not automatic and they move based on your weight. The idea is to feel like you are climbing up a steep hill - you will definitely work hard, but you're moving pretty slowly compared to your standard running machine.

What's not so good about this treadmill?

The Bowflex Treadclimber TC10 does not offer any form of preset workout program. The most you can do is choose from 12 available intensity settings. This treadmill does not include an iPod port or any form of connectivity, which makes users skeptical especially in this age of internet and fast connectivity. The 4 mph maximum speed means you can only use the Treadclimber for walking and light jogging. The treadmill also requires regular lubrication, which is perhaps its biggest flaw - it can be very noisy without maintenance.

Pros:
  • This treadmill boasts a Goal-Oriented feature.
  • It is very space efficient.
  • The low-impact motion it offers is pretty easy on the joints
  • It comes with an easy to read display.
Cons:
  • The treadmill has no built-in workout programs
  • It does not have any form of connectivity,
  • Needs regular lubrication.

7) Nautilus T616 available for $999 on Amazon

Key features
  • 26 built-in workouts
  • Speed range of 0-12 mph.
  • 3.0 CHP motor.
  • Grip-based and chest wrap heart rate monitor.
  • Bluetooth enabled.

Nautilus Inc. is an American manufacturer of fitness products and the Nautilus T616 is one of their elite products on the market. This foldable treadmill features a 3.0 CHP motor that gives it speeds from 0-12 mph. 

The stand-out feature on the T616 is it's software. It has 26 built-in workouts with 4 user profiles and 4 customizable programs included. This means that not only will it save progress and stats for each member of your family individually, it can also customize workouts based on your own personal preferences.  The Bluetooth enabled console also makes it easy to sync the data with your mobile device. 

The Nautilus T6161 offers a bit more flexibility in terms of monitoring heart rate, as you can decide to use the contact grips or the included chest strap. The pricing on this product can be considered as very reasonable considering all its high-end technical features, but it's more expensive than other models.

Image Source: Amazon

What about the incline feature?

The Nautilus T616 features a 15 percent incline, which is quite efficient in working various muscle groups more intensely. It uses an automatic incline, so with just a click of a button, you will be able to adjust the incline angle.

What's not so good about this treadmill?

Although this treadmill comes out as a high-quality equipment, it does have its flaws. Although these flaws may affect your overall experience, they sure are not deal breakers. The DualTrack feature doesn’t have touch-screen functionality, which comes as a surprise considering the level of software sophistication of this treadmill. Also, the maximum supportable weight of 300 lbs is a bit on the low side for a treadmill with such a powerful motor. Some users have also raised concerns about the limited warranty period, which is not comparable with most other treadmills in its price range.

Pros:
  • It boasts 26 built-in workouts.
  • The treadmill is easy to fold.
  • It is Bluetooth enabled.
  • This treadmill uses a 3.0 CHP motor.
Cons:
  • The DualTrack is not touch-screen enabled.
  • It supports only up to 300 lbs.
  • This treadmill has a imited warranty period.

8) Sole Fitness F85 available for $1999 on Amazon

Key features
  • Pulse grip and chest strap heart rate monitor.
  • 4.0 CHP motor.
  • Speed range of 0.5-12 mph.
  • 10.1-inch display.
  • Cushion Flex Whisper Deck

SOLE is a reputable company that has many fitness equipment to their name. If you are looking for a top-of-the-line, high-end treadmill, then the Sole Fitness F85 is an excellent choice for you. 

This folding treadmill boasts an impressive 4.0 CHP motor and the machine can support sprints up to 12 mph and a weight of 400 lbs, 100lbs more than most other items on this list. 

Perhaps the most significant selling point of the Sole Fitness F85 is the heart rate control option that automatically calculates the maximum workout range for a user based on the user's age. This guarantees you the safest and most efficient workout possible. 

The Cushion Flex Whisper Deck also reduces the impact of the workout on your joints by a remarkable 40 percent. Of course, it is reasonable to think that all these features will translate to the price, which is evident in the steep price of the treadmill.

Image Source: Amazon

What about the incline feature?

The Sole Fitness F85 has an automatic incline with a range of 0-15 percent. The incline has 30 levels with each level being 0.5 percent. This gives you many more options regarding the level of incline you want. This treadmill offers a wider range of incline when compared to most of its counterparts, but again, at a higher price point.

What's not so good about this treadmill?

For such a high-end product, it is no surprise that it doesn’t have as many drawbacks as can be found in some other treadmills. Perhaps the biggest drawback is the fact that it comes with only 10 built-in workouts, which is quite low compared to many of other treadmills in a lower price range. Also, although the treadmill is foldable, it is quite bulky, so it doesn’t do much in terms of saving space. Some users have complained about the short side rails, which reduces the level of comfort while in use.

Pros:
  • Its 4.0 CHP motor is one of the most powerful on the market.
  • The treadmill uses both chest strap and pulse grip heart rate monitor.
  • The Cushion Flex Whisper Deck makes using it a pleasant experience.
  • It can support up to a maximm weight of 400 lbs.
Cons:
  • It comes with only 10 built-in workouts.
  • The treadmill is bulky, therefore it doesn't save space.

9) Horizon Fitness T101-04 available for $999 on Amazon

Key features
  • Pulse grip heart rate monitor.
  • 30 built-in programs.
  • Speed range of 0.5-10 mph.
  • 2.25 CHP motor.
  •  Mp3 compatible Sonic Surround Speakers.

Horizon Fitness has been in the fitness equipment market for decades now and they have a number of great products to their name. 

The Horizon Fitness T101-04 is one of their best selling products. Its powerful 2.25 CHP motor gives it speeds from 0.5-10 mph and the 30 program options make it a popular choice among users who love some variety in their workouts. The treadmill also has a sonic surround speaker that is compatible with mp3 and improves the general user experience. This foldable treadmill is rated as one of the best value buys because of the features it offers at its price range.

Image Source: Amazon

What about the incline feature?

The Horizon Fitness T101-04 boasts an incline of up to 10 percent, which is nothing special. If you are the more athletic type in need of more intense workouts, then you may check out some of the other treadmills reviewed here. The incline is automatic too, which makes for more convenient use.

What's not so good about this treadmill?

Although this treadmill is an excellent example of value for money spent, it still has some noticeable drawbacks. The 10 mph maximum speed will guarantee maximum results in walking and jogging workouts, but experienced runners may find it lacking.. Also, it uses a pulse grip heart rate monitor which is not as accurate as the chest strap monitor. Some users have also complained of the cooling fan not being as effective as what can be found on some other treadmills. If you can look beyond all these though, you would be getting a great product.

Pros:
  • It offers up to 30 built-in programs.
  • An mp3 compaticle sonic surround makes for a comfortable use.
  • The treadmill is foldable, making it easy to store and transport.
  • The treadmill is reasonably priced.
Cons:
  • The 10 mph maximum speed is not very suitable for fast running workouts.
  • The pulse grip heart rate monitor is not very reliable.
  • Some users have complained about the cooling fan not being effective.

10) Gold's Gym 720 available for $499 on Amazon

Key features
  • Speed range of 0-10 mph.
  • Pulse grip heart rate monitor.
  • Maximum weight of 300 lbs.
  • 18 built-in workout programs.
  • Cooling fan.

Gold’s Gym 720 treadmill is a piece of gym equipment from Gold’s Gym Fitness. It has a foldable design that makes it easy to transport and store. The treadmill offers speeds from 0-10 mph which is decent considering its affordability. 

This piece of equipment offers up to 18 built-in workout programs that automatically adjust the incline and speed of the machine, making each workout a breeze. It boasts a workout fan that helps make the whole workout experience a pleasant one. For a machine that is priced well under $1000, the Gold’s Gym 720 is one of the best choices on the market.

Image Source: Amazon

What about the incline feature?

This treadmill offers an incline of up to 10 percent, which is pretty decent when compared to other products in its price range. Although this machine can be used by everyone, the incline doesn't guarantee high-intensity workout sessions that may be found in treadmills with steeper incline angles. The incline is automatic, so with a push of a button, you can adjust the incline to whatever you want.

What's not so good about this treadmill?

Although not a deal breaker, the pulse grip heart rate monitor won’t give you a very accurate reading. The narrow display screen is quite small and difficult to read. The maximum speed of 10 mph makes it inadequate for running workouts. The 55-inch running area is a bit less than average and makes it a tedious job for tall users. Some users have complained about its overall durability, as some of the parts of the machine are made from cheap looking plastic.

Pros:
  • This treadmill boasts a respectable 18 built-in workout programs.
  • It is a budget friendly treadmill.
  • The treadmill is easy to transport and store because of its foldable design.
  • The cooling fan is very effective.
Cons:
  • It uses a pulse grip heart rate monitor.
  • Some users have complained about its overall durability.
  • The display screen is quite small.

11) Weslo CardioStride 4.0 available for $102 on Amazon

Key features
  • Maximum weight of 250 lbs.
  • Self-powered.
  • Phone holder.
  • Does not use a motor.

The Weslo CardioStride 4.0 is a manual incline treadmill from Weslo, a manufacturing company for health and fitness products. Being an entry-level machine, it trades comfort and durability for a very low price. 

It has a maximum supportable weight capacity of 250 lbs, and it is designed to fold easily and fit into tight spaces. This treadmill is self-powered, so it is not powered by any motor. This removes the need for electricity and the speed is dependent on the momentum of your stride. Although it doesn’t have a built-in music player, it has a close substitute in a phone holder that holds your mobile device, so you can play music or watch movies while working out.

Image Source: Amazon

What about the incline feature?

The Weslo CardioStride 4.0 uses a manually adjustable incline. Therefore, whenever you want to change the incline, you would have to stop your workout, get off the machine, before making the necessary adjustments.

What's not so good about this treadmill?

Before going into the flaws of this treadmill, it is important to note its price point. The machine only depends on the momentum of your stride, which is not really comfortable, nor does it push you too hard in terms of speed. 

The treadmill does not offer any music playing capabilities or a built-in workout program. Although it does have many flaws when compared to some of its more expensive counterparts, these flaws can be excused if you consider the fact that it is one of the cheapest manual incline treadmills on the market.

Pros:
  • The treadmill is very cheap.
  • It does not need electricity to function.
  • It can be folded easily for easy storage.
  • This treadmill supports up to 250 lbs, which is impressive considering its price range.
Cons:
  • The machine depends on the momentum of the user's stride, which is not very reliable.
  • It doesn't offer any music playing feature.
  • Adjusting the incline is quite a tedious work.

In conclusion...

The importance of regular workouts cannot be overemphasized, and it is essential that the right exercise equipment are used. Treadmills are excellent substitute for outdoor running, jogging, or walking because they simulate the outdoor experience without the added dangers and worries of running outside. 

Using incline or decline treadmills take your workout to a more intense level by rapidly increasing your heart beat rate and putting more pressure on your muscles. It is however safe for the knees, as it doesn’t put much pressure on the knees. If you haven’t tried using a treadmill with incline before, then you need to get one and start that workout plan today.