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Increase the Incline on Treadmill For More Efficient Workout

Treadmill Tip: Adjust the Grade

To keep things exciting on a treadmill, you have to mix it up, and one way to do so is to play with the incline. For folks with troublesome ankles and knees, going faster can make cranky joints even crankier. By adjusting the grade you can increase the difficulty of your workout without compromising the joints of your lower legs. If you walk on a treadmill, use that incline button to take yourself for a hilly hike with this walking workout.

On last week's episode of The Biggest Loser, trainer Bob Harper also reminded us all that increasing the incline means you burn more calories in less time, and who doesn't want to be more efficient in their workout? It's not only efficient, but turning up the grade also means you work more of your muscles and in a greater range of motion. Try cranking the incline on your next treadmill walk up to 10 — just to see how it feels.

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Join The Conversation
SaraJeanQueen SaraJeanQueen 5 years
I can't believe how irresponsible this article is! I'm sorry but it's just blatantly FALSE that raising the incline does nothing to your joints.. my mom had two knee surgeries, and her doctor told her it was from years of walking on a high incline on her treadmill. When I got the horrible "runner's knee" discussed in an earlier post, my doctor (who worked with athletes at my university) told me NEVER run on an incline on a treadmill, and that speed does nothing to help or hurt your knees. He's right -- when I thought about it, I realized my knee didn't feel any different even when I ran much faster. It IS important to switch it up -- meaning treadmill vs. outside running. I can tell when I've run for 3, 4 workouts in a row on the treadmill that I get the "runner's knee". A day off and run outside makes it better. Of course I do use the incline carefully -- what I like to do is enjoy my run on a 0% incline (or 0.5-1.0 for half a mile at a time only) and then walk at the end with increasing the incline for 5 minutes. My joints are happy.
TheLittleMonster TheLittleMonster 5 years
I do this already, but the article is right- it does keep things interesting. I have little rules for myself. Gotta run on a 2 or 3 incline, but if I stop to walk it better be at a 5 incline minimum unless it's a warm up or cool down. Adjusting it throughout the workout ensures that I am constantly paying attention to my pace.
jessy777 jessy777 5 years
This is my basic work out. Running continues to bother my knee so if I want a nice cardio work out I set the grade to 10 at a fairly swift pace. I burn the same calories and get a similar feeling to running as I continue to heal.
Spectra Spectra 5 years
I do this all the time. You'd be amazed at how much you feel this in your butt if you crank the incline up to 8 or 9 and really walk quickly.
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