What is the Common Incline in a Treadmill?

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Incorporating an incline in your treadmill workouts is a proven way to enhance their effectiveness. Yet, many are still unclear about the best incline setting for maximum benefit.

It’s important to note that while a 10% incline is commonly used on treadmills, it might not be the optimal setting for everyone’s workout needs.

This highlights the importance of understanding how to use the incline feature effectively on your treadmill. By doing so, you can tailor the incline to fit your specific workout goals.

Today, we’ll dive into an in-depth discussion about treadmill inclines. We’ll explore the reasons behind the popularity of the 10 percent incline and offer alternatives that might be more suitable for your exercise regime.

Continue reading to uncover these essential insights.

What Is an Incline in a Treadmill?

The part of the treadmill where one steps on when walking, jogging, or running is the deck. If the deck is set at an angle, that’s an incline.

Under such circumstances, the treadmill’s running surface resembles a hill due to its sloppiness. It is a feature that one can adjust depending on various factors.

As you set your incline, remember to factor in your level of fitness. One’s training goals also matter when setting an incline.

In most cases, the inclines a treadmill can offer range from 1% to 12%. However, others usually offer up to 15% incline.

Various Common Inclines in a Treadmill

An incline in a treadmill can either be automatic or manual. As the names suggest, an automatic incline only requires pressing a button for the necessary adjustments.

On the other hand, a manual one is quite engaging and demanding. After all, one needs to adjust the deck’s angle manually to set its incline.

Regardless of whether it is manual or automatic, regular inclines include the following;

15% Incline in a Treadmill

Most treadmills have this incline as the steepest option. Due to its intensity, it is not a high recommendation among treadmill users.

On the contrary, it is advisable that you only use it if you are an experienced runner. This incline is suitable for strength training and intense cardio.

10% Incline in a Treadmill

Running on treadmills with a 10% incline is popular because of the significant benefits it provides to the body, such as increased calorie burn and muscle engagement.

However, this level of incline can be quite challenging, resembling the effort of climbing a steep hill. For beginners, a less steep incline might be more suitable, as the 10% incline can be too intense to start with.

Additionally, if you have joint problems, running on treadmills at this incline can do more harm than good. In such cases, it’s best to avoid high inclines altogether to prevent any potential injury or strain.

5% Incline in a Treadmill

If you are working on strengthening your core, legs and glutes, this incline won’t disappoint. It is also effective if you want to burn calories.

Nevertheless, expect it to be a challenge since it is no different from climbing a steep hill as well. However, try it out despite the difficulty since amazing benefits await you upon enduring.

2% Incline in a Treadmill

It isn’t as challenging as the above inclines since it has a slight steepness. It is ideal for someone seeking to increase their workout intensity.

Interestingly, that’s not the only benefit it offers an individual working out on an incline. For instance, it is quite beneficial to one’s cardiovascular system and muscles.

1% Incline in a Treadmill

It is the smallest incline in a treadmill. Its effects are similar to those you get if you run up on a slight hill.

From a glance, you may underestimate its intensity and effectiveness. That’s why people who incorporate it into their workout enjoy great benefits and results.

Such an incline is enough to increase the rate at which your body burns calories. It also works on various muscle groups, especially at the core or legs.

Factors to Consider When Choosing an Incline in a Treadmill

Whereas many options are great, they often make it hard when one has to make a decision. The case is no different when dealing with the various treadmill inclines.

Nevertheless, you can use these tricks to ensure you get it right.

  • Start with the smallest incline and gradually increase it to help your body adjust.
  • Ensure the incline aligns with your fitness goals, such as settling for a relatively steep incline when burning calories.
  • If you want to entertain yourself while working out for encouragement, don’t overlook the treadmill’s console features. The ones that usually make a huge difference include workout trackers, entertainment plans, and heart rate monitors.
  • If you want a steep incline, ensure that the motor is powerful enough to handle it. Equally important, the belt should be large enough to withstand the extra stress.
  • Instead of pre-programmed inclines, look for a treadmill that allows you to customize these settings. It gives you the control you need over your workout sessions.

Do All Treadmills Have Inclines?

It is worth noting that not every treadmill has an incline. Such machines are also known as flat treadmills.

Like any other treadmill, one can walk, jog or run on it for great results. However, the benefits that come with the incline aren’t part of the package.

How to Use the Incline in a Treadmill

As you use an incline, consider the following for safety and proper usage of this machine.

  • Keep track of any discomfort or overexertion your body may experience during a workout session.
  • Modify the incline as soon as you notice that your body doesn’t feel good about it, or an injury or overexertion may arise.
  • The incline should match your goals and, above all, your fitness level.
  • Ensure you warm up since your body needs preparation for such intense workups.
  • Use ideal running shoes
  • Ensure you are at the centre of the treadmill’s deck at all times.
  • Always look ahead
  • Maintain an upright posture
  • Remember to combine light activities with intense exercises for better improvement and to avoid injuries.
  • Always adjust to an incline that your body can handle.


What is the common incline in a Treadmill? It turns out that the answer is the 10% incline.

Nevertheless, having learned that it isn’t ideal for beginners, one can say one thing about it without any fear of contradiction. It isn’t one of the common inclines in a treadmill for this group.

Fortunately, there are other options for amateurs. Professionals also have other choices higher than the 10% one.

Once you opt for the incline setting, expect to reap various benefits from this adjustment. However, don’t forget when an incline isn’t an ideal option to avoid unnecessary issues.

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