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11 Best Treadmills With Incline To Build Strength and Torch Calories

Adding an incline in your treadmill workout can sculpt muscle, and increase your calorie burn. And according to experts, it's better on your knees!


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Whether you’re in a mood to run up hills or need an effective but low-impact workout, you’ll love our roundup of the best treadmills with incline. Each offers smooth operation, is foldable, and tracks workout metrics to keep you motivated. If you’re always skipping the gym, owning an at-home treadmill may be the way to stay on top of your fitness goals.

Treadmills provide an amazing cardiovascular workout, and dialing up the incline boosts strength. And since all of our picks come with built-in fitness programs, you’ll never be at a loss for what to do. It’s almost as good as having a personal trainer in your home — and some treadmills have a version of that too!

Ready to get sweaty? Check out our picks of the top treadmills with incline to add to your home gym.

What are the best treadmills with incline?

Is a treadmill with an incline better?

You may have noticed that when walking outside the terrain changes naturally. One minute you’re strolling on flat ground, and then next minute you’re scaling a slight hill. The best treadmills with incline mimic this experience, and there are several benefits to working out on one.

First off, walking (or running) up hill is more challenging, because more muscles must engage to fight gravity. The more muscles you engage, the more energy or “calories” you burn. This is crucial in weight loss and weight maintenance.

If you’re medically obese, exercising at an incline can be very beneficial. According to the Journal of Orthopaedic Research, obese individuals who walked slowly up hill experienced an elevated heart rate when compared to walking briskly on flat terrain. What’s even more interesting, however, was that the impact on their knees was less than when they walked on level ground. The elevated incline made up for the slower speed, leading researchers to conclude that this style of exercise was good for those with joint pain, as well as those without.

According to the Journal of Biomechanics, you burn up to 32 percent more calories when exercising on an incline. And according to the Mayo Clinic, switching up the intensity of your workout (like fiddling around with the elevation levels) can reduce your chances of plateauing.

Is treadmill incline good for weight loss?

Walking on a treadmill incline is great for weight loss. While the biggest factor in weight loss is diet, working out helps — a lot. Additionally, working out on an incline builds muscles, increasing how many calories you burn in a resting state.

The thing that’s great about the best treadmills with incline is that they offer interval training. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, it simply means repeatedly alternating from slow to fast bursts of movement with moderate movement in between. While many do this in the form of a HIIT workout (think burpees followed by squats), you can get a similar calorie burn with a treadmill.

Amazon/NordiTrack/Bowflex/Sunny Fitness & Health

Interval training on a treadmill can be as easy as walking slowly on an incline for 3 minutes, before reducing the incline and walking as fast as you can for 2 minutes. This not only improves endurance but targets different muscles. It can even reduce belly fat, according to the Journal Of Sports Medicine.

What’s really cool about using the treadmill incline to aid weight loss is that you don’t even need to turn it up very high. In fact, raising it by a mere 5 percent will increase your metabolic cost by 17 percent for the session. That’s huge!

One of the best treadmills with incline for interval training is the Horizon Fitness T101. It has five different preset workout programs to keep muscles activated (versus acclimated), but you can also enjoy it in manual mode, and increase the incline whenever you want.

What are the benefits of a high incline treadmill?

There are a ton of health benefits associated with walking on an incline. These include:

  • Increased calorie burning: Moving on a slope requires more muscle activity. The more muscles you engage, the more calories the body uses.
  • Targets glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves: The legs are the largest muscle group. Walking on an incline is a great way to keep them strong. According to Harvard Medical School, maintaining strength in our lower region is crucial to enjoying other physical activities, as well as avoiding injuries.
  • Strengthens joints: If you have aches in your knees or ankles, using the incline can help. One study published in Gait Posture showed that walking uphill put less stress on the knees. Researchers also noted the action reduced cartilage degeneration.

Another benefit of a high incline treadmill is that it can help improve cardiovascular fitness. According to Rob McGillivray, founder of RETROFIT in Los Angeles, California, switching up the gradient can make a huge difference in how you look and feel. “By adding some variables into the mix you can turn a simple walk into a fun, fast interval session,” he told NBC News. “Essentially we burn the most calories by repeatedly raising and lowering the heart rate, as opposed to keeping the heart rate at one steady pace, whether that be high or low.”

If you worry that you’re not sufficiently motivated to switch things up, we highly recommend checking out one of the treadmills from Bowflex. It’s an investment, but it comes with a one-year free membership to JRNY. The fitness platform has thousands of workouts to choose from, and even virtual coaching.

Is it better to walk or run at an incline?

Compared to walking, running burns more calories. However, when incline is concerned it may be better to walk, especially if you have joint issues. While running engages the entire body, it can be tough on knees and ankles. In contrast, walking is far gentler.

Although you won’t burn as many calories walking up hill as running, you’ll still burn more calories than when walking a flat surface. Moving your arms and keeping your core tight can activate the rest of your muscles. One of our favorite best treadmills with incline for walking is the Besportable Folding Treadmill. It includes five different levels of shock absorption, plus 12 different workout programs. It also comes 95 percent assembled.

Looking for even more options? Check out our other treadmill recommendations:

See more of our best product recommendations.

Best Treadmills With Incline

Proform Carbon T7 Smart Treadmill

Best overall treadmill with incline
Best Treadmills with Incline
20% off!

Buy from Amazon, starting at $799.99 (was $999.99)

Why we like it:

  • Interactive screen
  • Quick incline controls
  • Self-cooling motor

Interactive treadmills are cool! Their continuous switch-up of workouts makes exercise fun and keeps muscles guessing. Unfortunately, they’re also pricey. Fortunately, the Proform Carbon T7 Smart Treadmill is under $1,000. Although its screen is 7 inches small, it does connect with the iFit app where you can take part in challenges, global runs, and classes. The 20 inch by 55 inch belt makes it a good option for users six-feet-two and under, and the cushioning is pampering to the joints. The incline goes up to 10 percent, providing lots of burning options for the glutes, hamstrings, and quads. Even if you run at 10 miles per hour — is that humanly possible? — the motor won’t overheat. And if the screen is too small for your liking, you can grab the treadmill in its T10 model (Amazon, $899), which has a display of 10 inches.

Product review: “I love this treadmill! I’ve had it for about a month now and couldn’t be happier with it. I love the iFit program it has where it changes the settings for you [during the] workout, but I love how you can also just use manual mode!”

Horizon Fitness T101 Foldable Treadmill

Best treadmill with incline and fan
Best Treadmills Under $1,000

Buy from Amazon, $808.56

Why we like it:

  • 5 preset workouts
  • Slim deck with three cushioned zones
  • 300-pound weight capacity

The Horizon Fitness T101 Foldable Treadmill is fantastic if you’re looking for a slimmer machine that has lots of bells and whistles. It connects to Bluetooth for music streaming, and also has a USB port to charge your smartphone. Two different sets of handlebars offer multiple hand positions as you take advantage of the incline, which goes up to 10 percent, and there’s a fan in the front to cool you off. The deck is 20-inches wide, but many happy customers on Amazon enjoy running on it. There are also three zones of cushioning in the deck to keep ankles and knees happy. The Johnson Drive System motor doesn’t buck as the speed accelerates, and there are five different preset workouts to play with when you’re not sure what to do.

Promising review: “I’m not a runner. I’m not training for marathons. In fact, I don’t really enjoy running at all…but it makes me feel better physically, so I do it. I use my treadmill at least six days a week for about a half hour a day. My Weslo treadmill died in November after having it for about 10 years (and not maintaining the motor like I should have). I looked into getting another one of those but I really didn’t have much money to spend on myself with the holidays right around the corner…I happened to stumble upon this one…I’ve never heard of the brand and it wasn’t listed on any websites of fabulous treadmills. [However,] for about half the price I found exactly what I wanted. This Horizon T101 is large. I feel safe running on it, and like it’s not going to collapse under me. It is so quiet! It has a fan, and Bluetooth, so I don’t have to have my phone bouncing in my pocket. It has two spaces to hold things, like my walking weights, phone, and water bottle. It also has a place for a tablet, so I can read while walking. The power incline is great.”

Schwinn Fitness 810 Treadmill

Best treadmill with incline and lcd display
Best Treadmills Under $1,000

Buy from Amazon, $899.99

Why we like it:

  • iPad holder, and built-in fans
  • Backlit LCD display
  • More than 10 preset programs

SoftTrak cushioning, motorized incline and a place to keep your iPad — what more do you need? The Schwinn’s 810 Treadmill is a great choice if you’re seeking an effective but low-impact workout to burn calories. The belt runs smooths and is easy on joints, and there are 16 — yes, 16! — built-in programs to move between. If you’re into watching movies while breaking a sweat, you’ll love the LCD display. It’s backlit and easy to see even if you’re in a dark room. Turn down the lights, turn on a movie, and lace up your best lightweight running shoes. You’ll be shocked by how quickly the time goes. If you’re into virtual training, the treadmill can connect to the Explore The World fitness app, but even without it you’ll be challenged.

Promising review: “I just got this treadmill, and my two teenage sons put it together in about one hour — maybe less. It was pretty easy for them. My kids and I have been walking and running on it and love it. The speakers are loud and good quality for use with an iPad/tablet or phone. It also charges (you will need a dongle to use the speakers with an iPhone). It’s very easy to understand how to use the settings. The fan is a nice addition. The storage cup holders are sturdy and large. The 10 percent incline works very well. It’s a very quiet treadmill, and I enjoyed walking and running on it. It feels solid and sturdy, and I think it was a great value for the price. It also feels like it has shock absorbers or something, because it’s easy on the legs.”

Bowflex Treadmill Series

Best trreadmill with incline and fitness subscription
Best Treadmills With Incline

Buy from Amazon, starting at $1,799.99

Why we like it:

  • 1-Year JRNY Membership included
  • Touchscreen display with streaming channels
  • Up to 15 percent incline

Bowflex treadmills can whip you into serious shape. It’s not only the large running belt and Comfort Tech deck cushioning that makes for a comfortable workout experience. The Treadmill Series also boasts a flatscreen TV that streams your favorite programs and workouts. It’s a touchscreen, so you don’t have to worry about dropping a remote while jogging, and it also displays all your fitness metrics. The motorized incline goes up to 15 percent, and the soft drop folding system makes the machine space saving. To access streaming you’ll have to be part of the Bowflex JRNY fitness platform. However, the good news is when you purchase the treadmill on Amazon you get a one-year membership to the JRNY fitness platform. It lets you take part in global runs, virtual coaching, and treadmill workouts that will keep the plateau away. Valued at $149 per year, it’s way cheaper than your average gym membership and far more convenient. Large handles at the side of the machine lend support when you’re feeling tired, and the two front levers measure your heart rate. We know it’s a bit pricey, but it’s also the crème de la crème of treadmills and worth the splurge if you can swing it.

Promising review: “I had this treadmill for about two months and have really enjoyed using it. I’ll walk and watch a streaming program and my husband uses it to run. He enjoys choosing a pre-programed workout (there’s a huge variety) and has that coaching in the background while Explore the World has him running in some scenic location. A JRNY subscription is required but so far worth the money. He’s also started using some of the “off machine” workouts offered via the JRNY app. The machine itself is incredibly sturdy, very quiet for a treadmill, and the 22″ screen is a perfect size to enjoy a show or Explore the World. I definitely recommend this treadmill.”

NordicTrack Commercial 1750 Treadmill Series

Best NordicTrack treadmill with incline
Best Treadmills with Incline

Buy from Amazon, starting at $1,599

Why we like it:

  • Immersive, rotating screen
  • 3 to 15 percent one-touch incline
  • 22-inch by 60-inch tread belt

For a serious workout go for a serious treadmill, and any one from the NordicTrack Commercial series will do. Even the 2019 model is nothing to skip over. It has an immersive LCD screen that connects to the iFit app, which gives you access to tons of live workouts and elite trainers. Its incline can take you low (-3) if you want to pretend you’re jogging down a mountain, and goes up to 15 percent. Plus, the large belt leaves lots of room for long legs and swingings arms. The 2022 model is also amazing, and worth the additional $400 if you want a full home gym experience. Its screen rotates, allowing you to use the machine to do other iFit classes in different parts of the room. I would run for a few miles, and then turn the screen to do a Pilates workout myself. However, the iFit app (included for 30 days free with your purchase) is loaded with HIIT workouts, bootcamps, and more. Check out what this happy customer had to say about the model.

Promising review: “It’s incredible — very similar to a treadmill at the gym or to what you’d find in a hotel. The three things I wanted were a large screen (this is 22-inches) to watch the iFit videos, a high end motor, and a built-in fan. This has all of the above. It has videos built into the machine, but I prefer using the iFit app…It also has a Bluetooth feature to listen to music or plug in a device, but so far I haven’t even used this as there are so many videos to scroll through. I will say that we did spend extra to have someone put it together. My husband is handy but I have read it’s complicated to do yourself, and It’s crazy to spend a lot of money and not have it done right. The white glove service guy came and did everything in under thirty minutes, and taught me how to use all the bells and whistles. So if you buy, I highly recommend having it put together by a professional.”

Runow Folding Treadmill

Best affordable treadmill with incline
Best Treadmills for Walking
16% off!

Buy at Amazon, from $589.89 (was $699.99)

Why we like it:

  • Large digital display
  • Bluetooth connection, and cushioned deck
  • Great for walking, and jogging

We’re obsessed with the futuristic look of the Runow Folding Treadmill’s LCD screen. At 18 inches it’ seriously massive, and it’s nearly impossible to lose track of where you are in one of its 36 workouts. The belt features several layers of elastic cushioning, making it a great choice for those rehabbing injuries. Although the 2.5 CHP motor may make it more suitable for walkers, there are three different levels of manual incline, and happy customers on Amazon do report comfortably jogging on it. We think you’ll love how easy it is to put together, and how durable it feels beneath your feet.

Promising review: “I spent months trying to figure out how to get the best bang for my buck regarding treadmills. I’m not in the market for the same fancy equipment I’d had at the gym, but I also didn’t want something that would fall apart the moment I started jogging. I was also looking for something that looked aesthetically pleasing — it’s amazing how many clunkers are out there on the market. Some even double the price of this machine! I was a little nervous because it was a newer product, but the reviews and pictures sold me. This arrived on time, and was easy to assemble (about 15 minutes). Overall it’s sturdy, easy to use, and I feel stable whether I’m walking or jogging. Can’t say what it’s like running full speed, but I’d imagine it’s the same.”

SOLE F63 Treadmill

Best SOLE treadmill with incline and tablet holder
Best Treadmills Under $1,000
44% off!

Buy from Amazon, $1,420 (originally $1,799)

Why we like it:

  • Cooling fans
  • Tablet holder above the LDC screen
  • Builtin speakers

I’m the proud owner of a SOLE treadmill, and it’s taken me through icy winters, quarantine, and lunch break sweat sessions. However, I’d gladly trade mine in for the SOLE F63 if I could. It has a powerful 3.0 CHP motor, making it perfect for runners, includes multiple storage compartments, and six preset fitness programs. It’s Bluetooth functional and has a charging station, which is great because there’s a tablet holder above the LCD display. The incline goes up to 15 percent, and there are pulse grips in the center handlebars to read your heart rate. Keep track of your miles and time while watching your favorite shows. You’ll be done with your workout in no time.

Promising review: “I was eager to get back to [working out] after a year without a treadmill. I saw lots of good reviews on this model, and the feature set was attractive. The speed range is excellent, and the elevation options (up to 15 degrees) are great. There are several ways to adjust speed and incline, [plus] I really like the buttons right there on the handrails. The little fan, while slightly underpowered, still provides a welcome breath of air across a sweaty face. I also like the Bluetooth support and the builtin speakers. Some music, podcasts or audio books are an [appreciated] companion for an hour of exercise.”

Sunny Health & Fitness Folding Treadmill

Best compact treadmill with incline
Best Treadmills With Incline
26% off!

Buy from Amazon, $584.59 (was $789.98)

Why we like it:

  • Shock absorption
  • Bluetooth and USB port
  • Pre-installed workouts

Maybe you’re not into fancy screens or streaming workouts — not a problem. This Sunny Health & Fitness Folding Treadmill still has everything you need for a killer sweat session. It has 15 preset programs to select from, and 15 levels of automatic incline that will sculpt your legs and bum. Whether you’re walking or jogging the deck will cushion your foot’s impact with its shock absorption, and there are quick speed buttons on the handlebars to easily transition your pace. There’s a USB port in the front console to charge your phone or tablet, and the treadmill’s speakers can be connected to Bluetooth. The monitor is simple to read, tracking your time, calorie burn, speed, and heart rate. There are two spots to store your water bottles, and once you’re done the deck can be turned up and locked into place for storage.

Promising review: “We were looking for a solid treadmill and after more research than I could imagine – there are a lot of options out there – I chose this one for a combination of features and value. After 3 weeks, it’s lived up to my hopes. The biggest single factor was the running surface width, which at 19 inches is plenty wide enough to run on. The sheer solidness is also noticeable, as is suspension, which is just right. The console probably has more options than we’ll ever use, but the USB plug is appreciated. Someone mentioned “no bottle holders” which technically is true, but the two slots on either side of the console hold bicycle style water bottles just fine. I should note that I bought this Sunny product in part because I like their easy up and down system, which is not tricky and works very well. I won’t hesitate to comment if something goes south, but with the steel frame and overall built quality, I will be surprised if it does. It was also easy to assemble, although I would recommend planning [delivery].

Besportable Folding Treadmill

Best treadmill with incline for seniors
Best Treadmills For Walking Seniors

Buy from Amazon, $499.99

Why we like it:

  • Comes 95 percent pre-assembled
  • Safety key, and easy operation
  • Great for seniors

Running isn’t the only good form of cardio. Walking is also a cardiovascular workout, and if you turn up the incline — watch out. Although this treadmill from Besportable can’t offer scenery like a stroll around the block, it will definitely make you sweat. It also has some great accessories to keep exercise time enjoyable. Its safety key makes it a good choice for seniors or those with stability issues, and the belt is slip-resistant. It also includes shock absorption, which all of us can benefit from. The dash is loaded with 12 different programs, has a USB port, and speakers. You can also control speed on the handlebars, which have a heart rate monitor. There’s a holder for your phone built into the console, and once you’re done the machine can be folded and locked into an upright position. There are three different levels of manual incline, so any time you’re feeling bored (though we don’t see that happening often), crank it up. You may also like knowing the machine comes 95 percent assembled.

Famistar W500C Electric Folding Treadmill

Best treadmill with manual incline
treadmills under 500
67% off!

Buy from Walmart, $329.99 (originally $999.99)

Why we like it:

  • Quiet motor
  • Transport wheels
  • LED display

If late nights or early mornings are your favorite time to exercise, you’ll love the Famistar W500C treadmill. It has a quiet 1.5 CHP motor, plus transportation wheels to steer it wherever you need. The manual resistance can be changed at the bottom of the deck, and there are a dozen workouts to try. The belt has several different layers that keep your foot fall soft, pampers knees, and prevents slipping. Powering on and off can be done from the handlebars, and the LCD screen tracks time, calories, and mileage. A USB port is also conveniently located on the dash, as well as two spots for your water. Get a few miles in while watching the a.m. news, or burn off the stress of the day while the hubby sleeps. We feel fairly confident you’ll feel better after thirty minutes. After all, you’ll be doing it on one of the best treadmills with incline.

Promising review: “It’s easy to assemble, folds up and doesn’t take up a whole lot of space. Great for walking or running and not noisy.”

Egofit Walker Under Desk Treadmill

Best under desk treadmill with incline
Best Treadmill With Incline

Buy from Amazon, $399

Why we like it:

  • Portable
  • Perfect for remote workers
  • .5 incline

Okay, this isn’t a great choice for runners or even power-walkers. However, if you need an easy way to stay active while working from home, this may be worth considering. The Under Desk Treadmill is only 50 pounds, and slides easily beneath your work station. It offers a slight incline to make strolling more challenging, and the speed goes up to 3 miles per hour. According to the Brazilian Journal of Physical Therapy, you only need 10,000 steps per day to meet weight loss goals. If you’re squeezing in a daily thirty minute cardio session but are struggling to remain active after, this could help. It comes with a remote, and according to happy customers, operates very quietly.

Promising review: “I bought this treadmill for the summer since my husband and I are traveling around the US as digital nomads. I wanted something that fit into our VW Atlas and was easy to use. [This is] a life-changing item for me, because I have a hard time working without walking and needed something small enough to work on the go with. The slight incline also makes for a great workout. It’s super quiet, so no one hears it on zoom calls.”

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