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Recommended Treadmill Inclines

author image Judith Evans
Judith Evans has been writing professionally since 2009, specializing in gardening and fitness articles. An avid gardener, Evans has a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of New Hampshire, a Juris Doctor from Vermont Law School, and a personal trainer certificate from American Fitness Professionals and Associates.
Recommended Treadmill Inclines
Treadmill incline levels help you tailor your workout for your goals. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images

If inclement weather keeps you indoors, you can still get your daily walk or run on a treadmill. Before you start the treadmill, straddle the belt by placing your feet on the sides and clip the safety tether to your clothing. Start the treadmill and step onto the belt, keeping your posture upright. You can adjust the incline to improve endurance and strengthen leg and butt muscles.

Incline Levels for Treadmill Workouts

A three- to five-minute incline of 5 to 7 percent will simulate hills. For a 30- to 40-minute cardio and strength workout, set the treadmill incline at 1 or 2 percent and gradually increase speed for the first 10 minutes. You can alternate, for example, between two-minute intervals at 1 percent and gradually add steeper three-minute intervals at up to 5 percent, using a lower speed for the steeper intervals, according to Fit Sugar. Then alternate between 1 percent, 3 percent, 1 percent and 5 percent intervals, finishing with 1 percent.

Considerations and Precautions

Check with your doctor before you begin any exercise program. For five minutes before and after your cardio workout, you should jog lightly or walk to warm up and cool down. Include stretching before and after your workout to promote flexibility. To prevent injury, do not run on a treadmill at an incline above 2 percent for more than five minutes, recommends Runner Academy.

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