I know it’s probably not the first time you’ve heard this, but adding incline to your treadmill runs gives you a great cardio boost! We’ve talked about it before in a post titled, Tips to Help Maximize Your Workout Time where we told you that adding incline was a good way to maximize your workout! Yet we never really got down to the basics of it, so do many of you really know why adding incline is so beneficial?!
That is why we are here today; to give you the basic knowledge and facts on why elevating your treadmill is such a beneficial cardio boost! Having the knowledge to know why you should be doing something makes you more likely to stick to it and actually do the workout yourself.
First of all elevating your treadmill, also known as increasing the incline, increases the angle at which you are walking or running. This was designed to stimulate walking up a hill. Ever walk or ran up a hill?! It definitely makes for a more challenging workout.
According to this article from LiveStrong.com, “running up hills burns calories at a higher rate than running on a flat surface because of the increase in force of gravity that is being placed on your legs and body.”
You are working against gravity by having to propel yourself forward pushing off each foot with more intensity. This added force requires more activation from your glutes, calves and all of your hamstring muscles.
Your hip flexors have to work harder to life your knees higher, while your glutes resistance is also increased to bend and extend your legs to lift your body higher. When you walk on a flat surface your back is perpendicular to the surface, so when you are walking on an incline your abdomen is having to contract to keep your body upright to avoid arching your back, keeping your back perpendicular to the surface.
As you can see, more muscles are being used when walking up hill compared to if you were to be walking on a flat surface. The more muscles you incorporate into a workout is going to equal a higher calorie burn.
This is great for wanting to burn more calories in a shorter amount of time. Adding incline increases the impact and difficulty of your workout without having to increase the time spend on the treadmill. At only a 5% incline, you’ll burn double the calories for the same amount of time if you were at a zero incline.
Another added benefit of adding incline besides strengthening your muscles and increasing calorie burn is the cardiovascular benefits you can receive. “According to Running Competitor Network, uphill walking uses the same motor patterns as running”, stated in another article from LiveStrong.com, which you can read more about here.
This added intensity in simply walking at an incline is causing you to take deeper breaths and placing more intensity on your cardiovascular system which is increasing blog flow to the heart and lungs. This means improved heart and lung functions, decreasing risks of heart disease.
So the benefits of walking at an incline include: increased calorie burn in a shorter amount of time, increased cardiovascular health, and also increases muscle use to strengthen and tone your muscles. It sounds like an all in one package of a workout!
So now that you know why adding incline is so beneficial, make sure you are adding it to all of your treadmills walks and runs! You can even have fun with it and incorporate interval incline runs, alternating between flat and incline surfaces!
Here is a great one to try out from blogger PBFingers.com:
Try it out, feel the burn, and come back to tell us what you think!
Do you ever add incline to your walks or runs?! Are you a fan?
Written By: Jentry