5 Best Incline Trainers of 2017

As we know that all the best treadmills on the market have an incline option. This great feature allows user to simulate downhill or uphill running and adds another option to their exercise routine without having to go out and look for the real terrains. Catch these demands of trainees, many manufactures have produced incline treadmills that can offer even bigger benefits compared to standard treadmills with incline features. What is it? How to choose the best ones? This article will help you answer these questions.

What is the incline trainer?

Incline trainer is a specific type of treadmill that offer steeper incline grades up to 40 percent instead of only 15 incline percent on the best traditional treadmills. In the other words, Incline trainer is a hybrid of popular fitness machines: elliptical, treadmill and stair stepper. It can replicate the motions of these machines while it is gentler on join. Some incline trainers have decline features too.

Benefits of having an incline trainer

A clear benefit provided by an incline trainer is that you don’t have to go out in hard weather conditions to look for incline terrains and don’t have to bear too much impact as running on outside surfaces. In addition to these, working out on an incline also brings many other benefits to our health. Therefore, the incline trainer is very attractive to many trainees. It’s a really efficient way to burn calories, fat as well as build lean muscle mass and to enhance the cardiovascular system. It is proved to be able to burn up to five times more calories than exercising on a traditional treadmill. The other benefits of an incline trainer are that it often provides bigger tracks and more powerful motor. These two features help users have a more comfortable experience than training on the normal treadmills. Besides, a wide range of slope settings in this type of treadmill can make the workout more ample.

5 Best incline trainers

1. Bowflex TC100 Tread Climber Treadmill

bowflex treadclimber tc100

With an amazing feature offered the lowest cost, the Bowflex TC100 is no doubt gaining popularity. This model uses a 3-in-1 motion that makes the amount of burned calories higher than when you walk or jog. Yet, when using this treadmill, you feel surprisingly less tired. Thus, you can easily reach your targeted fitness goals.

Firstly, Bowflex treadmill features a Unique Design. TC100's 3-in-1design proves to be an incredibly unique motion, allowing users to work out more efficiently: more calories burned at less tiredness at the same time. To put it more clearly, this model is promised to help you burn up your calories 2.5 times more than any traditional treadmill could.

Besides the compact design and small footprint, this Bowflex TC100 treadmill also comes with transport wheels to give easier movement and storage when needed. A 3-in-1 machine doesn't necessarily mean it must be bulky!

Another great feature is customizable options. The TC100 is capable of storing 2 user profiles. That means you can keep track of your workout stats and stay motivated to attain your preset fitness goals.

This treadmill is equipped with a console that is far roomier and spacious than the previous version TC10. The console comes with extremely large cup holders, a holder for media devices as well as contact grip sensors. Also, the console is designed in a more attractive way. Moreover, this model has a large display screen rather than a set-up of 4 small screens like the TC10.

Additionally, the console also features a USB port that serves the extra purpose of charging your devices during using time. You will find the contact grip sensors very convenient as they are fixed on the handlebars to measure your heart rate. This model doesn't provide any options for wireless heart rate monitoring.

TC100 offers you a warranty of 2 years on the entire treadmill.


  • Robust frame that accommodates 300 lbs. max user weight
  • Goal Setting feature (progress tracker)
  • Good resistance variation with 4 functions
  • Superior LCD display and accessory tray
  • Quick controls to change levels quickly
  • 3-in-1 workout design burns more calories
  • A very efficient option instead of elliptical trainers and treadmills.
  • Easier on the ankles, knees, and hips.
  • Offered a six-week refund guarantee.


  • Some users complain about its noise at higher speeds
  • No pre-programed workouts or wireless heart rate monitoring.
  • No basic features such as full audio offerings, an integrated cooling fan, or entertainment features on the console.

To sum up, the TreadClimber TC100 is a best-seller: a 3-in-1 cardio machine that gives fast and efficient operation. I highly recommend this Bowflex treadmill for those having joint pain or/and looking for a machine that helps burn calories faster but not so tiring. You just need to spend 30 minutes walking every day to see impressive results in a short time.

2. FreeMotion i7.9 Incline Trainer

FreeMotion i7.9 Incline Trainer

The i7.9 Incline Trainer is among the most costly treadmills that are available in today market. The higher the price, the higher quality and more features the treadmill will possibly offer. If you are an enthusiast in running on a treadmill, I highly recommend that you should invest on a high-quality machine. With a sturdy motor and a larger surface area, this treadmill is specifically designed for your wonderful walking and running workouts.

This treading machine’s top speed is up to 12 mph or 5 miles per minute, which is fast enough for many runners.

The surface area is much larger than other models, making your running strides longer than when you walk. The area of this stride surface is 1,320 sq in, as large as that of other machines designed for running only. Thus, when using this treadmill, your sense of space is the sky’s the limit.

Another thing I need to mention here is its tread belt. Being large, it can withstand any strides no matter how long they are when you run. In fact, this treadmill is quite larger than other running machines. For that reason, you will definitely feel comfortable to work out with this i7.9 model.

In addition, you can find in this FreeMotion i7.9 Incline Trainer some incline-adjustments. By giving you real and challenging workout sessions, different incline levels will help you feel as if you are running outside in hilly areas.

More than that, with the extreme incline, this machine can even mimic your running experience on mountains, not hills only. The highest slant available is amazingly steep - 30%. If you’d rather run up mountains, just let this treadmill accompany you. If not, choose another machine that has a less steep incline – the average incline level is about 15%.

Another feature the i7.9 offers is a -3% decline, allowing you to tone up more muscles. Also, the 10" HD Web-enabled touch-screen helps you track with ease all your workout stats.

The FreeMotion® i7.9 Incline Trainer is a wonderful combination of unbeatable technology, great comfort and sturdy performance for a workout experience beyond your expectations. With a 4.0 CHP Commercial Pro Motor, this treadmill is robust enough to deliver superior workout sessions no matter how challenging the settings are.

One more great feature that will surprise you is iFit® Technology. That means Google Maps™ is utilized in your workouts and you can also train with Jillian Michaels. In addition, Reflex™ Cushioning helps minimize the pressure on your joints, thus supporting you during workout time and cutting back recovery time when you finish training.


  • Various incline-range:
  • A large tread belt that needs no maintenance
  • Wide speed range
  • Full-length cushioning that ultimately supports your joints
  • Comfortable and user-friendly running surface
  • Full-color touch-screen display


  • It takes up much space
  • It is expensive

Overall, FreeMotion i7.9 is a wonderful Incline-Trainer treadmill. Offering high-end features, this machine is promised to help you very quickly achieve your fitness goals.

3. Bowflex TC200 Tread Climber Treadmill

bowflex treadclimber TC200

Walking is keeping fit. For that reason, this Bowflex TC200 TreadClimber allows users to walk to quickly burn calories and impressively tone up their muscles, which is normally found only in running machines. As the TreadClimber has lower impact compared to a treadmill, it runs lower risk of causing injuries. Also, despite rapid calorie burning, this machine is sure to make you feel less worn out.

You should bear in mind that this machine isn’t designed for running. Though the top speed of the belts is higher than the former TC100 model, it only reaches 4.5 mph at most.

This hybrid training machine’s appearance is like a treadmill that has a split track. Despite supporting the same low-impact motion as elliptical pedaling, its long treadles come with greater versatility. With various incline settings, you can easily concentrate on toning certain muscle groups, especially in your lower body, for example, the glutes or calves.

Offering quite similar features to those of a treadmill, this TC200 TreadClimber comes with platforms for side foot support if you want to have a break. Plus, there is a Safety Key port to make sure you are protected in case you fall.

Having a glance at the console of early models from TreadClimber series, you can see it is just basic display. Several LCD screens, no monitor for heart rate, no media holder and very few workout settings.

Yet, the advancements in the TC200 model can take you by surprise. The console is larger with more updated LCD screens, customizable menu system, and multiple user profiles, to name but a few. Plus, with BowflexConnect, you can keep track of your performance.

The console is goal-oriented, allowing you to make the most of its interactive program to reach your targeted fitness goals.

With customizable preset programs, you are provided with interval training as well as workouts for distance, time and also calorie goals. In addition, on purchasing this Bowflex TreadClimber, you can access freely 4 Motion Traxx workouts online. Behind the display monitor are a holder and a charging port for your tablet computer.

You can also take advantage of the integrated Heart Rate Zone indicator if you’d rather train within a particular range of heart rate. This indicator shows you the heart rate zone you are in at the moment, from zone 0 (no heart rate provided) to zone 4 (80% plus of your highest heart rate)


  • Innovative design that offers more high-end features.
  • Burning more calories with lower joint impact.
  • Offering the best warranty package in the treadclimber product line.


The TreadClimber TC200 console can accommodate 4 user profiles. Via Bluetooth techno, these workout stats can be synced to a Bowflex app on mobiles or shared with other popular fitness apps as well.

4. Bowflex TreadClimber TC20

Bowflex Treadclimber TC20

The Bowflex TreadClimber TC20 is a great choice for those who want to have a remarkably low-impact fitness habit. Because this machine is easy to operate, it doesn’t take a lot of your efforts to do exercise as well as damages to your joints. This results in your low “perceived exertion”. In reality, a great number of calories will be effectively burnt by the TreadClimber than by other machines. In spite of max calorie burn workout, you will not still feel tired. Instead of that, you will receive plenty of good effects without making you exhausted.

A University of Wisconsin research shows that the technology ofTreadClimber encourages you to burn up to 3.5 times the calories in comparison with other cardio machines in the same interval.

The special point of this TreadClimber TC20 is the Bowflex’s unique dual treadle system. In fact, it is definitely the top-of-the-line 3-in-1 cardio machine that combines best attributes of the treadmill, stair climber, and elliptical.

Firstly, in action 1, TreadClimber TC20 works as a treadmill. It is equipped with the belts moving when you are walking forward.

Secondly, in action 2, TC20 imitates a stair climber. It has 2 independent treadles which go up and down. As you combine the two aforementioned actions, you will get the 3rd feature of this machine. That is an elliptical trainer which offers a low-impact and smooth motion.

Not only does the cardio training of TreadClimber TC20 help you to lose weight dramatically, but TC20 also makes you leaner, reduces back pain, increases HDLs (known as the “very good” cholesterol), improves your bone density, and increases your energy level.

Additionally, Bowflex TreadClimber TC20 is designed with a fully backlit LCD display that supervises your heart rate, calories, time, distance and speed as well. Moreover, the machine provides you with 2 personalized user profiles and time goals (the goals reset every week), calories, custom distance.

Unlike the other TC10, the TreadClimber TC20 is upgraded by adding advanced Goal Oriented Coach Technology. This typical feature helps to track progress for two users as well as set personalized training goals.

Furthermore, you will also three landmark exercise. All the combinations of the aforementioned things help the users to have real feelings that they are going to climb the stairs inside the Statue of Liberty and other famous structures as well.

Also, other important features such as an ergonomic console, an instant Quick Start feature will definitely give the users an easy way to access to magazines or water bottles. Moreover, it also provides a Bowflex body weight loss plan, transport wheels for easy mobility, extra-long foot treadles and a speed range of 0.5 to 4.5 miles per hour.

In reality, thanks to the TreadClimber TC20, you will get the efficient training without a specialized trainer. Incline training has become widely popular since the Biggest Loser weight loss TV show brought it to the public through mass media. From some points of view of personal trainers, if you spend about 40% workout on incline training, it will burn 2 times the calories in the same amount of time as other traditional training. Thus, incline training will help the walkers receive fast fitness result like runners. However, incline training completely doesn’t put much stress on their joints.

An integrated pulse monitor lets you do exercise with the supervision of your ideal heart rate zone. In fact, the pulse is also displayed along with other workout data on the console.

The TreadClimber TC20 comes along with a three-year guarantee, which is considered to be the longest guarantee that Bowflex offers on its machine.


  • Great for households with two users
  • Three typical workouts to burn a great number of calories and raise your heart rate rapidly while minimizing impact on your joints
  • Top-of-the-line 3-in-1 cardio machine includes an elliptical, a stair climber and a treadmill
  • Low-impact exercise is easy on the joints
  • Backlit LCD display tracks HR, calories, distance, time, and speed


  • Running is impossible
  • Short guarantee
  • The requirement of assembly. Sometimes, the treadles need to be lubricated

To sum up, the TreadClimber TC20 is the top competitor in the advanced home fitness market. In terms of the space and the money, it is undeniable that it is difficult to find out a better deal.

5. Gold's Gym Trainer 430i Treadmill

Gold's Gym Trainer 430i Treadmill

The Gold’s Gym Trainer 430i is a great machine for those who want to have good health as well as a beautiful body. It is equipped with iFit Bluetooth-smart that helps the users can monitor many different workouts.

Additionally, the Gold’s Gym Trainer 430i Treadmill is also provided with a G-Force motor drive, 2.5 HP systems that enable the users to have a consistent and quiet powered-operation. In reality, this system makes the treadmill wonderful for the walkers. It can be considered to be a perfect home use treadmill for light jogging as well as walking because it burns fat effectively. However, as for the runners, this treadmill may not become a perfect fitness machine because of its low-speed operation.

The Gold’s Gym Trainer 430i Treadmill has a large LCD-window, which enables the users to track their workout statistics such as calories-burn, distance walked, time and speed.

In addition, thanks to this treadmill, you can be able to monitor your workout progress easily by using a virtual racetrack. In fact, this is considered to be the wonderful feature that is just found on high-end fitness-machines.

The AirStride with a cushioning mechanism encourages reducing the impact on your back section as well as your joints while running or walking.

On the contrary, this treadmill is provided with a 50-inch tread belt, which is able to support a maximum user weight of 300-lbs.

Additionally, an innovative design is a great feature of this treadmill. This feature helps you to fold-up easily this fitness machine after using. Thus, it is more convenient for the users to transport, clean and store.

Moreover, the treadmill also has a wonderful sound system. Thanks to that, the users can easily connect to any standard headphone-jack. Hence, while they are walking on the treadmill, they can even listen to their favorite songs.

Also, this treadmill is equipped with more than 16 workouts apps/programs that have been created by qualified personal trainers in order to help the users to achieve their specific fitness goals. The most important thing is that the users can also access to another workout program as soon as they login into their iFit account. This can support the users to achieve more difficult exercise.

Last but not least, this treadmill is very easy for the users to assemble after taking it out of the box. In fact, it just takes a few minutes to assemble and then you will be able to start your workout on the treadmill.


  • Great G-Force motor drive system
  • Wonderful home-use treadmill to walk and jog smoothly
  • IFit Bluetooth Smart
  • Well-constructed, powerful treadmill
  • Perfect space-saver


  • The treadmill creates some noise while using it, which annoys other members living under one roof

In a word, the Gold’s Gym Trainer 430i treadmill is a wonderful choice for you to save your space. It definitely encourages the users to achieve their goals effectively.

How to choose the best incline trainers

There are some important features you should remember to choose the best incline trainers.


The most important feature of incline trainers is their maximum incline. By changing incline, users can target different muscles and by changing the resistance level, users can tone lean muscle. The maximum incline trainers should be from 30 percent to 40 percent. If this isn’t in this range, you will not get the expected results.


There are some incline trainers just feature incline but not decline which is also add more challenges to your workout. Some best incline trainers now have this feature. Although it is modest, it is still helpful. The max decline you can see in newest incline trainer is 6 percent. The other common models also come with 3 percent.

Top speed

Normally, incline trainers are not used for running. Therefore, you are not amazed if their top speed is only about 4 mph. this is also the difference between incline trainers and standard treadmills. However, there are also some models offering higher top speed. You can refer them at my list of best incline trainers.


Before considering purchasing any type of fitness machine, you should measure your available floor space. Although in the comparison with standard treadmills, the incline trainers often require less space, you should also check whether they come with attached wheels to reposition in between workouts easily.

Track Design

Some incline trainers have tracks look just like treadmills while some other are designed with two separate treadles which move in an up and down. This design offers a very unique workout experience that can help you burn more calories than a standard treadmill. Besides, the treadle design also promotes low impact exercise because you don’t need to leave your feet away from the workout surface.

Track Length

Normally, the track of incline trainers is not necessary to be longer than ones of treadmills because your stride intends to shorten when walking on a slant. However, the best incline trainers often have 60’’ long and 22’’ wide tracks or treadles.

Workout Programs

The more expensive models often come with more workout programs. However, you should consider what necessary programs for your fitness goals to avoid wasting money for programs that you never use. An interested program you can find in the high-end models is wireless connections which allow you to download unlimited program.

Extra Features

The comfortable feel is very important for you to get the best results during your training process. In order to provide users the great comfort, incline treadmill should include cooling fans, tablet computer holders, iPod compatibility, built-in web browsers, touch screens and water bottle holders.

Read reviews

Read reviews is also important step helping you choose a good product. You can refer reviews from manufacturer websites or Amazon.com. These reviews of customers will give you sincerely rating about the product.

Q & A

1. Any experience with incline trainers compared to standard treadmills?

Both incline trainers and standard treadmills are great for cardio workouts. However, the incline trainers are proved to work more effectively in burning calories as well as toning muscles with the same time as working with standard treadmills. Treadmills cannot be set to an incline of more than 15% while incline trainers can be set to an incline up to 40%. You will have less selection of incline trainers since only a few companies produce them and it is harder for you to find them in gyms while standard treadmills come with a multitude of options for you to choose and it is easy for you to find them in gyms. And I must say that I think the computer is easier on the incline trainer because of its normally slower pace compared with treadmills. Another difference between incline trainers and standard treadmills is about their price. You can get a great treadmill at about $1,000 but in order to have a good incline trainer, you have to often spend more than $1,500.

2. Incline treadmill or stairmaster which is better for toning body?

In my opinion, stairmaster will help you tone your body better than an incline treadmill because this is the main duty of stairmaster while the incline treadmill has to do many works at the same time. However, most of users want to own the incline treadmill instead of stairmaster because of its wide functions. You can also tone your body by eating plenty of protein but less of everything else.

3. Is it fine to run on an inclined treadmill? Does it damage the ankles?

I can say that I have not received any warning with running on an inclined treadmill. In fact, the worst you can do is spraining your ankle if you don't run right. Just keep your posture right and your ankles straight while running and you'll be fine.


Choose a standard treadmill or choose an incline trainer is depended on your demands. However, if you want to have a combination of elliptical, treadmill and stair stepper, an incline trainer is highly recommended for you. I hope that with my above suggestion, you will choose the most suitable incline trainer for not only for fitness goals but also for your budget.