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How to maximize your workout using treadmill inclines

Have you ever seen people at the gym walking or running on a treadmill at such as steep incline that they need hang on for dear life? Why do they do this?

The incline function on a treadmill designed to simulate walking or running on a hill to add intensity to your workout. As such, the incline of a hill is measured as a percentage and so are treadmills. When you increase incline level on a treadmill, it is based on percentage not a level. So if you raise the incline to 2, it means you are running at a 2% incline (not a level two). You'll find that most treadmills have an incline range of 0.5 to 12%.

Research has shown that when you set the treadmill at a 1-2% incline, it will simulate the "intensity" of outdoor running (make up for the lack of wind resistance in outdoor running). Researchers at the University of Colorado have found that using a treadmill at a 9 degree incline results in the hamstrings having 635 percent of the muscular activity of level walking and increases your glute activity by 345 percent. Some experts recommend a 2% incline for faster runners. In fact, it all depends on your level of fitness. Feel free to adjust the incline to a level that you can handle. The key is to get to a level that you challenge you without causing any injury. You may change the level of incline to difference levels, up and down, and then up again, during your workout to simulate the outside terrain. This also helps if you're not use to running at a constant incline.

As we are all busy with work and family, your limited gym time is especially valuable. To make better use of your precious gym time, we recommend you use the incline function on the treadmill to maximize your workout. The research percentages of the University of Colorado research time is a big incentive to do so. The researchers examined the hamstring muscles, glutes, quads and calves at varying levels of speed and inclines. Their research showed that muscle activity in the hamstring muscles, glutes, quads and calves increased significantly while walking up inclines of just 3 degrees.

Additionally, muscle activity increased exponentially and became even greater when there is an increase in speed at the different inclines.

What we suggest is you can use the incline for interval training to develop a strong aerobic base. When you increase your heart rate by increasing the speed or incline for short periods of time, you are basically challenging your metabolism while delaying fatigue. Most treadmills have various workout programs already loaded and they will automatically adjust the incline, giving you complete control over the speed when you want to push yourself a little harder. This valuable information on incline should be remember everyone going to the gym for a workout.

If you decide to use incline in your exercise routine, pay attention to your technique and posture. While you may be tempted to hold onto the treadmill handle and lean back as it's easier, it's better to avoid this. Let go of the handle and lean forward as this will more effectively challenge you and helps to improve your fitness. Most professional trainers recommend what you set the treadmill incline to that level that is challenging to you for 5 minutes. Then gradually increase the incline setting on the treadmill as you become fitter and stronger.

Another bonus to using inclines during your treadmill exercise workout is it helps to reduce injury. The research team at the Department of Health Science at Colorado State University have found that 25% of habitual workers who are overweight suffer significant musculoskeletal injury within the last 12 months. As a result, 33% of these injured men and 25% of these injured women abandon their exercise program completely. In order to overcome this, research suggest that by walking at a lower speed, that is speed of less than 1.75 mph and using moderate incline of 6-9% to reduce load across the lower extremity of your joints while ensuring sufficient cardiovascular workout for weight loss. This is just what everyone needs to stay motivated and keep exercising for better health.

tags: cardio workout, fat burning, glute, gym, high intensity workout, incline, runner, running, running incline, treadmill exercise, treadmill incline, walking incline, workout