The Power of Walking on an Incline

Steady state, HIIT, moderate heart rate, max heart rate, cardio for fat loss, cardio for conditioning, cardio for cardiovascular health, there are so many questions when it comes to cardio. Let’s talk about the power of walking on in incline at a steady state. If you have ever walked up a hill or on an incline treadmill, you know the power of an incline and how it gets your heart pumping.

Not only does it work your heart, it works your hamstring and comes with a ton of other health benefits. Let’s talk about it…

Whether you find hills near by or power up that incline on your treadmill, that incline does more than burn calories. Check out a few of the many benefits…

  1. Helps boost your heart rate.- A pumpin’ heart is a happy heart!
  2. Builds and shapes your glutes and hamstrings- Yes, Squats are GOOD but Incline walking builds the buns too!
  3. Works your calves. -Does more than those old school donkey calf machines!
  4. Burns more calories than walking on a flat surface.- Burn baby burn, let’s get the MOST out of our cardio!!

On average, one hour of flat vs. incline walking at 3.5 miles per hour will burn about 30-50 more calories than walking on a flat surface. Imagine you bump up that incline to 12-15% (or higher) and increase the speed to 4.0-4.5. We can triple that calorie burn for an even more effective heart pumping, booty sculpting workout. When it comes to limited time it is all about how can we get the MOST out of our time- this is how- increase the INCLINE!

When we are doing “steady state”, it is intended to not be a stroll in the park but a lower impact cardio burn. When we kick up the incline, use those arms to power up a hill or if you are doing it on an incline, hold onto the rail and use those heels to power you up.

Hills vs. Machine-While outside has its Vitamin-D benefits, it may be easier to keep track of the inclines using a treadmill. It is hard to find a hill that is a 12-15% incline the entire 30-45 minutes however you can set a machine to 12-15% and get a serious burn.

If you are using a machine, feel free to adjust the incline starting at a slower ramp and increasing as you go. Better yet, bump up the incline but slow your pace.  Eventually increase your pace while keeping your incline high. I would rather see a slower pace and higher incline than higher pace and lower incline. The higher the incline the more calorie burn and booty sculpting there is!

Some may ask, “does holding on have the same benefits? I thought holding on was cheating??” . Holding on will still give you a great workout, actually better because you can increase that incline that much more. The key is proper FORM and POSTURE. While you are holding on, be sure to stand up tall, use your heels to guide you and squeeze those glutes with each step. Holding on is to keep you from falling off. Light in your hands and heavy in your heels… Checkout the video below from my old school days of using the incline treadmill (and stepmill) to burn baby burn… Let me share the proper form to be sure you are activating your hamstrings and glutes properly and getting the most out of your incline cardio sessions.

Have fun and see the power of the incline…

Happy Walking!