Auto Incline Treadmill vs. Manual Incline Treadmill: Benefits of Incline Treadmill

Auto Incline Treadmill vs. Manual Incline Treadmill: Benefits of Incline Treadmill

By Team Powermax / 09 Sep 2023

When we think about fitness and workouts, a treadmill is one of the first fitness equipment that comes to mind. A great medium for cardio, and one of the most convenient equipment to workout on, treadmills reign supreme as one of the most commonly used fitness equipment.
These quality fitness equipment have been a staple in the fitness industry for decades. They provide a convenient way to improve heart health. Additionally, they burn calories, and help you stay active. 

When browsing for prospective options to buy, you might find yourself left befuddled not just by the magnanimous brand options but also the subdivisions of treadmill features available for you to pick from. A buyer expects their ideal treadmill option to tick off a number of criteria on their checklist of prerequisites before they can finally settle on one. One such attribute is a treadmill’s incline. 

You can either buy a treadmill with a manual incline feature or one that has an auto incline feature. Comparing the two types of incline and each of their benefits will help you make an informed decision about the right fit for your fitness goals and preferences.

How does Incline affect your Workout?

First, you need to understand what incline really means and how it affects your workouts.
How does incline benefits your workout

Incline refers to the angle or slope of a surface. It is typically measured in degrees and signals the angle at which a surface rises or descends from a flat and horizontal plane. In the context of exercise equipment like treadmills, an incline setting allows the user to raise the running surface. In essence, this simulates walking or running uphill. 

Here, the adjustment increases the difficulty of the workout. Furthermore, it engages different muscle groups and intensifies cardiovascular efforts. In outdoor settings, inclines are common on hills and mountains, providing a natural challenge for hikers, runners, and cyclists. 

Basically, the incline feature on fitness equipment offers users a way to differ their workouts and achieve better all-round fitness results. Induced inclines provide many benefits including weight loss, increased core strength, and cardiovascular health as well as improved joint comfort and flexibility.

A. Auto Incline Treadmill

Auto inclined treadmills are equipped with built-in motors that can automatically adjust the incline levels. Users can control the incline settings through the treadmill console or preset programs. The incline range typically varies between 0 to 15% or more, depending on the model.

Advantages of Auto Incline Treadmills:

1. Convenience:


One of the primary auto inclined treadmill benefits is their convenience. Users can easily change the incline levels without interrupting their workout, making it ideal for interval training or varying intensity sessions.

2. Program Variety: 

Program variety in auto inline treadmills

Many auto inclined treadmills offer pre-programmed workouts that automatically adjust the incline and speed, providing users with diverse exercise routines to suit their fitness levels and goals.

3. Realistic Simulations: 

Auto inclined treadmills often come with preset routes and programs that simulate various terrains, such as hills or mountains. This feature provides a more engaging and challenging experience, making workouts feel like outdoor runs.

4. Muscle Engagement: 

With the ability to incline, these treadmills engage different muscle groups, such as the glutes, hamstrings, and calves, helping users achieve a well-rounded workout.

5. Tracking and Metrics: 

Many auto incline treadmills offer advanced tracking and metrics, such as heart rate monitoring, distance covered, and calorie burn, providing valuable insights into your fitness progress.

B. Manual Incline Treadmill

Manual incline treadmills, as the name suggests, require users to adjust the incline level manually. This adjustment is usually done through a lever or knob located at the base of the treadmill. The incline range typically varies between 0 to 10% or more.

Manual incline treadmill

Since the pulley arrangement on most treadmills makes incline adjustment simple, the manual treadmill has long been the industry standard. These devices are still useful, but the automatic treadmill has taken their place. 

Advantages of Manual Incline Treadmills:

1. Simplicity: 

The primary manual incline treadmill benefit is simpler in design and function, making it more user-friendly, especially for those who prefer straightforward and easy-to-use equipment.

2. Cost-Effective: 

Compared to auto incline treadmills, manual incline models are generally more affordable, making them a budget-friendly option for home fitness enthusiasts.

3. Lower Maintenance: 

Manual incline treadmills require lower maintenance

Since manual incline treadmills do not have complex motors and electronic components, they typically require less maintenance and have a longer lifespan.

4. Versatility: 

Manual incline treadmills allow users to adjust the incline level more gradually, which may be preferred by individuals who want a more controlled and customizable workout experience.

5. Energy Efficiency: 

Another Manual incline treadmill benefit is that they do not require electricity to operate, making them environmentally friendly and cost-effective in terms of energy consumption.

Choosing the Right Treadmill for You

When deciding between an auto incline and a manual inclined treadmill, consider the following factors:

1. Fitness Goals: 

Determine your fitness objectives. If you want a more versatile and interactive workout experience with pre-programmed routines, an auto inclined treadmill may be the better choice. However, if you prefer simplicity and basic functionality, a manual inclined treadmill would suit you better.

2. Budget: 

Consider your budget and how much you are willing to invest in a treadmill. Auto inclined treadmills tend to be more expensive than manual incline models, so be sure to choose one that aligns with your financial resources.

3. Space and Size: 

Check the available space in your home or gym. Auto inclined treadmills usually have larger footprints due to their motorized components, whereas manual incline treadmills are more compact.

4. User Preferences: 

Think about your personal preferences. Some users enjoy the hands-on approach of manually adjusting the incline, while others prefer the convenience of automated incline adjustments.


In conclusion, both auto incline and manual inclined treadmills have their unique advantages, and the right choice depends on your fitness goals, budget, and personal preferences. If you value convenience, program variety, and realistic simulations, an auto incline treadmill may be the ideal choice. On the other hand, if you prefer simplicity, lower cost, and greater control over incline adjustments, a manual incline treadmill might be the better option.

Ultimately, the key is to find a treadmill that fits your lifestyle and motivates you to stay consistent with your fitness routine. Whichever type you choose, incorporating treadmill workouts into your exercise regimen can bring numerous health benefits and contribute to a happier, healthier life.