- up to 5x the normal calorie burn
- minimal soreness or chance of injury
- targeted muscle toning
With the touch of a button you can choose from a range of -6 percent decline to +40% incline on most models. Thanks to that dramatic incline, these trainers offer faster results than traditional treadmills by forcing trainees to use their muscles differently.
So how are Incline Trainers easier on joints? Compared to a traditional treadmill, an incline trainer shifts body weight into a less stressful position. Also, runners can can reduce joint stress by slowing down with an incline trainer without sacrificing the intensity of their workout. You won’t lose out on calorie burn by slowing down because the steeper the incline, the higher your metabolic rate will naturally climb.
There are currently four NordicTrack Incline Trainers to choose from: X7i, X9i, X11i and X15i. Each machine offers plenty of preset workouts and an impressive array of high-tech features. Examples include web-enabled touchscreens, iFit enabled consoles, high definition TVs, and tablet computer holders. They all have long tracks as well. The most important differences involve motor capability and track quality.
Overall these are great treadmill alternatives for people interested in protecting their joints while revving up their calorie burn.
What We Like:
- Efficient workouts: Incline training burns up to five times more calories than regular treadmill walking. NordicTrack machines in particular are endorsed by fitness coach Jillian Michaels of TV’s The Biggest Loser. On the NordicTrack website, Michaels explains: “At just 25% incline and 2 mph, you’ll burn 3 times the calories compared to walking on a level surface. When you increase the incline to 40%, you’re burning 5 times the calories, just by walking. That’s why I use it with the contestants on TV. Incline training works and it’s fast.”
- Low-impact workouts: Even when using the maximum incline,these machines put less stress on the body (especially the ankles, knees and back) than running.
- Automated incline & decline: With the exception of the cheapest incline trainer, all models have a maximum decline of 6% (The X7i has a max decline of 3%). All of the models have maximum 40% inclines.
- Long tracks: While the discontinued models were only meant for power walking, today’s NordicTrack Incline Trainers have long tracks for running strides.
- Consoles: NordicTrack Incline Trainer consoles boast some of the industry’s latest technology like 7″ or 10″ web-enabled touchscreens, high definition TV, smartphone-compatible speakers, and tablet computer holders. All models are iFit enabled as well.
- iFit-enabled: By subscribing to iFit, users get customized workouts every day. Virtually train worldwide via Google StreetView, automatically track your data, and more. Incline Trainers are the best way to experience iFit because they have the greatest capacity to mimic real-life terrain during interactive workouts.
What We Don’t Like:
- Some have weaker motors: While all the current models can be used for running, they aren’t all meant for routine heavy training for a serious runner. See our full reviews for details.
NordicTrack Incline Trainers are excellent treadmill alternatives for users who want efficient cross training in a low-impact workouts. Most walkers and joggers can get good value spending less than $2000 on the X7i or X9i. For those who tend to run a few times per week (or like the idea of watching a 15″ HDTV during workouts) the X15i is the best choice. See our individual product reviews for specifics.
For an updated list of all the top incline trainers head over to this page.