How Do I Choose the Best Incline Elliptical?

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  • Written By: Kelly Ferguson
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 20 June 2019
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Many elliptical users prefer an incline elliptical over an elliptical that has a completely horizontal stride. Adding incline to an elliptical workout will raise the difficulty and burn more calories than an elliptical workout without an incline. Choosing the best incline elliptical is a matter of matching your needs, such as your fitness level, your stride length, and your capability to store a large piece of fitness equipment in your home, with the correct piece of equipment.

One important consideration is whether the incline elliptical offers adjustable incline settings that can be altered during the workout or a simple fixed incline. The majority of the time, an incline elliptical will offer easily adjustable incline settings so the difficulty of a workout can be changed in the middle of an exercise. Some older or less expensive ellipticals, however, may require interrupting the workout to adjust the incline manually, or may simply be set at a fixed incline, usually at a moderate angle.


It is important to choose an incline elliptical with a long enough stride to be comfortable. Many people purchase ellipticals with shorter strides and a smaller wheel because they are easier to store in apartments or small houses than their longer counterparts. However, the shortened stride length can be uncomfortable enough to keep some users from using the elliptical very frequently. An unnatural-feeling stride may even contribute to injury. Instead of sacrificing a natural stride because the elliptical would take up too much room in the house, try to look for an incline elliptical with a slimmer, lighter frame, so the elliptical can be more easily moved into position before a workout and then pushed back into a corner or otherwise out of the way once the workout is finished.

Another factor to consider when looking for the best incline elliptical is the amount of incline the elliptical offers. Not only does training on a very wide range of inclines add variety to the workout, which helps boredom, but various incline settings challenge different muscles or sets of muscles for a more thorough workout. Additionally, steeper inclines will create more of a climbing sensation and will be more difficult, increasing the calorie burn of the workout. This can be a great way to dramatically increase the difficulty of the exercise session for those individuals who enjoy high-intensity cardio training or who are doing interval training.


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