Fitness equipment & Coaching, Everything you need to know on treadmills & Incline Trainers

Making a Great Start on an Incline Trainer

Have you just purchased an incline trainer and would like to start your training  to make the best possible start? Read our tips to get to grips with your fitness equipment: learn about posture, training ideas and kicking off your virtual training with iFit®, so you’ll quickly start to enjoy your training and reach new heights with your incline treadmill.

Taking your first strides on the incline trainer


After setting up your incline trainer in a dedicated space in your home, you’ve got your sports kit and your running shoes on and you’re finally ready to take your first steps on your incline treadmill. If this is your first session on a treadmill, start off by trying a slow walk to get settled into a comfortable rhythm.

Standing on the running belt surface, press the start button to begin the training session of your choice. Ensure that you’re stable on the running surface and walk slowly as the belt starts to turn. When the programme stops, the drive will gradually slow the belt down until the machine reaches a stop.

The incline trainer gives you the option to set an incline or decline that vary from -6 to +40%. Initially, when starting out, try to set the machine to an incline of 1 to 2%, which is just the right level to make it feel like you’re running into the wind.

Gradually, you can start to extend your stride, then try running on an incline or decline to engage different muscle groups. You can modify the duration of your training as you go, depending on your fitness level and objectives.

Tips to quickly make progress on an incline trainer

To make the most of your training on the incline trainer and quickly feel comfortable, working on your posture is an important factor. Keep your back straight and even lean slightly forwards so you don’t arch your spine when running downhill. Getting a good position will engage your abdominal muscles to gain stability and avoid muscle pain. Another tip for beginners: Make sure you stay supple on the treadmill and avoid tensing up.

During your initial sessions on your incline trainer, you might want to focus your attention on the screen, which displays various data: the number of steps, your heart rate, the calories you’ve burned….but try to focus on looking straight ahead when you run and your position will quickly start to feel more natural. You’ll realise that a quick glance at the screen is all you need to get the information you need to run. If you’ve set a pre-programmed workout on the treadmill, a summary of the progress of the session will be displayed on the main console at the end of your session.

Getting inspired to vary your training on the incline trainer

Your incline treadmill offers multiple ways to vary your training. It’s well equipped with accessories such as a push bar and can be connected to the Internet to walk or run on the surface you choose, making these feel very realistic, following the many twists and turns of the countryside as if you were actually out there. Take time to discover the pre-programmed workouts on the machine, then design your own training programme according to your goals.


Workout ideas on your treadmill

The incline trainer allows you to follow any type of exercise designed for a treadmill, but its incline and decline features give you even more options:

  • Walk quickly on an incline to tone your glute muscles and build up your cardiovascular base.
  • Run on a slope to burn more calories and work new muscle groups: the hamstrings, calves and glutes when going uphill and quads that will need to work harder to support the extension of your muscles when running downhill.
  •  There’s nothing to stop you being innovative and carrying out various classic fitness exercises at a slow pace, i.e. slower than 5 km/h to fully benefit from all the features of your incline treadmill:

Walking lunges

Take quick steps (without jumping) when adopting a lateral position on the treadmill, holding on with your hands so you don’t lose balance.

Sled training, using the push bar on your incline trainer for strength training, engaging the calf muscles: at a slower pace on your incline trainer, hold onto the push bar at the front of the machine and move as if you were pushing a heavy cart forwards.

There’s much more to explore, too!

Make sure you warm up well and adjust the speed of the treadmill to your fitness level, as well as the exercise you’re carrying out. The only limit is your imagination.

Moving up to the next level with virtual iFit® training

Following the virtual iFit® training app will give your treadmill training sessions a new dimension. Prepare your sessions in advance and follow inspiring workouts amidst the most wonderful scenery in the world, coached by highly-qualified personal fitness trainers. Perfectly synchronised with your NordicTrack equipment, the training programme controls the incline and decline of the treadmill for sessions that flow while being quite intense if you so desire. When you purchase your incline trainer, you can also get a 1-year subscription. So, which route will you choose for your training run today?

For the ideal introduction to an incline trainer, take a look at our 5 sessions for starting your workouts on a treadmill.

Check out our Fitness & Training page for more advice.