Many aerobic workout machines at our Pivotal Fitness Greenville sports club come with features that let you incline the base – and though it’s a somewhat popular feature, we’ve discovered that many members aren’t fully familiar with the importance of the incline. But it can be the difference between the ways your body looks and feels, and what you’re getting out of your valuable workout time.

When you crank up the incline on your gym equipment, such as a treadmill or elliptical, it changes the way that your body interacts with the machine. Suddenly, you’re performing the same motions that you’re used to while walking, jogging, running or climbing – but you’re now engaging new muscle groups and targeting different areas of the body. For example, an inclined ramp on the treadmill makes more demands on your hips and calves. That familiar burn that you feel in the backs of your legs when your flat trek suddenly winds uphill is replicated indoors at an even-terrain gym.

You can add this challenge into your regular workout mix just by hitting a few buttons on the machine. You can choose between various levels and speeds. Because working out on an incline actually burns more calories, you can choose a slower speed but increase your incline slightly; this may give you the stamina to complete a longer interval than you might by running hard on a flat surface. With a more steeped ramp, you might choose a shorter and more intensive workout before cooling down with a lower or flat terrain. Vacillating between is actually the best way to completely challenge and tone up your legs, hips, bum and thighs.

You can also maximize the benefits of your weightlifting workout when you take advantage of an inclined bench. When bodybuilding, utilizing the incline bench press means that you’re using your pectorals, shoulders and triceps, rather than putting pressure on your entire chest. Conversely, a decline bench that has you sloped downward toward the floor emphasizes your lower chest. Incline bench angles are no more than 45 degrees.

If you’re looking for workout equipment to stock your at-home gym, many pieces come with moveable ramps and adjustable bases; however, these may be slightly more costly than non-inclining alternatives. To get the best workout – along with a variety of options – in an affordable way, ask us about membership options at our Greenville gym.