Elliptical Incline – Do You Really Need It?

What You Need To Know About Elliptical Ramp


front drive ellipticalElliptical trainers used to be so simple – you get on and ride them in a forward (or back) running motion. Not hard to understand right?

Then came all sorts of upgrades – one of which was elliptical incline (also called ramp by some manufacturers).

Ramp first showed up on Precor models – however other manufacturers (like Nordictrack) quickly came out with something similar on their trainers (at a lower price no less). And people went crazy for this option.


What exactly is Elliptical Incline?


rampBasically incline changes the slope of your elliptical pathway.

So for example, if you’re running in a flat-plane motion, you might notice that you’re now running more uphill as you change the incline settings (or downhill).


What are the Benefits?


Basically the benefit to having ramp on your machine is that you’ll be using different muscle groups – so it helps you to get a better crosstraining experience.

Do you actually burn more calories? Some experts think so – but I’d say it also depends on a lot of other things. (You can slack off during your workout even if you’re using the ramp setting.)


Do You Need It?


In a word – no. But is it nice to have? Of course.

Having more options for getting a better workout is always a plus – and well worth the extra money in my humble opinion.

But you always have to balance things out. For example, the Nordictrack ACT elliptical trainer (seen below) does not come with incline.


Nordictrack ACT Commercial 7 elliptical review


But it does offer a center drive design (which has several benefits of its own like being more comfortable and having you stand more upright on the pedals). So ultimately it’s up to you what you prefer.


A Few Things To Know About Incline:


There are different ranges of incline. For example, while the NT audiostrider 990 comes with 0 to 10 degrees of incline, the E 11.7 has up to 20 degrees of incline.


front drive elliptical


So if you want a wider range of crosstraining options, you may want to get as much degrees of incline as possible.

Also, you want to look for power incline – which means you can change the settings from the console without having to get off and adjust the ramp manually. While you may save money on a manual ramp – it’s really annoying not to be able to change things on the fly while you’re working out.

So those are a few things you need to know about elliptical incline. The best crosstrainers with a wide range of incline settings are the Nordictrack Elite 17.7 and the 14.7.


nordictrack elite 17.7 elliptical trainer

You get incline AND decline – from -10 up to 20 degrees. So you have a wide range of crosstraining with these models.

Click here for more on the Nordictrack Elite 17.7 crosstrainer with incline.