A treadmill machine is one of the best pieces of cardio equipment you can buy but this “more is better” approach has reached ludicrous extremes when it comes to incline angles. A little treadmill angle is a good thing but that doesn’t mean that a huge angle is better. I just saw a TV ad for an “Incline Trainer” on TV and gasped in disbelief at the extreme angle. Yes, steeper angles burn off more calories per hour at the same pace than shallower angles but steeper angles can easily cause injuries. In my humble opinion, few people possess the ankle flexibility to use these extreme angles safely. Rupturing the achilles tendon by using too steep an angle would be a very serious injury that would leave you in a cast for months and limping for a year. Yes, treadmills are awesome but my advice is to skip the extreme angles. If you want to burn off more calories then either run faster or run longer.
If you want a really good treadmill, check out the February 2014 issue of Consumers Reports Magazine. For those not familiar with CU, in my opinion it is the best consumer watchdog group in the country. Here are the five treadmills that they recommend as best buys. Prices listed are retail, you can probably do much better:
Yes, you can get cheaper “treadmills”, they are advertised on late night infomercials all the time … but they are completely useless. Please read about choosing good cardio equipment. My advice is that if these good treadmills are too pricy for you that you:
- Buy nothing and just do burpees!
- Buy a jumprope, approximate cost $15
- Buy a pair of running shoes, approximate cost $100
- Buy a Kurt Kinetic Trainer for your bike, cost $350
If you can buy the above treadmills cheaper somewhere else then by all means, do it! Full disclosure, I am an Amazon affiliate – please read about how scoobysworkshop covers its costs.