Best Ellipticals With Incline: Intensify Your Training

man using elliptical with incline

An elliptical is a low-impact cardio machine that can give you a full-body workout along with many other health benefits. If you’re looking to add another level of intensity to your training, you may want to consider a home elliptical with incline options. Unlike an elliptical that has only resistance settings, the flywheel, or drive system, of these machines can simulate walking uphill.

While ellipticals with incline can be more costly, there are plenty of options that suit a variety of budgets worth considering. After all, exerting more effort during your workout can help you burn more calories and achieve your fitness goals faster. After an in-depth analysis, the ACTIVE Reviews Team is sharing our top five recommendations for the best ellipticals with incline so you can decide which model suits you best.

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The Best Ellipticals With Incline - Our Top Picks

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Best Overall Elliptical With Incline - Sole E95

Sole E95


  • Dimensions: 82"L x 31"W x 71"H
  • Weight: 236 lbs.
  • Weight capacity: 400 lbs.
  • Incline options: 0-20%


The Sole E95 has a fully adjustable incline that enables you to target and train all your muscle groups at once. Your lower body muscle groups will work to help you get up the inclines while you work your upper body using the handles. On the 10.1-inch display, you’ll see some metrics, including your heart rate, tracked by pulse sensors on the handles or using the chest strap that’s included.

The flywheel weighs 27 pounds, so each movement forward or backward feels smooth and is quiet. Each pedal has a 2-degree inward slope to help reduce ankle and knee stress, and they’re cushioned so they’re extra comfy. If you don’t want to subscribe to the Studio app, you can follow along with your favorite workout app using the tablet holder.

What We Like

  • Incline and resistance controls are on the handles
  • Bluetooth compatible speakers
  • Higher weight capacity
  • Heavier flywheel makes operation smooth and quiet
  • Includes lifetime frame, 5-year electronics, 5-year parts, and 2-year labor warranties

What We Don’t Like

  • Studio app subscription is an additional fee
  • Frame takes up a lot of space
  • Only 10 built-in programs available

BUY: Sole E95

Best Budget Elliptical With Incline - Sole E20

Sole E20


  • Dimensions: 69"L x 24"W x 64"H
  • Weight: 189 lbs.
  • Weight capacity: 325 lbs.
  • Incline options: 0-3%


Get the features that can help you reach your goals at a great price point with our budget-friendly choice, the Sole E20. The incline can be manually adjusted between all three levels to increase the intensity of your workout. There’s also an ECB (eddy current braking) resistance system that uses magnets to decrease or increase how difficult it is for you to propel the flywheel. The maximum stride length is 18 inches, which may not be suitable if you’re taller and prefer a longer stride.

On the 5.5-inch display, you can choose from eight programs and keep an eye on your metrics while you work out. This machine has a heart rate monitor on its handles, or you can use the included chest strap. If you want to play music from your phone through the built-in speakers, they’re Bluetooth compatible, and there is a USB port available if you need to charge your device.

What We Like

  • Magnetic resistance system is low maintenance
  • Heavy-duty frame
  • Chest strap to monitor your heart rate is included
  • Drive system is a great value for the price point

What We Don’t Like

  • 18" stride length may be too short for some users
  • Incline must be manually adjusted

BUY: Sole E20

Best Smart Elliptical With Incline - NordicTrack Commercial 14.9

NordicTrack Commercial 14.9


  • Dimensions: 67"L x 29"W x 69"H
  • Weight: 210 lbs.
  • Weight capacity: 350 lbs.
  • Incline options: 0-20%


The NordicTrack Commercial 14.9 can automatically adjust your incline and resistance as you go through a trainer-led iFit workout or a preloaded workout on the 14-inch HD touchscreen. The ramp and pedals also adjust automatically based on the specific muscle groups you want to target. The pedals are oversized and cushioned, which helps lower the impact on your joints.

At a whopping 32 pounds, the flywheel is designed to keep you moving and also uses magnetic resistance, so it stays quiet. There’s a slight amount of noise as you incline or decline, but it’s limited to these adjustments. The incline can be adjusted up to 20%, and there are 26 digital resistance levels so you can choose between an intense or relaxed workout.

What We Like

  • Incline, resistance, ramp, and pedals are adjusted automatically during your workout
  • 14" HD touchscreen displays metrics and can stream on-demand classes
  • 32-pound flywheel features magnetic resistance for a quiet and smooth session
  • If you don’t want to subscribe to iFit, there are 30 built-in programs

What We Don’t Like

  • Front drive design may cause you to lean forward
  • iFit membership is an additional fee

BUY: NordicTrack Commercial 14.9

Best Elliptical With Incline for Tall People - Sole E95

Sole E95


  • Dimensions: 82"L x 31"W x 71"H
  • Weight: 236 lbs.
  • Weight capacity: 400 lbs.
  • Incline options: 1-20%


Making our list for the second time, the Sole E95 is an excellent option for tall people. That’s because the maximum stride length is 20 inches and the pedals can be adjusted to fit the way you walk. Using the dial, you can change the pedal angle to a position that’s optimal for you. This can help combat common effects that come from using an elliptical, such as sore Achilles tendons and numb toes.

If you have a larger foot, you’ll appreciate that the foot pedals are oversized and have a durable foam cushion for additional comfort. You’ll also find that the handles are molded and have resistance and incline controls built into them. If you need to move your elliptical, there are transport wheels; however, at 236 pounds, it may not be easy to maneuver on your own.

What We Like

  • 20" stride length
  • Pedals can be adjusted to fit the way you walk
  • Up to 20% power incline

What We Don’t Like

  • Display is not a touchscreen
  • Stride may be too long for shorter users

BUY: Sole E95

Most Versatile Elliptical With Incline - NordicTrack FS14i

NordicTrack FS14i


  • Dimensions: 58.5"L x 29.5"W x 74"H
  • Weight: 287 lbs.
  • Weight Capacity: 375 lbs.
  • Incline Options: -10-10%


The NordicTrack FS14i has a three-in-one training system, making it the most versatile elliptical with an incline. All you have to do is switch your natural motion, and it becomes a completely different workout. For instance, if you make an up-and-down movement, you’re now doing a workout on a stair climber or if you make a back-and-forth motion, you can simulate running on a treadmill. And, of course, there’s always the option to do a traditional elliptical workout.

Your resistance, incline, and decline can be automatically adjusted along with your stride length, which by the way can be as long as 32 inches. And let’s not overlook that this elliptical has a decline option of up to 10%. This gives you the sensation of going downhill, which allows you to constantly vary your training sessions.

What We Like

  • Incline and decline options from -10% up to 10%
  • 14" HD touchscreen is easy to see when you’re on or off the machine
  • 30-day iFit free trial included
  • Center drive design makes it more compact
  • You can simulate stair climbing, elliptical, and treadmill movements

What We Don’t Like

  • Expensive
  • iFit membership is an additional fee

BUY: NordicTrack FS14i

Benefits of Ellipticals With Incline

An elliptical with incline provides an extra way to challenge yourself during your workout. With incline training, you can target different muscle groups and also increase your cardiovascular endurance since your output increases your heart rate. Intensifying your training can also help you achieve your weight loss and fitness goals more quickly. Plus, it helps you make the most of the valuable time you spend exercising.

What to Look for in an Elliptical With Incline


If you’re limited on space, you’ll need to consider the dimensions of each elliptical to find one that’s suitable for the allotted space. It’s also a good idea to choose one with built-in wheels in case you need to move it between uses.


Aside from the initial setup, the weight of your elliptical isn’t a huge factor unless you plan on moving it from place to place. You will find that a heavier elliptical is more stable and handles intense movement better than a lighter one. The weight capacity can also play a role in your decision. You’ll want a capacity that is around 20% more than the heaviest user’s weight, so the machine can function properly and safely.

Incline Options

The amount of incline you need depends on your goals and fitness level. Many machines have inclines up to 20%, but these will be at a higher price point than machines with smaller inclines. We are also featuring the NordicTrack FS14i, which offers up to a 10% decline. While this may not be necessary for everyone, it’s something to consider since it adds diversity to your training regimen.

FAQs About Ellipticals With Incline

Do I need an incline on an elliptical?

If you want to add intensity to your training and activate different muscle groups, an elliptical with incline is a great option.

What muscles do incline ellipticals work?

As you move, the muscles in your lower body move the pedals, and the muscles in your upper body operate the handles.

Is an incline treadmill or elliptical better?

The option that’s better for you depends on your needs and fitness goals. Each has its own benefits, features, sizes, and price points.