Walkers, joggers, and serious runners know that a good quality treadmill is an essential piece of equipment to help them work out. But with so many brands, types, and prices on the market today, it’s hard to know which one is best for you. There are manual treadmills and electric ones available at any price point from $200 to $2,000+. So what should you look for when buying your new treadmill?
Well, first off, you need to decide if the convenience of having a machine do all the work or if you want to be able to control your own pace better by relying more on your own power. And second, how much storage space do you have in your home? If there isn’t enough room, then you’ll have no choice.
Manual treadmills are cheaper and easier to store, but they also require more work on your end because you need to push the belt yourself for it to move. Electric treadmills usually cost a little more than manual ones, but the convenience of power makes up for that price difference!
They’re great if you want a workout without having to do much work at all – hop onto an electric treadmill and let the motor do most of the heavy lifting! To know more read this comparison of manual vs electric treadmill.
What is a Manual Treadmill?
A manual treadmill can be as simple as a moving belt that you push to make it move. It is a belt attached to the machine’s frame by rollers powered through direct human effort. The user literally has to physically apply force and push for the belt to continue moving.
Manual treadmills were developed first before electric ones became available on the market. They have wide belts (24″ – 25″) made out of rubber, steel, or plastic materials which have to be of a very high gauge and thickness.
This is the biggest advantage with manual treadmills – they’re actually more durable than electric ones because they can withstand years of abuse without breaking down or displaying signs of wear.
Treadmill belt lubrication maintenance is generally low compared to an electric one that you need to do quite often. This is because the rollers are connected directly to the moving components, so there’s no motor/components in between that can cause issues like squeaking or noise.
And it doesn’t require electricity too! It doesn’t use any energy other than human power and gravity for resistance, just simple physics. So they can provide a great workout too! But they do take more effort on your part when performing the workout than other kinds of treadmills.
Manual Treadmill Advantages
- Flat-belt manual treadmills are less expensive: You can find these manual treadmills for under $200 online. You’ll get a great, high-intensity cardio workout on a flat-belt treadmill compared to one that’s motorized. They’re also not usually as wide or long as an electric treadmill, so they take up less space in your home! Because of their compact size and lack of fancy features, they’re cheaper than motorized treadmills.
- High-intensity interval workouts: Flat-belt manual treadmills are more intense because you have to push the belt yourself in order for it to move. You get a higher intensity workout because of your efforts in propelling the belt – this can be a great advantage for weight loss, weight management and endurance. Flat-belt manual treadmills are more intense because you have to push the belt yourself in order for it to move. These treadmills can help with muscle conditioning – they’re terrific for toning your legs, quads and glutes!
- Muscle-powered: There’s no motor or power source – you’ll actually be applying force to make the belt move. This makes it much easier to burn calories and lose weight using a manual treadmill than with an electric one, where any type of movement from your body will just assist the motor in moving forward rather than propelling the belt by itself. This is why you get a better workout on a manual treadmill with less effort!
- And it doesn’t require electricity too! It doesn’t use any type of energy other than human power and gravity for resistance, just simple physics. They can provide a great workout too! But they do take more effort on your part when performing the workout than other kinds of treadmills.
- The safety factor: Using a treadmill is an activity that requires a certain level of caution. Whenever using one, you must be aware of your surroundings and stay alert for possible accidents. In most cases, manual treadmills are safer to use than their electric counterparts because they allow you to control your speed and work out at your own pace.
- Manual treadmills are less expensive than electric ones: These treadmills can save you a lot of money because they don’t require any batteries or electricity to operate. They’re also smaller in size, so you may be able to fit more than one into a room or space. They are cheaper than motorized treadmills, so if you’re running on a tight budget, this could be a better option for your home gym.
These exercise machines have been around since the early 1900s and have remained popular until today because people know that they get a great workout on them. In addition, flat-belt manual treadmills are less expensive and can provide the same, if not better, benefits for weight loss than automatic ones do.
Manual Treadmill Disadvantages
- Difficult to change the incline: Manual treadmills have no incline control, while this may not be a problem to some people it certainly can be for others. If you are an avid runner who likes to run like the pros and track your progress then you need to invest in an electric treadmill. A manual treadmill does not offer even 25% of the features that an electric one does. If you are someone who wants to get in shape and burn as much calories as possible, then an electric treadmill is the way to go.
- Can promote bad form: The lack of incline control makes it difficult to maintain proper running form; most people find that they have a tendency to lean forward on the belt, which leads to a forward roll of the ankle. This is very bad for your joints and can actually cause damage to your tendons, cartilage and bones over time.
- Joint stress: Running on a flat surface with no incline promotes your body to do unnatural movements which causes injury to the knees, hips and ankles. A lot of people who run on a daily basis tend to develop knee, hip and ankle problems.
- Lack of features: Manual treadmills do not feature built-in workouts or any advanced workout programs but with an electric treadmill you can turn your home gym into a professional one. A lot of users complain about the cheap construction on manual treadmills as compared to the sturdy ones on an electric one. If you are into running then investing in a manual treadmill is not the way to go.
- Less Sturdy: A manual treadmill is flimsy when compared to an electric one. You need to put in more effort into keeping the belt running on a manual treadmill; this can get annoying after a while and you never know when it will break down. A manual treadmill will give you a very basic workout, but with the built-in programs on your electric treadmill you are actually getting that professional look at a fraction of the cost.
- Suitable for walks only: Although these treadmills are good for walking, they do not provide the same experience as if you were running. There is no intense feeling of moving or pushing yourself and will therefore do nothing for your cardiovascular system.
What is an Electric or Motorized Treadmill?
The motorized treadmill is often said to be the preferred choice by many fitness experts. It is much easier to operate than non-motorized treadmills and almost always more durable as well. The motorized treadmill is actually a more recent invention, appearing in the mid 1970′s. These were first introduced into home use during the 1985 Christmas season. It operates on a similar principle as an electric fan, but instead of moving air, it moves the belt. On which the user walks, rides or runs.
The motorized treadmill also has additional features such as readouts for speed, distance traveled, and calories burned. In addition, you can often choose from different programs to help you get in shape faster or train for your favorite event, including race simulations. The speed of the motorized treadmill can also be varied, which allows for a more intense workout.
However, some experts claim that not everyone needs this kind of advanced equipment to get into shape, and they may be right. The truth is that it’s all up to the individual and the only way to find out what works for you is to try it. Well there are many distinctive features that we see during this comparison of manual vs electric treadmill which you can see below:
Advantages of Motorized Treadmills
- No straining: The motorized treadmill works by itself and so it does not require the same effort as manual treadmills. So user can easily run or walk on it without feeling strain and can concentrate on other workout features. you can simply start at your preferred speed and continue to enjoy the workout.
- Engaging features: There are several different features available on these types of treadmills, some are designed to make the workout more engaging and fun. For example, many offer pre-programmed workouts that can be adjusted for difficulty level or duration. Others have features like heart rate sensors, tv’s built into the console, and premium sound systems.
- Training Tracking: Another nice feature that many motorized treadmills have is the ability to track your progress. These can often be accessed through an online dashboard, so you can check in on how far you’ve run or walked each day.
- Speed and incline adjustment during a workout: Some motorized treadmills allow for speed adjustments during the course of a workout. This is great if you choose a program that is boring or not challenging enough, because it gives the ability to change the intensity as needed.
- Suitable for longer training sessions: Many of these treadmills have larger running areas that make them a better choice for people who like to run long distances regularly. They often have larger decks and more weight capacity.
- Made for Running and walking: This type of treadmill is especially useful for anyone who enjoys running and walking. They are also useful for people who don’t because they accommodate both activities very well. Many can even be flipped over to provide a lower intensity workout that is perfect for walking.
- Good for all sorts of users: One of the best things about motorized treadmills is that they are suitable for just about anyone to use. This includes people with disabilities or who are overweight, because your ability to run on the treadmill will not be limited by the weight capacity of the deck. It should also help those who suffer from joint injuries like arthritis and even some nerve conditions.
Disadvantages of Motorized Treadmills
- A plugin machine: An electric treadmill needs to be plugged in to run , this can be inconvenient because you will need to find a place near an outlet. However, many people don’t mind using these types of treadmills at home simply because they provide a better workout than manual ones and are extremely sturdy. This inconvenience is often overshadowed by the quality benefits that such equipment provides.
- Less Safe: Although they are very safe when used properly, and can even help the user avoid sustaining injuries because of their soft surface compared to concrete ground. But since everything is automated there is no way to have control over its movement and speed.
- Pricy: Although the efficiency of motorized treadmills is worth the extra cost, they are definitely a pricier option. However, if you can afford it and want the best quality possible when you hit your stride then this may be the better choice for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should you get a manual treadmill or an electric treadmill?
Both have advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to know your wants and needs before making a final decision. Based on their popularity, we will compare the manual and electric treadmill in several key areas:
Motorized treadmills are designed for running (and walking). This is one of the biggest features you want to consider when deciding between a motorized or non-motorized treadmill. Not only can you use the preset programs with an automatic treadmill, but most of them offer independently variable inclines.
With a manual treadmill, your workouts will be more limited since they can’t simulate changes in intensity as motorized treadmills do.
For example, if you want to run at 9 mph, you will have to set the incline manually. If you want to simulate walking uphill, your options are also limited. A manual treadmill typically doesn’t offer a steep enough inclination for this workout.