Manual treadmills are affordable, yet very efficient cardio devices. Unlike their larger, electrical relatives, manual treadmills are powered by the energy that comes from the user’s pacing, walking or running movements – in other words, you yourself are the power that keeps the treadmill in motion.
The Benefits of Using a Manual Treadmill
Manual treadmills come with various benefits and advantages over electrical treadmills:
- You don’t need a power outlet to use the treadmill – all you need to do is to assemble the unit, then you can hop on and start pacing at the speed that is the most convenient for you,
- These independent units can be set up anywhere – you can place it on your patio or in your backyard and exercise in open air, if that’s what you prefer,
- Manual treadmills are usually smaller and lighter than electrical units, so they are easier to store and to move as well,
- Manual treadmills are safer than electrical ones – as the treadmill is kept in motion by your own movements, stopping the unit is also easy, all you need to do is to jump of the treading surface with both feet,
- Manual units are cheaper than electrical ones, therefore they are more suitable for home usage.
Things to Consider When Purchasing a Manual Treadmill
There are many excellent non-motorized treadmills available on the market today, but there are a number of factors you need to pay attention to if you are to make the best choice:
Weight limits – some manual treadmills are designed for light or medium weight users, while others can be used by larger people, too, so make sure you consult the product description for weight limits before making the purchase,
Stability – treadmills placed on a narrow platform are less stable than wider ones,
Foldability – some treadmills are foldable, others are designed to be assembled and then kept in place permanently – make sure you check that aspect and make your choice based on your preferences,
Adjustability – most manual treadmills are simple devices, without too many bells and whistles, but some have incline positions as well,
Noise – manual treadmills are a bit noisier than electrical units, so make sure you test the unit you are planning to buy – just start pacing on the treadmill and listen carefully,
Performance monitors – some units come with battery-powered displays that show your performance data such as your speed, the distance you have covered, some can even monitor your heart rate,
Customer service – make sure you choose a brand that has a good reputation for providing great customer service. Manual treadmills are not very complex units, but even so, extended usage does lead to wear and tear, so you might just need repair every now and then.
Our Favorite Manual Treadmills
There are numerous good manual treadmill models out there, so choosing between them can be quite a hassle. To make things easier for you, here are four of our favorites.
Stamina InMotion Manual Treadmill
The Stamina InMotion is sturdy, well-designed and very quiet. The walking deck is 42 inches long, making the unit suitable for users with very long strides as well. The frame is made from heavy-duty steel, making the unit very stable and excellent for larger users as well. The unit has two incline positions as well – 8 degrees and 10 degrees –, so you can easily add variety and increased intensity to your workouts. The InMotion comes with a battery-operated monitor that displays time, distance, calories burned and speed. The unit folds into a compact shape with a few clicks and it also feature rubber floor protectors, making it suitable for usage and storage even on the most sensitive wood flooring.
Confidence Fitness Magnetic Manual Treadmill
This treadmill comes with a walking deck that is slightly inclined and 8 settings to make your workouts more varied. The unit is very sturdy and stable, suitable for users weighing up to 220 pounds. Measuring 48"X 7.9" when folded and weighing slightly over 45 pounds, the unit is easy to set up and to move around – you can take it anywhere by yourself and assembly does not take more than a few minutes or require more than one person either. It also features a complex, battery operated monitor that displays all the important data related to your workout including speed, distance and calories burned.
ProGear 190 Manual Treadmill
This unit has been tested with users weighing around 230 pounds and it held up great. The treadmill measures 47 L x 23 W x 51 H inches when assembled, it weighs slightly less than 50 pounds and is fitted with transportation wheels for easy moving. The sturdy steel frame is coated with durable powder finish and the structure also features wide handrails on the sides for increased safety. The belt is very safe and stable and its oversized designs provides an extraordinary usage experience. The unit comes with two incline options, 6 degrees and 10 degrees.
Weslo WLTL99315 CardioStride 3.0 Treadmill
Featuring a fixed 15 degree incline, the Weslo CardioStride 3.0 treadmill has been designed to maximize workout efficiency while also minimizing impact, making workout on the unit safe and rewarding. The design has been conceived with space saving considerations in mind – the deck folds easily into an upward position, so you can be sure your treadmill will never be in your way when you are not using it. The walking belt is 41 inches long and 17 inches wide and can accommodate up to 250 pounds, so the unit is perfect for tall and heavy users as well. The Weslo is very quiet and the belt runs very smoothly, so you can be sure your workout will not be disturbed by unwanted noises. The Weslo is fitted with an easy to read monitor that displays speed, calories burned, time spent on the treadmill and the distance covered as well. Another strong point of the Weslo WLTL99315 CardioStride 3.0 Treadmill is the convenient price tag – with this manual treadmill you can train, increase your fitness level and improve your health without having to break the bank.
Remember the criteria presented above when looking for a manual treadmill or simply choose one of our top picks – you will surely be happy with the results!