Treadmills come in two varieties – motorized and non-motorized. If you’re using a manual treadmill, you will have to put in more effort, unlike motorized treadmills with better features and construction. The curved belt manual treadmills are the latest in the manual treadmill category, and they rival the best-motorized treadmills in sturdy design and price tag. They’ve become popular amongst athletic trainers, and you may see them at your local gym.
On a manual treadmill, the belt moves in response to your feet’ actions against the deck. The belt only moves when moved. While most runners and walkers will find using a curved belt non-motorized treadmill strenuous, it does have its fitness benefits. Users can get their heart rates into a higher zone at a lower speed. Runners will find most flat-belt manual treadmills unsuitable because of their less-rugged construction and should consider curved-belt models.
Most manual treadmills are more affordable than their electric counterparts and can be set up in places where heavier and noisier machines may not be welcome. The manual treadmill allows you to walk, jog, or even run at your preferred pace without the need for a motor or variable incline.
- Our Top Picks of the Best Manual Treadmills
- Precor Assault AirRunner
- Sunny Health and Fitness Manual Treadmill
- StairMaster HIITMill Manual Treadmill
- SpeedFit Speedboard Pro XL
- IN10CT Health Runner
- Resolve Fitness Reactive Runner Treadmill
- ASUNA Hi-Performance Cardio Trainer Manual Treadmill
- ProGear 190 Space Saver Manual Treadmill
- Phoenix 98510 Easy-Up
- Fitness Reality TR3000
- Things To Consider Before Choosing a Manual Treadmill
Our Top Picks of the Best Manual Treadmills
Keep in mind that manual treadmills are better for shorter bursts of activity, not a more extended period of jogging or running, unlike its electronic cousin. It does not set a pace for long-distance running like marathons and such. However, manual treadmills can still be a part of a more extensive cardio workout.
Even though you won’t be spending as much as you’d spend on purchasing an electronic treadmill, you have to make sure you pick the best ones in the market. There is no point in spending money on a low-quality treadmill. Our top picks are:
Precor Assault AirRunner
This piece of machinery completely redefines the manual treadmill. It is another fine piece from the makers of AssaultBike. It is motorless, comes with a curved running surface, and uses a slat system rather than a conventional treadmill belt. This resistance-drive treadmill style is increasingly becoming popular as of late, and there’s a brilliant reason for that. Running on a unit like this means you’ll be burning up to 30% or more calories than you would on conventional treadmills. It might be a little daunting for first-timers, but seasoned runners will much appreciate it because of this level of flexibility. It doesn’t fold, but it is immensely lightweight compared to treadmills with motors making it very mobile and easy to maneuver around. Its tread design is a lot more durable than treadmills with conventional belts, which means you’ll get more great years of hassle-free use without some of the maintenance and repairs that high-tech treadmills invite.
It has no maximum speed limit so that you can push as hard as possible. It is built with a steel frame and handrails, corrosion-resistant hardware, and a slat belt running surface that lasts up to 150,000 miles. It is guaranteed to kick your ass for years!
- Intense, effective workouts
- Long service life
- Its monitor displays critical stats.
- More natural workouts
- It mimics outdoor running.
- No maximum speed
- Doesn’t fold
- Not suited for beginners
- Cannot save workouts or customize screens
- The screen often fails and offers little functionality.
- Device software cannot be upgraded.
This treadmill isn’t quite suitable for beginners. It is more useful to users who are already active, fit, and healthy and those who have a firm grasp on their workout structure from the get-go. So if you’re a serious runner running on a budget and you’re less interested in interactive training programs or high-tech features, this is your best bet. It is a serious piece of equipment – not just another fitness fad (if that’s what you were thinking)
Sunny Health and Fitness Manual Treadmill
It is a trendy model and has sold more units than some top brand electric treadmills. It’s a perfect fit for users who want to start getting fitter on a small budget. It works using foot power. It has a speed display, which tracks your progress, a top speed of 8km/hour, so it’s the right equipment for jogs and light running.
It has a sloppy running surface. This is the main element in the design of manual treadmills. The mechanism works via inertia; you start the belt turning by pushing down for those initial steps. It comes with a battery-powered console that tracks time, speed, the number of calories burned, and actions taken. It is useful for setting daily targets/goals. This model has received a lot of positive feedback from users. It is not hard to set up and does not generate as much noise as the electric counterparts.
- Its non-electric approach is advantageous.
- The walking belt is fine for gentle strolls.
- You can change the incline to increase the intensity.
- It has a generously informative console.
- The plastic parts are liable to break.
- The frame is heavier than expected.
Most manual walking treadmills are perfect for users who want to keep active – though not suitable for runners or fitness fanatics. It is cost-efficient, simple, and safe. It is fit for light runs and jogs. It also comes with a primary LCD that tracks speed, distance, steps, and calories burned. There is no doubt that this machine can be a helpful tool for the right user. It is merely a walking treadmill, nothing more. It is recommendable to those that fully appreciate its purpose and won’t push it too far.
StairMaster HIITMill Manual Treadmill
This is a self-powered, non-motorized treadmill with a fixed 11% incline to develop speed, strength, and explosive power when used in a HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) Program. This piece of equipment delivers an effective resistance training platform that drives up metabolic intensity and captures the benefits of speed, agility training, lateral training, and sled training. The HIITMill manual treadmill invites simple activities with little to no learning curve, such as walking on an incline, running hill sprints, or hiking with light resistance for general cardio training.
It can be used for heavy lifting and heavy pushing activities. It also comes with Farmers Carry lift arms, which means you can do a little more on this treadmill than others.
- It is useful for a variety of workouts.
- If you use it five days a week, you’ll be in fantastic shape.
- Low impact padded belt
- Manual resistance
- Extra-wide, super stable 23″ expansive deck
- Steep fixed incline
If you’re looking for an affordable treadmill with no electric devices, then the HIITMill is your best buy. It might be quite expensive, but its features and benefits are worth the hype.
SpeedFit Speedboard Pro XL
Asides from being an excellent way to run effortlessly, the SpeedFit Speedboard Pro XL comes with a SpeedFit system that offers a variety of 5,000 personal workouts based on a straightforward test that takes less than 10 minutes. This feature enables you to find the best exercises for you based on your potential.
One of the reasons why this piece of machinery makes it to our top 5 is because it will consume more of your energy in a shorter period, addressing workouts that include walking, long easy distance runs, and quick sprint runs on the balls of your feet – you’ll burn more calories and develop as a runner.
It has a curved surface that provides an unparalleled running experience – it is the first manual treadmill that lets you run effortlessly. The steel frame is sturdy and robust. The 10-year frame warranty is generous and reassuring.
- It feels like running outside.
- Reduces impact on running
- The Fitness system is based on your potential
- Getting off might be a bit tricky as you’ll need to adjust to flat ground.
- Thin handles
- Wheels on the rear of the treadmill, not the front
- Difficult to move
- Uncomfortable grip since its handles isn’t thick enough.
The Pro XL is a time-efficient, incredibly revolutionary program based on your speed. It is a worthy contender for short-time sprint running. It eliminates jogging but keeps the walking. If you’re looking for a curved treadmill with a high weight capacity limit and an easy-to-read screen with large buttons, this is the ideal choice for you. This is the best tech curved manual treadmill.
IN10CT Health Runner
The IN10CT is manually operated with no minimum or maximum speed for optimal workouts. It is a good fit for HIIT workouts and keeps runners for a more natural running experience. The neon yellow trim on the treadmill gives it a fun, sporty vibe. The wheel s on the front of the treadmill makes it easier to move when tilted.
It also has a large clear display that provides details that can help you train more effectively, including distance, pace, heart rate, and calories burned. Its display console is in crisp white and black for easy readability. It is suitable for walking, jogging, or running and does not include a minimum or maximum speed. The non-motorized design allows you to place it anywhere while the transport wheels and handle make moving this treadmill from room to room effortlessly.
- It doubles as a useful HIIT training tool
- The speed is user-controlled
- Clear display with no work out details
- Large weight capacity of 400 self-powered
- Sleek designs
- Does not offer syncing capabilities
- Expensive option
- Belt with large slats that lack traction
If you’re looking for a manual treadmill with a clear display of workout details, this is an excellent option. The IN10CT has one of the largest weight capacities at 400lbs and is an excellent choice for heavier runners. It is perfect for gyms, homes, and rehabs.
Resolve Fitness Reactive Runner Treadmill
More than your typical treadmill, the Reactive Runner delivers an innovative and efficient approach to exercising. The treadmill’s curved design reduces the impact on the knees, ankles, and hips while providing a more natural feeling exercise experience. It comes with 4levels of magnetic resistance control, allowing users to adjust belt tension and increase workout intensity through an easy reach lever.
Speed and effort levels will be determined by user output. Due to its unique design features, you will burn out 30% calories compared to motorized treadmills. It possesses rugged durability and the ability to support up to 350 pounds. It features a 6.5″ backlit LCD console that displays Time, Distance, RPM, Total Calories, Speed, Watts, Rounds, Sprint, and Recovery. Users can select from 3 pre-set HIIT programs, including time, distance, calorie goal settings, and a built-in HR receiver.
- Sturdy metal frame with rear lift bar
- Transparent wheels
- Burns out more calories with each foot stride
- Non-slipper runner coating
- Maximizes calorie burn
If you’re interested in purchasing a space-saving treadmill with more track space, this is one of the best options. Much like other curved treadmills, the Reactive Runner is easier on your joints and has a large LCD.
ASUNA Hi-Performance Cardio Trainer Manual Treadmill
The ASUNA Hi-Performance Cardio Trainer is the best option for low-intensity and high-intensity workouts, depending on your preference. You can be sure to achieve a great cardio workout with the static incline position of 6-10 degrees. When running on this treadmill for the best experience, you have to run at the highest incline, but this often results in a very challenging workout.
If you’re walking, the ASUNA Treadmill is best when it’s flat. So you can be sure this treadmill has you covered for both intense and easy workouts. The makers of this equipment designed it with your safety in mind, as the frame can sustain a maximum weight of 440 pounds – some manual treadmills allow significantly lower weight limits. The handlebars are sweat and slip-resistant coated to give you a secure grip during HIIT workouts. There are some additional workouts you can try out on the ASUNA Treadmill, including mountain climbing, backward jogging, side squats, and hand walkers.
It comes with 8 different resistance levels, which you can control via a little gear shift that is easy to reach the user’s right side. Even if it has no console, it does come with a gripping rubber surface to hold an iPad/tablet – many users prefer this.
- Best for HIIT at a max incline but hard to sustain
- Dual flywheels control speed and make for a smooth ride.
- Easy assembly
- Generously high weight capacity
- Very stable
- Great for intense workouts
- Hard to find a middle ground between too easy and too intense of a workout
- There are some complaints that it is only suitable for walking.
- No on-board computer
- Excessive resistance for small users.
This luxury manual treadmill has all the quality features a well-built piece of equipment has to offer, such as the long, rubber-coated, non-slip, multi-grip handles. It is the best option for running and other more intense workouts.
ProGear 190 Space Saver Manual Treadmill
This is a useful fitness tool to help burn extra calories and achieve a healthier lifestyle. It is one of the best and most popular manual treadmills you’ll find out there. Walking on a treadmill is one of the easiest and most effective ways to achieve a regimen of regular exercise – and fortunately, this treadmill has a robust powder-coated steel frame with wide side safety rails for a sturdy and safe walking/jogging stride.
It also comes with the ability to incline for a more intense workout that is just right for burning calories. It has dual flywheels to smoothen your experience. It has a console that displays speed, distance, and calories on an LCD screen.
- Stable frame
- Responsive customer service
- Difficult assembly
- Not ideal for tall people
The ProGear 190, designed by Paradigm Health and Wellness, Inc., is the best manual treadmill for home – for most users’ purposes. While it might not be the best manual treadmill for running, it offers a strenuous workout for joggers and walkers. Purchasing a simple, economic treadmill such as the ProGear 190 does not mean you cannot have comfort features. It comes with an add-on mini fan, Ipad/magazine holder, drink holder, and more. I would strongly recommend this piece.
Phoenix 98510 Easy-Up
The two main advantages of purchasing the Phoenix Easy-Up are low cost and compact size. It costs about 90% less than a top brand motorized treadmill for walkers. It offers about 90% fewer workouts, but this is not a problem for some shoppers since just $130 worth of exercises doesn’t seem like an unfair deal. As for compact size, it needs about the floor space of a typical treadmill. Its additional advantage is a unique exercise.
Like most manual treadmills, the Phoenix Easy-Up demands a higher balance level than most motorized treadmills and requires more effort since the track won’t budge without user effort. The console has a device/personal item slot on one side and a bottle holder (with a water bottle included with purchase). The LCD tracks speed, distance, and calories.
Many users are unanimous that the Phoenix Easy-Up, with its 12.5% incline, will give you a workout – to the extent that you’ll most likely not be able to multitask much during each use. However, you might be able to watch TV or listen to an audiobook.
- Holders for bottle and device
- Assembly difficulties
- Not ideal for tall people
The Phoenix Manual Treadmill could be an exciting add-on for a home gym – it may be an extra option. It’s not the best recommendation as to the centerpiece of at-home cardio training. But for this price rate, the Phoenix Manual Treadmill is a good buy, thanks to reliable performance and a few convenience-enhancing extras.
Fitness Reality TR3000
This is the last choice on our top picks of manual treadmills, but this is so because this model has a lot going for it for an affordable price. It has a solid frame with a more comprehensive and longer belt than many others on the list and 3 manual incline levels. It comes with a lot of great advanced features, even with its affordable price tag. It is well worth considering.
- Great pricing for the features on offer
- Larger belt than most competitors
- Easy to change resistance and incline
- Features central control as well as heart monitors
- Handles don’t collapse when the treadmill is folded.
- The belt can be a bit noisy when in use.
- Quality control is temperamental
- Too narrow
- Will shake too much on the fastest speed.
The TR3000 does not have as many additional features that other treadmills have. There are no pre-set workouts, it cannot go too fast, but it makes this list because, at 45″ long, this is one of the best manual treadmills for running. It is tiny and can fit anywhere you want, which is the most significant upside to the device. If you are really on a tight budget, then this is the right choice for you.
Things To Consider Before Choosing a Manual Treadmill
Even though manual treadmills fall short of the additional features and ease of use most electric treadmills come with, they have some advantages. Its advantages include portability, maintenance costs, and durability. The fact that it has fewer mechanical parts also means users will experience fewer possible breakdowns. The best part of using a manual treadmill is that it works at the user’s preferred pace.
Manual treadmills usually have lower overall weight limits than commercial electronic models, but that doesn’t stop them from accommodating most adult users. Some lightweight models can weigh 200 t0 225 pounds, while heavy-duty models can handle 300 pounds or more. The advantage manual treadmills have is that it allows users to create their own pace by stepping onto a motionless belt.
Inclines and other adjustments
To increase intensity during workouts, users have to adjust the level of incline. Many manual treadmills have a default incline setting of at least six degrees, which means users will be walking slightly uphill throughout the workout session. Better manual treadmills offer other incline angles that force users to work even more challenging, although they must be adjusted manually between sessions. You can simply increase resistance at your convenience without the need for electric assistance. Some higher-end manual treadmills also offer adjustable resistance through magnetic tension on the belt and flywheel.
Portability and ease of use
Manual treadmills are mobile and noticeably lighter since they do not carry extra weight, such as heavy electric motors. The handrails usually fold down for easier storage between sessions. Although manual treadmills may require minimal assembly upon delivery, repairs and spare parts are generally easier to find and install. Manual treadmills might be noisy during operation, but they do not generate as much noise as electric treadmills.
Entry-level manual treadmills with a limited weight capacity and minimal features can be purchased for less than $100 in a sporting goods store. Substantial mid-range levels with adjustable inclines and more weight limits would be bought between $100 and $200, while higher-end treadmills with magnetic resistance and an electronic display will sell for as much as $400.
Despite how simple manual treadmills are in theory, there are some factors you need to consider before getting one. As you can see from our top picks list, you aren’t limited in your choice regarding manual treadmills. They aren’t incredibly complicated, either. Some are high-end end great for serious athletes, while others fit entry-level budgets and do what they need. Read a few reviews and pick the one that suits your need, budget, and space.