A treadmill is a machine that simulates walking or running without the risk of injury. It can be used for exercise, training for a marathon, or to maintain fitness levels when recovering from an injury.
There are many different types of treadmills but most have these features in common: motor, belt, and handles.
Treadmill motors vary in size and power output depending on the intended use, while belt speed varies according to the user’s weight and desired level of exertion.
Handles come in two main styles: straight bars at waist height with hand grips only; and angled bars with wider surfaces for more stability during high-speed running.
The blog post will provide information about how you can choose between various types of treadmills based on the powering (manual, motorized, or hybrid), design (curved or foldable), and purpose (medical or commercial).
Table of Contents
Types of Treadmills
#1. Manual Treadmill
A manual treadmill differs in design from an electronic treadmill in that it does not have motors to tilt the belt up and down. No power source is needed and that it is conveyed by human power, generally by walking or running on it.
There are basically two types of manual treadmills, weighted and non-weighted.
A weighted manual treadmill requires weight shifters to be attached at points along the length of the track to make the belt go uphill and downhill.
A non-weighted manual treadmill provides variable incline by having handles positioned on either side of the unit and raised and lowered manually with each step.
Human-powered machines provide low-intensity workouts because the drive power comes from your own body weight and effort (so your muscles work harder, making them stronger).
These types of equipment also simulate natural movement patterns because any good workout should involve changing speeds to target different muscle groups; this doesn’t apply here, as you’ll go at the same pace until you stop.
Some benefits include increased calorie burn when executed properly due to having to balance against gravity all while doing mechanical work.
#2. Electric Treadmill
An electric treadmill (aka powered or motorized treadmill) is a device that helps treadmilling – walking or running on a belt at a steady pace.
It can also be used to simulate an increased incline for increased difficulty, and the inclined surfaces are ideal for muscle strengthening after injury.
Electric treadmills are self-powered units that provide a constant running speed without increasing or decreasing the incline level over time.
Due to advances in the development of electronics and mechanical engineering, an electric treadmill can be built with numerous features.
The electric treadmill can provide resistance levels for weight loss programs ranging from beginner to advanced.
It is for people who don’t want to get bored of running or walking outdoors. If this doesn’t describe you, then there really isn’t any need to spend the extra money on an indoor machine with a moving belt typically powered by electricity.
Although many runners swear by them and some fitness experts believe it’s the best piece of workout equipment out there.
Research has found that while using a treadmill can increase step counts in some demographics over a standard walking program at a similar intensity level, treadmill workouts didn’t result in additional improvements in subjects’ cardiovascular risk factors.
#3. Hybrid Treadmill
The hybrid treadmill is a combined cross between the standard and StairMaster treadmills. It allows the user to walk on a lower profile deck and go up and down stairs like on a StairMaster.
This exercise type is good for those who want an intense cardio workout but don’t have time for it because of their busy schedules or due to joint pains such as knee problems, back problems, etc., that won’t allow them to go up and down the stairs of a traditional StairMaster.
The idea of a Hybrid Treadmill is to take the best features of both a running surface and a multipurpose machine and combine them into one.
This balance between being able to simulate real-world feeling, while still being comfortable enough to run long distances, makes it the perfect type of treadmill for those who want to give their training an outdoor feel.
The downside about this machine is that there’s no handlebar – you’re essentially gripping onto something that’s holding the railings in order to hold yourself up while walking on this smaller than normal deck but many people have found their grip getting stronger with time.
#4. Curved Treadmill
A curved treadmill is a type of treadmill that differs from the conventional straight-line design by incorporating a gentle elliptical curvature.
They are sometimes called “elliptical treadmills” when from the front they resemble elliptical machines or “incline treadmills” when they have adjustable inclines and may resemble stair stepper type equipment.
The best way to envision this phenomenon is to imagine walking around in a huge, gently curving circle–just like one might do in an open field with softer terrain than normal asphalt or concrete pavements.
The difference between walking on flat ground and walking across such hillsides is that hillwalking requires you to expend more energy than just staying on level ground.
The curved treadmill is a treadmill that curves around the walker’s waist. This allows for an all-around full-body workout, but it also reduces back strain. Its unique design mimics the natural movement of walking or running without straining muscles and nerves in spinal discs.
It has two safety handles to keep you steady while working out, three inclinations for users with different fitness levels, and a cushioned mat for added comfort during breaks or workouts that last less than 20 minutes.
It emulates outdoor terrains like beaches, forests, hillsides, etc., which work your legs separately to improve blood circulation; there are 12 preloaded courses on this exercise equipment that alternate between challenging hills and flat terrain to promote balanced muscle.
#5. Foldable (Folding) Treadmill
Treadmills come in a variety of styles and functions. The most common is the treadmill with an attached console, which has an electronic display to show the customer their progress.
Along with this kind of treadmill you will find folding treadmills, but they are heavier and not as easy to store when compared to other models on the market.
The beauty of the folding treadmill is that it occupies far less space than traditional treadmills and can be easily stored if floor space is limited or needed for other purposes.
Additionally, folded treadmills take up far less storage than standard types by virtue of having a shorter width measurement and also being significantly lighter in weight because of its size – around three-quarters the weight when unfolded.
#6. Commercial Treadmill
The commercial treadmill is very similar to a home or residential treadmill. The only significant difference between the two treadmills is that commercial treadmills are typically made of steel instead of wood.
Commercial treadmill belts are also different than their residential counterparts, which should last much longer and run smoother with heavier exposure.
Commercial heart rate monitors also have higher performances specs that can handle a larger range of individuals from professional athletes all the way to those who have medical requirements for certain exercise intensities.
Home-based models may not provide sufficient data points for this individual’s needs.
In contrast, these monitors allow an individual with any type of exercise prescription to do so safely and effectively by varying speeds and inclines as necessary according to the plan they want.
#7. Medical Treadmill
The medical treadmill is a device that has been used in a clinical setting for a variety of physiological measurements.
The type of aerobic fitness level the individual needs to achieve varies from person to person.
If an individual is looking for conditioning, they may need moderate-intensity training whereas those who require evaluation/treatment may be able to use lower intensities as long as the symptoms are not cardiovascular disturbances or symptoms caused by organ dysfunction.
Cardiac patients or those with heart problems may need higher intensities and should consult their physician before starting this type of exercise program.
Aerobic exercise gets your cardiovascular system going and doing great things like improving blood flow through your major arteries, and pumping oxygen-rich blood throughout your body.