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Are Manual Treadmills Good Alternative To Electric Treadmills? Find Out Here

Cardiovascular exercise is one of the best things you can do for your health, but if you don’t have time to hit the gym, you can always workout at home. And if you are looking for a way to add more cardio to your life, but aren’t excited about the idea of running, consider getting a treadmill.

A manual treadmill is a treadmill that is not powered by electricity or gasoline. They are commonly used for training soldiers, mainly to prepare them for the physical exertions they will face in combat. Treadmills can be either motor-driven or manual. A manual treadmill will have a belt that is either made of leather or synthetic material. They are not as fast as motor-driven ones but can be used to train the feet to carry out quick movements when running.

Is a Manual Treadmill Effective like an Electric Treadmill?

Many people believe that a manual treadmill is not as effective as an electric treadmill. This is true for a few reasons. First, the pace is usually much easier when using a manual treadmill. Second, the manual treadmill does not have a display, so you do not know how much time you have been running or how fast you are running.

Manual vs. Motorized Treadmills

Choosing the right treadmill is not an easy task, particularly when you have to decide whether to get a manual or a motorized one. The decision that you make depends a lot on your own circumstances, and may not be an easy one. For example, if you live in a big house, then a motorized treadmill may be the only way to go. If you live in a small apartment, then a manual treadmill is a better bet.

Pros of Manual Treadmills

Manual Treadmills are a great exercise in which you get to control the speed and incline. They can be gotten rid of in a small space and can be easily stored when not in use. It is a simple machine that use human power to run. Some of the pros are:

  • cost
  • Manual treadmills respond to a runner’s cadence
  • you have control at your fingertips (or feet!)
  • Manual treadmills are more challenging and therefore burn more calories
  • Running on a manual treadmill requires both mental and physical focus


When looking for a treadmill, the first thing you will want to look at is the cost. Many people who are getting into shape start out looking to buy a manual treadmill. Manual treadmills can be a great way to get started working out, and many people start off looking for a manual treadmill as it will cost a lot less than an electric treadmill.

Manual Treadmills Respond to a Runner’s Cadence

The latest generation of commercial manual treadmills responds to a runner’s cadence, a more advanced feature than the standard manual treadmill. A runner’s cadence refers to the number of steps a runner takes per minute. A runner with a relatively low cadence may be taking, say, 90 steps per minute, while a runner with a relatively high cadence may be taking 120 steps per minute.

You have Control at Your Fingertips (or Feet!)

When you think of a treadmill, you think of something you don’t have to think about. Put one foot in front of the other and go. However, with the manual treadmill, you have to think about every step you take. No longer can you just walk and turn your head around. The steps must be thought out before they happen, allowing you to fully concentrate on the steps you are taking.

Manual Treadmills are More Challenging and therefore Burn More Calories

The debate about whether manual treadmills are more challenging and therefore burn more calories than motorized ones has raged on for years. Now, a new study has finally put the question to rest, saying that, yes, manual treadmills are more challenging and therefore burn more calories than their motorized counterparts. The study took place at the University of Nebraska, where researchers designed a treadmill to mimic the incline, speed, and length of movement of a manual treadmill, with a motor powering it to keep the belt moving. Subjects then ran at a 7 percent incline for a half hour with both a motor and manual treadmill.

Running on a Manual Treadmill Requires Both Mental and Physical Focus

A manual treadmill can be a great way to burn fat and stay fit. With the ability to change speeds and inclines manually, you can opt to either increase the pace or the difficulty to increase the workout intensity. However, it is important to note that running on a manual treadmill requires both mental and physical focus. You have to be sure that you are pushing yourself as hard as you would on an automatic treadmill, but you have to be careful to keep your mind and body in sync.

The Cons of Manual Treadmills

The downside of a manual treadmill:

  • It doesn’t have the self-power control function. The function of self-power control can speed up or slow down the treadmill automatically according to your power.
  • A manual treadmill doesn’t have a computer that measures speed, distance, or time. Instead, you use a stopwatch and your own body to track these three important elements of a good workout.
  • Manual treadmills lack pre-programmed workouts, which can be a plus for some people.

Last Words

When you are going to make an investment, it is very important that you know what you are getting yourself into, especially if it involves large amounts of money.

If you are decided to buy a manual treadmill, it is necessary to know that there are different types of models, and some of the treadmills are very expensive, but the price for each model depends on the quality. You should read a lot of reviews about different treadmill models if you want to buy one for yourself, and if you are decided to buy a manual treadmill, you should focus on some special features.


Randy Lucas

Randy here - Fitness enthusiast and avid runner - besides running I also love playing with my two German Shepherds Peter and Bruce - oh and I love cooking. I am the Webmaster over at where I ramble about all things fitness in an effort to make the world a healthier place.