Manual Treadmill Vs. Electric Treadmill: Which Is Better?

If you are a fitness enthusiast, you must be well aware of what the treadmills are. The treadmills help our body in many ways; the health benefits of using the treadmill are beyond amazing. It is also true that most people only have a very little knowledge about treadmills. We would like to inform our readers that just like any other product in the market, the treadmills are also available in two different types; the electric treadmills and the manual treadmills.

Some people prefer purchasing electric treadmills while others like manual treadmills. The choice depends upon the features of the treadmills. If you are also one of those in a dilemma of choosing a manual treadmill or an electric treadmill, you are just at the right place. Here, in our article, we will talk about both the manual and electric treadmills. We will also discuss the differences between the two treadmills. We anticipate, at the end of the article, you will be able to choose between the two types. Therefore, without any further delay, go ahead and give the article a nice read.

Manual Treadmill vs. Electric Treadmill

What are the manual treadmills?

As the name suggests, manual treadmills are not operated with the help of electricity. Instead, they are operated by the user’s legs. In other words, the belt of the manual treadmills only moves when the user moves. The action of the user’s feet that pushes against the manual treadmill’s deck tends to push its belt. Unlike the electric treadmills, the manual treadmills allow the users to control the pace. We would like to inform our readers that the manual treadmills come in 2 different types; the one with a curved belt and the one with a flat belt. In the former case, the surface of the treadmill is curved, which means the feet move on the arc. While, in the latter case, the surface of the treadmill is flat. In the flat surface, the treadmill gets activated as soon as the user runs on the surface, and it gets deactivated when the user stops.

What are the advantages of using a manual treadmill?

  • No need for electricity: One of the most beneficial things about using a manual treadmill is that there is no need for electricity. The treadmill is not dependent upon electricity for its performance. This also means that if you a manual treadmill, there will be no need to place the treadmills near the electricity outlet.
  • Powered by muscle: In the manual treadmill, the user provides all the motive power. And this offers a good exercise to the lower body. It is likely that the user expends a lot more calories in a single mile. Rather than keep up with the belt of the moving treadmill, the user can control the treadmill’s speed by putting a greater effort. If you choose a manual treadmill with a curved-belt, then you can speed up and down by placing the feet forward and striking the belt.
  • It is better in terms of safety: The manual treadmill is quite better in terms of the user’s safety. The treadmill stops as soon as the user stops. Like the electric treadmill, even if the user slips and falls, he/she does not need to wear any safety cord in order to stop the machine. Which means this kind of treadmill is a lot safer to be used around pets and children.
  • The flat-belt manual treadmills have lesser pricing; $300. In comparison, the curved-belt manual treadmills are a bit more towards the pricey end, $3,000.
  • Offer workouts with high-intensity intervals: Most of the athletic trainers prefer using the curved-belt manual treadmills for working out. This kind of treadmill gives them a chance to perform alternate moderate and high-intensity workouts. You would like to know that many professional sports teams also prefer using curved-belt models for training.

What are the disadvantages of using a manual treadmill?

  • Leads to joint stress: The major problem with the manual or non-motorized treadmills is that the initial movement of the treadmill is quite difficult, especially in the flat-belt machines. The strain that occurs against the belt can lead to stress on the joints of the users. The usage of manual treadmills is an issue for people who have hip or knee arthritis.
  • They are less sturdy: The manual treadmills, especially the one with flat-belts, are a lot less sturdy in their construction. The weight limits of the user is also a lot less in such treadmills. Also, the flat-belt treadmills tend to have more number of flaws like noise and belt slippage, etc. If you want to check the sturdiness of the manual treadmills, then always check the user’s weight limit before making a purchase. If we talk about the curved-belt manual treadmills, they tend to have higher quality as well as robust construction.
  • Due to the less sturdy construction of the flat-belt treadmills, running is not advised. The users need to walk instead of running. You can also say that the manual treadmills with flat-belts are perfect for walking instead of running. A manual treadmill with a curved-belt is best suited for running.
  • It does not have additional features: The manual treadmills do not possess any kind of workout applications and other advanced features. If you want to use apps and workout plans, then you will have to take the help of your mobile phone.

What are the Electric Treadmills?

It is obvious that electric treadmills require electricity to run the treadmill. This means the treadmill depends upon the motor for setting the belt in motion. The performance of the electric treadmills depends largely upon the horsepower of the motor. A motor of 1.5 HP is usually present in any electric treadmill. The size of the motor can be increased depending upon the usage and speed required by the users. If you want a higher speed and heavy usage, then you will have to buy a treadmill with a bigger motor.

What are the advantages of using an electric treadmill?

  • The ability of incline and speed adjustment during the workout: The electric treadmills offer the users the chance of adjusting the incline as well as the speed of the treadmill while the user is still running or walking. You would love to know that some of the electric treadmills often have a decline feature so that the users can go downhill.
  • No joint stress or strain: As we all know, the electric treadmills have belts that move with the motor’s help. Hence, there is no joint stress or strain on the user at the time of the start.
  • It is perfect for long training sessions: With the electric treadmill, the user can perform long endurance sessions. On the other hand, manual treadmills can only offer short sessions to the users.
  • Additional features: Even the lower-priced models have numerous features in the electric treadmills. Users can also make the use of various applications that add fun to the workout and turn the workout a lot more interesting.
  • It is suitable for running and running: Unlike manual treadmills, the electric treadmills are suitable not only for walking but also for running. There are numerous models that have highly-powered motors and long treadmill belt. Also, such treadmills are a lot more stable as compared to the flat-belt manual treadmills.

What are the disadvantages of electric treadmills?

  • The need for electricity: The electric treadmills are needed to be placed only near the electrical outlet; otherwise, the machine would not run. The commercial treadmills require a lot more electricity as compared to the home treadmills.
  • Cost: The electric treadmills have a higher price range as compared to the manual treadmills. But, according to us, the quality and features make the product worth its price. However, these days, there are so many brands that offer electric treadmills at considerable prices. All you need is to do a little research before heading to the market.
  • Safety is doubtful: The electric treadmills can be a potential hazard for safety. While running or walking on the electric treadmill, wearing the safety cord is a must. It is not advisable to use the electric treadmills near children and pets.

Bottom line

The treadmills are also considered as the ‘heart’s best friend.’ This is because it gives users the chance to perform great cardio workouts. We hope our article proves to be helpful for you. However, if you are still confused, we suggest you visit the local gym near you and try different types of treadmills. This will help you become familiar with the features of the treadmill. And you will end up buying the treadmill of your choice. If you listen to our advice, we would always recommend you to go for good quality electric treadmills. However, if you have a low-budget, then you can always choose the manual treadmill with curved-belt. Stay Fit, Stay Healthy!