Treadmills are a popular means of staying fit at home, however, purchasers can be put off by the expense of running an electric model on a regular basis. In those circumstances, a manual treadmill is the better choice.
Manual treadmills are a versatile piece of equipment, yet few people know of them or their benefits. Should you be in the market for a treadmill without the noisy motor, there are many reputable models of manual machine available.
Best Manual Treadmills 2020
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T1407M Manual Walking Treadmill
- Small, lightweight design
- Anti-slip belt
- Battery powered console
- Fixed incline
- 220 lbs limit
For those who want to get in more miles a day, this is a lightweight option that will easily fit into your home.
Small in size, easy to assemble, and storable in an upright folded position, this is ideal for those who are limited in space. And, while this is a compact manual option, quality hasn’t been compromised. Not only do you get an anti-slip belt to walk/run on, it can handle weight up to 200lbs.
Furthermore, you don’t miss out on a console to monitor your progress; this battery powered feature means you can track your workouts, but you can also just as easily leave the batteries out and go completely manual.
The main hurdle some users will face is that the belt is slender in width, which might not suit some individuals’ form/gait. What is more, the machine is fixed at an incline, meaning you will always experience a more resistant focused workout.
LZG Compact Folding Manual Treadmill
- 4 in 1 design
- LCD console
- Wheels for mobility
- Larger design
- Short belt length
This manual option is great for not just runners but those looking for a full body workout; sporting a 4 in 1 design, it’s a versatile piece of equipment.
The 4 in 1 feature allows you to adapt the machine to assist with sit-ups, T waist exercises, and a draw rope option. Furthermore, there’s also a sole massager, to help ease your feet after a heavy workout.
Given how many features are included in this model, it’s not the most streamlined machine and so it is bulkier in size and a lot less minimalistic. Nevertheless, while it’s larger than some other manual treadmills, it can still be folded away for your convenience.
In aid with storage, there’s wheels to help move the machine around your home, meaning you can change which room you workout in. Moreover, when folded up, this model can be stored vertically, which is preferable for a lot of buyers.
Please note, however, that the belt of this machine is shorter in length than others available, meaning it might not be ideal for avid runners, due to the fact they often need more length to run along.
UAMSISTE 4-in-1 Foldable Manual Treadmill
- 4 in 1 design
- LCD display
- Suction cups for extra stability
- Incline options
- Bulky design
Generally speaking, this is a solid purchase for any runners/walkers out there. Able to be stored away, adaptable in design, and offering incline variation, this manual treadmill has a lot of versatility.
That being said, it is larger than some of the sleeker models out there. What is more, some users have remarked on the lack of stability for larger individuals, in spite the fact that the machine states it can handle up to 330lbs.
When in use, there’s suction cup security to prevent any movement of the machine, and then once you’re done with your workout, you can fold it away and store it.
Just like other models, this machine offers T waist workouts, sit-up options, and the messengers mentioned in the LZG treadmill overview. Therefore, this is another all rounder that will be beneficial for all members of the family, even those who aren’t runners.
Weslo CardioStride 4.0 Manual Treadmill
- Compact design
- Incline options
- LCD display
- Tablet holder
- No pre-programmed workouts
- Basic design
- Only two incline options
Minimalist is the only way to describe this manual machine. The Weslo treadmill keeps it simple and stripped back, with even its console compact in design.
In spite of this basic design however, there’s plenty of adaptability for those who vary between walking and running. What is more, you can increase the incline of your machine to change up your workouts and introduce some resistance into your routine.
That being said, the incline options are limited to two only, which some runners will find limiting. Moreover, the belt is quite short in length, which again can present problems for runners, particularly those with larger strides.
Overall though, this is a small and foldable option that will fit into many homes, even those extremely short on space. In addition to this, it’s highly affordable when compared with other models.
What Are The Benefits of Manual Treadmills?
When we comment on cost effectiveness, this isn’t just in reference to the cost of purchasing the machine but also in relation to the money saved from it not being mains powered.
More often than not, manual treadmills are cheaper to buy, given the fact that they come with less electronic features. Even if you opt for one of the 4 in 1 models we listed, these are still cheaper than similar models which are motorised.
That being said, while cheaper, we still advise researching different models to ensure you purchase the best for your individual needs. Quality shouldn’t ever be compromised on, and so if a manual treadmill is more expensive than another, this doesn’t mean it should be discounted.
What is more, if a console is included with your manual machine (which is common), it’s normally battery powered and so you can choose whether to use it or not. This means you can remain completely unplugged and simply hit the ground running, so to speak.
The beauty of its space saving capabilities have been dominant throughout this article, and for good reason — manual treadmills are typically smaller than motorised ones.
Of course, this can be a problem for those who take longer strides and need a bigger belt to run upon. However, as a general rule, manual machines prove successful for both walkers and runners alike.
In addition to being space saving when in use, there’s the added benefit of many of these machines being foldable, and so you can store it out of view when you’re not using it. Granted, motorised machines offer this too, but they tend to be bulkier in size due to the features they include.
What Are the Disadvantages of Manual Treadmills?
Although a lot of us like the minimalist aesthetic and lifestyle, there’s no escaping how basic manual treadmills tend to be. Both in looks and features.
This is why most of them come with small LCD screens, only capable of displaying basic information such as heart rate, speed, etc, and why you simply have a frame and belt to make use of. Manual treadmills have been stripped back, which some can find difficult to adapt to, especially if you’re used to motorised gym machines.
If you’re someone who wants to track progress, manual treadmills are limited in doing this, meaning you either need to use an app and/or consider a motorised option instead. The reason the console has less features is because it lacks power to run them; this is the compromise when purchasing a manual option instead.
In-keeping with a lack of features, a lot of manual treadmills will either have no incline options or minimal offerings. Some will even have a fixed incline that can’t be changed, like the Sunny Health machine we mentioned above.
Due to the design features of manual treadmills, which are minimal, they also tend to be less durable over a long period of time.
This isn’t to say they’ll fall apart after one or two uses, but that they’ll have less longevity than their motorised counterparts. Given that there’s no need for sturdy extras to help power its features, it makes sense that lower quality materials are used to build a manual machine.
Should you be looking to have your treadmill for a number of years without any need to buy another, a motorised one might be better suited to you.
Manual treadmills are a brilliant way to gain the benefits of a treadmill but without the hefty price and larger design.
Nevertheless, while they can be just as beneficial as electric machines, they do some with some disadvantages, such as durability, which need to be considered before you make your final purchase.
You also need to take into account what you’ll predominantly be using your machine for: running or walking. It’s fair to say that manual treadmills are better suited to walkers than runners. Therefore, if you’re looking to simply increase your mobility, a manual model is a worthy investment.