Choosing The Best Manual Treadmill- My Advice

Choosing The Best Manual Treadmill- My Advice

Choosing The Best Manual Treadmill- My Advice

Choosing The Best Manual Treadmill- My Advice

If you’re interested in buying a manual treadmill, you’ve probably seen a few elite athletes training on a curved belt machine.

And you asked yourself “Why are they training on a manual treadmill and not an electric?”

The answer is simple- studies have shown that athletes burn 30% more energy while using a manual treadmill.

So if you’re interested in having a more intense and efficient cardio session, I’d highly recommend a manual treadmill.

In this guide, I’ll talk about what features to look for and also recommend my favorite models available.

I’ll also discuss the pros and cons of choosing a manual vs electric treadmill.

Assault Fitness AirRunner

Assault Fitness AirRunner

  • A manual treadmill that does not require any electrical consumption.
  • It offers a natural running experience.
  • You can burn an extra 30% of calories compared to a motorized treadmill.
  • Durability of up to 150,000 miles.
  • Maximum user weight of 350 pounds.

The Assault Fitness AirRunner is an energy-efficient machine that conforms to your desired speed almost instantly and has no maximum speed limit.

Unlike motorized treadmills, this manual option does not require electricity.

You only need to step on the treadmill belt, grab the armrests, and push the belt with your feet.

By doing so, the running machine will activate almost instantly, and you will be able to increase or decrease the speed according to your footsteps.

Perfect for interval training

If you’re looking for a machine for interval training, the AirRunner will be perfect for you.

This is because you won’t need to constantly interact with a control panel or get unexpected changes in running speed.

You will be in control at all times and you’ll be free to push yourself as hard as you want.

LCD monitor

The Assault Fitness AirRunner also has an LCD monitor that allows you to track your exercises and utilize their adjustable target programs.

What we like

  • Very long-term durability and an appropriate maximum weight.
  • Highly responsive, easy to change your speed and pace.

What we dislike

  • The LCD monitor is not very accurate and does not offer the option of programmed interval training.

Sunny Health & Fitness Manual Treadmill

Sunny Health & Fitness Manual Treadmill

  • Powered by your own movement and an 11-pound flywheel mechanism that builds momentum.
  • 16 levels of magnetic resistance for an additional challenge to your running session.
  • Adjustable incline options with up to 3 incline levels.
  • Slip-resistant handrails for improved safety during your exercises.
  • Weight capacity of 300 pounds.

The Sunny Health & Fitness Manual Treadmill offers more than just an energy-efficient system powered by your own controlled movements.

It also features 16 resistance levels that make it more challenging to keep your running speed and 3 levels of manual incline to adjust your exercises.

Digital Monitor

The treadmill includes a digital monitor with basic functions and simple intuitive buttons.

This allows you to track your time, speed, distance, calories burned, and heart rate, in order to get the best out of your workouts.

Space Saver

The Sunny Health & Fitness Treadmill can be folded upwards to save space, and it is also easy to move around with a pair of transportation wheels.

Customers say this machine gives a very smooth experience and the majority of comments and reviews are great.

However, some people report that it’s not the best choice for those who want to do marathon training.

What we like

  • It has 3 levels of manual incline and 16 magnetic resistance levels.
  • It is foldable and can be stored and transported easily.

What we dislike

  • It might not be the best choice for marathon training or very long and continuous sessions maintaining the same speed.

ASUNA Hi-Performance Self Powered Treadmill

ASUNA Hi-Performance Self Powered Treadmill

  • Dual flywheel, specially designed for large and heavy-duty workouts.
  • Frame made of steel with a maximum weight of 400 pounds.
  • Foldable design, easy to transport and store at home.
  • 4 incline levels of up to 14 degrees.

If you’re looking for a heavy-duty manual treadmill or one meant to use for heavier people, this is your best choice.

It provides self-powered training and does not require any external source of energy.

It has 8 resistance levels, an incline range of up to 10 degrees, and special belt materials meant for shock absorption.

Plus, it’s a foldable model with its maximum user weight between 400 and 440 pounds.

Unfolds automatically

The soft drop system is an interesting feature on this treadmill.

It has a hydraulic mechanism that unfolds the treadmill automatically by gently dropping the base and lowering it to the floor.

Similar to other treadmills, you’ll also get a pair of non-slip handlebars, but these have multiple grip modalities to adjust for the type of exercise and the incline level you choose.

What we like

  • An interesting unfolding system, 8 resistance levels, and incline adjustments.
  • Appropriate for heavier users with a maximum weight of 400 pounds.

What we dislike

  • It does not have any monitor to track your workout.

Sunny Health & Fitness Manual Walking Treadmill

Sunny Health & Fitness Manual Walking Treadmill

  • A compact treadmill that won’t take excessive space from your home.
  • Includes an LCD monitor to track your calories, speed, steps, and time.
  • It is self-powered and does not require any type of electrical outlet.
  • Features a non-slip running surface.
  • The maximum user weight is 220 pounds.

If you’re not planning on running a marathon or doing high-intensity training, this treadmill will work for you.

It has a fixed incline option where you can walk slowly, briskly, or even jog.

Compact Design

This model is a space saver, it does not take much space in the room, even when it’s unfolded.

Yet it’s still foldable, compact, and easy to transport with a pair of transportation wheels.

Compared to other models, it’s also incredibly lightweight and has everything you would want if you’re planning on walking sessions instead of running.

Digital Monitor

The multifunctional digital monitor tracks your speed, time, steps, and calories burned. It is very simple and quick to assemble as well.

You can run on this treadmill if you need to but since it is more compact than the average, it is recommended more for walking, brisk walking, and jogging.

What customers are saying

This treadmill has some great reviews but may fall short compared to others because the incline level cannot be adjusted.

Plus, it doesn’t build a lot of momentum, so you would need to constantly hold the handlebars to press your feet against the belt.

What we like

  • It is one of the most space-saving treadmills you can find in the market.
  • The assembly is very easy, and it is durable and sturdy.

What we dislike

  • It does not build a lot of momentum and you need to constantly press yourself against the belt to maintain your walking speed.

IN10CT Health Runner

IN10CT Health Runner

  • A curved manual treadmill, specially designed for rehabilitation or home workouts.
  • It does not consume electricity and gives you more control over speed.
  • When you stop waking, the treadmill will also stop, reducing the chance of falls and injury.
  • LCD monitor to track your calories, distance, time, pace, and heart rate.

The IN10CT Health Runner is easy to assemble and has a running surface if 17.16’’x61’’, which is enough for walking or running.


It comes with a 5-year frame warranty from the date of the purchase and a 3-year warranty for manufacturing defects and parts.

Additionally, you get a 1-year limited warranty for labor, but this one does not cover the normal wear and tear.

What customers are saying

This model does not have so many reviews, but the ones posted so far are highly favorable.

The only concern reported is not being able to change the screen from MPH to Km/h.

What we like

  • A larger running surface for more safety and smooth walking or jogging experience.
  • It is responsive and very quiet.

What we dislike

  • The product does have reviews, but not so many as to give a complete picture of possible setbacks and user experience issues.

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The Fitness Reality TR1000 is a manual treadmill with three different incline levels and a minimum incline of 6 degrees.

It is easily foldable and comes with an LCD display to track your time, calories, and number of steps. The maximum user weight is 230 pounds.

ProGear 190 Manual Treadmill With 2 Levels

The ProGear 190 is a simple manual treadmill you can adjust with 2 different incline levels.

It features longer foam handles for extra security, it’s easily foldable for storage, and it has an LCD display to track your activity. The maximum user weight on this one is 230 pounds.

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If you’re not interested in saving space and want more track space to run, this is one of the best options.

It has an extra-large running surface and a magnetic resistance you can adjust to 4 different levels.

As with other curved treadmills, it is easier on your joints and has a large LCD display to track your time, heart rate, burned calories, speed, and much more.

SpeedFit Speedboard ProXL


Manual treadmills can offer personalized workouts as well, and this is a clear example.

After running a 10-minute test, the Speedfit system will suggest one of up to 5000 workout programs based on your levels of fitness.

As you have probably noted, none of the above treadmills need to be connected to a power supply because they are not powered by a motor.

But is a manual treadmill better than the standard motorized models?

Pros of manual treadmills

  • It is muscle-powered and makes you burn more calories.
  • You’re not dependent on electricity.
  • They are safer because they stop when you stop.
  • Less expensive.
  • Useful for interval training.

Cons of manual treadmills

  • They can be harder on your joints.
  • You cannot change incline levels on the go. You have to stop and do it manually.
  • They don’t have built-in apps and fancy features.
  • The construction is sometimes less sturdy.
  • Flat versions are better for walking, not running.

Pros of motorized treadmills

  • You don’t need extra strain to make it work.
  • You can adjust incline and speed in the middle of your workout.
  • You get more fancy features.
  • They are fitting for longer sessions of both walking and running.

Cons of motorized treadmills

  • You need electricity.
  • They won’t stop if you stop, which can be dangerous if you get distracted.
  • Costs are typically higher.

What is a manual treadmill?

A manual treadmill is one that does not require any external electrical source to function.

Instead, you give it momentum and activate the running belt using your own feet.

Are manual treadmills quieter than motorized  ?

Yes, manual treadmills generally don’t generate the same amount of noise as motorized treadmills, but they aren’t completely silent either.

Can you lose weight on a manual treadmill?

It is surely possible to lose weight, as it will increase your calorie expenses.

If you’re planning to lose weight, be sure to run or walk on an incline position instead of a flat position, and speed up your feet gradually to make your workout more effective.

What’s the best treadmill for seniors?

If you’re considering a manual treadmill for seniors, be sure to find one with cushioned belts that provide shock-resistance.

It is also important to have a heart rate monitor and control panel that’s easy to understand, preferably with larger buttons or numbers.

Try to choose an incline that is not too pronounced or hard on the knees and other joints.

Make an excellent purchase by considering these features before buying:


Manual treadmills may not be as stylish as motorized models but they are fully functional.

Important things to look at regarding design is whether or not you can fold it, and how much space it will require when in use and in the storage area.

Resistance level

These treadmills are manual, but some of them offer resistance adjustments, making it more difficult to move the belt.

Resistance puts more strain on your joints, so consider this feature only if you’re fine with that and want a bit of a challenge.

Weight limits

If you’re a heavy guy or girl, user weight limits should be an important concern.

Try not to be very close to the maximum weight and consider buying an option with an extended weight limit if you are.


You won’t get a motorized incline, but some models come with different incline degrees.

No incline could be appropriate for seniors but more incline would be useful if you’re planning to lose weight.

Consider your options according to your fitness goals, body weight, and age.

Belt size

In the market, you will see either compact belts or very large belts. This is important because it’s where you will actually place your feet.

Naturally, larger belt sizes are more appropriate if you’re planning to run or if you have a longer stride.


Manual treadmills are easier to fold and store, and most of them can be easily moved around your house.

Do consider these options, especially if you have reduced space at home.