Reviews Gym Equipment Treadmills

10 Best Manual Treadmills in 2024

Reviewed by: Oleksiy Torokhtiy (21 years of Oly Lifting experience)

After individually testing and comparing our findings to other manual treadmill reviews, we bring you the 10 best manual treadmill options.

Unlike electric, motorized treadmills you see at most gyms, manual treadmills are powered based on your physical input.

As a result, they provide a more natural, streamlined, and safe workout that lets you choose exercise intensity. Simply put, you choose how fast you want to go and when you want to stop.

Furthermore, manual treadmills are often lightweight, compact, and less noisy, making them a popular choice for home gyms.

best manual treadmill

Top 10 Best Manual Treadmills Reviewed

  1. Assault Fitness Top Pick
  2. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T1407M – Runner-Up
  3. Rogue | Woodway Premium Pick
  4. Signature Best Compact
  5. SB Fitness
  6. Wolfmate
  7. IN10CT
  8. EFITMENT
  9. ProGear 190
  10. Kotia Budget Pick
ProductTotalAdjustabilityMonitor FunctionalityPortabilityVersatilityComfortPrice/
Quality
AssaultFitness599.5101010109.5
SF-T1407M581091091010
Rogue57101099109
Signature56.5108.5991010
SB Fitness5699991010
Wolfmate559991099
IN10CT549.5891099
Efitment549891099
ProGear 19053.5989999.5
Kotia53989999

1. Assault Fitness AssaultRunner Pro Top Pick

assault fitness

We kick our best manual treadmill top list with the AssaultRunner Pro.

This machine is manufactured by Assault Fitness, the creative minds behind the famous Assault AirBike.

The brand is known for producing high-quality manual cardio equipment, albeit at a higher price.

With its athlete-powered design, compact footprint, and built-in training programs, it is an excellent choice for all athlete levels – whether your goal is improving running performance, losing weight, or simply staying fit from the comfort of your home.

  • Speed range: Manual, recommended 20 mph maximum speed
  • Max incline: Fixed, not adjustable
  • Folding: Not foldable
  • Weight limit: 350 pounds
  • Item weight: 289.2 pounds
  • Product dimensions: 69.9 L x 31.7 W x 64.4 H inches
  • Display: LCD, manually powered
  • Running surface: Curved
  • Warranty: 5 years on frame, 3 years for parts, up to 150,000 miles for the belt
  • Workout programs: 8 built-in workouts, as well as customizable modes
  • Additional features: 100% Manually powered, Curved surface, Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity, compatible with Zwift and Assault Fitness apps

In terms of construction, the AssaultRunner Pro is made with a solid steel frame and handrails that can support up to 350 pounds. It is also powder coated, which makes it corrosion and elements resistant and ensures durability. This means you can safely use it in various room conditions, not worry about sweat and spills, and even take it outside if you feel like working out outdoors. Assault Fitness also provides a 5-year warranty on the frame and a 3-year warranty on parts, plus a guarantee of up to 150,000 miles on the belt life.

Compared to traditional treadmills, the curved surface may take a few tries to get used to, but eventually, you’ll find it to be much more comfortable than flat running surfaces. The drive train system consists of 100 precision ball bearings with 12 roller guides, making the entire exercise feel smooth regardless of if you’re walking or running, and effortlessly transitions between speeds.

The treadmill features a high-contrast, UV-resistant LCD, backlit to improve readability. The console is intuitive and easy to use, and it tracks all the necessary stats including time, calories, distance, speed, watts, pace, and heart rate. The console’s simple design should also not be underestimated, as it offers full Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity, making it compatible with fitness bands, heart-rate belts, as well as smart devices using the Assault Fitness or Zwift app.

The AssaultPro is engineered with a compact design and a small overall footprint compared to most treadmills, making it ideal both for commercial and home gyms. It’s also incredibly easy to assemble – the running platform comes pre-assembled and you only need to attach the handles and monitor, no need to worry about delicate parts. It also has built-in transport wheels, making it easy to move and store.

59 EXPERT SCORE

The compact AssaultRunner Pro treadmill features an intuitive console with full Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity to track essential stats like time, calories, distance, speed, perfect for commercial or home gyms.


Adjustability:0
Monitor Functionality:0
Portability:0
Versatility:0
Comfort:0
Price/ Quality:0

Positives:

  • Solid steel frame, corrosion-resistant hardware
  • Intuitive and easy-to-use manual console that tracks all essential info
  • Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity with smart devices, fitness bands, heart-rate monitors, etc.
  • Compatible with Assault Fitness or Zwift app for even better stat tracking and goal setting
  • Up to 150,000 miles belt life guarantee as part of your 5-year frame, 3-year parts warranty

Could be better:

  • For a somewhat high price, it lacks convenience features such as a water bottle holder, device shelf, foldability, and similar

2. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T1407M Manual Walking Treadmill Runner Up

sunny treadmill ls sf

Our runner-up best non motorized treadmill is made by Sunny Health & Fitness, a brand with a high reputation for its quality products at affordable prices.

Their SF-T1407M manual treadmill for walking is a great choice for anyone looking for an affordable and convenient way to stay active at home.

It’s perfect for a walk or light jog indoors when you simply can’t leave the house to hit the gym.

  • Speed range: Manual
  • Max incline: Fixed 8 inches, not adjustable
  • Folding: Yes, fully vertical fold
  • Weight limit: 220 pounds
  • Item weight: 46.7 pounds
  • Product dimensions: 49 L X 23 W X 50 H inches
  • Display: LCD, manually powered
  • Running surface: Flat
  • Warranty: 3-year frame, 180 days parts
  • Additional features: Cushioned handlebars, non-slip side rails for standing, fully vertically foldable

Considering its price, the SF-T1407M is made of high-quality materials. The main frame is made from alloy steel and the belt is made from durable PVC which won’t break under regular use. The walking surface is a single piece featuring a textured, non-slip surface that sticks well to all kinds of shoes and even barefoot use.

The treadmill uses a basic LCD monitor that displays time, distance, calories, and speed. It won’t blow your mind but it gets the job done for such a simple product. It is, of course, manually powered by the athlete's movement. This means it does not require an electricity source to work, making this treadmill an energy-saving, eco-friendly option.

The main feature of the SF-T1407M is its compact design. At just 49x23x50 inches, it has a small footprint that can fit into the tightest rooms and corners, making it perfect for use at home or in an apartment. It weighs only 46 pounds and has transportation wheels, making it easy for an adult to move around. It’s also fully vertically foldable to help you save space, as it doesn’t require a permanent place.

That said, a downside of this compact design is just 220 pounds of maximum user weight. Additionally, it only supports walking or light jogging, so if you’re looking for a quick run at home, this isn’t the product for you.

58 EXPERT SCORE

The SF-T1407M manual treadmill for walking by Sunny Health & Fitness is an affordable and convenient way to stay active at home, making it a great choice for a walk or light jog indoors when you can't go to the gym.


Adjustability:0
Monitor Functionality:0
Portability:0
Versatility:0
Comfort:0
Price/ Quality:0

Positives:

  • Single-piece textured walking surface sticks well
  • The non-slip side rails provide a safe place to stand without having to step off the treadmill in case you need to stop
  • Foam-padded handlebars are comfortable to grab onto when you need the extra support
  • Compact design - small footprint, fully foldable, lightweight, easy to transport

Could be better:

  • The 13-inch running surface is quite narrow, larger athletes may not fit on it

3. ROGUE | WOODWAY CURVE LTG TREADMILL Premium Pick

rogue woodway

No fitness equipment top list is complete without mentioning Rogue at least once.

Partnered with renowned treadmill maker, Woodway USA, they created the Curve LTG.

For those who don’t mind spending a bit more, this is a premium manual treadmill for walking, jogging, mid-distance runs, and HIIT Training, perfect for home gyms and small commercial settings.

  • Speed range: Unlimited
  • Max incline: Not adjustable
  • Folding: Not foldable
  • Weight limit: 350 pounds
  • Item weight: 297 pounds
  • Product dimensions: 67 L x 34 W x 70 H
  • Display: LCD console
  • Running surface: Curved
  • Warranty: 5-year frame, 2-year electronics, 1-year labor
  • Workout programs: Four modes - goal, interval, group/circuit, and custom
  • Additional features: Patented rubber slats, Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity, NFC pairing for Apple smartwatches, Group and Circuit training modes

As you can expect for the price, the build quality and attention to detail on the Rogue | Woodway LTG treadmills are superb. The main frame is made from powder-coated steel that can withstand up to 350 pounds of user weight even when running at maximum speed (most treadmill max capacity is measured for walking)

The workout surface uses the Woodway patented slat belt, now with TPE covering, known for its reduced shock and increased comfort over regular treadmills. The 60 rubber slats gliding over 98 roller bearings and 12 guide rollers create a seamless motion with no drag, bumps, or breaks. Additionally, the small hexagonal texture on the slats increases traction on your running shoes, preventing slipping and skidding.

The LCD console on this treadmill is also one of the most advanced for a motorless treadmill. The control panel is intuitive and the backlit screen is large and easy to see, plus it even gives sound queues. Not only does it track all basic metrics, but it does so in great detail, including current, peak and average speed, total time and pace, total and active calories, watts, and heart rate via Bluetooth or ANT+.

Next to the display are two water bottle holders on each side, as well as a small shelf and smart device holder on the front. We found these to be very helpful to leave our workout necessities, especially since manual treadmills typically don’t have these features.

The treadmill is easy and safe to step onto using the non-slip side covers on the side, which also provide a stable and safe platform to stand on, perfect for a quick rest between sets or emergency stop when necessary.

57 EXPERT SCORE

The Rogue and Woodway is a premium manual treadmill for walking, jogging, mid-distance runs, and HIIT Training, perfect for home gyms and small commercial settings, and a must-mention on any fitness equipment top list.


Adjustability:0
Monitor Functionality:0
Portability:0
Versatility:0
Comfort:0
Price/ Quality:0

Positives:

  • Manufacturer-guaranteed unlimited speed
  • High-tech LCD console, not common on self-powered treadmills
  • The TPE-covered slat belt is a unique design patented by Woodway USA
  • NFC connectivity for Apple smart watches
  • The water bottle holders, smart device holder, and small shelf are small but very convenient features

Could be better:

  • The assembly process can take a bit longer and it comes with many small parts

4. Signature Fitness SF-S2 Sprint Demon Best Compact

signature sf 2
  • Speed range: 25 mph
  • Max incline: Not adjustable
  • Folding: Not foldable
  • Weight limit: 300 pounds
  • Item weight: Around 150 pounds
  • Product dimensions: 66.54 L x 27.56 W x 57.68 H
  • Display: LCD
  • Running surface: Curved
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Additional features: 7 resistance levels, small footprint

The main frame is made from alloy steel and can withstand a solid 300 pounds maximum capacity even for running. It offers 7 manually adjustable resistance levels - the first three being for walking, the second three for running, and the final for simulating high-resistance exercises such as sled pushes. Resistance levels can quickly be adjusted without having to dismount the machine, using the easy-to-reach leaver found on the handrails.

Furthermore, the SF-S2 Spring Demon has one of the smallest footprints you’ll find among curved treadmills. This makes it perfect for those looking to utilize the benefits of curved treadmills, but don’t have a lot of space. Coupled with the light weight, it’s easy for a single person to move around and store when not in use.

56.5 EXPERT SCORE

The Signature Fitness SF-S2 Spring Demon packs a lot of performance into an otherwise quite small and compact curved manual treadmill.


Adjustability:0
Monitor Functionality:0
Portability:0
Versatility:0
Comfort:0
Price/ Quality:0

Positives:

  • Very small footprint for a curved manual treadmill
  • Thin, flexible slats are quite comfortable on impact
  • The resistance lever is within easy reach on the handrails

Could be better:

  • A single year of warranty coverage is quite short for a cardio machine, especially for the price range
sb fitness

Next up we have the SB Fitness CT400 self-generated manual running treadmill.

This treadmill is worth mentioning simply as a more affordable alternative to our top pick, the AssaultPro. It offers similar performance at nearly half the price, minus some connectivity features.

  • Speed range: Manual, not specified
  • Max incline: Not adjustable
  • Folding: Not foldable
  • Weight limit: 450 pounds
  • Item weight: 165 pounds
  • Product dimensions: 73" L X 30.5" W X 61.6" H
  • Display: LCD console
  • Running surface: Curved
  • Warranty: 10-year frame, 5-year parts, 2-year console, and 1-year labor
  • Additional features: 3 resistance levels

The CT400 is primarily designed for HIIT training and isn’t recommended for long-distance running. Using thin flexible slats, it provides a low-impact workout on your joints even during high-intensity exercises, such as sprinting.

In terms of construction, the frame and handles are made from durable alloy steel. The machine doesn’t require routine maintenance or additional lubrication and is tested for up to 150,000 miles of usage. The warranty is one of the best for this type of product, with an incredible 10 years on the frame and 5 years on other parts, as well as 2 years on the LCD console and 1 year for labor.

Unique to this self propelled treadmill VS similar curved treadmills are the 3 resistance levels labeled low, medium, and high, which can provide an additional challenge and versatility to your workout.

In terms of safety features, the belt manually stops and starts based on your physical input, just like all manual treadmills. However, this treadmill truly has an excellent response time due to the high-speed nylon bearings. Additionally, it has a large set of multi-grip handrails that allow you to hold on to it in various workout positions.

The display looks and functions similarly to the one found on the AssaultPro. It displays time, distance, speed, pace, watts, calorie consumption, and heart rate all at the same time, making it easy to read. However, it doesn’t have the same Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity.

56 EXPERT SCORE

The SB Fitness CT400 self-generated manual running treadmill is an affordable alternative to the AssaultPro, designed for HIIT training with a low-impact workout and a display that shows essential workout metrics.


Adjustability:0
Monitor Functionality:0
Portability:0
Versatility:0
Comfort:0
Price/ Quality:0

Positives:

  • No post-assembly maintenance or lubrication required
  • 450 pounds maximum capacity
  • Large multi-grip handlebar
  • Long-lasting warranty makes a high value-for-money purchase

Could be better:

  • The monitor is positioned somewhat low between the handlebars, it can be difficult to see and reach to use

6. WOLFMATE Fitness Curved Treadmill

wolfmate

The WOLFMATE Curved Treadmill is an overall well-designed workout machine that expands workout possibilities by using simple physics.

Thanks to manual resistance settings, a large set of handlebars, and a belt that can turn both forward and backward, this machine can be used for way more than just walking and running, and provides a near full-body workout.

  • Max incline: Not adjustable
  • Folding: Not foldable
  • Weight limit: 440 pounds
  • Item weight: 342 pounds
  • Product dimensions: 73 L x 34 W x 63 H
  • Display: LCD
  • Running surface: Curved
  • Warranty: 3-year frame, 1-year parts, 1-year console
  • Additional features: 8 resistance levels, large multi-grip handlebar

The main frame on this treadmill is made of alloy steel. It’s quite sturdy and can withstand a 440-pound maximum capacity, which is quite impressive for manual treadmills and the second highest among products on this top list (lower by just 10 lbs from the SB CT400).

The most notable feature of this treadmill are the large and thick handrails. They offer a variety of grip positions and, unlike most treadmills, they aren’t just for balancing and briefly holding on to. They will withstand a heavy burden, so you can fully lean on them to simulate various workout types, including skiing, mountain climbing, backward walking/running, sled pushing, etc.

55 EXPERT SCORE

The WOLFMATE Curved Treadmill offers a versatile workout with manual resistance settings, a large set of handlebars, making it an overall well-designed workout machine.


Adjustability:0
Monitor Functionality:0
Portability:0
Versatility:0
Comfort:0
Price/ Quality:0

Positives:

  • 8 resistance settings
  • Thick multi-grip handlebars which can be fully leaned on
  • High workout variety

Could be better:

  • Quite heavy at 342 pounds, hard to move by a single person even with the transportation wheels

7. IN10CT Intensity Health Runner Curved Manual Treadmill

in10ct

The IN10CT Health Runner is an excellent manual treadmill for running, jogging, and walking.

It’s made to last, using high-quality materials including a steel frame and a slat belt made of PVC and nylon.

The machine is also designed to be low maintenance, as it has no electrical components that could malfunction.

This makes it a durable and reliable choice for both home and commercial use.

  • Speed range: Manual, up to 50 mph maximum speed
  • Max incline: Around 17 degrees
  • Folding: Not foldable
  • Weight limit: 400 pounds
  • Item weight: Around 330 pounds
  • Product dimensions: 69 L x 32 W x 61 H inches
  • Display: LCD
  • Running surface: Curved
  • Warranty: 5-year frame, 3-year parts and components
  • Additional features: Manual incline setting

The IN10CT Health Runner Curved Manual Treadmill is made of high-quality materials, including a steel frame and a slat belt made of PVC and nylon. The machine is also designed to be low maintenance, as it has no electrical components that could malfunction. This makes it a durable and reliable choice for both home or commercial use.

Compared to similar products, the IN10CT curved runner has impressive performance specs, including a very high 400 pounds maximum capacity and a 50-mph maximum speed (which means it’s practically humanly unreachable).

The treadmill features a digital console that displays key workout metrics, including time, speed, distance, and calories burned. The console is battery-operated and it charges as you use the treadmill. That said, the thin letters and numbers can appear somewhat small on the high-contrast black-on-white display, which may not be as clear to users with sight impairment.

One great advantage the IN10CT treadmill has over other curved runners is, it has an incline setting. By manually adjusting the legs at the back of the treadmill, you can create an incline as large as 30%. Inclined workouts are known for their higher intensity which result in greater muscle activation and calories burned.

54 EXPERT SCORE

The IN10CT Health Runner is a durable and reliable manual treadmill made of high-quality materials, with no electrical components, designed for running, jogging, and walking, ideal for both home and commercial use.


Adjustability:0
Monitor Functionality:0
Portability:0
Versatility:0
Comfort:0
Price/ Quality:0

Positives:

  • Up to 30% manual incline, a unique feature among curved treadmills
  • The maximum incline of 30% (around 17 degrees) is highest among manual treadmills
  • The treadmill comes pre-assembled

Could be better:

  • The bland black-on-white display is a bit small and hard to read

8. EFITMENT T017 Adjustable Incline Magnetic Manual Treadmill

efitment

The EFITMENT T017 incline manual treadmill is an affordable, compact machine designed for indoor workouts.

It’s another good option if you’re shopping on a budget and have limited storage space around your home.

Compared to other manual, foldable treadmills, it also packs a few extra features that expand your workout possibilities.

  • Max incline: 9 degrees
  • Folding: Yes
  • Weight limit: 220 pounds
  • Item weight: 73.5 Pounds
  • Product dimensions: 54 L x 35.5 W x 52 H inches
  • Display: LCD
  • Running surface: Flat
  • Warranty: 3-year frame, 90-day parts and components
  • Additional features: Vertically foldable, heart rate monitor on handles, three incline settings, arm exercisers

Considering its size, the EFITMENT T017 manual folding treadmill packs a few surprising features.

The treadmill is quite compact, with a fairly small 54 x 35.5 x 52 inches footprint. It can be folded up vertically and rolled around using the built-in transport wheels for easy transport. Considering its size, it has a decent-sized running surface that measures 47.2 inches in length by 15.7 inches in width, allowing for a fair range of strides.

The T017 features adjustable incline settings that allow you to increase the intensity of your workout. There are three levels of incline available - 7, 8, and 9 degrees - which can be adjusted manually. Even though this is a self propelled treadmill, it still features magnetic resistance with up to 8 settings, which you can use to increase workout variety and intensity.

The most noteworthy feature of the T017 compared to other manual treadmills are the arm exercisers, akin to those you’d find on an elliptical machine. They allow you to fully engage your arms during your walk or run, providing a near full-body workout experience. Additionally, they’re a great way to practice getting back on your feet and re-establishing your balance during recovery periods.

53 EXPERT SCORE

The EFITMENT T017 is a foldable and affordable incline manual treadmill, ideal for indoor workouts with extra features for a versatile workout routine.


Adjustability:0
Monitor Functionality:0
Portability:0
Versatility:0
Comfort:0
Price/ Quality:0

Positives:

  • Heart rate sensors on the side handles can be used to quickly measure BPM
  • Arm exercisers provide a near full-body workout
  • Magnetic resistance with 8 settings increases workout variety
  • Three incline settings at 7, 8, and 9 degrees

Could be better:

  • The running surface is fairly short, not recommended for taller athletes with longer strides

9. ProGear 190 Manual Treadmill

progear

ProGear offers a wide range of affordable cardio machines, including bikes, ellipticals, and treadmills.

The ProGear 190 manual powerless treadmill is a simple machine that won’t blow you away, but it gets the job done well at its price point.

Note that, according to the user manual this is strictly a walking treadmill. This does somewhat limit its usage, however, it’s a great low-cost choice for people looking to do light cardio at home or the office, for example.

  • Max incline: 10 degrees
  • Folding: Yes
  • Weight limit: 230 pounds
  • Item weight: 49 pounds
  • Product dimensions: 47 L x 23 W x 51 H inches
  • Display: LCD
  • Running surface: Flat
  • Warranty: 1-year limited warranty
  • Additional features: Two inclined settings (6 and 10 degrees)

The treadmill features a steel frame with a powder-coated finish that protects the metal from corrosion and basic wear and tear. According to the manufacturer, it has been tested for up to 230 pounds of maximum capacity, which may seem somewhat low but is otherwise slightly above average for a treadmill with no motor. It also has two incline settings, including 6 and 10 degrees.

In terms of comfort, it has decently long handles with foam grips that provide walking security and prevent loss of balance. This makes it perfect for individuals recovering from injuries and recovering their balance or seniors to safely take a walk without having to go outside.

The treadmill folds up easily for storage and is easy for a single person to roll around from room to room using the transportation wheels. Additionally, It requires minimal assembly out of the box, uses no electrical power, and is fairly low-maintenance with minimal moving parts.

52.5 EXPERT SCORE

The ProGear 190 manual powerless treadmill is a budget-friendly option for light cardio workouts at home or in the office, although it's strictly designed for walking only.


Adjustability:0
Monitor Functionality:0
Portability:0
Versatility:0
Comfort:0
Price/ Quality:0

Positives:

  • The long handrails make it easy to grip onto for people of varying heights
  • Smallest overall footprint on the list, takes up little space
  • Long, foamed handles are comfortable and help with balance

Could be better:

  • The product manual only recommends walking on it, not for running

10. Kotia GHN213 Manual Non Electric Treadmill Budget Pick

kotia

Finally we have the kotia GHN213. This is a compact, quiet, motorless treadmill that can be used in apartment offices without worrying about noise or occupying power outlets.

It is also our recommended budget pick, as it sports the lowest price on this list and in general.

Max incline: 10 degrees
Folding: Yes
Weight limit: 220 pounds
Item weight: Around 53 pounds
Product dimensions: 49 L x 23 W x 50 H
Display: LCD
Running surface: Flat
Additional features: Foldability, quick-stop mat

Out of the box, the treadmill does require some assembly, but it’s easy for a single person to do and all necessary tools are included in the package.

The running surface features a diamond-shaped pattern that provides extra grip to the athlete and prevents slipping and sliding. Additionally, it can be tightened or loonual Treadmill General Characteristicsened to your preference using the manual turning dial on the side.

The treadmill side rails feature a quick-stop mat which allows you to safely step off in case you need to make an emergency stop or simply want a quick rest and reset.

53 EXPERT SCORE

The ProGear 190 treadmill is a low-cost and simple machine designed for walking that provides decent comfort and easy storage, making it perfect for individuals recovering from injuries, seniors, and those with limited space.


Adjustability:0
Monitor Functionality:0
Portability:0
Versatility:0
Comfort:0
Price/ Quality:0

Positives:

  • Very affordable, lowest-priced on this list
  • Diamond textured running surface provides extra grip
  • Quick stop mats on the side provide a safe place to stand on
  • Easy one-person assembly with tools included in the package

Could be better:

  • The 10-degree incline non-adjustable incline can be tall too tall for many users, especially if you have joint issues

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Manual Treadmill General Characteristic

Manual treadmills are a type of cardio machine that requires no electricity and relies solely on your movement to power the belt. Unlike their automatic counterparts, manual treadmills offer a simple, streamlined workout experience adjusted by your physical input. They don’t require any sort of setup and digital presets - all you have to do is hop on and start walking.

When using a manual treadmill, you engage various muscle groups, including your legs, glutes, and core. With their low-impact design, manual treadmills offer a low-risk option for your daily cardiovascular exercise, making them suitable for individuals of all fitness levels and age groups. Additionally, this makes them quite good in the domain of physiotherapy, as they’re great for regaining your footing and balance if you’re recovering from an injury or have chronic pain such as osteoarthritis, which is quite a common knee issue in the 40 and above age group.

Manual treadmills are compact and easy to store, making them a great choice for those with limited space. Additionally, they’re much quieter than automatic treadmills, since they don’t have a motor that creates noise. This makes them a good addition to your home gym, apartment, or office space.

manual treadmill

Manual Treadmill Benefits

✅ Increased Cardiovascular Health

Walking or running a manual treadmill can provide a great cardiovascular workout. Regular cardio can improve your quality of life and works to severely prevent common health issues as you age.

These include, but are not limited to, increased heart rate, better circulation, reduced bad cholesterol, and lower chance of heart disease, diabetes, and even some forms of cancer.

Improving your cardiovascular health also leads to better breathing patterns, increased stamina, and higher-quality sleep.

✅ Low-Impact Workout

Manual treadmills create less impact on your body, particularly your joints, than automatic treadmills.

This is because manual treadmills work on your natural input and adjust to your pace, instead of relying on mechanical resistance and speed settings and forcing you to adapt.

Walking is, in general, a low-impact workout and it can protect your joints, particularly the knees and hips, and decrease existing pain in them.

Tips From the Champ

Manual treadmills provide a low-impact cardio workout naturally set at your own pace. Compared to electric treadmills, they have smaller footprints, make less noise, and are more affordable too, making them a good choice for your home or office. They’re also lightweight and can often be folded and moved around, meaning they don’t require a permanent space to occupy.

Oleksiy Torokhtiy
Oleksiy Torokhtiy

Olympic Weightlifting Champion

✅ Muscle Gain

Walking or running on a manual treadmill works out and tones the muscles in your legs, abdomen, and back.

Furthermore, most manual treadmills have a built-in or can be adjusted to have an incline. Furthermore, most manual treadmills have a built-in or can be adjusted to have an incline. Inclined walks work out the lower body, particularly the shins, calves, and glutes, even harder.

✅ Improved Balance And Coordination

Since they’re self-powered, manual treadmills require a greater deal of concentration and muscle engagement compared to automatic ones.

The higher effort needed to use them will result in better balance and coordination over time. Additionally, if you’re having issues in this area, the handrails are always there to assist you.

treadmill manual running

What To Look For In Best Manual Treadmills?

1. Adjustability

Manual treadmills come in varying adjustability levels.

Some are fixed in every aspect, but usually cheaper as a result.

Others feature additional functions such as inclined levels, resistance settings, and even built-in workout programs, which raises their price.

2. Monitor Functionality

A motorless treadmill simply doesn’t get enough electricity to power a complex console, no matter how hard you run.

For this reason, most manual treadmills have only the most basic LCD and display only the most relevant information such as time, calories, distance, and heart rate.

Most users will find these stats to be more than enough to get a good quality workout. That said, at higher price ranges, we can see more complex monitors with higher levels of functionality, including wireless connectivity and more detailed stat tracking.

As usual with tech, the higher the price, the more you can expect to get out of it.

3. Portability

Almost all manual treadmills are designed to be highly portable and convenient to use. Most feature a small footprint that can help them easily fit into your house or office space, even in tight corners.

As you’ve seen, many of them can even be folded up to take up even less space when not in use. They are also lightweight and typically have a pair of transportation wheels which allows you to easily move them from room to room, meaning they don’t require a permanent space to occupy.

Additionally, a motorless treadmill is generally portable and easy to move around because it doesn’t require an electrical outlet to power it.

best manual treadmill training

3. Versatility

A treadmill with no motor can’t provide the same workout versatility as an electric one.

However, most manual treadmills can still be used for a variety of exercises, including walking, jogging, and running.

In general, treadmills that feature higher levels of adjustability, such as incline settings and resistance levels, are more versatile than fixed setting ones.

4. Comfort


Most manual treadmills are budget-friendly manual and of similar comfort levels as they don’t vary much in build and material quality. Overall, they’re less impactful on the joints than automatic treadmills. They rely on your natural movement to create resistance, making them as comfortable as walking outside. However, depending on your conditions and reasons for exercise, the addition of handrails can make them more comfortable and safer than going for a regular walk.

That said, at higher price ranges we start to see some comfort features become more frequent.

For example, curved platforms allow your foot to land more naturally and roll through each step. This motion mimics the way you run or walk on the ground outside, which can reduce stress on your joints and muscles, making the overall workout more comfortable.

Higher-end machines also use softer material for their platforms and have more complex belt-turning systems that may take less effort to power, thus simulating higher comfort levels.

manual treadmill

How To Use The Best Manual Treadmill Right?

1. Start Slow

Manual treadmills do not have the quick-start options to quickly power them up like automatic, motorized ones do.

It may take a few strides for them to fully get going, you can’t just jump on them and run.

If you start with too much speed, the belt may not be able to catch up, and this can easily lead to tripping and falling, which can cause anything from mild inconvenience to serious injury.

Even if nothing happens to you, at the very least, you’re damaging the treadmill and could risk the belt falling out of place or snapping.

Instead, start with a low-pace walk and gradually increase your speed to allow the machine to adjust accordingly.

2. Pay Attention To Your Posture

When using a manual treadmill, it's important to keep a good posture to avoid straining your back and neck.

Stand tall with your head up, shoulders back, and core engaged, and remember to look forward.

As you walk, place your feet firmly on the belt and keep your knees slightly bent to absorb the impact.

Avoid leaning forward and slouching. If you feel low on energy or start losing balance, remember to use the handrails to assist yourself.

man running on treadmill

3. Use Proper Running Shoes

One of the most common mistakes people make when using a treadmill is using the wrong type of shoes. Improper footwear will, at the very least, make exercising less comfortable, not to mention that it can lead to injury.

Avoid using shoes with flat soles as they won’t provide enough traction and may even lead to slipping off. Most manual treadmills have a natural incline and a non-slip surface that grips onto athletic shoes.

Additionally, make sure your shoelaces are tight and secure, as loose laces can easily get stuck in manual treadmills and lead to problems.

4. Don’t Forget Maintenance

Manual treadmills are simply machines that have very few moving parts compared to motorized ones.

Even though they’re fairly low-maintenance, they’re still not maintenance-free. Check for regular wear and tear after every few uses, depending on how frequently and intensely you exercise. Some belts must also be regularly lubricated, particularly if it’s exposed (visible) on the machine’s construction.

For more information about maintaining your manual treadmill, refer to the user manual or warranty sheets. You should find all the necessary information there.

manual treadmill home

FAQ

Which Is Best, Manual Or Automatic Treadmill?

There is no definitive answer, which choice is better for you will depend on a variety of factors.

Automatic treadmills offer a larger workout variety including adjustable speed and incline levels, but they’re harder on your joints and more expensive.

Manual treadmills are fairly affordable and still provide a decent workout, considering you set your own pace and use your weight for resistance.

That said, both are effective cardio exercise tools.

Can You Walk On A Manual Treadmill?

Yes, you can walk on a manual treadmill. In fact, most manual treadmills are designed specifically for walking.

Can You Lose Weight With A Manual Treadmill?

Yes, you can lose weight using a manual treadmill. Walking on a treadmill provides a solid cardiovascular exercise that can help you burn calories and lose weight.

However, compared to popular cardio such as running or swimming, walking is a low-intensity exercise, so it may take more effort and a stricter diet to lose weight.

That said, it’s always better than no exercise.

Are Manual Treadmills Hard On Your Knees?

Manual treadmills aren’t necessarily harder or easier on your knees compared to automatic ones. The impact on your joints will mostly come down to the type of exercise you do.

For example, running puts a lot more pressure on your knees than walking. Walking itself is a low-impact exercise that doesn’t apply much knee pressure.

Research even recommends walking on an inclined treadmill as a remedy for people with knee problems.

Conclusion

Manual treadmills provide a low-impact cardio workout naturally set at your own pace.

Compared to electric treadmills, they have smaller footprints, make less noise, and are more affordable too, making them a good choice for your home or office.

They’re also lightweight and can often be folded and moved around, meaning they don’t require a permanent space to occupy.

All things considered, we recommend the AssaultRunner Pro by Assault Fitness as the best manual treadmill on the market. However, our other choices are also worth checking out for their unique pros and cons.

Have you tried a manual treadmill before? If so, what part of it did you like the most?Let us know by leaving a comment and remember to follow our social media pages for more valuable fitness content.

Also read:

References:

  1. Osteoarthritis of the Knee // Clevelandclinic: https://my.clevelandclinic.org /health/diseases/21750-osteoarthritis-knee
  2. Exercise and Cardiovascular Health // Ahajournals: https://www.ahajournals.org /doi/full/10.1161/ 01.CIR.0000048890.59383.8D
  3. 5 surprising benefits of walking // Harvard Health: https://www.health.harvard.edu /staying-healthy/ 5-surprising-benefits-of-walking
  4. Need a Change of Pace? Try Walking on an Incline // Healthline: https://www.healthline.com /nutrition/walking-on-incline
  5. Is It Enough to Walk on a Treadmill to Lose Weight? // Healthreporter: https://healthreporter.com/ treadmill-walking-for-weight-loss/
  6. Study: Walking on an incline could help people suffering from knee problems // BSU: https://www.bsu.edu/ news/press-center/archives/2015/3/ study-walking-on-an-incline-could-help-people-suffering-from-knee-problems
  7. Photos are made by Torokhtiy Media Team

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All products we select are primarily approved and tested by the Olympic Weightlifting Champion Oleksii Torokhtiy. Under his guidance, we provide honest and reasonable assessments of the products we review by checking their characteristics, packaging, design, comfort and durability features, and general product rating. We select products from only high-quality and trusted sports brands, thus vouching for their quality.

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Tanya Shaiko

Author: Tanya Shaiko
News Editor, Olympic Lifting Enthusiast

Oly Lifting Experience: 6 years
Best ResultsSnatch – 61 kg,
C&J – 78 kg

I’m Tanya, and I just can’t do without fitness. About six years ago, I got into Olympic weightlifting and instantly fell in love with it. Weightlifting is like no other sport – it’s just you versus the bar. Driven by my unwavering passion for an active lifestyle, I’ve been eager to share my personal journey and sports enthusiasm with others. As a journalist and photographer, my interests come full circle, adding an extra dimension to the news column that I curate. This way, I keep my readers updated with the latest happenings in the sports world.

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Oleksiy Torokhtiy

Reviewed by: Oleksiy Torokhtiy
Olympic Weightlifting Champion

Experience: 21 years
Best ResultsSnatch – 200 kg,
C&J – 240 kg

Oleksiy Torokhtiy is a professional athlete boasting 20 years of experience in Olympic weightlifting. With multiple European and World titles under his belt, he has showcased his prowess in two Olympic Games (Beijing 2008 and London 2012). Upon concluding his illustrious career, Oleksiy dedicated himself to coaching. By 2022, he had conducted over 200 weightlifting seminars worldwide. He is the visionary behind an international sportswear and accessories brand known for its motto, “Warm Body Cold Mind.” Additionally, he is an esteemed author and the creator of a series of training programs and eBooks.

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