This year, your search for the best curved treadmill just might be a little easier. With so many runners now having to stay inside, many turn to treadmills to keep their running game strong.
This means more reliable opinions for you. No more browsing through ad after ad saying, “Okay, but does it work?”
We’ve compiled a list of the best curved treadmills of 2021, all on Amazon for your buying convenience.
Related: The Best Smart Treadmills
What is a Curved Treadmill?
A curved treadmill is a non-motorized treadmill propelled by the motion of your own body. Each stride you take pulls the belt behind you, no electricity required. As you speed up your pace, the belt moves faster in response, meaning how fast you go at any given time is entirely up to you.
The shape also makes it pretty ergonomic – a U shaped treadmill reduces joint stress and feels natural while keeping your form in line.
Tyler Read, a certified personal trainer, and owner of PTPioneer, stands behind them:
“While using the curved treadmill you will be able to feel the rhythm of your steps. How far up to the front of the curve you step will affect how fast it moves,” Read says. “Manual curved treadmills place greater demand on the user, allowing them to run more naturally on the balls of their feet.”
5 Benefits of Using a Curved Treadmill
#1: You can set them up anywhere
There’s no power cord with these – they’re completely manual. You won’t have to worry about setting it near a power outlet and hoping the cord will reach. Plus, you’ll get the added bonus of savings on your energy bill!
#2: You’ll get a better workout in less time
You can get a more effective training session from a curved manual treadmill than from a high-tech, motorized one. Curved treadmills burn up to 30 percent more calories. You engage more muscle groups by moving it yourself.
Science backs this up.
A study of 13 trained runners found that using a curved manual treadmill resulted in a heart rate up to 16% higher. They also had a 2.5% higher running cadence, or steps per minute.
#3: They’re safer than electric treadmills
Ever get too tired to go on and have to move the speed setting one button press at a time until it slows down? Not the case with curved treadmills. When you’re ready to stop, just stop, and the belt will stay with you. This is especially great for runners who prefer not to think about their pace before or during their run.
#4: They last longer
Without all the tiny moving parts of an electric motor, you have less pieces to break down. The most common parts that get replaced are the slats on the belt, a fix that is much less costly than work on a motor. With proper care, you can expect a curved treadmill to last you a good 10-15 years.
#5: They’re better for running than a flat manual treadmill
Tempted by the price tags of flat non-motorized treadmills? Those are great for walking, making them perfect for a standing desk or while watching TV. They tend to max out at 3.5-4 miles per hour, though, making that problematic for running.
This limitation doesn’t exist with curved treadmills. The arc design enables it to move faster, so it can match you at your best sprint.
What to Consider When Buying a Curved Treadmill
Of course, you shouldn’t run out and buy the very first one that you find. You need to find the right machine for your individual goals. Keep these factors in mind on your hunt.
- Price. Curved treadmills start at around $3500. This puts them a fair bit higher than flat manual treadmills, as they’re made with more specialized materials. They can vary wildly in price depending on the manufacturer.
- Weight limit. Make sure that the max recommended limit is high enough to support the user and keep them steady.
- The heaviness of the machine. Unlike flat non-motorized treadmills, curved treadmills are made for running rather than walking. That sturdiness can make them quite heavy!
- Quality of materials. Slats can slip off or even break with enough use. The handrails need to be strong enough to support you if you trip. The higher quality you buy, the less time and money you’ll spend on repairs later.
- Warranty. Speaking of things breaking, you’ll want peace of mind if something goes awry. Warranties on curved treadmills range anywhere from 1 to 5 years.
Our 5 Top Picks for Curved Treadmills of 2021
1. Best for Intense Training: Assault Fitness AirRunner
The AirRunner is Amazon’s most popular curved treadmill by far. The CrossFit world is especially enamored with it. CrossFit champion Ron Ortiz swears by its effectiveness.
Assault has designed the 280-pound AirRunner with HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts in mind. A rugged beast of a machine, it comes with a steel frame to handle up to 350 pounds and a slat belt rated at 150,000 miles. If you’re going to put any product through the wringer with intense training, this is the one for you.
Assault backs up their confidence in its durability with a five-year warranty.
- Low maintenance
- Built-in transport wheels
- Heavy-duty construction
- Five-year warranty
No option to save your workouts on the display
2. Best for Saving Space: DKC Folding Treadmill
Curved treadmills can be pretty bulky compared to flat manual ones. This one from DKC solves this problem with handrails that fold all the way down. This gives the machine a height of just 12 inches when not in use, making it easy to slide under a bed or into a closet.
It’s also much lighter than the others on this list. DKC’s treadmill weighs in at 81 pounds while still boasting a max weight of 330 pounds. For those who live in studios or apartments with small rooms, this is a great solution. It’s also made to be silent and smooth, so you won’t upset the neighbors.
- Less curve for those who prefer a mellower incline
- Ultra compact
- The most budget-friendly
- Display is very simple
- A lesser-known brand than the others
3. Best for Programmed Workouts: SpeedFit Speedboard ProXL
The second generation of the SpeedBoard line, the ProXL has truly upgraded. This version is quieter, more durable, and more shock absorbent than the first.
The best part is the personalizing you can do with the programmed workouts. While most machines are content with a handful of presets, the Speedfit is full to bursting with 5,000 treadmill workouts to choose from.
If that sounds a bit overwhelming, it also includes an in-depth, ten-minute introductory test. It’s great for beginners, as it helps to gauge your performance and show you where to start.
It’s definitely on the heavy side at 308 pounds, but that’s for good reason. It’s built to handle up to 400 pounds at a time. Overall, it’s a solid machine that has the tools to help you get the most out of your workout.
- Highly customized
- Easy to get started
- A bit heavy
- No heart rate monitor included
4. Best in Elegant Design: NOHrD Sprintbok
Most manual treadmills come with a simple, battery-powered display to keep track of simple things like distance and time. The Sprintbok, on the other hand, brings you to the forefront of technology with an entire tablet.
The screen is a whopping 17.3 inches, so you’re not squinting at a tiny device trying to read how far you’ve gone. If you love those treadmills with TVs at the gym, this one comes with its own app – a collection of scenery runs!
The frame is made of sturdy hardwood. 62 wooden flexi-slats make up the belt and have a linoleum finish to keep them long-lasting. These slats keep the strain on your joints minimal with decent shock absorption.
When it comes to the sexiest machine on this list, the Sprintbok wins hands down. That’s also part of what makes it the most expensive. With high-grade materials and a modern design, you’re paying for some serious quality.
- Stunning design
- Sleek 17.3” tablet with its own app
- Very sturdy materials
5. Best Mid-Range Treadmill: IN10CT Health Runner
Pronounced “intensity,” this cleverly named curved treadmill focuses on just that. The Health Runner features a dual bearing system to easily switch from walking to running. It also has an impressive weight capacity of 400 pounds. This makes for effortless moving of the belt, making your running feel that much more natural.
While not as popular as the AirRunner, it comes in as the most highly rated. Happy reviewers report a quiet belt, smooth feel, and clear assembly instructions. It’s also reliable, with a five-year warranty on the frame and 3 years for the components. For a great overall experience, the Health Runner is a solid choice.
- Simple assembly
- Smooth running experience
- Controls can take some time to get used to
- Heavy at 341 pounds
Owning a curved treadmill is an excellent way to stick to your fitness goals even in the winter when you’re stuck inside. With one of these, you’ll be marathon ready for your race day. Grab a free marathon training plan to keep you on track and get you prepped for race day.
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