Treadmills are one of the most popular exercise machines because they allow users to run without actually covering any distance. They are adjustable, can be placed indoors or outdoors, and provide a thorough workout.
Because they are so common, manufacturers produce many different products that can be categorized as two different types: manual and electric.
Difference between an Electric and Manual Treadmill
The difference between electric and manual treadmills is quite basic. As delineated by; an electric treadmill, there is a motor that propels the belt so it moves without extra effort from the user.
In a manual treadmill, the walker or runner needs to force the belt to move with the motion of their feet. Because of this basic difference, users of manual treadmills need to expend more energy during their exercise routine.
This is great for people who would like to work harder, but not the best for runners because of speed constraints. Most manual treadmills are used for walking and physical therapy.
However, manual treadmills are a fraction of the price of electric models.
If you would rather stick to electric, here are the top rated under $200.
Sometimes, they even cost as little as 1/10 the price of a standard electric treadmill. This is because they lack electronics and also many of the frills associated with modern exercise equipment. They are also easy to move, but do have some drawbacks.
In particular, they can cause joint problems for people unused to the force and pressure required. These flaws can be outweighed by the benefits. Manual treadmills are small, easy to move, and can be set up in minutes.
According to LiveStrong, manual treadmills require no electricity and are great for a short walk or jog without much effort. Light exercises on the manual treadmill can also facilitate flexibility and muscle growth while being easier on the joints than a standard run.
After all, according to the Mayo Clinic, walking can be one of the best exercises for humans. For these reasons, some runners prefer having a manual device for a simple workout after hard days.
Phoenix 98510 Easy-Up Manual Treadmill
- Phoenix 98510 Easy-Up Manual treadmill with heavy-duty weighted flywheel and 41-by-13-inch belt
- Single-button electronics display tracks speed, distance, time, and calories
- Lets you achieve maximum walking/jogging speed via self-powered workout
- Folds and locks in upright position for storage; includes water bottle
- Measures 46.5 x 50 x 21.1 inches (W x H x D); 1-year frame warranty
The Phoenix 98510 Easy-Up Manual Treadmill is a comfortable but basic manual treadmill with full dimensions of 22 x 21 x 50 in. It weighs roughly 45 lbs. and comes with a single year frame warranty to cover manufacturer damage or the standard wear and tear from regular use.
There is additionally a 90 day warranty on other parts. The Phoenix 98510 comes with wheels for easy movement and features a 41 x 13 in. belt. The belt comes pre-adjusted, but users can also adjust it to suit their own needs.
A simple electronics system can track basic information like calories burned, speed, distance walked or ran, and time spent exercising. Two AA batteries are needed for the system to run – the treadmill will work without them, but the workout cannot be tracked.
There is also a cup holder for water bottles and other beverages. A water bottle is included with the treadmill. The Phoenix 98510 Easy-Up Manual Treadmill costs between $130 and $140 for a single product, although there is an extra charge of $70 for expert assembly.
The treadmill has two settings: standing for regular use and folded for easy transport or storage. The maximum user weight is 250 lbs.
Sunny Health & Fitness Force Fitmill Manual Treadmill
- MULTI-GRIP HANDRAILS: Sweat-resistant rails support many grips, so you can push against the tread and run or walk in various positions
- AMPLE TREAD DECK: Large running surface (53L X 16W) provides support and room for exercise. The manual treadmill measures at 59L X 27W X 55H inches with a max weight of 300LBS. 13. 5% Fixed Incline
- MANUAL TREAD: Requires zero electricity and completely self-powered. The adjustable resistance and fixed incline allow you to enjoy a versatile and muscular power based cardio workouts
- 16 RESISTANCE LEVELS: 16 levels of magnetic tension provide the opportunity for a full body cardio workout.
- DUAL STRUCTURE FLYWHEELS: Creates stable and smooth response for the user. Weight of flywheels requires a higher energy demand from the user to get the belt started. Increases speed, power output and tensions
The Sunny Health & Fitness Force Fitmill is one of the more expensive manual treadmills, costing between $380 and $390. It features sixteen levels of magnetic resistance for a full workout.
The levels are adjusted with an easy to use knob, and the treadmill also features a large belt that measures 53 x 16 in. The belt has a 13.5% permanent incline to target more muscle groups.
Full product dimensions for the manual treadmill are 59 x 27 x 55 in. It can hold a maximum weight of 300 lbs. and requires no electricity.
The railing is sweat-resistant to help prevent accidents, and several dual structure flywheels are attached to the frame to improve tension and create a more stable workout surface for the runner/walker.
The entire treadmill weighs 110 lbs. and can be folded for easy transportation and storage. This machine is stable enough for users to walk and run without difficulty. Each machine comes with a 12 month warranty on parts and the frame that covers basic wear and tear.
Fitness Reality TR1000 Manual Treadmill
- 230 lbs of user weight capacity. Steel frame with powder coated finish. Easy 'on and off' capability
- Incline adjustments feature quick and easy 2 position incline levels of 6 and 10 degrees
- Treadmill belt size 43"l x 13 1/4" w. Twin cast iron flywheels for smooth and quiet walking
- Computer has an LCD display featuring elapsed time, distance walked, calories burned, speed and Scan
- Folds up easily for storage and can be moved with included transportation wheels. Folded dimensions: 21"L x 23"W x 51"H
The Fitness Reality TR1000 is a manual treadmill that features a steel frame with a powder coated finish that can hold a maximum weight of 230 lbs. The machine can be adjusted for two different incline levels of 6 or 10 degrees.
The treadmill belt measures 43 x 12 in. and comes pre-adjusted, although users can also adjust the belt for a more comfortable workout. The frame features two cast iron flywheels to reduce noise and keep the workout smooth and easygoing.
There is an LCD computer display that shows basic workout information like calories burned, how fast the user is moving, distance traveled during the workout, and the time spent exercising.
Two AAA batteries are needed for the computer but are included upon purchase. The treadmill features multiple transportation wheels that can be used to move the machine around.
The Fitness Reality TR1000 costs between $110 and $120 with an extra $73 charge if people would like expert assembly. Full product dimensions when the treadmill is standing are 47 x 23 x 51 in., while folded dimensions are 21 x 23 x 51 in.
The machine weighs 49 lbs. and has a 12 month warranty on parts and the frame.
Manual treadmills are great for exercising cheaply, but often have numerous differences between models.
The best machine for each individual will depend on their needs, so it’s important for someone to understand what kind of workout they would like from their manual treadmill. Below is a graph with an overview of basic facts for each device.
The Top 3 Manual Treadmills - A Comparison
Conclusion: The 3 Best Manual Treadmills On the Market:
Out of these three manual treadmills, the two best are the Sunny Health and Confidence Fitness. The Sunny Health, which is the most expensive, is also the largest, has a high belt incline, a decent warranty, and is the best at holding a runner.
Unlike most manual treadmills, which can be difficult for runners to use, the Sunny Health is strong enough for joggers and other athletes to use without the machine breaking or the user suffering injury.
While each runner’s needs will differ, investing in either of these manual treadmills is a good idea for individuals who would like a way to run indoors without spending too much money.
Last update on 2020-02-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API