One of the most popular and common types of exercise equipment is the treadmill. The equipment comes in two basic types, which are motorized and manual. I’m going to focus more on investing in the best manual treadmill, which has proven to be beneficial and convenient, like its motorized version.
However, of the many different manual treadmills out there, which is the one made for you? I know how confusing it can get trying to find the best one.
So read on as I share more about manual treadmills, such as my reviews on the best ones, down to how to choose and use one efficiently!
- 8 Best Manual Treadmills 2020
- 1. The Simple and Easy-to-Use: Fitness Reality TR1000 Manual Treadmill
- 2. The Hi-Performance and Complete: ASUNA Cardio Trainer Self-Powered Manual Treadmill
- 3. The Compact and Safe: Sunny Health and Fitness SF-T1407M Manual Walking Treadmill
- 4. The All-Out and Easy-to-Adjust: Sunny Health and Fitness Manual Treadmill
- 5. The Smooth and Wider: Exerpeutic 100XL High-Capacity Magnetic Resistance Manual Treadmill
- 6. The Advanced and Versatile: EFITMENT Magnetic Manual Treadmill
- 7. The Space-Saving and Durable: Mular Folding Manual Treadmill
- 8. The Strong and Multi-Functional: LZG Indoor Folding Manual Treadmill
- How to Choose the Best Manual Treadmill
- Frequently Asked Questions: Manual Treadmills
- Wrapping It Up
8 Best Manual Treadmills 2020
To help narrow down your choices in finding the best manual treadmill, here are my top eight choices:
1. The Simple and Easy-to-Use: Fitness Reality TR1000 Manual Treadmill
The first one on my list is the Fitness Reality TR1000 Manual Treadmill. It’s a compact treadmill that’s lightweight and easy to use and store, having clear instructions on how to assemble and disassemble the unit for storing. Furthermore, it has adequate weight capacity for a small treadmill, which is up to 230 pounds.
It comes with everything you need for a treadmill, including an LCD for basic information, and incline adjustment for more resistance. For its affordable price, I believe it’s well worth the long-term investment.
- Adequate weight capacity and good belt size for all users
- Has incline adjustments for added resistance training
- It’s easy to assemble and fold up for storage
- The pedometer isn’t as durable as the treadmill
- Requires readjusting of screws before using it the first time
2. The Hi-Performance and Complete: ASUNA Cardio Trainer Self-Powered Manual Treadmill
The ASUNA is a reputable brand offering excellent products, and its manual treadmill is no exception. It’s made with the amazing quality materials, including the dual flywheel for controlled performance and quicker response with every step you take.
It can take low and high-intensity workouts well, no matter what size you are. It has a maximum weight capacity of 440 pounds and a wider belt for more room to stay comfortable. Furthermore, it has various incline levels and solid safety features for your runs.
- Features a dual flywheel to improve performance
- Has various incline levels for better strength
- Convenient and easy to fold for storage
- Some complaints of receiving used units
- Screws that arrived with the unit may be too short to connect with the tray
3. The Compact and Safe: Sunny Health and Fitness SF-T1407M Manual Walking Treadmill
For those who want to prioritize space-saving for their smaller homes or apartments, I recommend the Sunny Health and Fitness Manual Walking Treadmill. While advertised as a walking treadmill, you can still use it for runs, as it features the non-slip running surface and strong belt to withstand intense workouts.
But what I love most is that it’s very lightweight and compact, making it easy to move with or store in small areas. If you want a good run without cluttering the house, this one is a great choice!
- Non-slip running surface for safety and comfort
- Great space-saving benefits, lightweight and easy to fold
- Made best for small spaces without affecting exercise
- Has a slightly smaller belt and a lighter weight capacity
- It may not be as durable and long-lasting as other units
4. The All-Out and Easy-to-Adjust: Sunny Health and Fitness Manual Treadmill
The Sunny Health and Fitness Manual Treadmill is a bit more well-designed for the athlete or experienced runner. What makes it an awesome treadmill is its unique design, have the multi-grip handrails for your convenience and comfort. It also has ample tread deck and weight capacity for people of all shapes and sizes.
Another great feature is that it has 16 different resistance levels and the dual-structure flywheels for more stability and smoother response. If you want to challenge yourself, this treadmill is a good option.
- Features 16 resistance levels and smooth response
- Multi-grip handrails for better support however you want
- Spacious tread deck and a weight capacity of 300 pounds
- The belt something moves to the side
- Takes time before you get the surface tracking correctly
5. The Smooth and Wider: Exerpeutic 100XL High-Capacity Magnetic Resistance Manual Treadmill
I like the Exerpeutic 100XL Manual Treadmill because it can accommodate many users better. It features the wider belt and can take up to 325 pounds of user weight. Furthermore, it gives off a smoother and consistent response with its twin flywheels, compared to other units.
The manual treadmill also comes with a large LCD and longer safety handles for better balance and safety when walking or running.
For those who prioritize a wider belt and safety features for more power and balance, you’ll like Experpeutic.
- Wider belt and higher weight capacity for all users
- Smooth response for running or walking
- It has longer handles for better balance
- Takes some time for assembly, it isn’t foldable
- It may be a bit noisy when in use
6. The Advanced and Versatile: EFITMENT Magnetic Manual Treadmill
The EFITMENT Manual Treadmill is another simple yet efficient unit with everything you need. I love that even with its simple design, it features some of the advanced technologies you wouldn’t normally find on other models.
For starters, it has ample space for walking or running, as well as a large LCD digital monitor to track your basic exercise information. Also, it has arm exercisers for a whole-body workout, making it worth the price!
- You can avail their arm exercisers for upper body workouts
- Large LCD for easy to read workout information
- It has a wider running surface and more modern design
- The materials may not be as durable as other treadmills
- Some complaints of the parts breaking upon arrival
7. The Space-Saving and Durable: Mular Folding Manual Treadmill
If you’re focusing on something that’s built to last for the long run, then you’ll like the Mular Manual Treadmill. The unit is built with high-quality materials for better durability, breaking the stigma of how manual treadmills don’t last.
It even has a multifunctional LED display to show vital information regarding your exercise. Plus, with its foldable features, you can store it anywhere and use it anytime you want.
- Durable and can last for years, it’s made for intense runs
- Very easy to install and setup, as well as folding for storage
- Easy to read the LCD and shows accurate information
- Has slow customer support service, replies late
- The belt may not be as wide as needed for some users
8. The Strong and Multi-Functional: LZG Indoor Folding Manual Treadmill
Lastly, there is the LZG Indoor Folding Manual Treadmill, which is best for its durability. I admire that it’s made with heavy-duty materials to last and withstand intense usage, whether for walks and runs.
What’s great about the treadmill is that you get various functions as well, such as a treadmill, sit-up panel, T-twisting machine, and even a draw rope! That way, you get an awesome workout for your entire body and have more diversity in your exercise routine.
- Has a LED display for tracking time, speed, distance, and calories burned
- Easy to use and can help with cardio and strength
- Includes awesome functions for extra workout modes
- The instructions for assembly and adjustment may be confusing
- It’s a bit confusing to use at first
How to Choose the Best Manual Treadmill
Now that you’re familiar with what the best manual treadmills are, how can you further narrow down your choices to the final one? You have to consider these factors, basing on your personal preference and needs:
1. Style and Design
Of course, you would want to have your manual treadmill look great. Unfortunately, not all manual treadmills have the style and design you expect. Compared to the sleek and stylish motorized treadmills, manual treadmills are simply functional machines to get you moving rather than for show.
However, you can still find good ones made with excellent materials to last longer. Focus less on its design and aesthetics, making sure that you focus more on investing in materials and durability. That way, your manual treadmill can last for years of exercise!
2. Size and Weight
The size and weight depend on two factors:
- Your size and weight
- The space you have in the house
Determine how much space you have to allow for the manual treadmill, which can help narrow down your choices based on measurements. Furthermore, you may want to consider investing in compact manual treadmills, which are lightweight yet heavy-duty. These types of treadmills are foldable and easy to store as well, so you can save more space and easily move it around to other rooms or areas for exercising anywhere.
As for your size, look into the weight capacity, making sure you fit comfortably on the manual treadmill, and that it accommodates your weight well.
3. Core Components
When discussing the core components, which is the motor, there’s nothing to talk about, as YOU are the motor.
However, there are manual treadmills that allow you to adjust the resistance, so you can set it to make it easier or harder to move for exercising your muscles.
A few manual treadmills would offer only a few levels of resistance, while others can provide up to 16 different levels! The latter is more extensive options you find in other expensive models, though you may be able to find it in moderately-priced manual treadmills as well.
If you need more resistance and want to challenge yourself, gradually building your strength, then consider this core component.
4. Incline Selection
When you have no motor, this means you have no motorized incline. Fortunately, there are manual treadmills that offer a few degrees of manual incline settings. Meaning, you may adjust the incline, running on steep gradients for more of a challenge, or stay on a flatter surface.
Take note that there are manual treadmills set at a specific incline as its standard. You won’t be able to adjust this at most times, so the manual treadmill is fixed at the incline else.
This would make it easier to move for you, particularly if you have joint issues and less leg strength. However, if you have no option to change the incline, it can get boring. For those who want varying levels, consider what manual treadmills offering incline level adjustments.
5. Belt Size
Another thing you must have noticed about manual treadmills is that their belts are compact, having a narrower width and shorter length compared to its motorized versions.
This may be because manual treadmills are more affordable and space-saving, though this means that it will feel cramped. Fortunately, there are manual treadmills with wider belt measurements, depending on your size. However, expect to pay a bit more for the bigger belt measurements.
Consider the width and length of your belt, basing it on personal preference, your size, and the space in your house.
6. Control Module
Besides the no-motor issue, another major difference between the manual and motorized treadmill is the control module. Motorized treadmills would have an extensive control module powered by electricity and the motor.
With manual treadmills, it has no motor, utilizing no power. This means it won’t have controls, besides a resistance dial, which comes in some models.
BUT, there are manual treadmills that have control modules powered by battery, showing you the basics, such as your speed, distance, time spent on the treadmill, and calories burned. If this feature is important for you, look into models that offer a battery-powered control module.
7. Any Extra Features?
Manual treadmills are simple, yes, but did you know that there are a lot of secondary features you can choose from? This depends on the model and manufacturer you get the manual treadmill from!
There is the control module, as mentioned above, as well as a heart rate monitor built on the machines handles. Furthermore, you may want to consider getting a manual treadmill that offers the following:
- Storage space for water bottles, smart devices, etc.
- Arm trainers, or movable resistance poles to work your upper body
- Cooling fans and safety tethers, though these aren’t as popular in manual treadmills
8. Types of Manual Treadmills
Did you know that there are many different kinds of manual treadmills to choose from? Here are the different types to help you decide which one is best for you:
- Traditional Manual Treadmills have no motor and are usually foldable and lightweight. They are best suited for those who just want to walk and don’t require extra technology
- Slat Belt Manual Treadmill is best for runners who want more calorie burn when running, as it has a slat belt design that is heavier, working on strength
- Slat Belt Curved Treadmills have the slat belt design, offering more muscle engagement around your legs and torso. However, they are best meant for experienced runners and athletes with good balance and strength
- Hybrid treadmills have a motor and manual option to disengage the belt to use it manually. This is great for multiple people with different preferences or runners who want the benefits of both motorized and manual functions
9. What’s Your Budget?
Lastly, you have to consider your budget and how much you’re willing to spend on the treadmill. Fortunately, there are affordable versions, though if you want a more feature-packed treadmill, you can invest in more expensive models.
Expect to shell out between $100 to $500 on average, depending on the features you want, as well as what it’s made of.
Frequently Asked Questions: Manual Treadmills
Besides the reviews and factors to consider when selecting the best manual treadmill, there is more to learn! Check out these frequently asked questions about manual treadmills to know how it works and how to use it to your advantage.
1. What is a manual treadmill and how does it work?
A manual treadmill is a kind of treadmill operating manually rather than via electricity. It has no motor, requiring no electricity or power outlets.
It’s up to YOU to move the treadmill belt, as it would only move when you do. The action of the feet striking on the deck would move the belt, so you’re able to control your speed with your motion and pacing. Essentially, YOU’RE the motor, as all you need to do is to jump on, begin walking, and wait for the belt to move.
How fast one moves their legs determines the speed, though there are manual treadmills that have resistance options for an easier or harder workout.
2. Why choose a manual treadmill over motorized ones?
Why not get a motorized treadmill, which allows you to set the pace and speed with the treadmill motor?
With manual treadmills, you won’t be paying for the motor, making it considerably cheaper compared to the motorized treadmill. Furthermore, they are a bit smaller, so they take up less space and make it easier to move since it’s lighter. Since they don’t need electricity to run, you can use and place it anywhere without depending on the power outlet.
They also reasonably safe, as they use your own body as momentum. When you stop walking, the belt stops moving, so you won’t injure yourself when getting caught by a moving, motorized belt.
3. Are there any drawbacks to a manual treadmill?
With all that in mind, the manual treadmill isn’t the perfect gym equipment. Like everything else, it does have its drawbacks, such as:
- Since they don’t have motors, they are most likely not made with the extra and heavier-duty materials for more weight and stability
- There are fewer extra features and computer functions, as it runs with a small battery-powered display. This would only show your current speed, time, and distance
- Also, do note that manual treadmills do not necessarily burn more calories compared to motorized treadmills just because you’re the one supplying the power for better belt movement
4. How can I use a manual treadmill properly?
When using a manual treadmill, you have to make sure you know how to do so for weight loss and better fitness. Here are some tips to follow:
- Begin with a warm-up session, just as you would with all exercises. Your warmup sessions should be around five minutes of walking, transitioning to a faster jog and run
- Have a treadmill workout routine, using a program that splits your speeds into different sets of minutes. Finish within specific times, around 30 minutes
- I recommend that you run on an incline position to help with weight loss and to tone your muscles. Don’t use the decline system, as it can risk knee injuries
- Do NOT go fast immediately, do gradually speed up and increase your speed after every week or so
- Match your treadmill workouts with other exercises, such as strength training to help make running easier
5. How do I clean and maintain my manual treadmill?
Of course, you would want your manual treadmill to last longer, and that only works with proper care and maintenance. For this, you will need to lubricate your treadmill belt for it to run smoothly, as well as to realign it now and then.
When doing so, you can refer to your treadmill’s instruction manual, using a silicone lubricant over those made of petroleum. Make sure that you place a towel under the treadmill to protect your floors, and to wipe your entire treadmill clean before applying.
Once you have applied the lubricant, walk on your treadmill and test it out, allowing the lubricant to spread all over the surface.
Wrapping It Up
While people might think manual treadmills aren’t as great as their motorized version, you’ll find that it can provide excellent health benefits. Just make sure that you select the right one and to use it correctly, as I mentioned above. That way, you and your household can begin paving your way towards better health and fitness.
Do you want to know more about manual treadmills and how to use them effectively? Check out this awesome video:
Hopefully, you were able to find the best manual treadmill based on my reviews and guide! If you haven’t yet, do use my advice to help you select the right one based on my list now and gear up for better health.
Would you like to ask any questions or share your reviews on any of these manual treadmills? Share it in the comments section below, I’d love to know all your thoughts!