10 Types of Treadmills That Go the Extra Mile

With so many types of treadmills on the market, it can be hard to figure out what they even are, let alone which one best fits your needs. 

Whether you’re training for a marathon or just looking for a way to stay healthy, there are great options for every type of runner and fitness enthusiast on the market today. 

Types of Treadmills dog GIF

There are so many factors to consider when choosing the right one for you, including how it’s powered, what type of belt it has, and what features you need. 

In this article, we’ll delve into the two main ways a treadmill can be powered – manual or motorized – and uncover the differences that extend far beyond just electrical function. 

We’ll also explore the various types of belts available, from basic to advanced, and examine common features you should look for when selecting your perfect treadmill. 

So sit tight and let’s get started!

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What is a Treadmill?

So, you’re perhaps considering purchasing a treadmill but aren’t quite sure what this piece of equipment entails. Well, let me tell you, it’s quite a nifty device to have at home for those rainy days or when you want to break a sweat but can’t make it to the gym. 

Essentially, a treadmill is a machine that lets you walk or run in place, simulating the experience of outdoor exercise but in a more controlled and safe environment. 

It consists of a moving belt that rolls over a series of rollers while you walk or run on top of it. You can adjust the speed and incline of the treadmill to personalize your workout, making it less or more challenging depending on your fitness level. 

With the convenience and versatility that a treadmill offers, you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to stay active even from the comfort of your own home.

Treadmills VS Other Cardio Equipment

If you’re someone who loves to stay fit by clocking in a good cardio workout, then you know how important it is to have reliable equipment. 

When it comes to choosing between a treadmill or other cardio equipment, it can be a tough decision. Treadmills offer multiple workout variations and programs that you can choose from to keep your workout interesting, while other cardio equipment such as spin bikes and ellipticals are excellent for low-impact training. 

With a treadmill, you can burn more calories and get a full-body workout. Overall, the equipment you go for largely depends on your budget, fitness goals, and your workout preferences. 

With either option, you can easily get a good, heart-pumping workout that will keep you in shape and feeling great.

Types of Treadmills and Power Sources 

One thing to consider is the power source. 

There are two options – self-propelled and motorized treadmills. 

It’s not about which ones are better, as much as it’s about what you want to use your treadmill for. 

Before you make your decision, think about the workout you want to get and how much power you’ll need.

Our Pick
Sunny Health and Fitness Logo

Asana Heavy Duty Manual Treadmill

The Asuna Heavy Duty Manual Treadmill is a robust fitness machine with an incline feature, 400 lb weight capacity, and dual flywheels for enhanced performance. It offers 8 levels of adjustable resistance, a large deck, non-slip handlebars, device holder, foldable design, and transportation wheels for easy storage and mobility.

Manual, Self Propelled Treadmills 

If you’re looking for a way to get your heart pumping and your legs working without going for a run outside, or if you’re a big fan of HIIT workouts, a manual, self-propelled treadmill might just be your new best friend. 

Self-propelled treadmills use your own momentum to power the belt, making them more challenging and better for those looking for a high-intensity workout. These treadmills operate without electricity, meaning that you provide power by walking or running. 

Don’t underestimate the challenge of a self-propelled treadmill, though – they can provide a serious workout. With their resistance-building design, manual treadmills are best suited for endurance training, challenging your muscles in ways that electric treadmills can’t. 

Plus, they’re great for small spaces, as they’re typically more compact than their electric counterparts, and more heavy duty so they can handle more weight as well. 

So if you’re looking for a way to get in a serious workout in your apartment or home gym, consider a manual treadmill.

Motorized Treadmills

Motorized treadmills, on the other hand, are powered by a motor and are easier to use for longer periods of time. 

These machines are designed to mimic the motions of walking or running outdoors but in a controlled environment. They work by using an electric motor to power a moving belt that you walk or run on. 

Depending on the speed and incline settings, motorized treadmills can provide a variety of workouts, from low-intensity jogs to high-intensity sprints. 

They’re best suited for those who want the convenience of an indoor workout, or those looking to track their progress with features like heart rate monitors and distance trackers. 

So, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned athlete, a motorized treadmill could be the perfect addition to your home gym.

Types of Treadmills and Their Belt Types

When it comes to different types of treadmills, there are a variety of different belt types available, each with its own unique benefits. 

You’ll find slat belts, traditional belts, curved belts, orthopedic belts, and hybrid belts – all of which are designed to help you work out more effectively and comfortably. 

Whether you’re a seasoned runner or just starting out, there’s a type of treadmill belt that’s perfect for you. 

So, let’s take a closer look at each of these types and what makes them special…

Slat Belt/ Curved Treadmill

If you’ve seen curved treadmills or slat belt treadmills (terms can be used interchangeably!) at your gym or online, you might be wondering what all the fuss is about. 

Essentially, these types of treadmills feature a continuous belt with individual slats or panels that create a curved surface. What sets them apart from traditional flat-belt treadmills is the unique design that promotes a more natural gait. 

By forcing your body to adjust to the curvature, you engage more muscles and reduce the impact on joints. This makes them a great choice for runners or athletes who want to improve their form and reduce the risk of injury.

Even if you’re not an athlete, slat belt and curved belt treadmills are a fantastic way to add variety to your workout routine and switch up your cardio.

Traditional Belt

These kinds of treadmill belts are the kind you are used to seeing and typically consist of a hard rubber material with a smooth surface that rotates on a set of rollers. 

As you walk, jog, or run on the belt, the rollers move the belt and you move forward. Traditional treadmill belts are best for those who are looking to maintain or improve their cardiovascular health and fitness levels. 

They’re also a great choice for anyone who wants to exercise indoors, without worrying about the weather or other outdoor distractions. 

With regular use, a traditional treadmill can help you burn calories, lose weight, and improve your overall fitness level.

Our Pick
elite runner logo

3G Cardio Elite Runner

The 3G Cardio Elite Runner Treadmill is a full-size treadmill with a powerful motor and Ortho Flex Shock™ suspension system, designed to accommodate runners of all sizes and fitness levels.

Check Out Elite Runner


A good treadmill can make a world of difference in your exercise routine, but what exactly is an orthopedic treadmill belt? Well, imagine a cushioned surface that can reduce the impact on your joints while also providing a comfortable workout experience. 

That’s exactly what an orthopedic treadmill belt does. 

These belts offer powerful shock absorption to ease the burden on your knees, hips, and ankles, especially for those struggling with joint pain or recovering from an injury. 

So who are these types of treadmills best for? 

Honestly, anyone who wants a more forgiving surface to run or walk on. And let me tell you, it’s a game changer. 

Not only will you feel the difference during your workout, but you’ll also be reducing the risk of long-term joint damage in the process.

Hybrid Treadmill

If you’re looking for a comprehensive workout experience that combines the best of both worlds, then hybrid treadmills are exactly what you need. 

As their name suggests, these machines are a hybrid of both a treadmill and an elliptical trainer, designed to give you an intense cardio workout while still being gentle on your joints. 

With their innovative technology, you can simulate running on different terrains, adjust incline levels, and personalize your workout to suit your fitness goals with these types of treadmills. 

These machines are great for people of all ages who want to maximize the benefits of a cardio workout without risking injury or boredom. 

Types of Treadmills by Feature

Several different types of treadmills are becoming increasingly popular recently, and there seem to be endless new features available.

Regardless of your lifestyle or fitness goals, there is a treadmill for everyone – the trick is finding the one that fits your needs and will keep you motivated.

Our Pick
Bowflex logo

Bowflex Treadmill 22

The Bowflex Treadmill 22 offers a premium workout experience with its adjustable HD touchscreen, immersive console, and built-in JRNY® membership. With a spacious running path, motorized incline, and cushioned deck, it provides comfort and versatility. The treadmill also features Bluetooth connectivity, heart rate monitoring, and a convenient folding system, making it a top choice for fitness enthusiasts.

Incline Treadmills

Incline treadmills are a type of exercise machine that allows you to walk or run uphill without actually leaving the comfort of your home or gym. Some incline treadmills also have a slight decline option. 

The incline degree can vary with different types of treadmills, I’ve seen anywhere from 5-40%, with the most typical incline being 15%. The decline tends to be about 5% pretty much across the board. 

They operate by inclining the running surface, which simulates the resistance of an uphill climb. This can provide a challenging and effective workout for those looking to increase their overall fitness level. 

Incline treadmills are best for individuals who are looking to target their glutes, calves, and thighs. Additionally, those who are training for hilly races or looking to mimic outdoor terrain would benefit greatly from using an incline treadmill. 

Anyone looking for a challenging and effective workout should consider investing in an incline treadmill for their fitness routine.

Folding Treadmills

Folding treadmills are a nifty innovation in the world of exercise equipment, as up until recently the only types of treadmills have been known as being bulky and an inherent quality that defines them. 

As you can probably guess from the name of these types of treadmills, they offer the added convenience of being able to fold up and stash away when not in use. 

These treadmills work just like any other, using a moving belt to simulate walking, running, or jogging. They are perfect for those who want a good cardio workout but don’t have the space to dedicate to a bulky treadmill full-time. 

They also make a great option for people who like to workout at home, but still want to be able to clear their workout space when they’re finished. 

Overall, if you’re looking for a treadmill that offers both convenience and functionality, a folding treadmill may be the perfect choice for you!

Under Desk Treadmills

If you’re someone who spends a lot of time working at a desk, you’ve probably experienced the negative consequences of a sedentary lifestyle. Hours spent sitting can lead to weight gain, decreased energy, and even long-term health problems. 

That’s where under-desk treadmills come in. These machines are exactly what they sound like – they are types of treadmills that can be tucked away under your desk, allowing you to walk while you work. 

They work by using a small motor to power the tread and can be adjusted to different speeds to suit your needs. 

Under-desk treadmills are best for anyone who wants to stay active while they work and are great for people who struggle to find time for exercise during the day. 

Whether you’re trying to lose weight, boost your energy levels, or just stay healthy, an under-desk treadmill can help you achieve your goals.

Rehabilitation/ Medical Treadmill

Rehabilitation types of treadmills or medical treadmills are an innovative way to speed up the recovery process for individuals who may have lost mobility due to an injury or medical condition. 

These unique machines are carefully designed to customize workouts based on the individual’s needs, ranging from low-impact rehabilitation exercises to running. 

The rehabilitation treadmill uses sensors to detect changes in the patient’s gait, allowing it to provide feedback and adjust the speed accordingly. They are an excellent choice for anyone looking to build strength, increase balance, and restore joint mobility. 

Whether used in conjunction with traditional physical therapy or for at-home use, rehabilitation treadmills can help individuals take their recovery to the next level. 

So, if you’re someone who’s looking for a convenient and effective way to regain mobility, a rehabilitation treadmill may be the perfect solution for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the different types of treadmills?

Treadmills offer a variety of features to help users get the most out of their exercise routine, such as motorized, curved, incline, foldable, and rehabilitation models.

Is it hard to walk on a manual treadmill?

Manual treadmills offer a customizable workout experience but require more effort and focus than motorized treadmills.

Is it worth having a treadmill at home?

A treadmill is a great investment for anyone looking to prioritize their health and fitness, as it offers convenience and accessibility in addition to reliable calorie-burning and cardiovascular benefits.

Which is better, a manual or an electric treadmill?

Manual treadmills are typically cheaper and more compact, but electric ones have more features, adjustable speed, and incline, and can generally support heavier weights.

What are the disadvantages of the electric treadmill?

Electric treadmills can be expensive and require a stable power source, making them inconvenient and potentially noisy for those living in apartment buildings.

What to look out for when buying a treadmill?

When purchasing a treadmill, consider your fitness goals, check the specs, and look for features like incline and speed while keeping in mind that investing in quality can enhance your fitness journey.

Final Thoughts on Types of Treadmills

If you’re in the market for fitness equipment that can give you an intense workout, no doubt you’ve considered purchasing a treadmill. But, with so many types of treadmills available, how do you decide which one to buy? 

First, consider what factors are most important to you: budget, features, size, and durability. 

Next, determine what type of workout you’re looking for. Will you be using the treadmill for walking, jogging, or running? Do you want incline and decline options? Will you be tracking your progress via a built-in heart rate monitor? 

Once you’ve narrowed down your favorite types of treadmills, gather feedback from friends and family who use treadmills regularly. 

Overall, with some research and careful consideration, you’re sure to find the perfect treadmill to meet your fitness needs.

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