Essential Benefits Of Manual Treadmills (Explained)

Treadmill Running


By Simon Gould

There is a big difference between manual and motorized treadmills and we don't just mean the motor. From the cost to the type of exercise you can do on it. There are benefits you get on manual treadmills that you don't find on electric ones. Here we go through what they are if you're considering a manual treadmill this year.


Manual treadmills cost a lot less. You can buy them for $100+. When you consider motorized treadmills cost upwards of $1,000+ that's a big difference. The manual treadmill belt is powered by yourself. Each step pushes the belt and when you go faster the belt goes with you. It might be tricky to get it going but once you do the belt moves more naturally.

Manual treadmills are very small so they can fit in a small space like a corner of a room. Some are folding so you can store them under a bed. Where ever you put it you can be confident it can be used there because it needs no electricity. So a power socket isn't needed. The console might have a battery in it to give you workout information.

Designed for walking & jogging

The fact that they're so cheap you wouldn't expect them to last but many carry manufacture warranties. These aren't as long as motorized treadmills but you may still get a year on the frame on some. For something that costs so little you can't expect much of a warranty. They will require some assembly but are simple compared to more expensive treadmills.

These are great for people who mainly want to walk. They're not suitable for running at such a speed. You can get some slow jogging out of a manual treadmill. They are suitable for people who want to avoid the bad weather outside or walking in their locality isn't suitable. You would then have this treadmill in the house and you can get some exercise.

There are some that have inclines. These are usually selected by manually lifting the belt to another level. This can give your walks more of a challenge and burn more calories. If you're elderly or don't like to leave the house then some exercise can be had with a manual treadmill. The same as if you're overweight then you'll get some use, check the maximum user weights first.


The running surface can be quite small so if you're tall or have a long stride then you will need to check the measurements. Otherwise they're safer than motorized treadmills because you power the belt. When you stop, the belt stops. On a motorized treadmill the belt keeps going whatever you're doing and accidents do occur with this issue.

Accidents and even fatalities occur every year in this country from motorized treadmills. The fact that the belt keeps moving even when you're not on them is the primary cause. Friction burns are a painful result of someone falling with part of their body remaining on the moving belt. You don't get these issues with a manual treadmill.

Low maintenance

With no motor pulling a belt around a deck to worry about, there's really not much to worry about where maintenance is concerned. Notice I said low maintenance. If you notice the belt gets stuck or difficult to get going. It may need lubricating. Simply apply a small amount silicone oil between the belt and the deck. You can buy special treadmill lubricant cheaply.

You may want to clean the treadmill with a soft cloth, don't use any chemicals. Vacuum around it to help prevent any dust getting into the gap between the belt and the deck when you vacuum your home. That's it. There are no monthly or bi monthly tasks that you have with other treadmills. Manual ones are very simply and take care of them selves.


They are usually very simple, you don't get any fancy readouts or statistics like you get on electrical treadmills. You'll be lucky to find a manual one that tells you speed and distance. In a way, I would recommend one if you're thinking about exercising in the home because of the cost. At $100+ they're not a big commitment.

If you find you use the treadmill a lot or are starting to get some good results, then you can invest in a motorized one. I personally have never tried a manual treadmill, I've always gone for electrical ones, I like to know how many calories I've burned and benefit from the workout programs. Whatever you go for you can get a workout from a manual one, but that's about it.

Thinking of buying a treadmill? See my top 3 recommended treadmills for 2022

Meet The Author

Simon Gould

I'm Simon Gould. I've been around treadmills my whole life. From running on them at an early age to working in treadmill dept's of national stores. I've run outside and I've run on treadmills and I prefer running on treadmills. I still run on one nearly every day and love it.

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