Many individuals nowadays try to find different ways on how to keep up with their fitness regimen. There are plenty of exercise machines in the market and one of them is the treadmill. These running machines come in two categories: motorized, which are powered by electricity; and manual, which are dependent on the users pedal power.
While motorized systems usually get all the attention, there are plenty of manual ones that can offer fitness individuals a chance to work out without spending a lot of money. So, for those who are interested in purchasing one of these manual exercise machines, we have compiled a list of 5 manual systems that easily stand out from the other running machines in the same category.
This top-notch manual system is one of the best options out there due to a number of features. It measures 46.5” long, 21” wide and 50” long, and weighs approximately 45 pounds, making it the lightest in our list. The deck features a 41” x 13” belt that is moved with the help of a heavy-duty flywheel.
Clearly made for those with minimal room space, the Phoenix 98510 can be folded and locked vertically for storage and its sturdy structure can easily accommodate users of up to 250 pounds. The console is simple and easy to use. It is fitted with an easy-to-read screen with a single button that allows you to browse through your workout progress which includes your speed, distance, time and calories.
The console needs 2 AA batteries to function, which are already included with the package. It offers a standard warranty of 1 year for the frame and 90 days for the parts. A water bottle which is placed in the built-in water-bottle holder is also included with the additional features.
CON: Though this system is already built with an incline, it cannot be adjusted, thus forcing you to stick with just one position for the rest of your exercise routine.
Also the priciest in our list, this foldable manual exercise machine has compact dimensions of 49.2” long, 25.2” wide and 46.9” high. It is also lightweight at around 55 pounds and its strong steel framework can support users with weights of up to 220 pounds, which is the least weight accommodation in the list. S
torage is not a problem with this system either; it can be folded and, with the help of its built-in transport wheels, it can also be easily moved from one place to another. The deck is fitted with a walking area measuring 42” long and 13” wide and is equipped with anti-slippery stickers for walking safety.
A single flywheel aids with the movement. As for the console, it sports a computer-display screen that shows various information, which includes your speed, time, distance/total distance and calories burned. Also inclusive with the system are the 2 AA batteries that are needed to power the console. The warranty is the same as the previous entry in our list at 1 year for the frame and 90 days for the parts.
CON: Just like the previous system, the incline is non-adjustable.
This excellent treadmill measures 46.5” long, 26” wide and 43.5” high and features a heavy-duty steel frame that weighs about 56 pounds. It can also accommodate a variety of user weights with a maximum of 250 pounds.
The 42” long belt of the Stamina InMotion II offers a comfortable walking space that is suitable for all user heights and is driven by dual-weighted flywheels which offers not only smoothness in motion, but also quietness of movement, thus enabling you to watch TV or listen to music without being distracted by noisy sounds. The belt also features a textured, non-slip surface to help you walk with ease.
Manual inclination adjustment is possible with this system at 2 incline positions (8 degrees and 10 degrees). Due to its foldable features, it is highly suitable for those living with minimal room space. This manual machine is equipped with a multi-function console that gives you a visual feedback on your distance, speed, time and calories. The warranty is also standard and is similar to the previous two entries with 1 year warranty for the frame and 90 days for the parts.
CON: 2 AA batteries are also needed to work the console. However, unlike the previous two systems, nothing was mentioned whether the batteries are included with the package.
This top-of-the-line manual exercise system has dimensions of 51” long, 26” wide and 50” high and features a foldable, steel frame, which makes it a welcome relief for those living in cramped houses or apartments. It is also the heaviest in our list at 75 pounds. Its 41” x 13” belt is set into motion with the help of an excellent 7-lb flywheel which offers a steady and smooth belt movement.
Among all of the entries in this list, the Exerpeutic 250 can accommodate the most user weight with a maximum of 260 pounds. The deck incline can also be adjusted manually into 2 positions: 9% and 12%, thus offering a more vigorous workout routine. This Exerpeutic 250 comes with a user-friendly console that is fitted with an LCD display screen that shows your speed, time, distance, and calories burned.
Your heart rate is monitored as well, all thanks to the Heart Pulse Sensors. The entire system is also fitted with extra-long safety handles to help maintain balance and stability throughout your workout regimen. Nothing much was mentioned about the warranty of this system except for a 1-year limited warranty.
CON: It does not come fully assembled out of the box.
Among all of the manual treadmills included in this list, this compact system is by far the cheapest with a price range of $110-$120. At 52.5” in length, 27” in width and 42” in height, it is also considered the longest in our list.
The Weslo CardioStride 3.0 weighs approximately about 66 pounds and can support weights of up to 250 pounds. It features a SpaceSaver design that allows it to be stored easily due to its folding framework. The deck comes with a generous walking space of 41” long and 17” wide, making this excellent treadmill the widest as well.
The console features an LCD window monitor that gives you a visual representation of your exercise progress that includes your distance, speed, time, pulse and calories. When it comes to the warranty, almost no information was mentioned, save for the 90-day warranty for the parts and labor.
CON: The incline is perpetually fixed at 15%, which can be a bit steep, especially for those with joint and back problems.
How do manual treadmills work?
When it comes to the types of treadmill systems in the market, there are 2 ways in order to make them work. One way would be through the use of a motor and the other type would be through the use of your own feet. The latter method is used by manual treadmills. But how do these machines actually work? There are actually several features that work together to ensure that the manual machines can offer you the best possible workout without the complicated configurations.
When using your equipment at the beginning, you have to hold on to the handlebars to aid with your balance and at the same time give you support when you exert effort to move the belt. Walking forward and pushing the belt back with your feet one after the other allows the belt to move. Since the deck is usually positioned at an incline, extra force is needed. Once a suitable walking or jogging pace has been established with the moving belt, you may let go of the handle bars since holding on to them for a long period of time reduces the benefits of the exercise you get from walking or jogging on a manual treadmill. The speed is dependent solely on your movement. Your progress during your workout is then delivered to the console to give you a visual feedback.
Manual Treadmills vs. Motorized Treadmills:
With plenty of cheap motorized options today, non-motorized systems are usually overlooked, simply because they barely have any special features that can compete with the electronic exercise machines. However, opting for a manual one does have its own share of perks that give them an edge over the motorized systems.
One advantage is that they are inexpensive. Motorized exercise systems are known to be rather costly($500, $1000 or more), which is mainly due to their additional features. Since manual treadmills don’t have any of those added specifications, they tend to cost less.
Another perk with these non-motorized machines is that they can be easily stored. Even if motorized running machines can be folded, they are still too bulky and can still take up a substantial amount of space. Manual systems are less bulky due to lack of any motorized features, thus can be folded easily and kept in the closet or under the bed. Did I mention that they’re lightweight, too? Furthermore, they can be used anywhere since they do not need electricity to be functional. Therefore, you can easily set it up anywhere and use it anytime. Moreover, they require less maintenance than their motorized counterparts, thus making them highly suitable for those fitness enthusiasts who are first-time users of treadmills. There are less pieces of electronic equipment to look after when it comes to manual systems, and most likely only need oil to ensure that the belt and flywheels move smoothly.
Buying a running machine? Are they worth it? Are they any good?
In summary, manual treadmills only require walking or jogging movements to make the belt move. Despite popular beliefs, there are some picks that are actually more than capable of providing you with an intense workout, as well as offering you some special features that allow them to have an edge over their competition. Based from our list, there are 5 non-motorized exercise systems that have met or even exceeded expectations, all thanks to their features and specifications. Of course, these systems are not free from some minor setbacks, and I have also included them as well.
Manual systems are sometimes disregarded, simply because of lack of electronic features that motorized treadmills have. However, these machines offer plenty of benefits in terms of cost, storage and portability options, and maintenance level. Simply put, being as they are simple and inexpensive, they are great for those who are planning to invest in a fitness equipment but do not want to spend a lot of money doing so.