Almost everyone wants the advantage of being able to work out at home, but too often people don’t purchase the right equipment for them and their lifestyle. According to an article from Livestrong, the best manual treadmills have an advantage over automatic treadmills, because you have to use your own effort to power the treadmill.
Unlike with an automatic treadmill, your pace and motion are what control the speed. This provides a more personalized workout and allows you to build up your speed over time.
These are great machines for beginners who are just starting to workout, or people who want a frequent and reliable way to burning some calories!
Why Use a Manual Treadmill Over an Automatic
Far too often people purchase automatic treadmills, use them for months, and then never touch them again. Automatic treadmills seem to have a way of causing people to hate jogging, running, and even exercising. That’s where manual treadmills come in.
Think of a manual treadmill initially as a more low-key workout that still gives you great results. You can go at your own pace and not have to keep up with the treadmill itself. Instead, it keeps up with you!
No more dreading your workout on your treadmill. You’ll have the ability to make the workout as easy or as difficult as you want, just by the amount of force you put into it. There is much less pressure here!
Breaking Down the 7 Best
There are so many great options out there when choosing a manual treadmill, but we’ve narrowed it down to the best 7 to help you out! We’re going to give you an overview of each and tell you a little about the pros and cons.
All you’ve got to do is read through each review to see what would best fit your lifestyle and help you reach your goals.
Best Manual Treadmill Reviews for 2015
1. Phoenix Easy-Up Manual Treadmill
So many treadmills are expensive and overpriced with electric motors that make them too heavy to move around the house. The Phoenix Easy-Up manual treadmill allows you to move at your own pace.
The faster you run or jog, the faster the belt on the treadmill spins, allowing you to reach a comfortable pace throughout your workout. And the best part? You’re the one powering the machine! The treadmill offers a single-button electronic display to keep track of your progress. Here are more advantages:
- The self-powered workout lets you achieve your maximum walk/jog speed
- Lets you go at your own pace throughout the workout & easily adjusts
- Tracks your speed, distance, time and calories burned
- Folds together and locks in an upright position for easy storage
- Comes with a 1-year frame warranty
What’s to Like about Phoenix Easy-Up Manual Treadmill
The Phoenix 98510 is a lightweight machine that is easy to transport. A lot of manual treadmills are still very heavy and hard for people to move on their own. This treadmill is easy for a single person to move around the house to change up the scenery.
Another thing to like about this manual treadmill is that it provides an excellent workout. The machine challenges you to walk/jog on a constant incline, which builds up your heart rate and allows you to burn more calories.
What’s Not to Like
The main thing customers don’t like is that you can’t adjust the incline. This makes the machine a little more difficult than an automatic treadmill that begins with a level surface, but if you want a challenge, this may be the manual treadmill for you.
The reason people buy a treadmill is to increase their physical activity—this treadmill does just that! It will challenge you to push yourself and will increase your physical fitness level.
2. Confidence Fitness Magnetic Manual Treadmill
Just like an automatic treadmill with different levels and speeds, the Confidence Fitness Magnetic manual treadmill also offers different levels – 8 to be exact! The magnetic resistance levels lets you workout at your own pace, but still offers you some room for improvement.
You can build up to different levels over time and track your progress doing it! This is a great machine to “grow into”. In addition to this great feature, the manual treadmill also offers the following:
- A small, fixed incline
- Tracks your speed, distance, calories burned, your time, and has an odometer built in.
- Built-in wheels to use for easy transportation
- Made for anyone under 220lbs
- 12-month warranty
What’s to Like about Confidence Magnetic Manual Treadmill
For starters, this manual treadmill got 4 out of 5 stars, so there are a lot of perks! The treadmill is sturdy and accommodates each of the 8 speeds very well. Many customers love that it offers such a variety of speeds so that you can mix up your workout and build-up to different levels over time.
It is also quiet unlike many manual treadmills so you can use it without bothering other people in your home.
What’s Not to Like
Some customers report that the exercise monitor doesn’t work properly and records inaccurate information such as calories burned and distance. Others say that the belt slows down and stops when they decrease their speed. These could be manufacturing glitches and are different with each machine that is produced.
This is a machine that you could have for a long period time since it has so many different levels you can adjust it to. It’s a great manual treadmill for beginners and will give you a workout that’s far from boring!
3. Phoenix Easy-Up Manual Treadmill
It’s important for any type of workout machine to run smoothly and accommodate various workout techniques and routines. This machine does just that! Similar to the first product, the Phoenix 98516 is a newer version of the Phoenix 98510 and overall 1 inch wider. It has longer handles for stability as well as the following:
- Suitable for anyone up to 250lbs
- Tracks speed, distance, time, and calories
- Is heavy-duty with a 41.5 x 13.5-inch belt
- Folds together and locks for easy storage
- Includes a 1-year frame warranty
What’s to Like about Phoenix Easy-Up Manual Treadmill
This treadmill is very easy to use and accommodates the frequent “on again off again”. You can easily step off to grab a bottle of water or do some push-ups and not have to hit any buttons and then you can pick up right where you left off.
What’s Not to Like
Many customers complain that the belt on this treadmill is too loose and even after following the instructions to tighten it still slips to one side. A shorter belt may need to be purchased separately to fix this problem.
While any type of issue with the belt can be a concern, it could be fixed by purchasing a new belt. However, this does require spending extra money and is something the manufacturer should have gotten right the first time around.
4. Stamina InMotion II Manual Treadmill
Manual treadmills sometimes feel crowded once you step on and begin your jog. The last thing you want is to feel like you’re going to fall off the back! The Stamina InMotion II has a 42-inch long deck to accommodate joggers with both long and short strides.
You’ll no longer be having to worry about your safety while getting your workout on at home.
- A quiet machine so you can use any time of day
- Has a battery-operated monitor that tracks distance, speed, time and calories burned
- Has a heavy-duty frame made of steel
- Includes 2 different inclines of 8 and 10 degrees
- Folds together for easy storage
What’s to Like about Stamina InMotion II Manual Treadmill
In addition to the extra space, this manual treadmill is known for how quiet it is. It’s great for people who love to read or listen to audiobooks while walking/jogging. It’s also very lightweight and easy to move, fold up, and store. It doesn’t require multiple people to move it like many treadmills do.
What’s Not to Like
The only real downfall of this manual treadmill is the height limits. It’s great for anyone under 5’10, but people who are approaching 6 feet and over seem to be a little too tall for the arm rails. Take a look at this customer’s experience.
If you are looking for a treadmill with extra room to ensure safety and a quiet treadmill that will allow you to get in a good workout and catch up with your favorite book, this one is a winner!
5. Stamina InMotion Manual Treadmill
Are you stuck in your same old workout routine and feel as if your results are becoming stagnant? Sometimes you need a workout to push you more than you’ve been pushing yourself! The Stamina InMotion manual treadmill lets you do just that!
It has 2 incline positions of 8 and 10 degrees so you can mix up your walk or jog to get a more intense workout! Other features include:
- Electronic monitor that tracks your speed, time, distance, calories and scans
- This treadmill is sturdy and has a non-slip surface
- The front and side rails are padded with foam
- Includes a folding frame and has wheels for easy portability
- Includes a 1-year frame warranty & a 90-day parts warranty
What’s to Like about Stamina InMotion Manual Treadmill
This treadmill is very easy to assemble and is said to only take about 15 minutes with directions! It’s also very sturdy and makes the customer feel comfortable while using, not to mention that the non-slip surface adds some sense of comfort. You want to feel like you’re being stabilized while jogging!
What’s Not to Like
A few customers have said that the time and distance tracking is off and this treadmill records less distance walked/jogged than what is really done. Good thing there’s a 90-day warranty on parts! You’ll most likely need it.
This manual treadmill is good for someone who wants to be able to adjust the incline periodically and wants to feel comfortable while walking/jogging. Just hope you don’t mind all the glitches in distance tracking! You may need to accompany your FitBit if you have one.
6. Exerpeutic Manual Treadmill with Heart Pulse
Keeping track of your distance, time, and even calories burned are great ways to measure your performance. But the Exerpeutic 100XL High Capacity Magnetic Resistance takes manual treadmills to the next level- it has a heart rate monitor! Just like with an automatic treadmill, you’re able to target your heart rate to reach the maximum capacity zone.
This machine features heart pulse pads to tell you you’re heart rate so you can see how much work your heart is doing based on the work your body is doing! Additional features include:
- Structured with twin flywheels of 6” diameters to provide a more consistent workout
- Measures your heart rate in addition to speed, distance, and calories
- Includes a wider and longer base than most manual treadmills
- Has safety handles 2x the length of other treadmills to provide extra safety
- Safe for people 325lbs and under
What’s to Like about Exerpeutic Manual Treadmill
One of the greatest features of this treadmill is how safe it is for the customer. It’s wider and longer than most other manual treadmills and even has longer handles to make you feel safe and comfortable. This is one sturdy machine! Oh, and can’t forget about the heart rate tracker.
What’s Not to Like
Customers seem to have an issue getting in touch with the manufacturer and having them answer questions accurately. Like with many treadmills, parts break or just don’t come incorrectly. But it’s difficult to get in touch with the customer service team for this specific treadmill when something goes wrong.
This seems to be one of best manual treadmills by far! Everyone’s main concern with a manual treadmill is safety and this one definitely knocks the others out of the water on that aspect.
It’s larger than most other manual treadmills and the fact that it features a heart rate monitor is epic amongst manual treadmills. Seriously, what’s not to love?
7. Best Choice Products® Manual Treadmill
Sometimes, the simpler a machine is, the better! All too often people are persuaded to buy a fancy, high-tech treadmill and they lose sight of the whole main reason to purchase it in the first place. The Best Choice Products Portable Folding Incline manual treadmill is a great option if you’re looking for a brisk walk indoors, without all the added gadgets.
While it’s not the fanciest thing on the market, it provides a good workout for anyone looking to shed some pounds.
- Suitable for anyone under 200lbs
- Features a self-powered workout at a decent cost
- LCD monitor that shows time, distance, speed, and calories burned
- Provides a smooth workout
- Made from heavy metal
What’s to Like about Best Choice Manual Treadmill
This manual treadmill is very easy to put together and provides a great workout with a steady feel! Customers enjoy walking/jogging on this treadmill because it gives a better workout than an automatic treadmill and still feels as sturdy.
What’s Not to Like
Some customers say that once you reach a fast speed on this treadmill, it gets going so fast and almost kicks you off. This would be great for someone who just wants to walk and won’t be using it for running. Also, it only holds someone under 200lbs, which poses the question of just how sturdy it actually is.
This treadmill provides a steady workout but seems to only be suitable for those who want to use it for walking and those who are pretty lightweight. Many people use treadmills to increase their heart rate and will need something to accommodate jogging and running.
Picking from the Best Manual Treadmill Reviews
It’s a tough decision when deciding which manual treadmill to invest in. You definitely don’t want to waste money on a machine that won’t work and that won’t give you the desired results you’re looking for. That’s why we’re here to help your decision become a little easier.
If we had to choose, our first manual treadmill choice would be the Exerpeutic 100XL High Capacity Magnetic Resistance Manual Treadmill with Heart Pulse System. It’s one of the larger manual treadmills and you really can’t beat the built-in heart rate monitor! It’s the most expensive, but there’s nothing better than having a healthy heart!
For not much less, our second choice, and it’s a close second, would be the Confidence Fitness Magnetic Manual Treadmill for its adjustable 8 levels! That’s got to be a record for a manual treadmill. Lastly, the Stamina InMotion II Manual Treadmill is our third choice for its long length to accommodate different strides and for how quiet it is.
Are Manual Treadmills any Good?
Manual treadmills are similar to motorized treadmills, but as their name suggests, they are manual. This means that they will not start moving until the user starts walking or running. Most of the time, they are avoided by people who are looking to train, as they find this type of activity way too difficult. Although they lack settings, motors, speed control, and various other features, manual treadmills are considered to be more effective in the long-term.
How does a Manual Treadmill Work?
The main difference between a manual treadmill and an electric one is the electricity. The manual treadmill does not use any kind of electrical power, but instead, it uses human power. Although both devices share the same purpose, the manual treadmill requires more effort from the user’s side.
A manual treadmill is comprised of a frame, handrails, a deck, a flywheel, and rollers, as well as a moving belt that helps the user run or walk and represents the most important part of the device. This device’s mechanism is pretty simple and the only thing the user has to do is to get on the treadmill and start walking or running, increasing the speed using their body strength.
Manual treadmills do not include consoles, but they can still include sensors that track the time, distance, speed, and calories. All the data is shown on a tiny display that is placed in the center of the frame.
Moreover, many of these manual devices have incline levels and other features that increase their value.
Is a Manual Treadmill any Good?
The answer to this question is obviously “yes”. Apart from being a great device that helps the user get cardiovascular training, they are easier to manage than motorized treadmills.
Most manual treadmills come with a lightweight design and folding options, which means that they are easy to store and move around in the house or gym. They require almost no maintenance except for basic cleaning and they can be used anywhere, even in the backyard, patio or anywhere you feel comfortable exercising.
Workouts are usually more difficult when using a manual treadmill, as you have to build your own speed. Although it provides you with a healthy alternative that makes you invest more effort in your workout, it has a few disadvantages by comparison to motorized treadmills. For example, they are not equipped with emergency buttons and you cannot slow down suddenly, as you can fall down and get injured.
Other than that, manual treadmills are low-cost alternatives that help you save a lot of money that you would normally pay for the electricity a motorized device would consume. Using such a device in favour of the electric one can help you burn more calories. Moreover, you learn to control your body and your exercise routine more efficiently.
Remember that a good physical shape is recommended in order to be able to properly exercise on a manual treadmill. Unless you are a sports person or you are also following a different training program at the same time, you will hardly see the benefits of a manual treadmill.