Manual treadmill vs. motorized treadmill: Which is better?

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Manual treadmill vs. motorized treadmill: Which is better?

Question

I'd like to buy a treadmill. Would I get a better workout using a manual treadmill or a motorized treadmill?

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Answer

Treadmills are among the most popular exercise machines. A manual treadmill is likely to be less expensive than is a motorized treadmill. A manual treadmill is safer, too, because the belt stops moving when you stop moving. However, you'll probably get a better workout with a motorized treadmill than you would with a manual treadmill.

A manual treadmill is likely to have a smaller platform or belt than is a motorized treadmill, which can make it difficult to walk briskly — much less jog or run. Plus, it can be challenging to get the belt on a manual treadmill to move smoothly. This may leave you gripping the handrails while you exercise, which can lead to an inconsistent pace and a less effective workout.

Whether you're leaning toward a manual treadmill or the motorized variety, be sure to try the treadmill before you buy it. Testing the equipment yourself is the best way to determine whether it'll meet your needs.

Last Updated: 2008-08-27
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