Curved Treadmill Fact Sheet – 3 Things You Should Know


A curved treadmill is a non-motorized, concave machine meant for walking or running. Ultimately, movement of the belt is achieved with a mix of gravity and propulsion of the foot, leaving the walker or runner in full control of the tempo. Due to its unique qualities, this piece of equipment lacks much of the research that traditional motorized treadmills offer related to efficacy.

Today, we’ll dive into three things you should know about curved treadmills. They can help you decide if this is a viable option for running, walking, or other fitness goals.

Three Things You Should Know About a Curved Treadmill

If you’ve ever seen a curved treadmill, you probably did a double-take the first time you saw it. The unique shape is unlike any other treadmill on the market. And with this unconventional shape comes some distinctive perks and drawbacks. Here’s what you need to know:

1. How a curved treadmill works.

You may be wondering, what is the point of a curved treadmill? The “C” shaped belt allows you to run or walk simply by shifting your weight and placing it where you want it toward the front of the machine.

No electricity is required- just you, gravity, and the resulting force vectors. The lack of a motor has a few primary benefits. First, it is eco-friendly due to its lack of power and is significantly easier (and cheaper) to fix if something breaks.

Secondly, it’s been shown to be a killer workout for burning calories (up to 30% more than a traditional treadmill), working the posterior chain, and boosting your VO2 max.

2. How to adjust your cadence.

When you adjust your speed or intensity with a traditional treadmill, there is an inevitable delay as you decide what you’re going to do and push the right button to change the speed or incline.

Instead, the curved treadmill is sensitive to your every change. Ultimately, your running speed is closely dictated by the level of friction, the tempo of your legs, and how far up on the curve you are striding.

Another significant benefit of a curved treadmill is the ability to modulate your run in real-time. No need to push a button, just change your footfall, and your effort and speed will adjust with you. Because of this, it has been more closely associated with the challenges of outdoor running than a traditional treadmill.

3. Why are curved treadmills so hard?

As mentioned above, research illustrates that running on a curved treadmill is 30% harder- both by psychological and physiological measurements. There are several reasons for the higher intensity level. While it’s hard to measure precisely, it’s been proposed that running on a curved treadmill is the equivalent of running on an 8% grade.

This makes running on a curved treadmill an excellent option for anyone wanting to boost their hill training, particularly for runners that live in flat areas where they wouldn’t usually get the chance to run uphill.

Is a curved treadmill right for you?

Choosing a piece of indoor workout equipment comes down to preference, budget, and fitness goals.

While running or walking is often more enjoyable outside, It’s excellent having an easy option when your schedule is packed or the weather isn’t cooperating. If you want to maximize your calorie burn, back, and butt strength and train to be a rock star on hills, this just might be the right choice for you.

On the other hand, if you want to have more control over the incline and your level of effort, you may consider other options out there. There is no right answer; just choose what keeps you motivated and inspired!

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