The Complete Treadmill Buying Guide
Treadmills have long been one of the most popular pieces of equipment in any gym. They provide a great workout for all users whether they are just getting started on their fitness journey or a seasoned athlete. We have a variety of treadmills to suit different budgets and goals. Why not take enjoy your runs from the comfort of your own home.
Types of Treadmill
There are a few different types of treadmill. You will need to find the right one for you, otherwise, you will struggle to get motivated to go for a run if it doesn’t suit your needs.
Let’s start by talking about a new treadmill type, named treadmill desk. These treadmills are built specifically for anyone who is lacking on time and wants to exercise while still being able to work. You can just walk on these and you will notice the effects immediately.
Then we have the classic motorised treadmills, which have a motor integrated inside. While you are walking or running on it, the belt will move according to the setting you set on the motor.
But, if you’re looking for something that goes more according to your pace, then a manual treadmill could be for you. Unlike the former, this one is controlled entirely by the user, as the belt rotates according to your speed.
The last type you can get is a curved treadmill, which doesn’t need any electricity to be used. Just like the manual ones, you are the one who is powering this type of treadmill. Unlike the manual ones, though, this targets a lot more muscle groups.
Folding VS Non-Folding
This is another thing that you will need to look out for. You will need to take some measurements, so that you know how much floor space you have available. You should also take the time to measure your storage space, if you want to store your folding treadmill.
But you might be wondering what a folding treadmill is. Well, as the name suggests, a folding treadmill is any type of treadmill that can be folded up. This is especially great for anyone who has limited space. With these, you won’t have a problem when it comes to cleaning around it. There are also some foldable treadmills out there that have a lock, so that there is no risk of the running deck falling down while folded.
On the other hand, we have non-folding treadmills. They are usually much more sturdy, and are generally higher quality. But that comes with a higher cost. This higher cost can be worth it, when you consider the longer warranties and higher build quality over time.
The track size can be as important as the type of the actual treadmill. For anyone of average height you should be able to use most treadmills without issue, however if you are taller then you will need to choose a model with a larger track size.
There’s a general rule about the track size when it comes to walking and jogging. If you are not over 175cm tall, you should aim for a treadmill that has a belt of around 47 inches. If you are taller than that, you must go up to at least 50 inches or 52 if you are very tall.
But that was just for walking and jogging. The belt length must be larger if you want to use the treadmill to run. A rule of thumb is around 55 inches if you are of average height, but that can go up to 60+ inches if you are taller than most.
Speed And Incline
We decided to include speed and incline as one factor, just because they are the factors that will alter the difficulty when you’re running. What does that mean, though?
Well, when you are looking for a treadmill, you want it to have a great range of speed, with a usual maximum speed 10-12 km/h. While there are machines that can reach speeds of 16km/h, we wouldn’t suggest these to any beginners, because you will probably not be able to reach that speed easily. If you are a runner and you are looking to improve your performance, you should definitely opt for higher speeds than 12 km/h
Incline is pretty simple to explain. If you run on an incline the workout becomes significantly more difficult. This way, you’re burning calories much more quickly. And that makes more sense, if you just imagine how easy it is to walk on a straight road, and how difficult it is to go up a hill. The maximum incline you should look for is 20%. Most beginners shouldn’t go higher than that.
While this isn’t usually considered an important factor, we personally believe that good cushioning is important. Why is that? Well, if you have issues with your knees, especially if you’re getting older, cushioning will help prevent any injuries that might occur.
For those of you who don’t know how cushioning works, it’s fairly simple, it absorbs most of the strike from your foot when it’s touching the belt. This way, most of the force is absorbed and, in turn, reduces the stress on your knees.
The majority of treadmills on the market have an elastomer design. This offers great shock absorption, and with it you will have a feeling of being propelled to your next step after every step.
The price point of a treadmill might be the key factor for some buyers out there. We think that, while it is important, it’s not as important as the other characteristics we have mentioned. But, to give you a general idea of how the treadmill market is right now, you can expect most treadmills to cost anywhere from £300 to £12,000.
But there are some categories depending on the price point of a treadmill. For example, there are mid-range treadmills, which usually have great performance, as well as some innovative technologies. These are mostly targeted to beginners, but can also be used by more advanced runners. The one drawback of most mid-range treadmills is that they aren’t really durable.
If you are looking to invest in a treadmill that will last you for decades, you should opt for a premium treadmill. As you might expect, these have top-notch shock absorption, really high maximum speeds, touch screens, and just about everything you might want from a running machine.
Other than the features we have already mentioned, there are some more specific ones that you might like.
Almost all the treadmills on the market have a console on which you can control the speed. On that console, you will also find information like the distance you’ve run, as well as the calories you have burned and your heart rate.
Then there are some treadmills which have different workout programs, if you are looking for more of a challenge (We talk about these in detail below).
As the years pass by, there are treadmills that come with more and more features, like speakers, LCD TVs, web browsers and many many more.
Similar to rowing machines and exercise bikes, there are also a lot of apps that are compatible with some treadmills. These are usually great, because they include some additional features, our favourite one being that you can add your personal running route from Google Maps. This will include any terrain changes, and you will feel like you’re running around your neighbourhood, while you’re at home
We already mentioned these, but we wanted to include some more details about them. Some treadmills have a variety of workouts that you can choose from. These can range from easy, to really hard, and they are a great way to make your running interesting. They are also really efficient when it comes to burning calories, or working out your leg muscle groups.
Treadmills are a higher-impact exercise. If you struggle with impact injuries, you might want to consider an alternative option for your cardio kick.
The last factor you should take into consideration when buying a treadmill is the warranty. We imagine that most of you don’t want to spend huge sums of money to buy a new treadmill every year. That’s why you should look for long warranties on internal parts, like the motor, as well as the frame of the treadmill.
These were some of the key features you ought to look for when you’re buying a treadmill. Our last piece of advice would be to stay away from cheap models that offer too much, as they’re usually a waste of money.