Curved Treadmills Are Totally Not A Gimmick

Curved Treadmills Are Totally Not A Gimmick

If you’ve been looking to level up your workout routine, you should probably check out a curved treadmill. These machines boost endurance by requiring more physical output, per the

Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. Unlike traditional flat treadmills, they aren’t powered by electricity, but instead your stride, which pushes the belt forward—similar to how a hamster wheel operates.

If you’ve never used one, a curved treadmill can seem like a super intimidating machine, but that’s because they’re not really supposed to be used like normal treadmills, says Amanda Brooks, a certified personal trainer and author of the running blog RunToTheFinish. The key to a successful workout on a curved treadmill is learning to control your pace so you don’t burn out too quickly. Curved treadmills don’t allow you to control speed with the push of a button, unlike electric treadmills. If you remain consistent, you’ll definitely see results. Eventually, you may notice you can even run faster, says Brooks.

See some of the best curved treadmills below:

  • 1

    Self-Generated Curved Treadmill

    Best Expert-Recommended Curved Treadmill

    SB Fitness Equipment Self-Generated Curved Treadmill

    $2,495 at Amazon

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  • 2

    AssaultRunner Pro

    Best For Veterans

    Assault Fitness AssaultRunner Pro

    Read more

  • 3

    SF-S2 Curved Sprint Treadmill

    Easiest To Move

    Signature Fitness SF-S2 Curved Sprint Treadmill

    Read more

  • 4

    Health Runner Manual Treadmill

    Best For Beginners

    IN10CT Health Runner Manual Treadmill

    Read more

  • 5

    Curved Treadmill

    Best Curved Treadmill For Additional Features

    Runow Curved Treadmill

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What exactly is a curved treadmill?

A curved treadmill is a non-motorized treadmill that has a slight upward curve. It is usually nonelectric, so it saves energy while also creating a more intense workout for its user. They’re a lot simpler than regular treadmills machine-wise.

The workouts they create can be much more intense, since the track of a curved treadmill is operated by the user running on it. “We know [a curved treadmill] burns more calories, so for folks who have a shorter timespan, it’s a great way to get a harder workout in during a shorter time,” Brooks says.

A user-operated track allows the user to create a harder run on their own, rather than relying on the machine to do it for them. However, some curved treadmills do come with resistance levels like typical treadmills, if you’re looking for a machine that’s really gonna make you work.

What are the pros and cons of curved treadmills?

Depending on what you’re looking for in a treadmill workout, curved treadmills can be better than a typical treadmill.


  • It burns more calories.
  • It increases your cadence at a faster rate.
  • Great for HIIT workouts.
  • No motor, so less likelihood of repairments needed.


  • It’s harder to control your pace.
  • Not ideal for distance runners.
  • They’re pricey.

Curved treadmills are great if you’re training or really looking to up your fitness regimen. “[Using] a curved treadmill improves your cadence, and anything that improves cadence is great,” Brooks says. According to Brooks, curved treadmills instantly make any run a bit harder, so they are great if you are looking to do interval training or for a short run that will get your heart rate up. Plus, once you become a curved treadmill pro, you’ll have a lot more control over your pace and endurance.

If it sounds like you can benefit from adding a curved treadmill to your at-home workout space, see below for the best curved treadmills you can shop right now.