The technology of the treadmill is still advancing slowly for many years.
The modern console comes with enhanced touch screens and TV-like functions. However, the cover and the strap are still the same.
Currently, the curved treadmills represent a technological leap and are still relatively new.
Hopefully, the following the perfect guide to the curved treadmills will help you understand what curved a treadmill is and why it is better than the regular treadmill.
What is a Curved Treadmill?
People call them curved treadmills due to the shape of their deck. They all have a specific curve that you can be sure of a lot of research before coming up with the ideal form.
Because of how they work, which this guide will explain later, they need to have a curve. The belt is also different and does not look like a regular belt.
The manufacturers use slats to make the belts which cannot be like the standard belts on treadmills due to their shape.
There are tiny gaps between each slat so that the curve can turn during training. This belt has the advantages of being more like running outdoors than motorized treadmills.
What Makes Curved Treadmills Different?
Curved treadmills look similar to manual ones. They do not require any electric powering, and there is no motor to turn the treadmill belt. As you run, you have to push the belt yourself. Although some say it doesn’t need power, the console usually does. In this regard, you may need to place it near an electrical outlet. The good thing is that the curved treadmill consumes very little electricity.
In addition to the looks, the most notable difference is the speed, as there are almost no speed limits. Typically, there is no motor to determine the rate of the belt, but only the speed at which you push it with your feet. Runners with experience can attain speeds of up to 24 mph, which is Usain Bolt’s speed, the holder of the 100-meter world record.
How curved treadmills work
You don’t need a science degree to understand how curved treadmills work but only basic treadmill knowledge. Because it is a curve, the foot lands on the front part of the device, and then a downward force pushes the belt with a slight inclination. It happens as each foot falls so that the treadmill can go faster or slower. The treadmill belt speed, therefore, depends on the speed of the footfalls.
As your legs move on the treadmill belt during its average running pace, it reaches the point where you need to press your toes. The center is at the curve bottom, and the back and front have upper edges. Pushing off the edge makes the motion very ergonomic, a very natural way of walking.
Why curved treadmills are better
The following comparison is between regular treadmills, curved treadmills, and running outdoors. The Woodway Company claims that you may burn 30% more calories when using a curved treadmill. Although it is better, it essentially means that it is 30% more complex than a standard treadmill. Typically, this weight loss statistics is to increase sales.
You can make a regular treadmill 30% more difficult, burn 30% more calories, pedal 30% faster, or use a slope. Some people even don’t like machines that claim to burn more calories. For some, it is a feature that they always put into consideration. Others feel that there is a more significant benefit when the equipment is more challenging to use. There are various methods to burn more calories if you have the determination to use them.
There is no slope, and therefore it is not possible to simulate a race or to descend a hill. The slopes are great in other ways, as you can turn regular walks into an aerobic routine to burn calories. It is ideal for the elderly or overweight people who cannot walk and boost their weight loss and health.
Curved treadmills have varying speeds, and no other regular treadmills can keep up as the engines just can’t. A typical runner does not reach speeds above 20 mph, and so only elite printers require a curved treadmill speed. HIIT training, tempo runs are also fast exercises that may need curved treadmills.
Why are curved treadmills expensive?
They are expensive as they represent a real improvement over standard treadmills. An excellent motorized treadmill will cost around $ 1,500 or more. Curved treadmills cost about $ 4,000 and typically cost more than $ 5,000. Because they are different from regular treadmills, they are costly. The new technology requires investments that tend to reflect in the price.
Typically, it is because companies have to bear the costs of research and development. It is similar everywhere when you purchase something; think about electronics and even phones. The latest in the market always seems to cost a disproportionate price. The point is that the price of a curved treadmill may not even go down soon.
Curved treadmill Vs Running outdoors
The curved treadmills feel kinder for the joints and knees, although you can say that on all the treadmills. The running deck remains absorbent, and the shape favors this even more. But, on the other hand, it cannot replace outdoor running as it is somehow different. It is not possible to run on a slope like outdoors, limiting the natural stride. It, therefore, means that it cannot be a substitute for outside running.
If you run or do many things outdoors, you can continue racing outside even when you will be using curved treadmills. Especially for running, you must train on the surface you are running. It mainly applies to elite and recreational runners. If for some reason, you can’t run outdoors, any treadmill is better than no exercise.
Can you walk on curved treadmills?
You can do a brisk walk to warm up or cool down after training if walking is not your primary exercise routine. Keep in mind that it is like the manual treadmill, for you to be pushing the belt, but walking on the curved treadmill need to be easy. Woodway says that curved treadmills burn additional calories than standard treadmills, and so it encourages walking to lose weight.
If you see a curved treadmill at a fitness facility or the gym, don’t be afraid to use it if you are going to run. It is advisable to use new equipment as it features the latest technology. You may prefer to use them. If you plan to buy one for your walking exercises, it is a worthy investment.
Curved Treadmill Benefits
The best users for curved treadmills are sprinters and elite runners. Anyone who thinks they need to run faster than 19 km / h, which is the top speed for most motorized treadmills, needs a curved treadmill. You may need something that can control your speed when running 800 meters or other short distances.
Typically, this can benefit runners who occasionally speed up the treadmill and need a good pace. For this, curved treadmills are better than standard ones, as you can still walk on them. So, if you want the latest technology and have the money, you might also want to invest in one. If you are overweight and you want to lose weight, you can also benefit from it.
They are so good for speed training as you will not have to press the speed buttons as you would on a motorized treadmill. You can speed up when you want and slow down naturally. Whenever you see people using curved treadmills in gyms, you will find out that many people prefer top speeds
Safer than traditional motorized treadmills
The treadmill has a much better grip which is fundamentally different from traditional treadmills, mainly using cotton and nylon. On the other hand, there is no heat generation due to the less friction between the transport system and the belt system. As a result, it makes it safer in your gym in terms of the risk of fire.
They do not need electricity
They are more environmentally friendly because they are user-propelled. It also means that operating costs are lower, which saves electricity. However, the console needs electricity, and so you need to connect it to a power outlet.
Self-powered and easy to use
Using curved treadmills is very easy as you are the one propelling the belt. You only need to jump and shift your weight forward to run, jog or walk without complicating things with buttons. You should start by walking if you are a beginner to curved treadmills. That way, you can get familiar with it and feel its difference from regular treadmills before speeding up.
Offers long service life
The curved treadmills have a longer service life than standard ones because they do not contain any motorized parts. Regular maintenance minimizes maintenance costs over the life of the machine.
Allows you to run more naturally
The design allows you to run on your feet’ balls. Typically, this reduces the effect on the joints and ultimately boosts your overall running performance. In addition, there is more engagement of the trunk and core as you try to race at an ergonomically correct angle. It, therefore, forces you to have a good posture.
Otherwise, you will feel unbalanced and affect your running speed. Due to the padding on the rubber surface, the effect on the knees, ankles, hips, and back is minimal. Fewer bumps on the floor mean a reduction in shocks which helps to reduce wear and tear over time and reduces injuries.
Allows you to use more muscle groups and more energy
The curved treadmill will recruit more muscles as you run, such as hamstrings and buttocks. Due to the propulsion technology you generate to propel the treadmill, which is similar to running outdoors. Additionally, the curved track minimizes the vertical displacement of the body’s center of mass (COM). It, in turn, increases energy consumption.
The Cons of Curved Treadmills
Curved treadmills are straightforward devices. There are no large consoles that display your training statistics in various colors with beautiful graphics and tables. There are no exercise routines like a gradual weight loss routine, so you can track your progress as you would on a standard treadmill. There is no fitness test control to see if you are fit and healthy. Besides, as they are curved, there are no incline options.
The consoles are very basic as they only the speed, distance, and time. You may find it disappointing that they are for elite athletes who only need basic information, but this may make them miss out on potential sales. A little effort and a curved treadmill can be beneficial for all types of users.
It’s time to learn the technical features and learn the biomechanics of racing on curved treadmills. Running on curved treadmills boosts running efficiency and gait mechanics. However, it is not clear whether this transfers to an outdoor run or a motorized treadmill. It is an exciting study from the University of South Carolina as they try to find out.
Research shows that after running on a curved treadmill, there is a measurable and significant difference in step, stride length, stride angle, and imbalance. It decreases all these variables, such as stride length and inequality, which means you can achieve more efficient propulsion technology with a curved treadmill.
The research may have limitations such as the number of athletes and short racing times. Besides, they run on curved motorized treadmills rather than outdoors. According to the study, the results are promising and show a need for more research. Athletes may not have a preference for curved treadmills over motorized treadmills, but it is interesting nonetheless.
In conclusion, if you visit many gyms and facilities, you will see only a few curved treadmills are available. It is a great new technology, but it will never replace standard motorized treadmills. There are several reasons for this, the most important of which is the price. There is no way to avoid paying for technology or other functions.
Many individuals, gyms, and fitness facilities can afford costly equipment, but curved treadmills do not compete well with the regular motorized treadmills. They do not have the characteristics that many people desire, but a few people can exercise well and use them to the fullest. In addition, consoles are not fantastic enough as people like to watch TV screens while exercising.
In most cases, only professional runners make better use of these treadmills, which they like most. Anyone who desires high speed, as we can see above, needs to consider a curved treadmill. You may see curved treadmills in rehabilitation centers and universities. Athletics and the best sports clubs also prefer curved treadmills.
For a typical home gym, the cost may be another disadvantage. For some people, the cost may not be an issue, but all in all, the prevailing price doesn’t seem to target home gyms. You can run, jog and walk on them, but they may not be as popular as the regular motorized treadmills.