Manual Treadmills are an inexpensive way to exercise indoors.

The major difference between an automatic and manual treadmill is that the latter does not use electricity, however, while both machines perform the same purpose the manual does require more effort until you become accustomed to it.

It has the same components including handrails, frame, belt, deck, and rollers. Because you operate the machine, once you are on the deck you start walking and increase your speed as much as you want.

Although the manual treadmill does not have a console; most have sensors to record burned calories, time is taken as well as speed. It is very simple to use one of these devices that have so many health advantages. 

You can run, power walk, walk, lunge, and side skips on a manual treadmill, just as if you were on an automatic treadmill.

Manual treadmills can be more convenient, as they are easier to store and don't require an electric outlet. They do not offer varied settings but do provide a beneficial cardiovascular workout routine at a low price.


Are They Worth It? 

An automatic treadmill can be very expensive and may require yearly maintenance, whereas the manual can be purchased at a reasonable price and the upkeep is minimal.

With a manual treadmill, you can avoid weather-related power circumstances that may interfere with your workout.

What to look for when Buying a Manual Treadmill

There are many things to take into account when purchasing a new treadmill. While the decision can be time-consuming it should not be taken lightly. It is an important piece of gym equipment and selecting the right one for you is paramount to your health and fitness.

So what are the most important factors in choosing a treadmill to suit YOU?

1) Brand:  Buying a machine from a good brand not only ensures your safety but also takes care of the consumer satisfaction after the sale. A great brand makes great products and this ensures that you get your money’s worth. Regular service of the machine and solving any other issues within time will be the topmost priority of a good brand that wants to keep its reputation.

 2) Price: The price of the treadmill is an important factor. Once you know what you can afford you can check out the machines to fit your budget. If the treadmill is only part of your fitness plan then a less expensive model should be sufficient. For example, if the focus is more on muscle-building and less on cardio, then a relatively simpler model should meet your needs.

3) Design: The design of the machine is another important feature. You should feel comfortable with the design of the treadmill and so try out our different models and learn more about a particular design.

4) Weight & Height: This is another consideration.

Naturally, a heavier person will need a heavier machine and a taller person will need a longer belt to suit his/her stride.

5) Available Space: This is often overlooked by the purchaser. It is important to choose a model that will complement the space you have available. Take measurements of the room where the treadmill is to be placed before making your final decision.

Other Information  

Build up the Speed - Gradually

With a manual treadmill, you cannot set your own speed, but you can build your own speed by walking or running on the belt. You can start by walking, followed by a power walk, followed by a jog and then ending in a sprint. It is important to remember that there is not an emergency button to halt the moving belt, as with most electronic models. If you need to get off suddenly, grab hold of the handles and jump so both feet land on the platforms around the moving belt. The belt will slow down on its own.


Manual treadmills are lightweight, easy to store and do not require an electric outlet. Some models also fold up so they can fit in a closet or under a bed. Other models have wheels on the front, allowing you to roll the treadmill from room to room without any hassle. Due to not needing electricity, the manual treadmill can even be brought on a porch or patio if you desire to exercise in the fresh air.

And finally, last but not least

It is important to consult your physician prior to partaking in any exercise regime. Use the treadmill with caution as it is possible to lose balance and fall from the moving belt. Remember to stretch before and after using the treadmill to avoid injury.

Listed below are the ADVANTAGES and DISADVANTAGES of a Manual Treadmill.


On a manual treadmill, the action of your feet against the deck moves the belt.

The belt only moves if you move it. Manual treadmills are far less expensive than most motorized treadmills, but they have far fewer features. You won't have a console with adjustable speed and incline and built-in workouts. However, some models come with a battery-powered console that can show workout details such as elapsed time, distance, calories burned, speed, and a pulse sensor.


You provide all of the motive power and exercise your lower body.

No electricity needed:

You can use a manual treadmill anywhere. You don't need electricity. If the best space for your workout doesn't have a handy electrical outlet, this is not a problem. You can even enjoy a workout outdoors where there isn't an electrical outlet.


A non-motorized treadmill stops when you stop, you don't have to wear a safety cord to stop it if you slip and fall as you should with a motorized treadmill. This also makes it a little safer around children and pets.

Less expensive:

The most expensive manual treadmill is hundreds of dollars less than the least expensive motorized treadmill.


While the disadvantages are few in number they are still worthy of mention.

Joint stress:

If you have arthritis or any problems with your joints you may find getting the treadmill belt moving initially may be an issue.

Easing the start:

You may have to raise the incline of the treadmill significantly to make it easy enough to get the belt moving. Once you do that, you are walking uphill and that may not be what you prefer for your workout. You can only set incline by getting off the treadmill: Once the belt is moving, however, you would have to stop and get off to change the incline. So you are stuck with one incline level during each workout.

Lack of features:

You won't have built-in workouts, apps, and other features. You'll have to use other resources such as apps and online treadmill workout plans to vary your workout.

Treadmill experts say manual treadmills, in general, have less sturdy construction, as you can see from the user weight limits. They also seem to have more flaws such as belt slippage and noise

Walk, don't run:

If you want a more solid workout than just walking then a better-quality motorized treadmill is a better choice. However, there are higher priced manuals that you can jog and/or run just like you can on an automatic treadmill.

How do these machines actually work?

There are actually several features that work together to ensure that the manual machines can offer you the best possible workout without the complicated configurations.

When using your equipment at the beginning, you have to hold on to the handlebars to aid with your balance and at the same time give you support when you exert effort to move the belt. Walking forward and pushing the belt back with your feet one after the other allows the belt to move. Since the deck is usually positioned at an incline, extra force is needed. Once a suitable walking or jogging pace has been established with the moving belt, you may let go of the handle bars since holding on to them for a long period of time reduces the benefits of the exercise you get from walking or jogging on a manual treadmill.

The speed is dependent solely on your movement. Your progress during your workout is then delivered to the console to give you a visual feedback.

Motorized or Manual

With plenty of cheap motorized options today, non-motorized systems are usually overlooked, simply because they barely have any special features that can compete with the electronic exercise machines.

However, opting for a manual one does have its own share of perks that give them an edge over the motorized systems. One advantage is that they are inexpensive. Motorized exercise systems are known to be rather costly($500, $1000 or more), which is mainly due to their additional features. Since manual treadmills don’t have any of those added specifications, they tend to cost less.

Another perk with these non-motorized machines is that they can be easily stored. Even if motorized running machines can be folded, they are still too bulky and can still take up a substantial amount of space. Manual systems are less bulky due to lack of any motorized features, thus can be folded easily and kept in the closet or under the bed. AND they are lightweight, too? Furthermore, they can be used anywhere since they do not need electricity to be functional. Therefore, you can easily set it up anywhere and use it anytime. Moreover, they require less maintenance than their motorized counterparts, thus making them highly suitable for those fitness enthusiasts who are first-time users of treadmills. There are less pieces of electronic equipment to look after when it comes to manual systems, and most likely only need oil to ensure that the belt and flywheels move smoothly.

Reviews of Manual Treadmills




1) Digitally adjust your incline up to 10 percent to add intensity to your workout and target specific muscle groups

2) Get the training you want with 20 built-in workouts designed by a Certified personal trainer to help you achieve your fitness goals

3) 2.6 CHP drive System

4) Plug your ipod or other MP3 device into the console sound System to stay motivated with your workout playlist 20"X55" tread belt

All reviews rated this machine very highly, describing it as well built, reasonably easy to assemble and in particular perfect for the older age group. Easy storage and simple electronics.