Designed for natural human movement, a curved treadmill is a modern concave-shaped running machine that’s powered solely by your legs. No electricity required and no top speed, very similar to outdoor running. With its curved, slatted running surface, it allows you to propel the treadmill belt using the balls of your feet, pushing your body forward as you do.
What are the benefits of a curved treadmill?
A curved treadmill burns calories faster
According to its makers, you can burn 30% more calories on a curved treadmill. Scientists measuring the physiologic intensity of a standard motorised treadmill compared to a non-motorised, curved treadmill reported stronger results from the latter. Thanks to this higher intensity, curved treadmills are perfect for High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). You’ll increase your heart rate faster and keep it up, increasing your need for oxygen and helping torch more calories than regular aerobic exercise. Read more about the benefits of these brilliantly effective workouts and how to do them in our guide to HIIT.
A curved treadmill engages more muscle groups
Since you don’t have to push to propel yourself forward, traditional treadmills don’t actually activate your entire leg. Curved machines, on the other hand, force your legs to power them from the very start – activating everything from your glutes to your hamstrings to kickstart the machine. You can’t just flick an up switch to control the running speed, either – you can only increase the pace by working out harder.
A curved treadmill is less harmful on the joints
You don’t have to sacrifice your running to save your knees. The rubber surface of a curved helps absorb the impact on your joints and connective tissue, preventing injuries often associated with pounding the ground. Standard treadmills aren’t designed to soak up this shock, meaning your joints are more prone to wear and tear over time.
Why Should You Consider Adding a Curved Treadmill to Your Gym?
There are a number of reasons why a gym should consider adding a curved treadmill to their cardiovascular area. Some of the benefits include:
Safer than Traditional Motorised Treadmills
There is less friction and no heat generation due to the interaction between the belt system and the transport system.
The running deck of the treadmill has much more grip because the running surface differs fundamentally from the running belts on conventional treadmills, where cotton-nylon belts are normally used.
No Electricity Required
They are friendlier to the environment due to being completely powered by the user. This means there is a lower life-time cost of ownership due to requiring no electricity.
Long Service Life
A curved treadmill has a longer service life when compared to a conventional treadmill because there are no motorised parts. Servicing costs are kept to a minimum over the lifetime of machine if regular maintenance is routinely carried out.
Curved treadmills can be used just as you would use a traditional flat-bed treadmill so anything from sprint intervals to slower steady state running can be carried out.
However, there are three main types of training that the curved treadmill excels at:
Sprint intervals on a curved treadmill is an ideal workout because there is no motor in the treadmill. This means the user can start their sprint interval very quickly without having to wait for the treadmill motor to turn the belt to a certain rate before they can sprint.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
With a curved treadmill you have the ability to adjust your pace to mimic road or running track intervals. Since they have no speed limit, it is great choice for elite level athletes where the pace required is faster than the top-speed of any commercial motorised treadmill.
A curved treadmill is the perfect solution for group training because it is easy to jump on and off and the speed of the running deck slows down immediately when the user stops running. This allows for fast and seamless changes to take place as users move from one exercise to another.
With any new type of fitness equipment entering the market place there can be a lot of scepticism surrounding the marketing claims. However, it is clear to see that the curved treadmill offers many advantages to the end user and gym owners when compared to a traditional motorised treadmill. The curved treadmill is very versatile, offers many legitimate training uses and is environmentally friendly due to being self-propelled.