Not all treadmills are created equal. Nor are all treadmills the same.
There are 6 distinct types of treadmills. Note that some treadmills may qualify under more than one category.
Types of Treadmills
1. Manual Treadmill
A manual treadmill is one without a motor. It’s essentially a tread belt on rollers that you propel by walking or running.
Manual treadmills are generally the least expensive treadmills on the market. Moreover, they usually have fewer bells and whistles than motorized treadmills.
Manual treadmills are okay for walking, but not that great if you’re an avid runner.
2. Motorized Treadmills
Motorized treadmills are the types of treadmills that have a motor that powers the tread belt at the speed you dictate.
These types of treadmills are more expensive (compared to manual treadmills, but not necessarily the other types of treadmills set out below), but generally offer a great deal more. Not only is it powered by a motor, but they come with workout programs, a computer, larger console, monitor, cooling fan.
Cons to motorized treadmills are cost, they’re larger (take up more space) and produce more noise.
Advantages to motorized treadmills is they create a smoother workout experience and come with more bells and whistles. You can also easily track how far you’ve run and/or walked in any given workout.
Within the umbrella category of motorized treadmills are many types of treadmills that offer a wide variety of features. Variations in features pertain to motor horsepower, running surface size, heart rate monitor options, console design, and bells & whistles such as music system, fan, water bottle holder, magazine rack, etc.
A regular motorized treadmill is the most popular type of treadmill.
3. Incline Treadmills
Incline treadmills are designed to incline at high incline degrees. You can find incline treadmills that incline from 20 to 40 degrees.
Incline treadmills are ideal for hikers who wish to replicate steep terrain in the comfort of your own home.
These types of treadmill are equipped with a motor and you can also run on them. Therefore, if you’re into steep hill training, an incline treadmill may be for you.
Generally an incline trainer will have a shorter running surface than many regular treadmills. The running surface space of many incline trainers range from 50 inches to 55 inches.
Also, incline trainers are generally more expensive than many regular motorized treadmills.
A treadles is a duo-track treadmill. The tracks rise and fall as you place your feet on them. They’re designed for walking. In fact, they have lower top-speeds than regular treadmills.
A treadle is a combination of a stepper and treadmill because the individual tread belts rise up and fall as you walk. This motion results in a more intense walking workout than simply walking on a treadmill.
A treadles is a unique workout machine, but is more expensive than many regular motorized types of treadmills.
This treadles is a very cool looking workout machine.
5. Treadmill / Elliptical Combo
For those of you who can’t decide between a treadmill and elliptical, consider a treadmill / elliptical combination type treadmill. The combo treadmill has moveable arm handles and a motor-powered tread belt resulting in a full-body workout.
Fortunately, you can get a treadmill/elliptical combo exercise machine for a reasonable price.
6. Treadmills for dogs
Yes, they make treadmills for walking dogs. These are perfect if you live where the climate is unpleasant. You can give your dog a workout in the comfort of your own home.
Which type of treadmill is the most popular?
The regular motorized treadmills are the most popular. However, don’t disregard other types of treadmills if you have specific workout goals.