When a new piece of equipment enters the gym and promises to revolutionize the way that exercise is done, most people sit up and take notice. Rightly or wrongly, new equipment like this also attracts its fair share of criticism, too. After all, a lot of people take their gym work seriously, and a new piece of equipment really has to offer something, not just different but also beneficial in terms of health gains.
What About the Treadmill?
The treadmill is one of those pieces of equipment that doesn’t often see innovation. It’s also one piece of equipment that many people invest a lot of money in for their home use. But for those who enjoy the benefits of a treadmill, what about something like the curved treadmill? Is it really worth looking at getting one instead of the traditional motorized treadmill?
How Does It Work?
People are pretty resistant to a change in their exercise routines, and this is why anything new needs to offer some truly outstanding benefits. The motorized treadmill has been around for so many years that it almost seems frivolous to change it. So, how does the curved treadmill work?
Just as the name suggests, it really is curved. This is obviously the biggest visual difference from the wide range of motorized treadmills available. The other big difference is that it doesn’t have a motor to drive the belt.
It might seem strange to even consider buying a treadmill without a motor, but there are actually some really interesting health benefits, including:
You Have to Use More Muscles
If you’re using a treadmill to lose weight in your house, the good news is that using the curved treadmill means that you’ll be using more muscles and muscle groups. This also means that you’ll be using more energy and burning more calories.
Because this type of treadmill doesn’t actually have a motor to drive the belt, you’ll actually need to drive it yourself using your own energy and muscles. This will obviously cause you to use more muscle groups, and you’ll be getting a much better and more intense workout.
If the entire goal of your exercise is to burn more calories and use more muscles, you should definitely consider this type of treadmill for your next purchase.
You’ll Experience a More Natural Running Action
One of the problems that many people who use regular treadmills experience is the high impact on their joints. Due to the fact that regular treadmills are motorized, the running action is a little unnatural. This is because the belt is moving underneath the feet rather than the muscles having to do all of the work. You’re then more concerned about your balance rather than any sort of natural running action.
A treadmill that is curved and has no motor is much better for the running action. It actually encourages users to use the balls of their feet because the belt has to be driven through sheer muscle power and dynamism. In turn, this more natural running action reduces the impact on joints.
You’ll Also Develop More Core Strength
There’s another benefit related to the fact that you have to use more muscles and a more natural running action: you also develop better core strength. This is because you’ll need to engage more muscles and your balance system to remain in an upright and balanced position on a treadmill that is curved.
If you’re currently using a treadmill and doing other forms of exercise to improve your core strength, investing in either a Woodway or Technogym treadmill might be all that you actually need to burn calories, get fitter, and improve core strength and balance. In this context, it makes a lot more financial sense.
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A Flat out Better Workout for You
Studies show that the use of a treadmill that’s curved results in a higher personal perception of exertion, as well as the fact that it does actually result in a higher percentage of calories burned over the same period of time. If a high-intensity workout is your goal, you can’t really go wrong with either the Woodway or the Technogym treadmill in this context.
Easy and Convenient
The fact that this kind of treadmill has no motor also means that there’s barely any set up involved. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure out how to use it. You just set it up, jump on, and start running.
It’s worth saying this because some people do find that traditional treadmills are a bit complex to use. There are manuals involved and all sorts of programs and buttons. You might feel as though you’ve gotten more for your hard-earned money, but the truth is that you want your workouts to be as simple as possible so that you can just get on with the job of burning calories, building muscles, and getting fit.
Less Maintenance and Costs
The obvious benefit of a treadmill without a motor is that there's nothing to plug into the wall outlet. This also means that no electricity needs to be used, thus saving you money.
There’s also another benefit too: no motor means that it’s likely to last a lot longer. It also means lower maintenance and fewer things to go wrong.
Technogym Skillmill or Woodway Curve?
If you’ve decided to get yourself a nice curvy treadmill, there are a few choices, Two of the most popular right now are the Technogym Skillmill and the Woodway Curve, but which one should you get?
1. The Skillmill
Unlike some of the other treadmills on offer, the SKILLMILL features a variable resistance knob. This makes it easy to alter how hard you want your workout to be. The Skillmill also has a slightly steeper curve than some of the other treadmills. In use, it can feel as though it’s easier to use, but this is likely a result of having more momentum due to the steeper curve.
If you want a treadmill that offers the ease of light run as well as the tough workout of running up a steep hill, the variable resistance knob on the Skillmill makes it a good choice.
2. The Curve
The Woodway curve happens to be one of the most popular motor-less brands around at the moment and is used by quite a number of professional athletes to vary their exercise routines.
The Curve is easy to get moving and feels to some people as though there is some additional flywheel mechanism that helps to drive the belt. In this sense, it’s easier to get up and running than with some other brands. While this makes it the ideal treadmill for experienced users and athletes who want a high intensity, it can make a beginner feel as though the belt is moving too fast, and it may throw them off balance.
Making the Right Decision
There are a lot of reasons to add a motorless treadmill to your home gym. It’s easier to set up, doesn’t cost in electricity, encourages a more natural running style, uses more muscles, and burns more calories. Whether you invest in the Technogym or the Woodway is purely a matter of personal preference. There are differences that need to be considered.