Curved treadmills have garnered a lot of attention in the fitness industry lately, at both health clubs and CrossFit gyms.
Perhaps you’re interested in buying one or just learning more about the difference between a curved treadmill and a regular one.
While curved treadmills are an investment, they offer a lot of options that traditional treadmills do not.
Top 3 Best Curved Treadmills In 2020
If you’re ready to change up your traditional running or rowing cardio workouts, keep reading.
In this guide, we’ll break down what a curved treadmill is, why you might want one, the differences between curved and traditional, and things to consider before buying.
We’ll also review some of the top curved treadmills available in 2018.
What Is A Curved Treadmill?
A curved treadmill is a self-powered piece of exercise equipment that allows a runner to adopt a more natural form compared to a traditional treadmill.
In the video, you will notice that his feet initiate the movement of the treadmill. Instead of “chasing” an electronic belt like with a normal treadmill, the athlete’s feet driving into the belt keep it moving.
Benefits Of Owning a Curved Treadmill
There are 3 major benefits of the curved treadmill:
- There is no motor. With traditional treadmills, you will likely pay upkeep fees for maintaining the motor, which in most models, is prone to burning out or needing repairs.
- It burns more calories. Research shows that a curved treadmill actually burns more calories than a traditional treadmill, up to 30%. Because you’re self-regulating the workout, it requires a greater level of concentration and mental toughness to continue at a high pace. It’s designed to reward quick, efficient runners.
- Compact design. The best curved treadmills are also quite compact, making them easier to fit in a home gym or living room, compared to some of the bulkier models of regular treadmills.
How To Use A Curved Treadmill Properly
To use a curved treadmill properly, know that your feet are going to regulate the speed at which the belt moves.
Therefore, it’s probably always best to start off walking, especially when you aren’t comfortable on the equipment yet.
A walk can quickly progress to a jog or sprint, assuming you get the hang of it.
When you are ready for your workout to end, simply slow up your pace and the belt will slow down with you.
For safety, it’s a good idea to use the handles for balance as the belt slows down, especially if you are out of breath.
Curved Treadmill for Sprinting
Curved treadmills are fantastic for sprint workouts! Whether you’re trapped inside due to weather or just need to change up your routine, it’s a great way to get faster.
When sprinting on a curved treadmill, work up slowly at first.
Remember the belt will move at the speed your feet do, so practice a bit before going into a full sprint right away.
There are some examples on YouTube of athletes running ridiculously fast, including this guy who tops 23.4mph on the machine.
Curved Treadmill Vs Electric Treadmill
The main difference between a curved treadmill and an electric treadmill is the lack of motor (there are also regular manual treadmills).
Whereas an electric treadmill dictates the pace you run at based on a prescribed speed, you set the pace on a curved treadmill.
If you like split times, being guided by the belt, or “setting it and forgetting it”, an electric treadmill might be the best fitness option for you.
Alternatively, if you don’t like thinking about pace and prefer to just go, a curved treadmill is a good choice.
This article claims a reduction of up to 80% of impact on joints using a curved treadmill over an electric treadmill.
Curved Treadmill Disadvantages
Depending on how you like to train, a curved treadmill may not have the electronic features you are looking for. If you want a machine that can dictate your speed, get a regular one.
Curved treadmills are also quite expensive, as some of the XL models can cost up to $10,000. The 3 treadmills we’ve reviewed at the bottom of this article all cost under $6,000, but that’s not chump change, either.
Keep in mind that the equipment, while expensive, won’t add a penny towards your monthly electric bill. Over time, especially in a commercial gym, this will save you a lot of money.
Things To Consider Before Buying
Here are a few things to consider before investing in a curved treadmill:
Depending on the model you get, the weight ratings are 350-700 lbs for the user capacity.
Size matters for your home gym or facility. Curved treadmills range in size from around 5-6 ft in length and about 3 ft in width. Measure where you plan to put it first so you know which options will fit given the space available.
If you plan to assemble the equipment yourself, take a look at some customer reviews before purchasing. You could use how difficult assembly is as a “tiebreaker” between 2 similarly priced treadmills.
This won’t be the cheapest addition to your CrossFit box or home gym. The 3 best curved treadmills reviewed in this article range between $3,749 and $5,695. You could do worse, however. Some of them cost up to $10,000!
Your treadmill should come with a very comprehensive warranty. For example, the Xebex runner (reviewed below) is covered for 10 years.
Curved Treadmill Reviews
If you’ve seen a curved treadmill on TV at the CrossFit games, it was the True Form. It comes in 3 styles: Low Rider, Enduro, and Performance.
Funny enough, the biggest complaint and boast reviewers of the True Form offer is that it feels more difficult than other curved treadmills.
Rogue confirms, unapologetically, that this was their intent all along. It’s something to consider as you shop for yours.
True Form Specs
- Height: 57″ (Enduro)
- Width: 36″
- Running Surface: 17″ W x 54″ L
- Product Weight: 325 LB
- Max User Weight: 700 LB
- Frame 10 years
- Tread Components 5 years
- Digital Display 2 years
- Labor 1 year
Another option out of the Rogue factory, the Assault version offers most of the same benefits that the True Form does, at a slightly cheaper cost.
One common negative review, however, is that the screen stopped working after a few sessions.
Customers say it was handled, but for its price, there shouldn’t be problems!
Assault Air Runner Specs
- Height: 69.9″
- Width: 32.8″
- Running Surface: 1″ W x 62.2″ L
- Product Weight: 280 LB
- Max User Weight: 700 LB
- 5 Years – Frame
- 3 Years – Non-Wear Parts
- 1 Year – Labor
Other than costing almost $2,000 less than the True Form, the Xebex Runner also boasts a feature anyone that’s ever set up fitness equipment will appreciate- easy setup and maintenance.
You can change out the block bearings in under 5 minutes without taking the frame apart, which isn’t the case for most curved treadmills.
Xebex Runner Specs
- Height: 69.9″
- Width: 32.8″
- Running Surface: 17” W x 67” L
- Product Weight: 315 LB
- Max User Weight: 350 LB (run)/ 700 LB (walk)
- 10 Year Frame
- 5 Year Parts
- 2 Year Console
Curved Treadmills- Wrap-Up
The curved treadmill is an investment, sure.
But it’s also an awesome piece of equipment that saves electricity, burns extra calories, and fits into compact spaces.
Unless you enjoy setting the pace on a traditional treadmill, you will benefit from a new, more challenging style of training.
As you search for yours, consider price, size, assembly, and warranty.
Know that you can probably get a cheaper flat treadmill option, but it won’t be self-regulating. Read the reviews above to guide your decisions!