Treadmills are nothing new. They are simple yet powerful fitness machines that help you work out the way you like. In fact, running on the treadmill is a popular aerobic exercise for rookies as well as experts. However, conventional motorized treadmills may not be the best thing that there is. It is a good workout machine, but a curved treadmill is better still. Over the last several years, curved treadmills, also known as sprint treadmills, have made their way into high-end fitness studios, sports training facilities, and more. But what exactly is a curved treadmill? Read on!
What Will I Learn?
What is a curved treadmill?
A curved treadmill is a non-motorized version of the regular treadmill that we use every day at the gym or at our home. But that’s not all. As the name suggests, these treadmills have a curved surface to run unlike the smooth, flat surface of a motorized treadmill. This curved surface creates a sprinting motion while running or jogging which is why they are also known as sprint machines. Because these treadmills do not run on power, the user has to rotate the belt with his/her effort. This, together with the curved surface, makes them a better running machine.
What are the benefits of a curved treadmill?
Before you switch to a sprint treadmill at the gym or buy one for your home gym, you must know what it brings to the table. Here is a list of benefits of a curved treadmill:
- Works more muscles
What makes a curved treadmill a better choice than a traditional, motorized treadmill is its ability to work more muscles of the leg. Running on a curved surface engages all muscles of the leg, including hamstrings and glutes that do not get enough attention while running on a straight surface. This is because of the propelling action required to start the treadmill and keep it rotating. This action is quite similar to that of running outdoors, making it a better running machine.
- Uses more energy
Unlike a motorized treadmill, you have no switch to increase the speed. The only way to do so is by running faster which necessitates hard work. This means that you use up more energy when you use treadmills for sprinting. Moreover, since the center of mass is displaced very minimally while working on a curved surface, a curved surface makes the body spend more energy, thus, ensuring better fitness.
- Enhances calorie burning
Many people fail to burn enough calories during their workout sessions. This is not always because they do not workout hard enough. Often, this happens because they work out on motorized flat treadmills that burn fewer calories. Studies have shown that using a running machine with a curved surface is 30-40% more effective at burning calories than running on flat-surfaced treadmills. So, you lose more calories while running on a sprint treadmill.
- Suits HIIT training
Anyone interested in High-Intensity Interval Training will find a curved treadmill useful. The curved nature of the surface increases the physiologic intensity of the exercise. This increases heart rate rapidly, thus increasing oxygen consumption or VO2 max. That is why sprint treadmills offer better results than aerobic exercises.
- Requires no power
Unlike a motorized treadmill, curved treadmills do not run on power. They rotate as you walk or run and take up pace. You can set them up anywhere you like without the hassle of looking for a power outlet. They are also eco-friendly.
Curved treadmill disadvantages
Although treadmills for sprinting can be a great addition to your home gym, there are a few cons to consider.
- Very basic
Since sprint treadmills are a journey back to the basics, you get very few features. Unlike a motorized treadmill, these sprinting machines usually have no fans, speakers, Bluetooth, and USB chargers. A few of these treadmills may have some additional features but those are usually very minimal. Moreover, they are quite big in size and do not usually come in foldable forms. The minimalist nature of these treadmills can be considered as cons to the equipment.
One of the cons of a sprint treadmill is that they cost much more than the usually motorized ones. This may be a constraint if you are on a budget.
How do you use a curved treadmill? [Curved treadmill HIIT workout]
Working out on a curved treadmill can be as diverse as you want it to be. You can run, jog, or simply walk. You can create your own workout regimen or follow some tried and tested cardio workout plans.
- Hold the handles and walk for a minute.
- Release the handles and walk for a minute.
- Jog at a comfortable pace for two minutes.
- Jog and run for 30 seconds each.
- Get off the machine and complete 20 squats/push ups/pull ups.
- Repeat 4-5 thrice.
- Do 30 seconds of sprint and relax for 20 seconds. Do this three times.
- Perform 30-45 seconds of sprint followed by 30 seconds of recovery. Do this five times.
Are curved treadmills good for walking?
Yes. If walking is your thing, you can definitely do so on sprint machines. However, instead of walking on a flat surface, you will be propelling yourself forward. This will increase your workout intensity and will burn more energy than you would otherwise do. If you like leisurely strolls on your treadmill, a curved surface isn’t the best choice.
Are curved treadmills harder?
Sprint machines are easy to use because they have little or no buttons or add-ons. But they are more intense than a flat-surfaced, motorized treadmill. This makes the treadmills for sprinting a better choice for people who want to up their training sessions and make it more fruitful. The increase in intensity develops better endurance and enhances calorie burn.
Are curved treadmills worth it?
You can choose to buy a curved treadmill over a regular one if you like to work out harder and more naturally. If you are someone who prefers to mentally relax while your legs do the work, then a curved treadmill is not for you.
In a world where gym equipment is evolving by the day, a curved treadmill may seem like a thing from the distant past. However, it certainly does have many merits which outweigh the few downsides that the machine has. It can be a great choice for your fitness studio or your home gym if you want to change the way you burn calories. HIIT enthusiasts will also find it a suitable choice for working out at home.