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Cross Training For Runners

The Science Behind Curved Treadmills: How They Boost Your Running

9 Mins read

Ready to dive into the world of curved treadmills? You’ve come to the right place! I’m about to unveil the secrets of this exciting piece of cardio equipment that’s taking the fitness industry by storm.

Treadmills have come a long way over the past few decades, evolving into one of the most dependable options for a killer cardio workout. But now, there’s a new player in town—the curved treadmill. These bad boys are making waves in health clubs and CrossFit gyms worldwide, becoming the go-to machine for cardiovascular fitness enthusiasts.

But hold on a second! Before you step onto one of these curved wonders, let’s make sure you’re in the know. Have you ever experienced the thrill of a curved treadmill? Do you know what sets them apart from the classic models?

Today, I’ve got you covered.

Get ready, because in this article, we’re serving up the ultimate guide to curved treadmills. By the time you finish reading, you’ll be well-versed in everything you need to know, including what exactly a curved treadmill is, the incredible benefits they offer, and yes, even the downsides. We’ll teach you the art of running on a curved treadmill and provide essential tips for purchasing a self-propelled gem of your own.

Are you ready to lace up your shoes and join us on this exciting journey? Fantastic! Let’s dive right in.

What is A Curved Treadmill?

A curved treadmill is a cardio machine with a twist, featuring a curved running deck that propels you forward with every foot strike. But here’s the kicker—curved treadmills are unlike anything you’ve ever encountered. They defy convention by ditching the motor and eliminating the need for electricity. Instead, these innovative machines harness the force of your own body to drive the belt.

Now, let’s delve into the science behind the hype. Research conducted at the esteemed University of Essex has uncovered some jaw-dropping findings.

Running on a curved treadmill was associated with a significant increase in perceived effort and physiological demands. According to the study participants, it felt like they were exerting themselves a whopping 25 percent harder on the curved treadmill. Talk about turning up the heat!

But that’s not all. There was an astonishing 30 percent surge in oxygen consumption and a heart-pounding 16 percent spike in heart rate. And wait, there’s more—a 2.5 percent increase in cadence means you’ll be effortlessly gliding through your strides, achieving a rhythm that propels you towards your goals.

Curved Treadmill Benefits

Curved treadmills offer a range of advantages that will take your training to new heights. Let’s dive into the exciting realm of curved treadmill benefits.

More Muscle Activation

Curved treadmills are like a full-body workout in disguise. Unlike their flat counterparts, curved treadmills kickstart your lower body engagement right from the start. Every stride activates a multitude of muscles, from your powerful calves to your glutes of steel.

Run more Naturally

Curved treadmills work in harmony with your body, encouraging a more authentic running style compared to motorized flat treadmills. As you drive your feet into the belt, you’re propelling yourself forward, rather than chasing a powered belt.  And here’s the kicker—the unique U shape of the curved treadmill compels you to land on the balls of your feet, promoting a more natural and efficient stride.

What’s more? Thanks to curved treadmills, you have the potential to minimize this vertical movement, making your training sessions even more effective.

Lower Injury Risk

Curved treadmills are designed to promote a more natural running stride, encouraging you to land on the balls of your feet. This helps reduce the impact on your muscles and joints, lowering the risk of pain and injuries.

Increased Calorie Burn

Research has revealed that individuals tend to push themselves approximately 30 percent harder on a curved treadmill compared to a traditional one. That means you’ll be torching a third or even more calories during your sweat sessions. It’s like igniting a metabolic fire, turning your body into a calorie-burning machine.

Good Incline

If you’re preparing for a race set on hilly terrain or find yourself living in a flat area, a curved treadmill is your secret weapon. With its incline-like effect, you can simulate those challenging uphill battles and conquer any racecourse with confidence. This allows you to build strength and endurance like never before.

No Electricity

Curved treadmills bring you the ultimate freedom from electricity bills and tangled cords. Since you’ll be using your own body to power the machine, no electrical outlet is required. Say goodbye to worrying about plugging in and endless extensions cords. The built-in displays are even battery-powered, ensuring a seamless and hassle-free workout experience.

Longer Service Life

Unlike their motorized counterparts, curved treadmills have fewer moving parts, meaning less maintenance and repair fees in the long run. And let’s not forget about the slatted belt, known for its remarkable durability compared to standard treadmill belts. It’s a guarantee that your investment will go a long way.

Disadvantage of Curved Treadmills

But as with any story, there are some downsides to consider. Here are a few.

Foot Print

If you plan to bring this marvel into your home gym, be prepared for its huge size. These machines tend to be a bit bulkier than compact flat-belt treadmills, with dimensions ranging from around five to six feet in length and about three feet in width.


Curved treadmills often come with a higher price tag, which can be a roadblock for those on a tight budget. However, fear not! If you live in a bustling city, chances are there’s a gym nearby equipped with a curved treadmill, saving you from splurging your hard-earned cash.

How To Use A Curved Treadmill

The answer is simple—just like you’d run outside, especially after you get used to the machine’s curvature.

Ready to conquer the curved treadmill? Get ready for a thrilling run that brings the great outdoors right into your workout space. Using a curved treadmill is as natural as a breath of fresh air, and I’m here to guide you every step of the way.

First things first, let’s talk about form. When you step onto that curved surface, let your body flow just like you would on an open road. Don’t overthink it or try to force any unnatural adjustments. Embrace the freedom and let your body do what it knows best—run.

Here’s how to keep good form on a curved treadmill.

  • Posture perfection: Keep your gaze fixed ahead, engage your core for stability, and pull those shoulders back with confidence. Pump your arms like a well-oiled machine and take deep, steady breaths to fuel your journey.
  • Center stage: Position yourself in the center of the treadmill. Remember, the placement of your feet determines the speed of the belt. If you want a gentle jog, keep your feet closer to the rear. If you’re ready to pick up the pace, move those feet forward and feel the exhilaration of speed.
  •  Unwind and relax: Tension is the enemy of smooth movement. So, take a deep breath, let go of any nervousness, and allow your body to flow effortlessly. The more relaxed you are, the easier it will be to find your rhythm and conquer the curved terrain.
  • Safety first: When the belt gracefully slows down, feel free to rest your hands on the rails to maintain balance and ensure a safe dismount. Especially if you’re catching your breath and your heart is pounding, those handrails are like trusty companions, providing a comforting stability.

How Fast Can you Run On A Curved Treadmill?

On a regular motorized treadmill, you manually set your desired speed and incline, and off you go. But when it comes to the curved treadmill, it’s an entirely different ball game. You become one with the machine as you seamlessly adapt your speed to its curves and contours.

And here’s the mind-blowing part—there are no limits to how fast you can go on a curved treadmill. As long as your legs can keep up with the pace, you can reach lightning-fast speeds that will leave your heart pounding and your senses electrified.

In fact, elite runners have embraced the curved treadmill as a tool to shatter speed barriers. Imagine sprinting at over 24 mph, defying gravity and pushing your limits like never before.

But remember, with great speed comes great responsibility. It’s crucial to listen to your body and ensure that you’re maintaining proper form and technique. Take it step by step, gradually building up your speed and endurance.

The Best Workout On Curved Treadmill

There are many different running workouts you can perform on a curved treadmill, depending on your running goals and fitness level.

Let’s discuss a few.


By far, the best workout you can perform on this machine is the good old’ sprints.

Curved treadmills are ideal for sprint workouts. Whether you’re looking to change up your running routine or looking for a fast way to lose weight, it’s a fantastic way to get faster.

This is the case since a curved treadmill allows you to pick up the pace fast without having to wait for the belt to catch up with you. Just like when running outside, you can speed up and slow down easily. You really have complete control over your pace.

What’s more?

You’re also running on a more stable surface than when running outside.

Curved Treadmill Price – How Much Do Self Propelled Treadmills Cost?

Now, let’s address the elephant in the room—the price tag. It’s true that curved treadmills can be a significant investment, with high-quality models ranging from $4,000 to around $10,000. But here’s the thing: when you consider the unique features and long-term benefits, it’s a worthy investment in your fitness journey.

For starters, maintenance costs are significantly lower with curved treadmills, meaning fewer repair hassles and more uninterrupted workouts. Plus, you won’t have to worry about racking up your electric bill since curved treadmills don’t require electricity. It’s a win-win situation—efficiency for both your workouts and your wallet.

Ultimately, the decision to invest in a curved treadmill comes down to you. Consider your fitness goals, the value of convenience, and the unparalleled experience it offers. Remember, you’re not just purchasing a piece of equipment; you’re embracing a new way of challenging yourself and unlocking your full potential.

How To Buy A Curved Treadmill

So, you’ve got the funds to embark on an exhilarating fitness journey with a curved treadmill. Fantastic!

But before you dive headfirst into the purchase, let’s pump the brakes and ensure you make an informed decision that aligns with your needs and goals. After all, finding the perfect model is like finding the ideal running partner—it should complement your style, support your stride, and help you reach new heights. Let’s explore the key features to consider when venturing into the world of curved treadmills.

First things first: price. Curved treadmills can range from $4,000 and up, depending on the brand and the bells and whistles you desire. Remember, the more features you seek, the higher the price tag. So, it’s essential to strike a balance between your budget and the features that truly enhance your workout experience.

Next, let’s talk about support—literally. Choose a curved treadmill with a weight limit that matches your needs. You want a sturdy companion that can withstand your fitness journey and keep you steady every step of the way. Look for a model that can handle your stride with confidence and resilience.

Comfort is key when it comes to your running partner. The best curved treadmill for you is the one that fits like a glove—supporting your unique running form and stride. Take the time to try out different models and find the perfect match. Remember, a comfortable fit reduces the risk of injury and ensures a smooth and enjoyable ride.

Now, let’s address the elephant in the room—space. Curved treadmills are not petite accessories; they demand ample real estate in your living room or designated workout area. And while using the machine, you’ll need sufficient space to move freely and safely. Consider the dimensions of the treadmill and ensure you have enough room to avoid any unwanted collisions. After all, the last thing you need is a game of treadmill tango in your living room!

Quality matters, and it matters a lot. Look for a curved treadmill with sturdy handrails that can withstand your toughest workouts. A well-built machine means less time and money spent on maintenance down the road. Opt for reliability and durability—it’s an investment in your long-term fitness journey.

Customer service is the unsung hero of any equipment purchase. As you embark on your fitness adventure with your curved treadmill, inevitable wear and tear may occur. That’s when exceptional customer service becomes your saving grace. Ensure the company you choose provides top-notch support, assisting you with any issues or questions that may arise.

Last but not least, let’s talk warranties. Most curved treadmill manufacturers offer warranties ranging from one to five years. Take a close look at the warranty terms and choose a model that provides the coverage and peace of mind you deserve.

Curved Treadmills – The Conclusion

A curved treadmill is a fantastic way to change up your running routine and/or take it to the next level.

It will help engage more muscle groups, improve your form, burn more calories, and upgrade your overall speed and conditioning.

What’s not to like, really!

That’s why I think it’s worth considering—if you have the money—to get your own curved treadmill for home use.

Or, at the very least, look for a health club or a CrossFit gym nearby that has them (chances you’ll if you live in a big city). Just make sure don’t spend over your budget and abandon it later.

Please feel free to leave your comments and questions in the section below.

In the meantime, thank you for dropping by.

Keep training strong.

David D.

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