Investing your money and time in a treadmill is one of the best decisions you can make for your health, fitness and well-being.
THINK ABOUT IT!
A treadmill is one of the best pieces of fitness equipment, especially cardio equipment that helps you burn calories, lose weight, build stamina or enhance your cardiovascular system.
Before investing in a treadmill, firstly think about your objectives and fitness targets. This could be: enhanced athletic performance, general health and fitness, rehabilitation, HIIT, incline training or even a mix, either way knowing exactly what you want or need from your treadmill will help in looking at some buying options.
Not only is running at home easier and warmer than running in say a park or on the streets, you can train at anytime of day or night and plan your schedule around what suits you!
That’s not to say that running outside doesn’t have its advantages, of course it does! It’s free, you have total freedom of routes and you can generally prepare better for road runs or marathons.
By pointing you in the right direction in terms of suitability, choosing the right treadmill is paramount to any home training program. So let us ensure you have the best information to help guide which treadmill is best suited to you!
With impartial expert advice, interest free finance options, free UK delivery plus additional extras and add-ons, there are several treadmill options worth your consideration, so let’s take a look!
WHAT TREADMILLS ARE OUT THERE?
The first part of making any purchase is deciding on what style of treadmill you need that will best meet your needs.
We’ve broken this down into four categories to make it really simple in terms of the different types of treadmill on the market.
Folding Treadmill: A folding treadmill provides the perfect balance of being able to workout at home, whilst offering a space-saving option that saves you valuable floor space. Folding treadmills are ideal for those who have limited home gym space, with most folding treadmills fitted with assisted or automatic dropping technology, making it easier to raise and lower the running deck. Find out more here.
Desk: Desk treadmills or walking pads are a superb option for home and office working. Walking at a gentle pace has been proven to increase creativity, productivity as well as general health and well-being improvements. Find out more here.
Fixed Treadmills: Non-folding or fixed treadmills are traditionally more stable than folding treadmills, stronger and more robust commercial grade models. They tend to cost more than folding treadmills because of this, typically having a larger motor size, running deck and higher maximum weight capacity. Fixed treadmills would usually be found in a commercial gym / studio or hotel and are designed to be used more often than folding, home-use treadmills. Find out more here.
Curved Treadmills: The latest trend of treadmills. Self-powered, curved treadmills allow you to run with a natural running style, on the balls of your feet, pushing your boy forward and creating momentum to rotate the treadmill belt. Find out more here.
THE IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS
What’s right for you might not be the same as your friend or neighbour, so gathering as much independent advice as you can is important!
Top Tip: Always try and read product reviews, as you will get a real feel from other customers who have purchased the treadmill you are looking at.
There are lots of things to consider, are you looking for a treadmill to walk or jog on? Perhaps you are a fan of HIIT and need something more robust with incline? Or are you a serious athlete that is looking for top performance with a higher top speed?
Other important factors are space; so consider folding treadmills rather than fixed treadmills where you are working with limited floor space. And deck size, remember your height has an impact, so the taller you are the bigger the running deck you will need to fit your stride.
Your body weight will also determine which treadmill spec you should be aware of. For the average male, you will need a treadmill that weighs 100kg, that has a heavy deck and is robust to take your body-weight.
Cushioning should also be considered as this helps to reduce the impact on your joints, especially your knees and ankles. In general, the higher the price, the better the cushioning technology tends to be.
Choosing the correct running deck size is essential, especially if you are a tall person. The best way to look at which treadmill running deck size you need is:
- Typically it is recommended a running deck size of 50-51cm in width is best for runners which is at least 140cm in length. Those who are looking to use a walking pad or a treadmill for walking should look for something around or under 130cm in length.
- The wider and longer your running deck is, you’ll have more room for wider strides, offering a more natural running feel, that is more gentle on your joints.
It is worth noting that almost all running decks have a patented shock absorber or cushioned system to aid with this.
SPEED & INCLINE, WHICH IS BEST?
Ideally, any treadmill, except a walking pad should reach a minimum of 10kmp/h to 12kmp/h.
If you’re a serious runner, it’s best to look at options around 16kmp/h or higher, it’s definitely worth aiming for a couple of kmp/h higher as you progress with your training.
Treadmills which offer incline (% gradient) is a superb way to add resistance to your workouts. This also reduces impact on your joints as you run and allows you to target different leg muscles. Many treadmills come with pre-installed incline programs or target programs that really utilize the incline feature.
Overall the incline feature has 3 main points to remember: they make treadmill exercises easier on your joints, allow faster calorie burn and support enhanced muscle definition.
Most home treadmills have a maximum incline of either 10%, 15% or 20%. Incline trainer treadmills have a maximum incline of 40%
IS CUSHIONING IMPORTANT?
You need the right amount of support when walking, jogging or running, especially if you have sensitive knees and joints. This makes cushioning and deck support one of the most important features of any home or commercial treadmill.
A well-cushioned impact zone in the front of the running machine provides maximum cushioning to absorb the initial strike of your foot, think of it as something similar to that of the padded heel of a running shoe.
In the middle of the deck, a moderately cushioned transition zone provides comfort and stability as you move through your stride. To add to this, the back of the deck is normally fitted with a firmly cushioned push-off zone, which allows you to achieve maximum momentum into your next stride.
Most treadmills have an elastometer design – they use rubber grommets that absorb the shock and impact.
NordicTrack and ProForm shock absorption is slightly different. There are external springs and internally there is an elastometer. With every step you take the deck relieves that impact and propels you to your next step, offering impact absorption and energy return.
The key thing to remember about cushioning is that your treadmill shouldn’t shake, vibrate, wobble or move around when you are using it.
WHICH MOTOR SIZE SHOULD I LOOK AT?
When comparing treadmill motors you want to go by the horsepower of the continuous duty.
Continuous-duty horsepower is a measure of sustained power during regular use. The continuous motor power is what is consistently delivered during heavy usage, over an extended period of time.
As a general rule of thumb remember anything over 4HP would be regarded as a commercial treadmill, and anything below would be regarded as a home-use treadmill.
Also bare in mind that the lower the motor size, the lower the maximum weight capacity of the treadmill.
HOW DO I PICK THE BEST CONSOLE?
Most treadmills now have built-in LED / TFT / LCD or LCD HD consoles that can range anywhere in size from 5″ up to 15″ or more!
The cardiostrong TX90 has one of the most sought-after media centres within the console as you already have workout programs and apps such as Netflix, Amazon, Instagram, Facebook and Chrome built-in to help motivate and entertain you whilst you use your treadmill.
One of the first on the market, the TX90 also features screen mirroring / casting technology that allows you to use your own mobile and see the screen on the large console.
Most running machines, but not all come pre-loaded with workout programs such as HIIT training, and can be integrated connected to your phone or tablet to enhance your training experience.
Console size is completely up to you and there is no right or wrong answer, in many cases it comes down completely to what you need or want.
Our 5 key things to look out for on a treadmill console are:
- Hot Keys: These are buttons with pre-set functions such as speed, incline, quick start, stop and volume control, that make changing settings really simple.
- Workout Programs: Most consoles come with pre-installed workouts programs, it is always worth checking how many programs there are including heart rate options.
- Stats: Make sure that the console at a minimum provides you with your real-time stats; time, distance, speed, incline, resistance, heart rate, calories and watts.
- Entertainment: Check what apps are included, this can be things like Kinomap, Amazon, Netflix, Spotify, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Also check and see if the console has in-built speakers or a port to connect your device or earphones to.
- Extras: Check if you will get any extras, it’s always worth asking! Some treadmills will have compatible tablet holders, some have screen-mirroring capability and some may even have a different console option.
HOW CAN I DO INTERACTIVE RUNS?
There are a range of workout apps widely available on both iOS and Android. Apps such as Zwift and Peloton are some of the most popular (subscriptions required) and work with specific treadmills, but some others to consider are:
Kinomap – Kinomap is a workout app that connects to your equipment via Bluetooth and gives you access to over 450,000km of routes available for running, cycling or rowing. Kinomap allows users to record and upload their own routes to the database that can then be accessed by all other subscribed users, in short meaning you are running, cycling or rowing along with a real-life video.
iFIT – iFIT is compatible with ProForm treadmills and NordicTrack treadmills, creating a completely interactive training experience. iFIT also sends you a brand new workout every day, designed by certified personal trainers, making it so you’ll never get bored. The ever-growing workout library offers programs that progress with you from beginner to marathoner and with automatic tracking, you can keep a close eye on your fitness evolution. It also has Google Mapsâ¢ workouts that take you anywhere in the world.
LF Connect – Compatible with Life Fitness treadmills, LF connect allows users to workout and record their progress through the app.
Adaptive audio coaching classes adapt to your biometric data as you work out and adjust your coaching on the fly. From Nike Run Coaches to fitness trainers you get a coach and workout that reacts to you-and only you-in real time. The on-demand classes can be streamed at any time as the instructors lead you on your treadmill workout.
WHAT BENEFITS WILL I SEE?
Using a treadmill at home or indeed in the gym has a range of health benefits as well as practical benefits.
Helps to reduce impact: Using an electric treadmill or free-standing running treadmill helps to reduce impact on your joints than running outdoors on the road or pavements. Your leg muscles and joints are taking the impact of hard or uneven ground and over time this can cause wear and tear to your muscles or potentially knee, ankle or back pain leading to health problems later in life. A treadmill with a responsive and shock absorbent running deck dramatically reduces this impact when running.
You are in control: You are in complete control running on a treadmill, from controlling the incline, speed, resistance and entertainment. Depending on your fitness level you can program the running machine to ensure you are getting the most from your training. Many treadmills come with preset programs or are compatible with fitness apps to aid with this.
Interactive motivation: Training apps are a great way to enhance your running, walking or jogging. Some treadmills such as the NordicTrack X32i Incline Trainer is especially good when working with the iFIT app to simulate hill climbs, challenge you with interval or HIIT training all by adjusting the incline angle automatically as you concentrate on training. The workouts can even be changed daily to suit your needs and push you to that next level!
Healthier lifestyle: By walking, jogging or running on a treadmill in your home, you have complete control and freedom over when and how you train. Running on a treadmill helps you to think better, become healthier, and feel much happier overall. Using a treadmill is the perfect way to burn calories, build stamina and improve your lung capacity. Running will also help you to forget about a stressful day at work for example whilst incorporating some aerobic exercises cause the release of more endorphins in the brain.
Heart health: Regular running is one of the best forms of exercise for your cardiovascular health. This kind of exercise helps to increase the strength of your heart and therefore the circulation of blood in your body, meaning that your muscles get more oxygen which in turn means working harder for longer and getting more positive results from every run.
Weight loss: If you’re looking to lose weight quickly, investing in a treadmill for your home is an excellent idea. Depending on the speed you run at, a mile could burn up to 100 calories and of course the quicker you run the more calories you will burn, simple!
Build muscle: Engaging your muscles is important and running can help increase the muscle mass in your legs, strengthening them essentially. An interactive treadmill with a trainer will of course keep you on the right path, ensuring you work the muscles that need it most!
ACCESSORIES & ADD-ONS
It is essential to ensure that you have the best possible running experience when you invest in a home-use treadmill, so complete your setup with the following accessories:
CV Mat – Protects flooring, stops the treadmill for sliding and provides a wipeable surface to put your treadmill on. Can be easily rolled away and stored, if you have a folding treadmill for example. Read more here.
Heart Rate Monitors – Perfect for measuring your heart rate, keeping on track when using heart rate target programs. Connects to your treadmill via Bluetooth, available as a chest strap or wearable device. Check them out here.
Massage Guns – Recovery is equally as important as performance and a massage gun is the perfect way to aid with muscle recovery after a gruelling run! Cushioning on the treadmills does reduce the impact on your joints however a massage gun can speed this up in many cases. Find out more about recovery and massage guns here.
PUT YOUR TRUST IN US
Why buy from us at Powerhouse Fitness? Well, we are the longest established fitness equipment retailer in the UK and Europe’s #1 For Home Fitness. We can also offer you:
- The largest range of treadmills in the country
- Expert sales staff offering impartial advice in-store, online, over the phone, email, live-chat and social media
- Try before you buy: All our treadmills can be tried and tested in-store, including demos of the compatible workout apps. Find your nearest store here.
- Interest-free finance: Available online and in-store to find the most cost effective solution to invest in your purchase. Find out more.
- Installs: All our folding, non-folding, curved treadmills and walking pads come with easy-to-follow assembly instructions however an installation service is available.
- Delivery: We deliver anywhere in the UK from the Channel Islands to the Shetlands and offer a range of delivery services with our courier partners. Find out more here.
- After care: Our dedicated team of specialists offer world-class after sales and care, available 7 days a week to answer any questions or queries.
- Ex-Display: We offer a range of ex-display showroom model treadmills, offering unbeatable discounts to treadmills, making them cheaper for you to buy. Take a look!
BEFORE YOU GO….
For commerical premises, some of those brands above do have commercial grade machines, however Life Fitness treadmills would certainly peak your interest
Comparing specifications and features will give you an idea of what to expect before you invest, as each brand will have unique selling points. For example, some of the latest cardiostrong and Taurus treadmills have screen mirroring functionality on the consoles, which is a feature other brands don’t have.
Struggling to find the right equipment? Check out our other buying guides, top tips and advice here.