What Is A Motorised Treadmill?

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Of all the exercise machines that exist, treadmills are without a doubt one of the most popular.

When you visit a gym, more often than not, there will be a queue for the treadmills, so there’s no question that people love them.

What is a Motorised Treadmill

They are a great way to get a versatile workout, but not many people know exactly how a treadmill works.

With that being said, today we’re looking at what a motorised treadmill is and how it works compared to a manual treadmill. So let’s get started. 

What is a treadmill?

Before we take a look at what a motorised treadmill is, let’s first look at what your average treadmill is.

Unless you have been living under a rock, you will probably be aware that a treadmill is an exercise device.

It is one of the more popular exercise machines that exist because it is versatile and can be used for a variety of different exercises. 

From walking to running, and even practising uphill climbing, a treadmill is a great device if you want to train for a variety of different tasks.

However, while treadmills are now firmly established as exercise machines, their origin can actually be traced back to mills where they were used to grind grain. 

Treadmills have a pretty universal design, however, you will notice some differences between manufacturers.

Thanks to the increase in people wanting gyms in their homes, or just the ability to exercise without leaving their house, manufacturers have adapted treadmills so that they take up less space in your home.

Due to this, the treadmills that you see at your local gym might be different from the ones that you see online when looking for one to use at home.

Lots of manufacturers have created either flat treadmills or treadmills that can be folded to make them more appealing for users who wish to use them at home.

But all in all, the majority of treadmills can be operated in exactly the same way. So with that in mind, let’s take a look at how a motorised treadmill works. 

How a Motorised Treadmill Works 

Unless you are an avid gym-goer or super into exercise, there’s a good chance that you don’t know that there is more than one type of treadmill.

As we live in such a high-technological society, the only treadmills that you really see in gyms are motorised ones.

Due to this, you may not have been aware that there are actually manual treadmills which exist too.

Both types of treadmill look incredibly similar to one another, however, they operate differently.

The belt on a manual treadmill rotates with the action of you running/walking on it, so you physically keep the treadmill moving through the movement of your feet.

Whereas a motorised treadmill is powered by electricity. 

Instead of keeping the treadmill moving through the power of your feet, a motorised treadmill will run continuously even if you are not on it.

Simply press the ‘on’ button on your treadmill and the motor will start running. The motor will provide the belt with power and the belt will continually run on the line, even if you are not using it.

While manual treadmills require you to pick up speed on the belt, motorised treadmills can be set to a specific speed setting for the exercise that you want to complete.

This means that you can start at a slower speed and then increase it if you want to make your workout more difficult. 

Additionally, a lot of motorised treadmills also come with incline settings. This means that you can increase the difficulty of your exercise by increasing the incline of the machine.

Treadmills which offer this are generally a lot more expensive, as the belt of the treadmill comes with the ability to raise to simulate uphill walking or running.

So most people who use a motorised treadmill will begin with a light walking session, before increasing to a jog and then a faster speed which allows them to run.

If they want a challenge they can then increase the incline to really get the calories burning. 

Due to their increased price point, motorised treadmills generally come with a variety of additional features.

These often include bottle holders, and often a shelf or pocket for you to place your mobile in while you exercise.

Some also come with iPad stands for those who like to watch videos while they exercise. 

Additionally, it is common for a lot of motorised treadmills to come with a safety stop feature.

This usually includes a clip which you attach to a piece of your clothing, the other side is attached to the machine and you are connected through a small piece of string material.

If the treadmill becomes too fast for you and you start moving back on the device, or you accidentally fall off of it, the string will go with you.

This will detach the piece which is connected to the treadmill and cause the belt to come to a stop. You will then be unable to restart the treadmill until you connect the string back to the treadmill. 

Motorised Vs Manual 

We have already mentioned that there are two main types of treadmills, but how does the motorised treadmill weigh up against its manual counterpart? 

In general, motorised treadmills are a lot more popular than manual treadmills. This is probably due to the obsession with technology in modern-day society, and the ease of use that motorised treadmills provide.

While they do use a lot of electricity, motorised treadmills are generally more comfortable to run on and provide greater personalisation than manual treadmills.

Their increased price point means that motorised treadmills come with more features than manual ones which makes them popular.

Finally, the main reason that motorized treadmills seem to be the more popular option is because of the consistency that they can provide to a workout.

A motorized treadmill sets the speed and incline and it will continue at this speed meaning that you have to keep up with it. Whereas a manual treadmill slows as your speed slows making it more difficult to get consistency in your exercise. 


In short, a motorised treadmill is an exercise device which has a motor, allowing you to walk or run at a consistent speed and incline for as long as you wish. 

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I'm Jamie and I test out new models in sports retailers, or buy and sell them new or second hand so I can review a wide range of models and put together the best advise on which treadmill is right for you. So if you are looking for a cheap treadmill for walking, a gym quality treadmill to run sprints, or something in-between I can point you in the right direction.
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