A curved treadmill is a new type of running machine that requires no electricity. The curved running surface places a greater demand on the user compared to a traditional motorised treadmill.
The self-powered curved treadmill allows you to run with a natural style on the balls of your feet. This pushes your body forward creating the momentum to turn the treadmill belt. This style of running uses more muscle groups in the body at the same time when compared to the traditional heel strike used by many runners.
The curved treadmill is a versatile piece of cardiovascular equipment that has many applications:
- Aerobic Fitness
- Anaerobic Power (Speed Training)
- Anaerobic Capacity (Including: Interval Training, Fartlek Training, Timed Intervals, etc.)
- Max speed/Speed Training (Overspeed training, Technical work, Sprint Drills (Acceleration technique, Bounding))
- Youth and/or Rehabilitative Locomotor Patterning
- Decreased Ground Reaction Force Training (including Quick Leg Cycle, and Powerful Strides)
Why Should You Consider Using a Curved Treadmill?
As well as having many types of applications, a curved treadmill has many health and performance benefits.
Use More Muscle Groups and Expend More Energy
Due to the propelling technique required to drive the running belt forward (similar to running outside), the curved treadmill recruits more muscles (glutes and hamstrings) throughout your run. By minimising the vertical displacement of the body’s centre of mass (COM) on the curved treadmill there is a coinciding increase in energy expenditure.
Run More Naturally and Burn More Calories
The curved design encourages you to run on the balls of your feet, which in turn reduced the impact on joints and improved running performance. There is more core and trunk engagement due to the need to run at an ergonomically correct angle. This forces you to maintain proper posture otherwise you will feel off balance and will effect your running gate.
Mean average calorie expenditure has been shown to be 30-40% higher on a curved treadmill compared to a flat treadmill whilst only walking at 3 miles per hour for 10 minutes.
A Harder Workout Guaranteed
Increased Rate of Perceived Exertion (Borg Scale 6-20) has been demonstrated to be around 1.44 units higher on a curved treadmill compared to the conventional flat treadmill. That’s the difference between very light and light exercise. An increased heart rate by 22% and relative VO2 was 41% greater at the same speed on a curved treadmill.
Self-Powered and Simple to Use
Due to the curved treadmill being completely powered by the user, it is simple and quick to get started. Simply jump on and shift your body weight forward to walk, jog or run, no buttons involved. Best of all, since the curved treadmill is self-powered there is no electricity required.
Why Should You Consider Adding a Curved Treadmill to Your Gym?
There are a number of reasons why a gym should consider adding a curved treadmill to their cardiovascular area. Some of the benefits include:
Safer than Traditional Motorised Treadmills
There is less friction and no heat generation due to the interaction between the belt system and the transport system.
The running deck of a curved treadmill has much more grip because the running surface differs fundamentally from the running belts on conventional treadmills, where cotton-nylon belts are normally used.
No Electricity Required
A curved treadmill is friendlier to the environment due to being completely powered by the user. This means there is a lower life-time cost of ownership due to the curved treadmill requiring no electricity.
Long Service Life
A curved treadmill has a longer service life when compared to a conventional treadmill because there are no motorised parts. Servicing costs are kept to a minimum over the lifetime of machine if regular maintenance is routinely carried out.
How do I Train on a Curved Treadmill?
Curved treadmills can be used just as you would use a traditional flat-bed treadmill so anything from sprint intervals to slower steady state running can be carried out.
However, there are three main types of training that the curved treadmill excels at:
Sprint intervals on a curved treadmill is an ideal workout because there is no motor in the treadmill. This means the user can start their sprint interval very quickly without having to wait for the treadmill motor to turn the belt to a certain rate before they can sprint.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
With a curved treadmill you have the ability to adjust your pace to mimic road or running track intervals. Since a curved treadmill has no speed limit, it is great choice for elite level athletes where the pace required is faster than the top-speed of any commercial motorised treadmill.
A curved treadmill is the perfect solution for group training because it is easy to jump on and off and the speed of the running deck slows down immediately when the user stops running. This allows for fast and seamless changes to take place as users move from one exercise to another.
With any new type of fitness equipment entering the market place there can be a lot of scepticism surrounding the marketing claims. However, it is clear to see that the curved treadmill offers many advantages to the end user and gym owners when compared to a traditional motorised treadmill. The curved treadmill is very versatile, offers many legitimate training uses and is environmentally friendly due to being self-propelled.