Curved Treadmills: Pros and Cons That You Need to Know

Are you thinking about buying a treadmill but don’t know which type to choose? If so, you may want to consider getting a curved treadmill.

There are a lot of benefits to having a curved treadmill in your home. Not only do they provide an amazing cardio and HIIT workout, but they also have the least possible impact on the environment.

In this article, I would like to explain just a few reasons why you might want to consider purchasing one for yourself.

A curved treadmill provides a more natural running experience. That’s 100% true as I personally feel that way whenever I use the one in our local gym.

You’re not forced to run based on the machine’s speed like you would be on a traditional treadmill, so you’re able to move more freely and burn more calories.

They also work different muscle groups than regular treadmills, so you get an even better workout. Plus, the gentle curves make them aesthetically pleasing additions to any room.

That said, there are some cons to curved treadmills as well that I will talk about it down below in this informative article.

At the very end of the article, I will also do a conclusion to explain the difference I felt when using a curved treadmill vs a flat treadmill and which one I like the most.

Curved Treadmill Pros:

Work harder and burn more calories

Curved design offers many of the traditional treadmill exercise benefits. But a major benefit of the curved treadmill is that it helps users burn more calories. This is because the machine forces you to work harder in order to run.

As a result, most runners perceived that they were working an average of 25 percent harder when running on the curved treadmill.

In addition, their physiology will change as well: They will consume an average of 30 percent more oxygen and have 15 percent higher heart rates.

Moreover, their running cadence will be 3 percent higher and their running economy will be 40 percent worse. Consequently, the curved treadmill is an excellent tool for helping people to achieve their fitness goals and burn calories quicker.

Great For HIIT Sessions

Curved treadmills offer a number of benefits for HIIT sessions, intervals, and speed training. Unlike a traditional treadmill, your speed is set by a motor, with the curved treadmill you set your max speed.

For those who want intervals more often, it is crucial to use an exercise machine like curved treadmills that respond to their effort.

The same goes for a rowing machine, if you want to do HIIT, you either go with water rowers or air rowers because their resistance and speed is created by the user effort, unlike magnetic rowers.

Plus, the fact that your effort set the speed, makes curved treadmills a more natural running motion than a traditional flat treadmill that runs with a motor.

Also, when doing HIIT sessions, curved treadmills give you the option to be inn full control of your speed which is safer than motorized treadmills.

In case something happens while you are running with your max speed on a curved treadmill, you just slow down and the machine slows down with you.

That’s not the case with the flat motorized treadmill. If you are running your max speed, you should always be able to reach the console and press a button to slow down the machine.

So, as I explained, curved treadmills are great for intervals which is what most pro runners often prefer. Not only it’s more efficient, but the curved design can also help to reduce joint pain and prevent injuries when compared to outdoor running.

Finally, the curved design of a treadmill can also help to improve your speed for real-life outdoor events much better than traditional treadmills.

By providing a more consistent surface for your feet to push off against, a curved treadmill can help you to run faster and improve your overall speed.

Similar to Outdoor Running and Quieter

Although the curved shape of the treadmill is unlike flat roads, the fact that you are the one putting all the effort to run makes curved treadmills more similar to outdoor riding.

Curved treadmills also don’t have a motor. This means that they’re quieter than traditional treadmills, which can be a great advantage if you are worried about your neighbor.

Less Electricity Consumption

Curved treadmills are one of the most energy-efficient machines on the market. They don’t have a motor, so the user creates the energy to turn the walking pad.

The user’s weight and pace create resistance, so the faster you run, the faster the walking pad gets. If you’re looking to save on your electric bill, a curved treadmill is a good choice. They also have less impact on the environment compared to motorized treadmills.

Also, because they don’t have a motor, they’re usually lighter and easier to move around, which can be a big plus if you live in an apartment or condo.

With a curved treadmill, you can save up to $1 per day on your electricity bills. If more than one person uses the treadmill every day and let’s say you run on the machine 2 hours a day, you can even save more than $1 per day.

Requires Less Maintenance

Low maintenance, is the most obvious benefit of curved treadmills and yes it does matter a lot. As I have already mentioned Curve doesn’t have motors or a powered incline and decline system, therefore, there is very little upkeep is needed.

Unlike traditional treadmills that come with tons of electronics including advanced screens, curved treadmills come with very basic consoles that often run on batteries and no incline system.

For semi-pro and elit runners, maintenance is often a huge issue with motorized flat treadmills but thankfully that’s not the case with curved treadmills.

Aside from saving you the headache of maintaining the motor with oil, and cleaning and replacing broken parts, curved treadmills also help you save lots of upkeep costs every year.

I would highly recommend curved treadmills for health centers because multiple people will be using the machine and maintenance is a real issue with flat treadmills.

Curved Treadmill Cons:

Not great for seniors or recovery

Treadmills are actually a great way to start recovering from an injury or surgery because they have a bit of cushioning and have less impact than actually walking on concrete or asphalt roads. However, that’s not the case with curved treadmills.

For start, they have a curved shape which is not ideal for a senior user or someone on recovery because it requires more balance compared to flat treadmills. So, you need to have a greater degree of coordination to use a curved treadmill than flat treadmills.

On top of that, curved treadmills are normally taller than regular flat treadmills so those on recovery or elderly persons may not be able to get on a curved to a treadmill to start with.

Plus, when you get on top of a curved treadmill, the running pad starts moving because it’s not motorized and moves when you move. So, you might lose your balance before even properly getting on top of the treadmill.

Additionally, curved treadmills put more stress on the knees and ankles than flat treadmills, and may not be suitable for people with joint problems.

Lastly, why I don’t recommend a curved treadmill for elderly persons or recovery is that you need to have the extra strength to get started. There is no motor, so not only you need to walk, you should also put effort to keep the treadmill pad running.

No Incline and Decline (Not great for hill runners)

A curved treadmill does have some disadvantages. A key disadvantage is that you can’t do hill running because there is no Incline and decline adjustment. Running inclines is a form of resistance and strength training as well that unfortunately, you won’t get from most curved treadmills.

This also means that you can’t target muscle in your calves, quads, hamstrings, and glutes as effectively as you could on a traditional treadmill with an incline system.

Unfortunately, you also won’t be able to strengthen your hip flexors and Achilles’s tendons much. You can do that with hill running or treadmills with proper incline adjustment. These areas don’t improve much when running on a non-inclined surface.

If you are a hill runner or are looking to target these muscle groups, then a curved treadmill may not be the best option for you.

That said, some curved treadmills do allow manual incline adjustment but it’s limited and not convenient at all because you would need to stop and interrupt the workout to adjust the incline.

Basic Monitors

A disadvantage of the Curved Treadmill is that the console is very basic and outdated. Most of them are not even colored and hard to see stats.

They normally have a black and white console that runs on battery and the worst part is that all the numbers are shown with small fonts so it’s pretty hard to observe your workout while running on a curved treadmill, especially when running at a faster pace.

Unless you use your own device and shelf with a curved treadmill, you also can’t watch movies or interact on social media like you can on a traditional treadmill. This makes it difficult to stay motivated when using a Curved Treadmill.

No Workout Program

A disadvantage of curved treadmills is the lack of programs that you can choose to exercise. From heart rate program that works based on a minimum and maximum heart rate to marathons and intervals, non of these exists on a curved treadmill.

Unfortunately, curved treadmills don’t have these programs and if they do, they don’t have a motor to adjust your speed or incline based on the programs.

There are many people want to do interval training or do other types of workouts that need different automatic speed and incline adjustments.

If you’re someone who likes to change up your workouts often and you like your treadmill to automatically do this for you, a curved treadmill might not be the best choice for you.

Not Great for Long Endurance Runs

I did a couple of endurance training on curved treadmills but to be honest it was not as enjoyable or comfortable as you would on traditional flat treadmills.

The same goes for jogging and walking, the treadmill really gets slow, and feels like you are not just walking but also making the treadmill work.

Normally when I want to walk or jog on a treadmill, I am tired and I don’t feel like pushing too much. But unfortunately, with a curved treadmill, you have to put extra effort to walk and jog. Again, I really loved doing higher-speed runs and intervals.

I also find curved treadmills really boring compared to flat treadmills. I think that would also affect your longer workouts as you don’t have many entertaining options like an interactive screen, electronic incline, resistance, etc.

Too Expensive

A curved treadmill is a type of treadmill that has a curved, rather than flat, walking surface I don’t think its curved walking pad design requires extra materials or costs more to make.

Costing from $2000 to $4000, unfortunately, curved treadmills are way more expensive than flat treadmills. For instance, we can look at curved IN10CT or Assault AirRunner curved treadmills.

Each of these machines costs from $3500 to $4599 while neither has any electronic incline or a touch monitor. In terms of technology, they are as basic as they get.

On the other hand, you have the NordicTrack 2450 commercial treadmill with state of art 22″ HD touchscreen, smart automatic incline, cooling fan, speakers, and a quite durable 12 MPH speed rating motor.

Hopefully down the road when they are more common and there is more competition on the market, curved treadmills will be cheaper. But for now, curved treadmills may not be affordable for everyone. I honestly wouldn’t pay $4000 for a curved treadmill.

Not Foldable

Another potential disadvantage of owning a curved treadmill instead of a flat one is that curved treadmills do not fold up. This can be a major deal breaker for some people, especially those living in smaller apartments because it takes up more space.

A standard curved treadmill like Assault Runner is 69.9L x 32.8W x 64H inches. For those with a proper home gym and plenty of space, it’s probably not an issue.

However, for those who need to fold away the machine after use because they have little space or when they have guests over, that’s a lot of space and can be a game changer.


Although I have my reservations about curved treadmills, they might be perfect for you. If you’re looking for a treadmill with less maintenance and electricity consumption, then a curved treadmill is the way to go.

Additionally, if you enjoy interval workouts, then a curved treadmill offers more variety than traditional models. Ultimately, it’s important to consider your own needs and priorities when shopping for a treadmill because no model is perfect for everyone.

I personally wouldn’t buy a curved treadmill, yet, because it’s too expensive and it gives very little in return in terms of technology.

Plus, I find it a little boring for longer runs. Additionally, they don’t have an automatic incline so I can’t target certain leg muscles.

Let me know what you think of curved treadmills. Have you tried out a curved treadmill? What were your thoughts?

When You Should Consider Buying a Curved Treadmill?

The benefits of a curved treadmill is pretty remarkable. Curved treadmills are a great choice for runners who are looking for a more challenging workout.

They offer many benefits that traditional treadmills do not (especially for pro runners), such as increased calorie burn and improved joint health.
If you are a beginner runner, you may want to stick with a traditional treadmill at first.

However, if you are an experienced runner or have good balance, a curved treadmill may be right for you. I wouldn’t recommend a curved treadmill for those recovering from an injury or the elderly.

Do you work harder on a curved treadmill?

Yes, you are working harder on a curved treadmill and burn up to 30% more calories compared to a traditional flat treadmill. But, keep in mind that is not what everyone needs.

Many starters don’t need to work harder, they just need to start a regular lower-intensity running workout without exhausting themselves in a 10-minute indoor running session.

What to look for when buying a curved treadmill?

Here is a complete beginner’s guide to curved treadmills. When looking for a curved treadmill, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
First, consider the size of the treadmill. You want to make sure that it is large enough to accommodate your running stride and your home gym.

Second, look at the screen size. A larger screen will be able to give the needed motivation, making it a better choice for runners, especially starters.
Finally, take a look at the warranty and return policy. A good warranty will give you peace of mind in case something goes wrong with the machine, and a return policy will allow you to bring it back if you’re not satisfied.

Also, remember that fitness equipment brands matter and try to go for established quality curved treadmill brands like Life Fitness and Assault. With these things in mind, you’ll be sure to find the perfect curved treadmill for your indoor running workout.

What are the best-curved treadmills?

You might be surprised to learn that there are a few different models of top-notch curved treadmills on the market from different established and trustworthy fitness equipment brands.

The most popular and highest quality curved treadmill is the TechnoGym Skillmill. This treadmill has a unique curved design that helps to simulate real-life running conditions. It also features a smooth belt that can reach an unlimited speed range. Plus, it has certain features like Connect console to synch with your device, an optional accessory kit to work out the upper body, and even more important manual speed adjuster which is pretty hard to find in curved treadmills.

Another option is the Assault Fitness AirRunner. This curved treadmill is designed for those who want a challenge but have a lower budget. There is no speed adjustment here but it can reach speeds of up to 20 mph (or as I would say unlimited speed). It also features an incline range of 0-30%, so you can manually customize your workout.

Finally, there’s the HD Tread by Life Fitness. I really like this exercise equipment brand but their price tag is through the roof. This particular curved treadmill is of higher quality than the Assault AirRunner. It’s perfect for those who want a more intense workout and budget is not a priority.

What is a Curved Treadmill?

Curved treadmills are designed to better match the natural curvature of the human body, which helps reduce stress on the body and improve overall comfort.
Typically, a curved treadmill will have a larger running surface area than a traditional treadmill, which further reduces stress on the body.

Additionally, curved treadmills often include additional cushioning and shock absorption features to provide an even more comfortable running experience.

Pretty much all curved treadmills are built without any motor so the runner decides the speed of their running exercise. There is very electronic bits and pieces in curved treadmills so they require less maintenance.

Should You Walk on a Curved Treadmill?

There are a few things to consider before deciding whether to use a curved treadmill or a flat one. First, think about your goals. Are you trying to walk or jog for exercise, or are you training for a specific event?

If you just want to get in some walking or jogging, a flat treadmill will likely be just fine. But if you’re training for a race or another event that requires running on an incline, then a curved treadmill might give you a better workout.

Second, consider your budget. Curved treadmills tend to be more expensive than flat ones, so if cost is a factor then you may want to stick with a flat treadmill.

Is a Curved Treadmill Better Than a Traditional Flat Treadmill?

There are many reasons to use a curved treadmill because it has certain benefits but that doesn’t mean there is no drawbacks. Both curved and flat treadmills have their pros and cons.

For certain people, a curved treadmill is better than a traditional flat treadmill. I believe that the curved design helps to reduce stress on the ankles and knees when you do intervals or run fast, while a flat treadmill is simply more comfortable to walk, jog, or run slow.

At the end of the day, it really comes down to personal preference. If you have never used a curved treadmill before, it might be worth giving one a try in your local gym or fitness store to see if you notice a difference in terms of comfort or overall workout experience.

Will A Non-Motorized Treadmill Make You Faster?

Yes, a non-motorized curved treadmill can make you faster because there is no speed limit. You can go as fast as you want and the only limit is how much energy you have.

However, you will need to put in more effort because you are not being aided by a motor so you consume more and run out of energy quicker.

Non-motorized treadmills are also great for intense training because they better mimic real-life running conditions. If you want to get faster, a non-motorized treadmill is a great option.

Sayed Hamed Hosseiny
Sayed Hamed Hosseiny

Hi, my name is Sayed Hamed Hosseiny. I am a professional health and fitness trainer with nearly 20 years of experience using ellipticals, rowing machines, and spin bikes. I also have my own EU-based Rock Fitness Pro fitness brand where I design, import and sell exercise equipment such as rowing machines and spin bikes. I and writers on my team also often receive fitness equipment to review and evaluate their functionalities and performance from tens of different exercise machines manufacturers. Fitness equipment tips, guides, reviews, and comparisons on this website are my opinion (and opinions of my fitness expert colleagues) based on tens of criteria. I never accept payment to write reviews of products or say positive things about fitness equipment products. If brands are interested to have me review their rowers, ellipticals, or spin bikes, they can get in touch with me via email provided on the contact page and send a sample of their product.