When it comes to types of equipment, a traditional treadmill will never lose its charm as part of our workout regimen. It’s a piece of efficient equipment for a great cardio and burns more calories fast, but did you know that you can take it a notch up higher?
Meet the treadmill’s sibling: the curved treadmill. Unlike traditional treadmills, the curved treadmill mimics the slope of an uphill. However, what effect can this change on the surface does on your workout?
If you’re interested more in curved treadmill benefits, keep reading.
What Is A Curved Treadmill?
If you’re wondering how does a curved treadmill work, this equipment has an upward curved shape to help you imitate the same effort you exert on outdoor running. This uphill motion of curved treadmills allows you to maximize movement on your feet and engage your core to keep pushing your body forward.
The more movement you exert, the lower body muscles you engage to lose fat. With this high intensity, your body is forced to burn more calories in a short span of time. This type of workout promotes after workout burn or post-exercise energy metabolism.
Traditional Treadmills vs. Curved Treadmills
If you think using a curved treadmill is easy, think again. A regular treadmill uses electricity, while a curved treadmill doesn’t.
The moving motion of curved treadmills will depend on your energy alone. Each long step will pull the curved treadmill belt backward. So, the more you move forward on the curve, the faster the belt moves and forces you to run faster.
Don’t worry, you can still slow things down by simply stopping your run.
How Does A Curved Treadmill Work?
Using a curved treadmill is similar to exerting energy when climbing the stairs. Have you noticed how going down the stairs is more manageable than going up? That’s because of your body weight. When you’re moving down the stairs, the gravity pushes your weight downwards.
In that manner, it feels like you are not carrying anything at all. As compared to going up the stairs, gravity pulls your weight down. As a result, you bear the weight as you go up.
Curved treadmills allow you to apply the same principle as carrying your body weight moving forward. This curved treadmill engages more muscle groups, unlike using motorized treadmills.
What Are the Benefits of A Curved Treadmill?
1. Burn More Calories
According to research, running on non-motorized curved treadmills burns 30% more calories versus running on an average motorized flat treadmill.
This curved treadmill increases your heart rate and needs for oxygen faster. As your body consumes more oxygen, your body also burns more calories.
The calories burned when running on a curved treadmill happens within a short amount of time. That is also why fitness experts compare the intensity to High-Interval Intensity Training (HIIT).
HIIT is known for increasing your metabolism and burning calories after working out. When your body increases oxygen consumption, your metabolism also increases.
2. Workout More Muscles
Without machine power, the muscles in your entire leg force you to exert more effort to keep moving on a curved treadmill.
Everything from your glutes up to your hamstrings is active from the start of the workout. Increasing your pace will require these muscle groups to work harder, too.
3. Reduce Body Fat
Running on treadmills is more commonly known as an example of a cardio exercise. However, the higher intensity of a workout from a curved treadmill forces your body to use energy from fat.
Engaging your body to perform HIIT also improves insulin sensitivity, making the body lose fat even after exercise.
4. Boost Your Endurance
As your heart rate increases, you move more blood and oxygen throughout your body. This boost allows for a stronger heart and higher stamina to conquer more strenuous exercise and movement. A high endurance or stamina also reduces fatigue and exhaustion.
5. Improve Your Workout Form
Aside from burning more calories, working for more muscle groups, and boosting your endurance, your workout form also improves on curved treadmill workouts.
Since you are performing longer strides, your legs force you to run with proper form. This form involves using the balls of your feet and landing softly without causing injury to your joints.
Running on a curved surface also encourages your body to maintain an upright posture for balance. Curved manual treadmills challenge our body’s stability, similar to how we are running outdoors.
How to Train Safely With a Curved Treadmill?
Now that you know the benefits of running on curved treadmills, how can you train properly on this cardio equipment?
Here are the best tips on warming up, working out, and cooling down when using a curved treadmill.
Settle yourself on the curved treadmill and practice your running technique. Start with slow runs you are most comfortable doing. Increase your heart rate at your speed, and perform natural strides to improve your posture. Do this for five minutes and rest.
Run at top speed with a steady pace. Do this for 45 seconds and slow down your pace or walk for one minute. You can also completely stop if the run is too strenuous for you. Repeat this six to 10 times.
Walk until your heart rate returns to its regular pace. Look out for your breathing as well. Take deeper and slower breaths to help your body rest.
Exercising on a curved treadmill has more benefits than running on a traditional motorized treadmill. Studies show that running on curved treadmills burns 30% more calories and increases your metabolism to the same level a High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has.
You can also experience engaging more muscle groups such as your glutes and hamstrings for exerting more effort. The longer strides performed during workout improves good posture and lessen joint injuries.
The intensity of working out on a curved treadmill also strengthens your heart and boosts your cardiovascular endurance. It allows for improved stamina to help prevent fatigue and exhaustion on your physical health.
If you like this article, check out our articles on ExpertFitness.org.
Nathan Lloyd, MSc
LICENSED PERSONAL TRAINER
I’m a personal trainer, based in Boulder, Colorado.
I service clients physically in the Boulder area, mainly in the ONE Boulder Fitness Gym, but am also available for online consulting and coaching.
If you’re interested in my personal coaching programs, please contact me via the contact page.