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Nathan Moore
Nathan Moore

What Is A Good Treadmill To Buy

Discover the best treadmills on the market below. Want to get to grips with the basics before you start your search? Scroll down to our Essential Treadmill Features section to learn more about what to look out for when shopping for a new treadmill.

what is a good treadmill to buy

Horizon have a fantastic range of budget-friendly treadmills. The recently updated Horizon 7.0 AT offers a good combination of features and affordability. For just $999, it offers a 3.0 CHP motor that supports a 15% incline, six built-in workout programming options, the ability to sync up with a wide variety of streaming workout apps, and a very respectable warranty. Even at this budget price, the 7.0 AT is covered with a lifetime frame and motor warranty as well as three years of coverage on parts, and one year on labor.

Looking to benefit from the targeted muscle recruitment offered by incline trainers without spending a fortune? The SF-T4400 treadmill by Sunny Health and Fitness is worth a look. For around $300, you can enjoy an incline of up to 5%. Unlike many treadmills under $500, the SF-T4400 includes nine workout programs to make it easier to strategize your fitness game plan.

Whether seeking a low-impact workout, or just want to diversify the options in your training routine, shopping for a treadmill alternative is a smart move. Our favorite model to fill that niche is the Bowflex Max Trainer M6. Under the feet of a user, the machine can become stair stepper, elliptical trainer, and low-impact treadmill all at once.

A typical treadmill sold for home use measures roughly seven feet long and three feet wide. If you have the space for a machine of that size, then go for it. If not, folding models are an ideal alternative.

The normal length for walking and jogging treadmills is 55 inches, while treadmills designed for running purposes can range up to 60 inches in length. Do keep in mind that your own height is also a factor. If you are over 6 feet tall but plan to walk on your treadmill, you may be better off simply going with a 60 inch belt length for comfort. Tall runners on the other hand will want to seek out treadmills with a longer stride length (up to 62 or 63 inches).

Thickness: If you are purchasing a treadmill with a belt thickness of just one-ply, it may stretch or rip during running. For walking, that thickness may be fine, but more vigorous workouts require a belt thickness of two-ply or more. This type of belt can go for many, many miles without replacement. Most people also find that the thicker the belt, the quieter the treadmill (even as you approach higher speeds).

Another factor to take into account is the incline abilities of a treadmill. This feature gives you another element to add to your workout routine, and also ensures that you are fully challenging your body at all times.

These days, most treadmills are equipped with touch sensors, regardless of the price. Typically these sensors are built into the handlebars. On cheap treadmills, these heart rate monitors tend to be inaccurate and not so useful. With better models, you can have more confidence in the data, and use it to your advantage.

You might choose to walk or run inside on a treadmill for any number of reasons: inclement weather, dark conditions, unwelcoming terrain, commitments that keep you at home. Whether your goal is a couple of no-frills miles or a full-blown immersive workout, a treadmill can be a useful and convenient training tool. After walking and running on 24 treadmills over the past six years, we think the NordicTrack Commercial 1750 is a great choice for people who are looking for a dependable, versatile machine with a smooth ride and a sturdy build. Its straightforward design is easy to navigate, and it has a color touchscreen, Bluetooth connectivity, and an optional subscription to on-board workout content if you need an extra dose of motivation.

There are many excellent reasons to own a treadmill. If you regularly go to the gym to use a treadmill, having your own would save commute time and perhaps money. If you live in an area with fickle or frequently bad weather, a treadmill could be a convenient alternative to the great outdoors. If you are recovering from an injury, a treadmill can help. If you have commitments that require you to stay close to home, a treadmill can offer a convenient way to train.

A good treadmill inclines at gradients from just short of flat to pretty steep. This feature allows you to mimic the stress of exercise on hilly terrain as well as do interval work, which is beneficial for varying your training to help you reach speed goals and for keeping your daily exercise interesting. The least-expensive residential treadmills typically have just one or two incline settings (and some cheaper models require you to manually adjust the incline). For light walkers, that might be enough, but a machine that offers variety may be more useful in the long run.

Ideally, we wanted a treadmill that had large, secure water-bottle holders, a few small bins for storage, and perhaps a tablet holder. Because an advantage of running in place versus outdoors is that you get to have water, a tablet, a book, or your phone on display (or within reach).

The stated weight capacity for residential treadmills (and entry-level commercial models) is typically 300 to 325 pounds; nearly all the treadmills we tested accommodate at least this much weight. (The highest maximum user weight we had during our latest round of testing was 375 pounds.) Treadmills with much higher weight capacities tend to be more expensive and have much shorter belts, as they are designed more for walking. Treadmills that accommodate weights over 400 pounds are rare.

For all the machines designed to fold, we folded the deck up and down several times. Almost all the pricier ones were easy to lift, thanks to hydraulic assistance. They also clicked securely in an upright position without much trouble. Most unfolded gently to the floor; others returned the deck to the floor with a thud. The least expensive of the bunch required bearing the whole weight of the deck and pulling a pin into place to keep it secure. If you would have trouble lifting a heavy box of books onto a shoulder-high shelf by yourself, you may have trouble folding and unfolding a less-expensive treadmill, too.

We paid attention to noise. Though all of the treadmills were loud, some were whinier or produced louder footfall noises than others. Some also made annoyingly shrill or loud recorded sounds, which we could often turn down or off, when they were turning on or gearing up.

Many treadmills have built-in fans designed to blow air on the runner. When a treadmill had a fan, we turned it on at full blast for some of our runs. Most treadmill fans are small and poorly positioned. If a fan with real cooling capabilities is important to you, consider a portable option such as the Vornado 630, a nice pick for a home gym because of its small size; it blows at over 17 mph.

We assessed the connectivity of treadmills that offer Bluetooth, onboard subscription content, or the ability to mesh with separately streamed workouts from apps. Peloton and iFit (available on NordicTrack machines) are the two subscription-based apps we tried in-depth. Peloton classes can be viewed on the Tread or on a separate device via the Peloton app. iFit workouts can be viewed on a compatible NordicTrack or ProForm treadmill or on a separate device via the iFit app.

The 1750 allows for Bluetooth connectivity. We were able to connect our iPhone to the treadmill via Bluetooth by pressing a button marked Audio on the console and then playing music (in this case, Tool) through the two speakers, which was fun. We were also able to connect our wireless headphones easily for an iFit workout. Unlike our other picks, however, the 1750 has no charging port for a device.

To address safety concerns, Peloton introduced Tread Lock earlier this year, a feature requiring the use of a four-digit digital passcode to unlock the belt of the treadmill. (The machine automatically locks after 45 seconds of inactivity.) Safety is referenced regularly. During workout introductions, the instructor reminds you to keep kids and pets away and to double-knot your sneakers. There is also a standard safety key.

Still, Shannon wanted to take a Woodway for a test drive, so she headed to Mile High Run Club, home to a fleet of them. The treadmill club functions much like SoulCycle, the popular (and oft-parodied, as in this SNL skit) spin class. Shannon reserved a machine in advance for a 45-minute class.

If you want an ultra-sturdy, minimalist treadmill with a firm deck: The LifeSpan Fitness TR4000i is a good choice. We preferred the more responsive deck on the Sole, but if that treadmill is unavailable, this could be a solid backup option. The TR4000i felt the sturdiest of all the treadmills we tested in 2019, and it was among the easiest to assemble. (A member of our operations team put it together in no time, noting later how its clear instructions and simple parts helped expedite the process.)

If you love to stream treadmill classes on a device of your own and require quick jumps between speeds and inclines: You might like the Horizon Fitness 7.0 AT. Along with traditional adjustment buttons, the 7.0 AT has two QuickDial controls (one for speed, one for incline) on what look like video-game joysticks. They allow you to flick between speeds and inclines during intervals swiftly and fairly precisely. They are sensitive: We hit the dials by accident once or twice and kicked up the speed unintentionally. The console, which has a tablet holder for streaming workouts from your own device, houses a 7-inch LCD.

The 7.0 AT has a top speed of 12 mph and a maximum incline of 15%. Using the dials, you can adjust the incline in increments of 0.5, which is a nice option if you prefer more subtle grade changes. The treadmill remained steady at a jog with the incline set at 15%, though we noticed that the upper portion of the machine shook during a few of our runs. The treadmill is meant to work well with a variety of workout apps. It connects directly to Zwift. For other apps like Peloton, there is no direct interaction. But we did a few Peloton workouts on the 7.0 AT and the treadmill kept up nicely with pace and incline changes. 041b061a72


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