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What Is a Magnetic Treadmill?

Kelly Ferguson
Kelly Ferguson

A magnetic treadmill is an alternative option to the more commonly found motorized treadmill. As the name implies, it does not have a motor, but instead uses magnetic force to provide resistance and allow the belt to move with the user's own force. Using a magnetic treadmill is a very different experience than using a traditional treadmill with a motor, and some people prefer it more than others.

While the magnetic treadmill is not as popular as its motorized counterpart, it does have plenty of benefits to offer. Generally favored by people on a budget or with limited storage space, the magnetic treadmill can be a great solution because it is typically smaller, lighter, and often able to be folded, making it much easier to store than motorized versions. Magnetic treadmills are also, for the most part, quieter, cheaper, and easier to maintain, although this often depends on the brands being compared.

Man with hands on his hips
Man with hands on his hips

Unlike motorized treadmills, the belt is not kept steadily moving at a constant pace by the machine. Additionally, since the exerciser must use his or her own force to get the belt moving, a magnetic treadmill is likely to have more of a default incline than a motorized treadmill. Both of these factors can make the workout more challenging, which may be a good thing for some people and a bad thing for others. Those with knee or leg problems may have difficulty getting the belt moving and keeping it in motion steadily throughout the entire workout, especially while climbing the higher incline. The increased difficulty, however, may provide a more strenuous workout with a higher calorie burn than a motorized treadmill workout.

A magnetic treadmill may be a good choice for an individual living in an apartment or other living area with limited storage space, although some people still feel that motorized treadmills are a better choice. Some users complain that the bands slip or get stuck more often than motorized treadmills, but this is also a fairly common complaint among motorized treadmill users and often depends on the quality of the treadmill being used rather than the type. A more common issue arises when users accustomed to motorized treadmills try to switch to a magnetic treadmill and find the different experience difficult or unpleasant. Much of the issue comes down to personal preference in the end, so it is a good idea to test out a magnetic treadmill thoroughly before buying one.

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