Talk:Treadmill

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momentum[edit]

I am not too informed on the science - but could someone write something about momentum, or lack thereof - how this affects the speed you run on treadmill... --[[User:OldakQuill|Oldak Quill]] 19:28, 20 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Load motors?[edit]

"Some treadmills have load motors" — What does this line mean? Should that be "loud motors"? Coffee 05:45, 30 October 2005 (UTC)

It should be "loud" motors. Actually, the weight and running style of the user has at least as much effect on total noise as the motor does.RobertBraun (talk) 21:46, 23 August 2009 (UTC)

Help me please:

can some one let me know as what features must be looked when buying a tread mill?

I don't knwow any thing about the treadmill but am willing to buy one for me.

rajkantsharma@yahoo.com

Raj, Since different kinds of treadmills are designed for different uses and different users, it's more productive to ask the question as "what features do I need?" The typical treadmill is designed for the needs of the typical user. Typical use means light jogging several times per week for up to an hour each time by someone who weighs under 250 lbs. Typical features include cushioned belt, incline capability, and readouts for heart rate, distance, time, and calories. See http://www.treadmill-world.com/treadmill-buying-tips.html. — Preceding unsigned comment added by RobertBraun (talkcontribs) 21:46, 23 August 2009 (UTC)

A load motor is engineer lingo for a motor that offers resistance or drag, and allows the user to set the speed of the belt or the effort needed to move the belt. Might wish to use a more common term. Bobpage (talk) 05:15, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

removed claim about professional cyclists[edit]

Removed: "When professional cyclists are tested they will use their own bicycles (instead of a bike machine) on a treadmill." When professional cyclists are tested they use their own bicycles on an indoor trainer, not a treadmill. FreplySpang (talk) 00:30, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Treadmill vs. Running[edit]

If you run on a treadmill at a constant speed, that SHOULD be about the same as running outdoors. I have heard that setting the treadmill to a 1% incline should make up for the lack of wind resistance. My experience is that running fast on a treadmill is amazingly easier than running outside. The question is, why? (The person above who thinks the explanation is psychological seems to not be a runner who has had this experience.) Basic physics says that they should be about the same. It is hard to believe that the shock-absorbing features of the treadmill make that much difference. Is it possible that the makers of the gym equipment are cheating, intentionally mis-calibrating the equipment to make people think that they are doing better than they really are? Has anyone ever tested the true speeds of treadmills? Are there any good websites that go into all of these complicated details? Do serious runners train on treadmills?-69.87.204.41 23:32, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

I think the treadmill allows you to run at a near-constant speed and much of the inefficiency of running comes from letting yourself slow down and having to accelerate again. Perhaps if you established that the treadmill was actually moving at say, X feet per second, and you set it high enough so that you'd be running fast enough to be able to replicate it fairly smoothly outdoors, it would be a fair comparison? Also, if it really does turn out to be easier, I'd just increase the incline or speed, depending on what seemed to simulate it better. If your HR is up, it's up. Training the muscles needed specifically for running, as a sport, is a different matter. Actually running might be the best way to train for running. 72.223.90.137 22:28, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
On a big fancy treadmill at the YMCA, I can run at a sustained 9MPH, mile after mile -- or even faster! It would be wonderful if I could run that fast outside, on the street -- but I doubt that I can. Running outside is better in many ways, but running on a hard surface seems to wear out the joints, could be a serious problem. (Most of us that run outside do not have access to special soft running track surfaces.) So training at least some on a treadmill seems like it would protect your body from damage. But it would be good to understand the relationship between the two forms of training better, to be able to train inside for races outside. They are both "running", but there seems to be some subtle, mysterious difference.-69.87.204.227 12:42, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
I have just started exercising on a treadmill and am pretty amazed by my own performance (ie that I can perform at all), as someone who has always pretty much panicked when required to jog "IRL". At my absolute beginner level, I believe the difference is primarily psychological: you have absolute control on a treadmill, at any point you can 'change the landscape' in response to any desire or discomfort, and in are in a relatively secure environment (if in a gym, surrounded by professionals) - this I think provides a sort of 'safe space' that enables you start with a better feeling of confidence and maybe even push yourself a bit more. Yes, if you run, you can stop if you get tired, but I think we tend to treat a real hill as a stronger obligation (ie more 'face' to lose if we stop) than a number on a machine. Also, no matter how far or fast you run on a treadmill, you're no further from home than when you start out! That has to add to the sense of reassurance.
On a more physical note, I don't think anyone has mentioned the physical effort in the changes of direction involved in outside jogging: corners, dodging pedestrians, crossing roads etc. From my very fuzzy memory of physics I believe a change of direction is equivalent to an acceleration from an inertial standpoint? And would engage different/more muscles (eg obliques?)? Running round a track would effectively involve constant change of direction and thus at the very least engage a larger set of muscles than treadmill running and at most if my physics is right a perpetual change in velocity?124.170.238.154 (talk) 05:22, 5 June 2008 (UTC)


The fact that the treadmill is moving and not the runner makes no difference in a physical sense. What matters is that the runner is moving relative to the treadmill, just as a runner on the ground is moving relative to the ground. Since people have difficulty with this concept it helps to do some thought experiments: xD

  • The floor of a bus is also moving very fast relative to the ground but it doesn't take a herculean effort to walk to the front of the bus, nor is it easier to walk from the front to the back while it is moving. The same can be said about an airplane.
  • Picture a very, very long treadmill, like they have at airports in the form of moving walkways. Stand on the treadmill but don't run. You will move along with it. To get back to where you started you'll have to walk/run at the same speed as the treadmill and it won't feel any different than walking on the ground at the same speed for an equal amount of time.

There are tiny differences, like the energy it takes to get up to speed, which is minimal, and the force of wind resistance, which is a true difference. Also, treadmills can be quite soft and springy, but some running tracks are soft as well. That people agree that running on a treadmill is easier than running outside is a topic that belongs in the realm of sports psychology. I invite others with a grasp of basic physics to help put this myth to rest.

I think that difference between running on a treadmill and running outside is not a topic that belongs in the realm of sports psychology. For example, I can simple jump upright on a treadmill and this move will be the same as running, because in both case I will move with the same velocity with respect to treadmill. When I move by all means with respect to treadmill my centre of gravity is moving with treadmill velocity. But my motion is more complicated than centre of gravity motion. Human body has more degree of freedom than one.72.245.155.59 22:19, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

No, you can't jump onto an already fast-moving treadmill and instantaneously start running, if you are unable to accelerate that quickly. You will fall back (I've tried that). Anyway, in this case, being unable to accelerate is due to the friction by which the belt drags your shoes back, not to inertia, as your momentum will stay constant with respect to an inertial reference frame (such as the ceiling). --Army1987 19:50, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
Running on a treadmill is much easier than real running. The runner is not moving with regard to the treadmill, it is the belt which is moving, and the belt is moving due to the electric motor. The only parts of the runner which are moving are the legs. Real running requires acceleration of the whole body mass. And running up a gradient is only difficult on a treadmill because of the awkwardness of the gait; running up a hill requires that the runner moves their body weight against gravity. Jonathan Webley 14:33, 15 November 2006 (UTC)
This only occurs when accelerating. Marching at a constant speed on a horizontal treadmill is the same thing as doing the same on a road, except for air resistance and the fact that the surface of the belt is more regular than asphalt. And anyway, when walking (as opposed to running), inertia plays a very small role compared to friction (as you can accelerate from zero to the max speed you can reach without running, and decelerate from that to zero, within not much more than one or two steps). There are significant differences only in the case of quick accelerations, as, with respect to an inertial frame of reference, you have to gain momentum and kinetic energy only in the case of the road ant not in that of the treadmill. --Army1987 19:50, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
"Marching at a constant speed on a horizontal treadmill is the same thing as doing the same on a road, except for air resistance and the fact that the surface of the belt is more regular than asphalt." Nope. When you are running or walking you are, with each step, accelerating your body to maintain your forward momentum, working against gravity, air resistance and all the other factors that get in the way of Newtons first law of motion in the terrestrial world. When you are on a treadmill you have no consequential forward momentum, though you are still working against gravity (the bouncy pogo-like motion part of the stride). Almost all of the exercise you get from a treadmill are from miming the action of running. I would say that you are in fact NOT running at all, but actually using the treadmill to more accurately mimic the stride of a runner while running in place(which is not running either). It works like this: When you propel yourself forward from a dead stop(say, to jump forward) you are accelerating the mass of your body to a certain speed. Even in a vacuum in space with zero gravity and no air resistance at all this would take effort. The momentum created by this effort would never fade, and you would continue on forever at that speed in a total vacuum with no gravity. But we are on earth and the momentum is slowed by many things, like atmospheric resistance and the way gravity alters your trajectory. So when we run(or walk), we are constantly adding to our momentum to replace what is lost to those factors. And THAT is why treadmilling is only 90%(at most) as good a workout as running. The relativity of the bus, or ship or plane or whatever you want to state doesn't change the fact that when you run you are constantly maintaining momentum. The difference is subtle but noticeable. Try running on the deck of a cruise ship(they usually have one deck that they allow running on), then go up to the treadmill at the gym(they also tend to have these) and try it. It is the same as the difference between the two on land. Gravastar333 (talk) 23:55, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
I have to agree that, based upon my understanding, running on a treadmill is essentially exactly the same as running on the road with the exception of air resistance (which causes an increasing difference between treadmill running and outdoor running the faster you go). That said, the cruise ship example is a good one for explaining why they're the same.
A) I think everyone agrees that running on the deck of a ship is "real running" regardless of what the ship is doing (whether it's going in the same direction as you at 20mph or in the opposite direction at 20mph). On the deck we would encounter air resistance but, as mentioned earlier, this is the only substantive difference between being on a treadmill and on the ground. If you don't believe me that running on a moving object doesn't cause your legs to move for you, imagine running on an airplane -- your legs don't get thrust to the back of the plane at 500mph.
B) Let's imagine we're running on the deck of a ship at 10mph while the ship moves in the opposite direction as we are at a steady 10mph. As noted in (A) above, this is the same as running on the ground if there were no air resistance.
C) Let's imagine that there's a bridge over the cruise ship -- while I run at 10mph to the rear of the ship and while the ship moves forward at 10mph I would notice that if I started running while the bridge was directly overhead it would stay directly overhead until I reach the end of the ship and can't run any further. If I were close enough to the bridge, I could even hold onto it and this would help me get to the back of the ship since I wouldn't need to use as much force to keep my body off the ground. As noted in (B) above, this is the same (A) and therefore the same as running on the road. The only difference is that now there's a thing hanging in air over me the whole time.
D) Now let's imagine that the cruise ship is travelling at 10mph under the bridge but the deck of the bridge is completely flat, the water is extremely placid, and the ship manages to stay only a single centimeter under the bridge as it passes under. On the bridge we've cut a hole the same shape as a treadmill belt and around it we've placed what looks like a treadmill. The ship is moving at a constant 10mph toward the back of our fake treadmill. I manage to make contact with the ship's deck through this hole in the ground and run at a constant 10mph (it would be next to impossible to just "hop on" -- so it would probably be easier to lower myself onto the ship's deck using the fake treadmill's handles to help out). Remember, though -- I'm still running from the front of the ship to the back of the ship (just like in (C) above) - the only difference being that I'm doing it through a hole in the bridge. That said, since I'm running on the deck of the ship just like in (C) above, which is the same as (B) and (A), it's the same as running on the ground if there were no air resistance.
E) Now let's say that instead of the ship's deck which is moving to the back of the fake treadmill at a constant 10mph I replace it with a treadmill belt travelling in the same direction at 10mph. I get on the moving treadmill with the help of the fake treadmill handles (since just hopping on a moving treadmill is a recipe for disaster). There is no difference between being on this belt moving backwards at 10mph and being on the deck of a ship in the same spot moving at 10mph. They're both just surfaces I'm in contact with that are moving 10mph at a constant rate -- the fact that one is a belt and one is a ship's deck doesn't change the way my body interacts with it. So, that being said, in the absence of wind resistance, E=D=C=B=A -- running on a treadmill is the same as running on the ground.
Also, to quickly address the idea that the treadmill "pulls your legs back for you:" the next time you're running outside, try to stop mid-stride. That is, the second you put your foot down in front of you, stop right then and there without "pulling your leg back" or anything like that. You'll notice something happens -- your body falls forwards over the leg in front of you. Or, to put that in other terms, your leg is "pulled back" by the ground behind until it's behind your body. This is the same as what happens on the treadmill. In this case, the inertia of your stationary body over the moving treadmill belt causes the same effects as the momentum of your moving body over the stationary Earth.

Another Disavantage[edit]

One disadvantage to running on a treadmill is that the machine pulls your foot back instead of you physically doing the work. This isn't really a big deal for long distance runners, but highspeed treadmills for sprinters only allow your to do half the work. When you put your foot down the machine pulls it back so all you have to do is pull your other foot forward, which means that you don't apply the pushing action of the back foot that you get running on a track or road. (- College Athlete) —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 74.133.208.136 (talk) 03:42, 11 February 2007 (UTC).

When you're running on a road, and your foot touches the pavement, does the road not tend to pull your foot back the same way a treadmill would? Think about coefficient of friction and normal force (gravity times mass when standing still). 72.223.90.137 04:05, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
No, it doesn't. Not if you are adding or maintaining speed. If you are sprinting you are using your muscles to push against the ground from the moment your feet touch down at the beginning of the stride till the moment you lift it because you have reached the end of the stride. It is NOT the same. Gravastar333 (talk) 00:01, 22 June 2013 (UTC)

Relaxed running[edit]

Because running on a treadmill is a very different situation, the user can focus on relaxing, or different parts of the body, or changing their form/motions -- very different from running outside, possibly useful for Chi Running.-69.87.204.41 23:32, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Holding on[edit]

The option of being able to hold on to a treadmill may be an advantage, if the user is in need of that help. But from a physics/energy/calorie point of view, it completely changes the exercise -- sort of like being towed.-69.87.204.141 18:18, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

Running bad for knees?[edit]

I heard that running on treadmill is bad for your knees, or is it only if you have a knee injury? (my mom's doctor told her not to run on treadmills 'cause she hurt her knee)

Plane Treadmill problem.[edit]

Plane on a treadmill.

Can it take off? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Colinspocket (talkcontribs) 10:19, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

No, it can not! In order to fly (take off) airplane needs to develop certain airspeed. If plane is "rolling" on a treadmill which matches its wheel's speed than treadmill eliminates any real movement and thus eliminates airspeed. Without airspeed, wings (airfoils) are not providing lift and airplane stays on ground (on treadmill). Note: We are talking about "regular" fixed wing airplanes without VTOL capabilities. I suggest removal of this incorrect statement on a treadmill article. Tomica (talk) 20:22, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

Simply put, you need the WINDSPEED passing an airplane to make it fly. The air is what allows the plane to fly, not the speed that objects pass below it. Gba111 (talk) 07:45, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

I'm not quite sure why this discussion is here, but as long as it is... Yes, an airplane on a treadmill will take off. An airplane's thrust is generated by propellers or jet engines, not the friction of the wheels against the ground (or in this case, a treadmill) like a car's is. Thus the thrust is completely independent of an airplane's ground speed. What will happen is that as the propeller or jet pushes the airplane forward, the treadmill will cause the wheels to rotate twice as fast as they would on a normal runway. If you need proof, there was an episode of MythBusters in which they tackled this precise issue. They put an airplane on a long tarp, and pulled the tarp with a truck in the opposite direction of the airplane at the airplane's ground speed. It accelerated and took off as if it were on normal ground. --TonyV (talk) 02:47, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

"Treadmill increases your VO2 max" - dubious[edit]

I understand this section as "advantages/disadvantages compared to outdoor running" (it would hardly make sense otherwise), but running will increase your VO2max whether you use a treadmill or not. Moreover, all aerobic activities could be said to increase one's VO2max, so even if this comparison is not limited to outdoor/treadmill difference, it still does not make much sense. GregorB (talk) 17:01, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

I think conceiving the advantages and disadvantages as being over simply not having a treadmill at all. What are the advantages to having and using a treadmill? What are the disadvantages to having and using a treadmill? In this capacity, an advantage of using the treadmill is an increase in VO2 max, burning calories, etc, similarly to running. It might seem redundant to write out all the individual advantages of running in this section, since you ARE running, but it's still more complete than simply writing "all advantages / disadvantages of running" or some similar note. Gba111 (talk) 07:41, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

Treadmill construction[edit]

There is very little on treadmill construction, most readers will understand that a running machine consists of a moving belt, powered along by a motor, but to better understand, details of construction may well help expand the article.79.75.25.197 (talk) 03:58, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

ok go eight tread mills video here it goes again[edit]

This video shows at least 13 things you can do on a treadmill beside walk or run.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTAAsCNK7RA

ride crawl jump dance hop climb etc Bobpage (talk) 05:07, 9 March 2013 (UTC)