I was extremely excited to check out the Curve Runner Pro. Having worked on and written exclusively the flat, motorized kind of running machines for years now, I’ve always been fascinated by the curved running machines.
You won’t normally find this bit of gym gear in your average commercial studio either. But they occupy an interesting space in the running world and while they won’t be for everyone, if they do click with you, you’ll likely love these machines.
In this guide we’ll take a deep dive into what the Curve Runner Pro is, whether it’s something that will benefit your training, and some of the things it doesn’t do so well.
What exactly is the Curve Runner Pro?
We’ve written about curved treadmills a little on the site before.
Unlike a conventional treadmill, the running area is curved and this machine is not powered by a motor. Instead, you’re running on a sort of conveyor belt which is solely driven by your running motion.
The main thing here is an intensive workout in short burst. Yes, we’re talking HIIT.
Like the Assault bike, the Curve Runner Pro is aimed at those looking to take running seriously and really build up their cardio fitness. This machine is ideal for building endurance in your runs. Your heart rate will rise quicker than it will with a regular treadmill.
You can do a range of exercises on this machine.
Here’s the quick run down of the features with this treadmill
- Non-motorised – As you run on it, the tank-esque tread is pulled around the track as you make each step.
- Curved running surface – Although it looks odd at first, it’s actually more natural to run on a curved surface than bouncing up and down on a flat treadmill.
- Tough design – This machine is build like a tank as well. I’ve seen these in busy gyms and they don’t need any maintenance and seem to last forever.
- Resistance braking system – There are six levels of resistance with this treadmill. You just do natural running (which is a similar work level to running outdoors) or crank it right up and get crazy with low drives, lateral strides and power walking.
- G2 console – The console here is a bit like what you get on a spin bike, assault bike, or something like a Concept 2 rower. It doesn’t look as friendly or as exciting as some of the panels I’ve seen on running machines. There’s no all-singing and dancing colour HD touchscreen here. Nope. It’s all business with this machine. What you do get is a simple readout of your important stats.
What kinds of stuff can you do with this machine?
Just as the Curved Runner Pro is different in pretty much every conceivable way to your average treadmill and there are a number of varied ways you can use it. We’ll cover these in detail below.
Resistance and braking
The Curve Runner has a tough internal braking system which you can set to any number of settings from a fast walk to sled pulls. If you’re looking for a way to really hit hour leg muscles and build some real strength there, you’ll want to play around with the braking. A tough frame at the front means you can push as hard as you like with your upper body.
What are the benefits of the Curve Runner?
this machine uses is a heavy-duty slated tread that doesn’t suffer from the same wear and tear as a belt.
They will fit anyone, no matter what height or stride length you have
Because of the large track you’ll be able to use this machine whether you’re a petite lady, or a strapping 6′ 6″ guy. There’s nothing to adjust here but the design simply means works and you can choose to run closer to the curve if you want to speed up during intervals.
Those sweet curves equal smoother, judder-free natural running
I spend a lot of time running on treadmills. While it’s never exactly easy, I absolutely love it. Compared to running outdoors, it’s a lot kinder on my feet and joints. Treadmills have a good bit of bounce in them (decent quality ones at any rate).
But there’s no getting around the fact that no matter how padded the running track is, or how much suspension or shocks it has, it’s still giving you a lot of thudding and impact on your joints.
Enter the Curved treadmills. That gentle curved shape is designed to fit the running motion you make and gives back less feedback to your joints. The overall effect is a smooth running experience that’s hard to describe and something quite different to either running outdoors or indoors.
You’ll train more aspects than is possible on a flat motorised machine
There’s an interesting thing with these curved runners where you are in control of the speed. Controlling that takes a bit of practice and there’s definitely more constant adjusting while you’re running. That constant adjustment is interesting and definitely feels different to regular machines.
You can also lean right forwards, with the added resistance and work your glutes and hamstrings completely differently to flat machines.
And for the brave, you can turn side-on and do some lateral walking and movement that feels completely weird but focuses on a different part of your legs.
You can get a serious cardio (and leg!) workout in less time
Another thing that’s a bit different with the Curve Runner Pro is the weird-looking curved frame at the front of the machine. There are a series of looping monkey bars and an assortment of grips. They’re not just there if you lose your balance when you hop on, they allow for a lot of different positions other than upright running.
The idea is you increase the braking, grab those bars and then push harder with your legs. It’s a unique sort of exercise that’s hard to replicate with anything other than these treadmills really.
But don’t expect to do it for long.
As with any kind of HIIT gear, the idea here is short bursts that will completely tire out anyone, no matter how fit you are.
You don’t have to constantly faff about with the console
I didn’t realise how much time I spend increasing speed, decreasing speed and adjusting the incline during even short runs on my treadmill. The weird thing with the Curve Runner is you don’t need to do much of that. As there’s nothing motorised going on here, you just change your speed by running slower.
Sounds weird but it feels oddly natural. Not being tied into the constant mechanical pace of a treadmill, or locked into a program is definitely something good.
The result is more focus on your workout and less concentrating on clicking the up or down buttons on your console.
You’ll save a bit of money on your electricity bill
With fuel prices constantly being hiked up each year (this year more than ever!) everyone wants to save some cash on their monthly bill. Admittedly, treadmills don’t use a lot of electricity as even the larger HP motors won’t be used for long periods of time each day.
Hey, it’s good to help the environment and who doesn’t want to save some cash from the greedy energy companies too? The other benefit to the while non-powered thing that I like is you’re not chained to a power outlet either.
You can stand this in the centre of your home gym if you want to, and have complete freedom where to set it up.
There’s less to go wrong
I’ve seen even incredibly posh treadmills go wrong but generally speaking, even commercial treadmills can last for many years.
However there’s no getting around the fact that there are a lot of moving parts and things that can start to have issues over time. Belts can wear out, motors can start making a noise or stop working altogether, and you will have to oil the belt regularly to get the most out of your machine.
As far as maintenance goes, the Curved machines definitely come out miles ahead of their motorized counterparts.
There’s nothing that can really go wrong with these machines, especially the higher end ones like the Curved Runner. You’re not running on a belt that’s constantly moving around a deck.
What this machine uses is a heavy-duty slated tread that doesn’t suffer from the same wear and tear as a belt.
Curved vs. Flat: How is this machine different to a regular running machine?
It feels more like running up hill – The overall feel with a curved treadmill is more akin to a run up a mild hill. Whereas I often find regular treadmills too easy unless I ramp up the incline, these machines are definitely a tougher running experience from the outset.
You don’t adjust the speed – Instead as with something like the Air Bike, a lot of the work will be done by your input rather than setting the speed and trying to keep up.
The way you set programs is different – Wit a regular treadmill you can set something like an interval program, or a hill climbing program and the console will adjust the speed and incline and the amount of work you do. Curved machines don’t have this and instead you’ll be going all out for short burst of time.
Curve Runner Pro: Quick FAQs
Is this a good machine for just walking?
You can indeed walk on this machine and it feels absolutely fantastic. The belt drive system is very smooth and easy to walk on and, as with running, the curved surface rises to meet each step, making for a natural motion.
That being said, you’ll only be using a small percentage of what this machine can do. If you’re just looking for a decent walking treadmill, you could save a lot of cash and get something more suitable for just that task. Check out or Best Walking Treadmills guide here.
Can you buy these for home use?
You can. Although I’ve mentioned how tough and well-built the Curved Runner Pro is, it’s not designed exclusively for health clubs and gyms. You can order these any use them in any home as long as you have the space.
Is the Curve Runner Pro expensive?
As far as treadmills I’ve reviewed and used in the past, this is definitely a premium or luxury running machine. It’s made from the highest quality components and that’s really clear when you compare it to some of the treadmills you can get for under £1000.
Where can you buy a Curve Runner Pro in the UK?
While it’s not likely to be in stock at places like Amazon any time soon, you can buy this machine online at UK Gym Equipment, where it’s normally in stock and is one of their best selling runners.
Click here to check the latest price
Do you need to be a sprinter to use one of these?
One thing I read online a lot prior to checking out the Curved Runner Pro was that these machines are only for doing intense sprints and for pro runners. I definitely wouldn’t agree with that. While this is 100% something different, it’s not just a machine for sprinting.
Confession time: things that aren’t so great about this curved treadmill
I know a lot of our readers want gear they can move around their home easily.
This isn’t one of those products.
It’s not quiet
I don’t have a measure of the decibels you’ll get from the Curved Runner, but it’s certainly more noticeable than a regular motorized flat treadmill. If you’re looking for something to run on in the wee hours, without waking anyone up, this might not be the machine for you.
It’s not cheap
Each time I’ve checked, and at the time of writing this, the Curve Runner Pro can normally be found on sale at places like Home Gym Equipment.com. But even with the heavy discounts, this is definitely not a budget price treadmill or even a mid-price bit of kit.
You’re normally talking at least £3000 if you want to pick up one of these for your home gym.
It’s monstrously heavy
I always feel guilty listing a bit of gym gear’s weight as a downside. And hypocritical. I LOVE really heavy gym gear. I’m on the heavy side so I need something with a good build and a bit of heft to stand up to my stomping around on it. But it’s always important to mention this as I know a lot of our readers want gear they can move around their home easily.
This isn’t one of those products.
The Curve Runner Pro is a whopping 195kg. You’re not going to get this thing upstairs in a hurry and it’s one for the downstairs office or the garage gym. Don’t expect to scoot this thing around after a workout. You’ll need somewhere to put it and leave it there. This is commercial grade stuff so watch your back!
They are not for everyone!
As a general point for curved treadmills, they are very different to flat runners, or just running out doors. You’ll likely know whether this machine is for you or not.
This is a specialist bit of kit that’s aimed at people both into running and who are familiar with this kind of machine. If you’re on the fence, I’d recommend sticking with a decent running machine with a standard flat running belt.
Summing up: Is the Curved Runner Pro worth a buy?
If you’re in the market for a curved runner and have the space (and cash) it’s really hard to pick fault with this machine. It’s beautifully engineered, about the sturdiest bit of gym gear we’ve seen this year, and just oozes quality. It’s a commercial grade bit of kit that should last you all your running days.
It’s certainly not the cheapest big of cardio gear out there and there are some amazing running machines available in the price bracket. But for anyone looking for a premium curved running machine, this one is hard to beat.