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Folding Vs Non-Folding Treadmill - What's The Real Difference?
By: Kathryn O'Neill

Most people buying a treadmill will be probably be faced with the choice: "Do I want a folding treadmill or a non-folding treadmill?"

Folding treadmills (also called fold-up, foldable and fold-away treadmills) are a popular choice among treadmill buyers.

But apart from the obvious reason to choose a folding treadmill (to save space) - what are the REAL differences between a folding vs. non-folding treadmill? Here's a quick overview:

The main advantages to choosing a folding treadmill are:

- you save space - if you have a small home gym or space is at a premium, folding your treadmill up and/or wheeling it out of sight is a great option to have

- it makes cleaning easier - just fold it up and you can vacuum or clean the floor area under the treadmill easily

Because of these advantages, having a treadmill that folds is often seen as just another added feature to the treadmill - like an extra water bottle holder or a pair of handweights.

However there are also distinct advantages to buying a non-folding treadmill that might make you think twice before purchasing a treadmill that folds.

According to Runner's World, the most important quality of a good treadmill is stability. For example, does the treadmill feel solid and secure when you run on it? Does it wobble or shudder when you pick up your pace?

Because of the requirements of the folding frame design, most folding treadmills are naturally less stable than non-folding treadmills. (That doesn't mean they aren't stable - it just means that non-folding treadmills are more stable).

That is why, if you look at stability ratings for treadmills, non-folding treadmills almost always come out on top.

That's also why you'll notice that as you get into premium treadmills ($2000+), very few of them will fold up.

If you're paying that much for a treadmill you want one that feels as stable as a commercial unit. (Ever notice that the treadmills at health clubs don't fold?)

So the main advantage to non-folding treadmills (and it's a compelling one - especially if you're a runner) is that they are generally more stable than folding treadmills.

There are a few exceptions to this rule of course, but that's really the main difference when comparing folding versus non-folding treadmills.

Regardless of which option you choose, keep in mind that while non-folding treadmills might be a little more difficult to move, they can offer some great added benefits to your workout itself.

About the Author

Kathryn O'Neill is chief editor for Treadmill Review at

For treadmill buying tips, brand reviews, best buys and weekly sales, visit Treadmill Review at:

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The Power of Stretching    - Dave Snape


Your muscles ache from a good stretch. This is quite
normal and is part of the process. Stretching has
seemingly been with us and particularly with athletes
since the beginning of time.

A very key point to good stretching is to hold the
stretch for at least seventeen seconds. This is a
pearl of wisdom gleaned from a ballet teacher a few
years back. She said that any stretch under 17
seconds was just not effective.

The 17 second rule is exceeded in the high intensity
Bikram's yoga where stretches are held for about 30
seconds. Don't forget the high level of heat that is
used in Bikram's to extract that last little bit of
stretch out of your muscles. An interesting twist that
is not necessary to gain benefits from stretching. But,
it can't hurt, right?

So what kind of benefits can you expect from
stretching? That's an easy one. Have you ever seen the
movie, Blood Sport? Did you know that Frank Dux could
truly stretch his body to the extreme. The actor that
played him was quite elastic as well.

Great elasticity is also something you might see in
well trained Spetsnaz (Russian) agents. They often work
out with Russian kettlebells too. They are for superior
strength gains and the ability to withstand ballistic

Why are stretching and flexibility considered important
to these people? Stretching gives one the ability to
have explosive power available at one's fingertips
without the need to warm up. Of course most of us are
not martial artists or agents. But, you'll be happy to
know there are plenty of other benefits.

Let me give you an example. After learning to sit in
the full lotus position for long periods of time, my
ankles became very flexible. One day I was walking
along and my left foot fell into a pothole. This mishap
pushed my ankle sideways to about 90 degrees from it's
normal position.

Amazingly, this didn't even hurt, not one bit. If my
ankle hadn't been so flexible, I may have suffered a
sprained ankle. At the very least, it would have hurt
for days.

Key point: stretching helps you to avoid injuries.
Not only that but if you do have a muscle, tendon or
ligament injury it should heal faster, theoretically

Stretching actually grows the ligaments, tendons and
muscles being stretched. They really grow longer over

Check with your physician before undertaking any type
of exercise, including stretching.

Here is some good instructional material on stretching:

Dave Snape

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