Avoid These 7 Treadmill Mistakes
Using a treadmill seems simple enough, but you can still develop bad habits that sabotage your results or put you at increased risk for injury. Some treadmill blunders are easy to avoid.
Here are seven common treadmill mistakes you can avoid:
1. Avoid skipping your warm-up.
Warming up for five to ten minutes before you jump on the treadmill gently prepares your body for exercise by gradually increasing your heart rate and blood circulation, which increases blood flow to your muscles and loosens up your joints. Stretching your muscles during the warm-up prepares them for exercise and prevents injuries.
SOLUTION: Walking and slow jogging are good ways to warm up for the treadmill.
2. Avoid hanging onto the treadmill.
This is one of the most common mistakes people make. Walking on an incline burns more calories than walking on level ground because you have to pull your body weight up the hill. When you hang on, the machine supports your body weight and reduces the total amount of weight you have to carry.
SOLUTION: Try walking on an incline without holding onto the handrails.
3. Avoid wearing the wrong shoes.
Running in the wrong shoes can be miserable and it can lead to a number of health problems, such as hip and knee pain, Achilles tendinitis, and plantar fasciitis. This is because many running shoes use pointy toe boxes that squeeze your toes out of their natural position as you run.
Wearing the right shoes on the treadmill can prevent pain and optimize your results. High quality running shoes feature a special design to keep your toes in place as you move.
SOLUTION: Try a pair of Altra Running shoes. They use a proprietary toe box that lets your toes relax and remain in their natural position with each step.
4. Avoid using a different stride on the treadmill.
You might be subconsciously lengthening your stride to cover more ground or shortening your stride to burn more energy. Unfortunately, running with an unnatural stride burns energy too quickly and you will not be able to work out as long. An unnatural stride can also increase your risk for injury, which can be detrimental to your overall training.
SOLUTION: Walk and run with the same stride on the treadmill as you would outside.
5. Avoid stomping your feet.
Not only will stomping your feet damage and shorten the life of your ProForm treadmill, but it can also inflict long-term injury to your feet and legs.
SOLUTION: Run softly – think of yourself as “fleet-footed” rather than “pounding down the miles” as you run.
6. Avoid sticking with one routine.
If you do the same routine every time you step on your treadmill, your body will adapt to the workout in ways that cause you to burn fewer calories. Your muscles become more efficient at working at that particular pace, so you actually get less benefit out of your workout – you might even hit a dreaded plateau. Sticking with one routine also increases your risk for repetitive stress injuries, including muscle and joint pain.
SOLUTION: Try pushing your treadmill speeds higher. Set the incline higher too, as higher inclines translate into a more strenuous workout.
7. Avoid looking down at your feet.
Looking down can not only cause you to lose balance and fall, but can also strain your neck and misalign the rest of your body. This may also place stress on your spine, hips, and knees.
SOLUTION: Look straight ahead when on your treadmill, and keep your shoulders level and chest open. This will help your spine create a straight line from your head to your feet. Form is key!
Avoiding these seven mistakes can reduce your risk for injury and optimize your workout for great results.
DISCLAIMER: This post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. ProForm assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.