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8 Treadmill Mistakes You Should Stop Now

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There are lots of ways you can get your cardio in, and one of the most popular is by using a treadmill. Finding the best treadmill for runners isn’t as hard as you think either as there are so many new and innovative products on the market now. However, you may think that using a treadmill is super easy, which it is, but there are some things that you need to know. A lot of people make simple errors while on the treadmill and it can actually hinder your workout quite a bit. So, here are 8 treadmill mistakes that you need to stop right now! 

Flexispot folding treadmill - Treadmill Mistakes
  1. Holding On While Exercising

If you want to get the most out of your work out, then you need to stop holding onto the railings when on the treadmill. By leaning or holding on, you’re taking some of the exertion away from the exercise, making it less effective. When you run, you automatically engage your core while using your arms to keep your going. However, if you hold onto the railings, only your legs are moving which makes it impossible to engage your core and reduces your range of motion. If you do it too often, it can also cause you to have bad posture while running. So, make sure you only hold onto the railings when it’s necessary, not during your entire workout. While we mention this as one of our treadmill mistakes, safety always takes priority so use your best judgment.

  1. Skipping A Warm-Up

Running is very hard on your body, so warming up is crucial. It’s tempting to hop on the treadmill and whack it all the way up so you can get on with your run. But you could actually do your body a lot of damage forgoing a warm-up. You really want to get your leg muscles ready for the run you’re about to do, so try speed walking first or walking on an incline for the first few minutes. You want to gradually increase the speed so that it’s not a shock to the muscles. You’ll definitely notice that you’re not as sore afterwards too! 

  1. Not Focusing On Your Form

You may think that running comes naturally as it’s not like Pilates or weightlifting where you have to learn how to do a certain exercise. But in reality, running does require you to think about how you run and keeping your form in check. One bad habit that a lot of people do while on the treadmill is looking down at their feet as they run. Theis causes you to hunch over and puts your whole body out of alignment. It also shrinks your airways, making it harder to breathe and therefore, harder to run. Having bad form can also increase the risk of injury too, so keeping the right form is very important. You want to make sure you look straight ahead with your shoulders down and relaxed, and make sure you keep your back straight. Once you’ve completed one whole run with the right form, you’ll find it much easier next time too. 

  1. Forgetting To Have A Plan

Sometimes, you might just want to jump on the treadmill and run. But not having a plan for your workout can hinder it. Lots of treadmills come with pre-loaded programs that you can follow during your sessions. The machines will also automatically change the speed and incline too, so you don’t have to worry about keeping track of the time and changing it yourself. However, if none of the programs appeal to you, then make sure you know what you’re doing in your workout before getting on the treadmill. You’ll find it much easier to complete an effective workout if you have a plan in mind beforehand too. 

  1. Following The Same Routine Constantly

The wonderful thing about our bodies that they can get stronger and adapt to whatever exercise you put your mind to. However, this can easily cause you to become stagnant, especially if you do the exact same workout on your treadmill each time. You need to be constantly challenging yourself, as over time, the workout that you found hard will soon become extremely easy. This means if you notice that running 5K on the treadmill doesn’t tire you out, then you need to increase your speed or make use of the incline. Try changing up your routine on a regular basis and you’ll definitely see better results. 

  1. Too Much Too Soon

If you’re new to using a treadmill, running, or exercise in general, then you need to take it slow at first. Don’t try and do a crazy fast run as your first workout as you’ll only struggle and end up injuring yourself. You want to go at a pace that is comfortable but still provides you with a bit of a challenge. Running, like all exercises, requires you to build up your body’s tolerance to it, so you can’t expect to be able to run a marathon if you’ve never ran a mile. It won’t take you too long to improve if you use your treadmill consistently either, so don’t feel disheartened if you aren’t where you want to be right away. 

  1. Not Utilising The Incline

Using a treadmill purely for speed is good but forgetting to utilise the incline is a big mistake. When you run with the incline on zero, you’re essentially running on a flat surface. However, if you incorporate the incline into your workout, you’ll start to target different areas of the body that flat running can’t. Muscles like hamstrings and glutes will benefit the most from using the incline for sure! The incline can also help if you’re training for an outdoor event. When you run outside, the ground isn’t always going to be flat and even, so adding in a different kind of terrain while on the treadmill can really help you be more prepared. 

  1. Being Heavy Footed

Treadmills can help you feel like you have a little more bounce in your step, but it’s actually super important that you try and stay as light on your feet as possible. You want to do your very best not to land heavy when running as you’re only forcing more impact than needed, which could lead to injury. Being light on your feet while running can also boost the effectiveness of your workout, so it’s totally worth it in the end. 

Using a treadmill can be a fantastic way to workout, but there are lots of common mistakes that people make which actually hinder their performance. So, try avoiding these 8 treadmill mistakes the next time you go for an indoor run, and you’ll definitely notice the difference in the quality of your workout!

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