7 Treadmill Mistakes You Might Be Making

7 Treadmill Mistakes You Might Be Making

Using a treadmill may seem simple, but you can still develop bad habits that ruin your results or increase your risk of injury. Some treadmill mistakes are easy to avoid. Here are seven common treadmill mistakes you can avoid:

1. Avoid skipping warm-ups.

Warm up for five to ten minutes before you jump on the treadmill, gently preparing your body for exercise by gradually increasing your heart rate and circulation. This increases blood flow to your muscles and relaxes your joints. Stretching your muscles during your warm-up can prepare you for a workout and prevent injury.

Solution: Walking and jogging are great ways to warm up to the treadmill.

2. Avoid hanging on the treadmill.

This is one of the most common mistakes people make. Walking on an incline burns more calories than walking on flat ground because you have to pull your weight up the hill. When you stick with it, the machine supports your weight and reduces the total weight you have to carry.

Solution: Try walking on the slope without holding onto the handrail.

3. Avoid wearing the wrong shoes.

Running in the wrong shoes can be painful and can lead to many health problems, such as hip and knee pain, Achilles tendonitis, and plantar fasciitis. This is because many running shoes use pointed toe boxes that squeeze your toes out of their natural position as you run.

Solution: Wearing the right shoes on the treadmill can prevent pain and optimize your results. High-quality running shoes are specially designed to keep your toes in place as you move.

4. Avoid using different strides on the treadmill.

You may subconsciously lengthen your stride to cover more ground, or shorten your stride to burn more energy. Unfortunately, running at an unnatural stride will use up energy too quickly and you won't be able to exercise for long. Unnatural strides can also increase the risk of injury, which can be detrimental to your overall training.

Solution: Walk and run on the treadmill at the same stride as you would outdoors.

5. Avoid stomping.

Not only can stomping damage your treadmill and shorten its lifespan, it can also cause long-term damage to your feet and legs.

Solution: Run softly - think of yourself as "agile," not "running."

6. Avoid sticking to a routine.

If you perform the same routine every time you step on the treadmill, your body adapts to the workout in a way that reduces calorie burn. Your muscles become more efficient at working at this particular pace, so you're actually getting less benefit from exercising -- you might even hit a dreadful plateau. Sticking to a routine can also increase your risk of repetitive stress injuries, including muscle and joint pain.

Solution: Try increasing the speed of the treadmill. Set the incline higher as well, as a higher incline translates to a more intense workout.

7. Avoid looking down at your feet.

Looking down can not only cause you to lose balance and fall, but it can also strain your neck and dislocate the rest of your body. It can also put pressure on your spine, hips, and knees.

Solution: Look straight ahead on the treadmill, keeping your shoulders level and your chest open. This will help your spine form a straight line from head to toe. Form is the key!