4 Treadmill Mistakes You Might be Making

Running on a treadmill is a great way to increase your cardiovascular exercise and maintain a healthy weight. The key is ensuring that you run or walk on a treadmill in the right form and in the correct way to prevent potential problems with your health and well-being. A treadmill allows you to make the most of your routine, but you must be careful not to fall into some of the common mistakes that detract from your workout and increase the risk of accidental injuries.

Getting Too Close to the Front

A major mistake many runners make on a treadmill is getting too close to the front, or hugging the front, of the machine. A key reason for the behavior is a feeling of security or safety. The individual may even go as far as holding onto the front of the treadmill due to concerns about falling.

If you notice that you are right up front and directly in front of the screen on your treadmill or close to a mounted television on the wall in front of the treadmill, then you are too close to the front. The problem with the behavior is the risk of ruining your running form and harming your natural range of motion. It causes you to pull your body inward due to the limited amount of space and shorten your stride when compared to your natural stride when you run on the road. It may also cause you to put additional strain on your shoulders and arms due to the choppy motion of your arms while running.

On a treadmill, you do not need to get close to the front. The treadmill offers an extra large deck that has a 22 inches by 60 inches 2-ply commercial belt for optimal comfort while you run. When combined with the RunnersFlex Cushioning, you enjoy a comfortable run with a natural stride for your body. A wide treadmill gives you the space to feel comfortable while exercising.

Looking Down at the Belt

When you run on the road or on a track, you do not look down at your feet; instead, you look straight ahead and focus on your running goal. You should follow the same principle when running on a treadmill. Since treadmills provide large touch screens or TVs, you can follow your progress or watch an entertaining show while you run. Keep an eye on the screen instead of looking down at the belt to prevent potential injuries to your body.

A common treadmill mistake is looking down at the belt. Since the belt is moving, looking down may cause dizziness and disorientation, which impacts your balance and ability to keep moving on the treadmill. That may result in falling or getting injured due to your inability to see clearly.

Looking down at the belt also increases the risk of serious discomfort throughout your body. It changes your form and puts additional strain on your neck and shoulders. The strain may result in pulled muscles or pain in your back, neck and shoulders. The poor form from looking down at the belt also shifts your body out of a natural alignment while running. Misalignment in your body causes your hips to shift out behind your body in an unnatural position and puts pressure on your lower back, knees and hips.
Do not look down at the belt while running on a treadmill. It may cause serious injuries to your body and result in discomfort due to poor body alignment.

Inconsistencies in Your Stride

Your stride refers to the size of each step while you run. While running on a treadmill, it is tempting to change your stride to match the speed of the belt. Due to the temptation, you may find that you take larger steps and it causes discomfort. Inconsistencies in your stride, or constantly changing your stride as the belt speeds up or you change the incline on the treadmill, may result in injuries or pain after your run.

The primary reason to avoid changing your stride to match the belt is the added strain on your back, hips and knees. If you run with a wider stride than your normal comfort level, then it may put stress on key points in your body. As a result, you injure your body and cut into your workout goals while your knees, hips or back heal from the strain.

Treadmills go the extra mile to prevent inconsistencies in your stride or purposely changing your stride to keep up with the moving belt. Our flex cushioning makes you feel like you are running on a road rather than a treadmill. That comfort allows you to keep your feet hitting the belt under your body while running without an incline or to take smaller steps while running on an incline for better form and lower risks of injuries.

Improper Form

Improper form takes many different forms based on your experiences and behavior. Settling back on your hips is a common mistake related to your form that may occur while running on a treadmill. When you settle back on your hips, it means that you place your torso directly over your hips. That may result in compression on your lower back and spine or other forms of back pain. Generally, you want to lean slightly forward when running on a treadmill. Use your back and core muscles to keep your body stable and prevent injuries to your back.

Your form also relates to the way you land on the treadmill. Do not land with your feet flat or follow the traditional heel-to-toe movement of running on the road or a track. Instead, strike the treadmill with your forefoot, or the upper portion of your foot. It reduces the shock to your knees and legs when you focus on running without a flat foot or a heel-to-toe movement.

When running on a treadmill, pay attention to your arms as much as your legs, core and head. Your form suffers when you do not keep your arms in a similar position throughout the run. A key mistake with your arms is allowing them to swing without any clear direction or thought. While running at slow speeds, your arms should be loosely held at your sides and allowed to swing forward and back in a natural motion. When reaching a higher speed, keep your elbows bent at a 90 degree angle and allow your arms to swing naturally. Do not tense up your muscles, since that may cause strain on your shoulders and neck.

Running on a treadmill provides an opportunity to keep your body healthy and active in every season. The key is ensuring that you keep your body in the right form and you avoid the mistakes that may lead to serious injuries. Treadmills make it easy to maintain good form as long as you pay attention to the movements of your body, avoid looking at the belt and ensure that your body has enough space to run with your natural stride.

Written by Treadmills & Ellipticals