5 Common Treadmill Walking Mistakes

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There’s more to walking on a treadmill than walking and you will find out more from our article. To stay safe and get the most from your workout, avoid these five common treadmill walking mistakes.

Don’t skip your warm-up

Walking requires a solid warmup to avoid injury and get ready for the increased intensity of your workout, like any other activity. On the treadmill you’re much more likely to jump on and crank up the speed right away that’s why the warming up is absolutely necessary. Take a 5 to 10 minute to warm up to slowly build your speed and loosen your muscles properly.

Don’t stare at the monitor

When walking on a treadmill you have all your metrics — like speed, distance, incline, and calories burned — on a big monitor in front of you at all times. But you’ll want to avoid walking with your head down staring at the treadmill monitor just like you wouldn’t want to walk staring at a fitness tracker.

If you continuously stare at the fitness tracker, you will have a bad posture that makes it more likely you’ll hold on to the handrails. Looking down can cause problems with your shoulders, lower back and neck and you should also move your arms during the workout, so it’s a good idea to keep your head up and your eyes forward just as you would if you were walking outdoors. This helps you burn more calories and avoid unnecessary aches and pains following your workout.

Don’t shrink your stride

One common bad habit on the treadmill that’s easy to fall into is changing your stride. For some this means walking too close to the front end of the treadmill and shrinking your stride. For others, it can mean overstriding with an excessive heel strike.

Do your best to concentrate on the basics of good walking form, instead of falling into these traps. Your forward foot should strike with the heel first close to the body while the back foot stays on the ground longer to get a strong push off when rolling onto the ball of the foot. Concentrate on this portion of your stride, as the back foot is where you’ll get power and speed.

Resist the temptation to depend on the assistance of the handrails

Supporting yourself on the handrails might make you feel safer or even help you maintain a faster pace. However, when you use your arms you will burn more calories. Golding onto the rails creates bad habits. Rely on your legs, arms, and core to do the workout and resist the temptation to depend on the assistance of the handrails. Your arm drive helps generate more power and allows you to reap the benefits of a full-body workout, so it is particularly important for walkers who tend to grab the handrails when walking at an incline.

Don’t forget about the safety

There are some different things you’ll need to keep in mind to stay safe and avoid injury on the treadmill:

  • Straddle the sides of the treadmill and set the speed before you step on. This helps prevent unwanted jolt.
  • While it’s OK to bring along a towel to wipe away sweat, make sure it isn’t hanging loosely from one of the handrails
  • Don’t use the phone on the treadmill. You will get distracted.

Take these pieces of advice into consideration in order to have a good workout and better results.

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