Treadmills, Incline Trainers and Treadclimbers
There are some general tips you should follow when using a treadmill, to be safe and get the most out of your workout.
- Run normal - stay upright and don't take short steps at the front of treadmill nor long steps at the back.
- Do not hang on to the bars unless needed - this will allow your chest to remain large and open for better breathing.
- Your eyes should be focused on the ground about 10 to 20 feet ahead of you. Don't stare at your feet.
- Make sure you're not leaning forward or back at your waist, which some runners do as they get fatigued. When you feel yourself slouching, poke your chest out.
- Your shoulders should be relaxed and square or facing forward, not hunched over. Rounding the shoulders too far forward tends to tighten the chest and restrict breathing.
- One of the biggest causes of injuries on treadmills is jumping off a fast-moving treadmill. If you need to run to the bathroom, grab a towel or get some water, slow the machine down to a very reduced pace and lower the incline.
- Change the incline and speed from time to time to mimic out of doors running and change body motion/impact zones.
- Keep your feet under your body, not in front of nor behind.
- Keep your feet pointed straight ahead.
- Don't be a toe runner or a heel-striker. If you land on your toes, your calves will get tight or fatigue quickly and you may develop shin pain. Landing on your heels means you have overstrided and you're braking, which wastes energy and may cause injury. Overstriding is landing on your heel in-front of your body. Try to land on the middle of your foot, and then roll through to the front of your toes.
Hands and arms positions
- Try to keep your hands at waist level, right about where they might lightly brush your hip. Your arms should be at a 90 degree angle. Some beginners have a tendency to hold their hands way up by their chest, especially as they get tired. You may actually get even more tired by holding your arms that way and you'll start to feel tightness and tension in your shoulders and neck.
- Your arms should swing back and forth from your shoulder joint, not your elbow joint. Think of your arm as a pendulum, swinging back and forth at your shoulder.
- As you run, keep your arms and hands as relaxed as possible. You can gently cup your hands, as if you are holding an egg and you don't want to break it. Don't clench your fists because it can lead to tightness in the arms, shoulders and neck.