I’m going to let you in on my little treadmill secret to improve your workout…
…Use The Incline!!
This secret may seem like an obvious answer to most people, but I guarantee 99% of the time I quickly glance at people on the treadmill no one is using the incline!
Think the treadmill is boring?
That’s probably because you aren’t using it to its full potential. Running or walking on the same speed and incline isn’t doing much for you, and I can imagine is pretty boring. Within the 30 – 60 minutes you are on the treadmill try alternating the speed and incline to work your muscles more and get your heart pumping.
Whatever you do, don’t crank up the treadmill’s incline and walk or run for 30 minutes on a 10+% incline, that is not what I’m saying. Walking or running for too long on a high incline can put unnecessary stress on your shins, back and hips.
Here are a few of my favorite treadmill workouts:
Proper Treadmill Form
Avoid leaning back – although leaning back and holding on while you walk is easier you are taking the work out of the workout. As you lean back you cancel out the benefit of putting the treadmill on an incline, and holding on simply makes the workout easier.
Don’t hold onto the rails – holding on to the side of the treadmill too much will change your running gait forcing you to hunch over and lead to neck, back and shoulder pain. I always suggest pretend the rails aren’t there. If you need to grab on quickly to get your balance, use them but then force yourself to continue working out without holding on.
Engage your abs – walking and running are full body sports, not just for your legs to do all the work. During your workout focus on pulling your belly button towards your spine and keeping your abs engaged. This will help protect your lower back and keep your body upright in the correct posture.
Keep your eyes looking forward – Our feet tend to follow where our eyes are looking. If you are trying to read a magazine or look down or around the gym your feet will get confused and you will risk tripping or falling off the treadmill, trust me I’ve seen it happen.
Print out one of the treadmill workouts that looks most interesting to you ,and lace up your tennis shoes. If your fitness level isn’t ready for one of these, adjust them down. For example, take the incline and speed down by 1-2 (% and speed) for the entire workout and slowly increase the incline and speed back as you feel comfortable.