Are You Making These 6 Treadmill Mistakes?
December 20, 2018
For many of us, it's the time of year where the weather is getting colder, the days are getting shorter, and the motivation to keep on running is getting harder.
And while the treadmill is a great alternative to some of these factors, there may be some things we're doing in our workout that actually help give the treadmill the unappealing name of "dreadmill".
David Siik, creator of Equinox's Precision Running program, devotes an entire chapter to common treadmill mistakes in his book "The Ultimate Treadmill Workout." Are you making these treadmill running mistakes?
1) Hugging the Front of the Treadmill
If your belly is bumping up against the controls, you're too close. Being this close hurts your form by limiting your range of motion. This cuts down on your natural stride and also hampers your arm movement. In order to stop banging against the front panel, you shorten your arm swing which causes tension in your neck, back and shoulders. Always try to run in the middle of the treadmill deck.
2) Looking Down When You Run
Are you looking down at the treadmill belt? This is also another way to cause strain on your neck and alter your form, and may even cause some dizziness. Always try to look straight ahead which will help improve your posture.
3) Landing on your heels
While this may seem like a normal way to run, it's actually quite jarring on your body. Essentially, landing on your heels is a braking motion and hinders your forward momentum. The more natural way to land is on the forefoot which occurs when we add a slight lean into our run. This is important to work on especially if you're doing some interval training on the treadmill. Running on the balls of your feet is a better shock absorber for the body when adding in some speed.
4) Lengthening Your Stride
It may seem only natural that with a moving treadmill belt, we want to lengthen our stride to keep up with increased changes in speed. You always want to focus on keeping your feet landing as close to underneath you as possible. Especially, when you increase the incline, taking smaller steps help protect your hips, knees and back from the added strain.
5) Forgetting the Lean
It's easy to forget to add some forward lean into your run when you're on a moving belt. Standing up too straight puts a lot of strain on our hips and spine. We do this because we're technically stationary on the treadmill, so focus on that slight lean so we can engage our core and ease the absorption of landing on the treadmill deck.
6) Bobbling Head
As we stated up front, treadmill running can be a bit monotonous, hence the "dreadmill" name. But it doesn't have to be that way. (These are some tips to help mix up the run.) The most common thing we tend to do is look around too much trying to notice anything but that blank wall. When we turn our head we throw off our stride. Even if you have a monitor in front of you, you need to make sure it's at the right height because it can cause neck strain. Always keep the focus straight ahead with that slight body lean.
Hope these pointers help improve your overall indoor treadmill running experience. Enjoy the season!