Treadmill running is one of the simplest yet most effective forms of exercise. It offers a significant calorie burn, is versatile enough to customize to any fitness level, and can be completed despite the weather outside. Whether you’re a veteran runner or you’re new to the machine, here’s how you can enhance your form on the treadmill.
How to Optimize Your Treadmill Technique
1. Stay in the Middle
Running too close to the front of the treadmill could put you at risk for hitting your hands on the front of the machine or stepping on its base, ceasing your momentum immediately and risking injury. Yet, if you’re too far back, you might wind up slipping off. Aim for the sweet spot in the middle, which is also where the running surface is just right for your feet, being neither too hard nor soft for impact.
2. Perfect Your Stride
To minimize the impact on your joints, aim to land your feet just beneath your hips, and not out in front of your body. Try to achieve a mid-foot strike, and keep your movements neutral. You shouldn’t feel as if you’re taking too many steps or stretching your legs out too far. Ideally, you should be taking short, quick strides.
3. Direct Your Eyes Ahead
Looking down can put pressure on your neck, which will only leave you sore after exercise. Plus, it could affect your form, causing you to slump downwards and lose efficiency. Instead, keep your eyes forward. If there’s nothing interesting to look at within your field of vision, try listening to music or a podcast and imagine a route in front of you.
4. Keep Your Hands Close
When you swing your arms out wide, you’re using up more energy unnecessarily and potentially throwing off your balance. Keep your arms at a 90-degree angle, and try not to swing them past the center of your body. Unless you’re getting on or off, avoid using the handrails to balance yourself while running. Doing so limits the work you need to do, thereby rendering your exercise less effective.
5. Consider a Slight Incline
If you’re looking to closely mimic outdoor running conditions, consider bumping up your incline slightly. This will help you reproduce outdoor factors such as varied terrain and wind. Opt for a one to two percent incline at first, but don’t go any higher until you’ve mastered running at this level.
Whether you’re a fan of the treadmill or you prefer other cardio machines, Anytime Fitness in Chesterfield, MO, has all of your exercise needs covered. With 24/7 operation and a large selection of cardio and weightlifting equipment, this facility caters to a variety of gym-goers. See their full list of amenities and membership perks online, or call (314) 485-8986 for more information.