Constantly chugging away on the popular cardio machine? Make sure the time you’re investing on the treadmill is time well spent.
Hitting the treadmill is a great way to get your blood flowing and sweat dripping, but there’s more to it than simply turning the thing on and chugging away at one speed. That’s right: Even avid gym goers are guilty of misusing the popular cardio machine.
We asked Rock Tate, a group fitness instructor at Intrepid Gym in Hoboken, New Jersey, to go over the most common treadmill mistakes you might be making. Do yourself a favor, and avoid these 4 common treadmill faux pas.
Mistake #1: Skipping your warm-up and cool-down. Do you jump onto the belt and crank up the speed? Don’t! “Ease into your run with a 5 to 10 minute warm-up,” suggests Tate. “Start with a brisk walk, moving steadily into a jog, and then punch it up to your desired run pace.”
Your risk for injury, or pulling a muscle, greatly increases if you don’t take the time to properly prepare your body for an intense workout. Tate suggests using the same method when you’re wrapping up your session: “Take a few minutes to cool-down with a slow jog or walk and reflect on how far you made it.”
Mistake #2: Not following a plan. Haphazardly making up your own routine rarely ends with the best workout you’ve ever had. “Following a plan not only pushes you to keep going when you’re ready to quit, but it also forces you to hit distances and paces that you might not have otherwise.” says Tate.
Mistake #3: You hold the bars. Stop that! The only thing you’re cheating by grasping onto the sides of the treadmill is YOU. “Holding onto the sides of the machine greatly reduces calorie burn because you’re supporting part of your body weight,” says Tate “not to mention how badly it affects your posture and stride.” His advice? If you can’t keep up with the pace, lower the speed until you can crank it up again.
Mistake #4: Not using the incline. Utilize the incline to create a more realistic run path. “When you’re running outdoors the terrain is never consistently at zero.” Tate says, “Varying the incline and speed not only helps to burn more calories, it also hits different muscle groups like your hamstrings and glutes while you’re jogging, or even walking, up a steep hill.”
Treadmill Mistakes You Could Be Making