The treadmill is pretty much everyone’s safe space in the gym. If you’re ready to go all out, it’s there for you. If you’re not feeling an intense workout day, you can hop on and go for a brisk walk. You really can’t screw it up… Well, sort of. There are a few treadmill mistakes that really make professional trainers cringe. Scroll through to find out if you’ve made them!
“Many people tend to overstride, especially toward the end of the workout,” celebrity trainer Patrick Murphy says. “When you’re running at seven to eight miles per hour, make sure you drop your speed if your ‘natural’ stride starts to fail.”
“Stay away from the front of the treadmill,” Barry’s Bootcamp trainer Matt Nolan says. “I always remind my class that if they get too close to the front, they not only risk hitting their legs (which doesn’t feel good) but they also do not allow themselves to truly open up their stride and be as efficient as they can when they are running full speed. Trust me, you are always much further away from the back of the treadmill than you think you are.”
“I see people power-walking while setting the treadmill at a super-high incline and hanging on for dear life,” Murphy says. “Holding on to the treadmill will round your shoulders, ruin your posture, and inhibit calorie expenditure. Drop down the incline, let go, save your posture, and burn more calories.”
Another mistake? “Waiting to change speed or incline until a trainer has finished the countdown,” Nolan says. “You should be taking your speed or incline up as we count down, especially during timed intervals. All treadmills take a minute to hit the desired speed or incline, and I always want my clients to get the full experience. If we are in a minute sprint, I want you there for the full 60 seconds, not 55 or 50. If we do that same sprint five times in a class, that’s 50 seconds of runs you have missed out on.”
“Put the phone down,” Nolan says. “It’s (obviously) dangerous; it means you are not focused on the workout, and even more important to me in a group class setting, it’s a distraction to the person next to you who is trying to work his or her butt off. Sabotage yourself if you want to, but don’t waste somebody else’s time and money!”
“Sometimes I’ll walk into a gym and there is an earthquake happening,” Murphy says. “Stop pounding on the treadmill!! Plantar fasciitis and shin splints are not fun. True strength comes from controlling deceleration. Master soft strides and gradually build up your speed.”
Want more running tips? Check out The Running Revolution ($13) by two-time Olympic coach Dr. Nicholas Romanov.
So, are you guilty of any of these treadmill mistakes?