How to Use a Treadmill Correctly

In gyms everywhere, treadmills are a staple-equipment that some users make use of religiously. Available in both manual and motorized models, treadmills feature a belt that continuously moves on a straight path, which serves as a running or walking surface. For the most part, treadmills are pretty simple cardio machines to use to work up a sweat and get your heart rate pumping. However, crazy treadmill-related YouTube videos are enough to indicate that people do not always use treadmills properly. Still, in your everyday exercise routine, you may be using the treadmill incorrectly as well. In the interest of safety, here are some great tips on how to correctly use a treadmill.

Have the Right Footwear

Sure, proper running or walking shoes may not be the first thing on your mind when you are getting ready to use the treadmill. However, the right shoes are essential when using the surface of a treadmill. The right shoes will provide adequate cushioning to aid in injury prevention and grip support for the treadmill’s smooth surface.

Ease into your Workout

You should never start at breakneck speeds on a treadmill to avoid an embarrassing and hazardous tumble.

  • Begin with one foot on either side of the platform on the treadmill, as though you are straddling the belt, and adjust the set-up speed to one that is slow and safe enough before you step gently onto the belt. As a safety precaution, always check the speed of the treadmill prior to stepping on, and make the adjustment accordingly.
  • Use the handrail as support to get a feel of the movement and balance, and when you are comfortable, release your grip and get ready to build momentum.
  • Begin pumping your arms and let your legs follow that movement at a moderately slow pace and increase the speed gradually as your body warms up.

Stay Focus Straight Ahead

After all, it’s a gym, where numerous distractions abound, but it’s a safe practice to keep your gaze in front of you since your feet generally follow your eyes. A quick glance to the side could mean disaster. So, ignore calls when the phone rings, avoid fitness buffs trying to show off, or simply anything that could interfere with your focus and increase the risk of stumbling.

Keep Safety in Mind at All Times

  • Run or walk forward and not backward; the belt moves in a forward motion and your movement should match the intended use of the treadmill.
  • Reduce the speed in the event that you lose your balance; brace the handrail and gently step off the belt when the treadmill stops moving.
  • Increase speed gradually to prevent a tumble or serious injury.
  • Never step off a moving treadmill; let it come to a complete stop before a dismount.

There is a correct way to use a treadmill, and you should keep these tips in mind for your safety.