Many gym goers rely on the treadmill for their cardio workout. Unfortunately, not all of them know how to use the machine properly. Here are some tips to make yours effective.
Warm up Running at full speed as soon as you step on a treadmill overworks cold muscles, making your run harder than it actually is. It can also lead to injuries, which can set you back for days or even weeks. Warm up by jogging at an easy pace for five minutes before cranking up the speed.
Watch your form A TV in front of your treadmill can help you take your mind off a long jog. Unfortunately, it can also distract you into losing proper form. Make it a habit to check your form every few minutes during your run. Don’t look down and keep your body upright with your shoulders relaxed. Your arms should move by your side while you move and keep your abdominal muscles engaged. Try to stay at the center of the treadmill each time.
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Raise the incline Raising the incline adds intensity to help strengthen your muscles. You’ll feel your lower body work harder as you target your thighs, calves, and booty. In addition, this will also help prevent shin splints. Important note, do not set the incline more than 7% and do not run at an incline of more than 2% for your entire workout to avoid injuries.
Include tempo runs Tempo runs help you run faster over time. After warming up, set your treadmill at a slightly faster pace than your usual run. This method forces you to keep up with your treadmill’s tempo, developing your speed. Be sure to this gradually though; increased speed doesn’t happen overnight.
Add intervals Adding high-intensity intervals to your treadmill sessions will help you become a better runner and burn more calories. Interval training gets more things done in a shorter time. For starters, program your treadmill to run with short-bursts of high-intensity activities followed by lower intensity recovery periods. This develops speed and endurance over time.
Stay Hydrated Without air resistance to keep you cool, running on a treadmill can make you lose more water than running outdoors. Make sure you’re properly hydrated by keeping your water bottle within reach at all times.
Cool down Do not stop abruptly after working out. Bring your heart rate slowly back down by preprogramming a cool down portion to your routine. If you’re setting the treadmill speeds manually, gradually decrease your speed at the end until you’re back to running a slow and steady pace. Always perform stretching exercises at the end of each run to help strengthen your muscles and prevent soreness.
Practice good etiquette Always practice proper etiquette every time you use the gym treadmill. If there are other people waiting in line, don’t stay on the machine past the time limit set by your gym. Wipe it down after your run. Refrain from using your cell phone and talking loudly to your gym buddy so you won’t distract other people.