Best Treadmills for Home of 2024

If you’re new to the treadmill and are looking for guidance on the proper way to use one, our experts shared the best practices you should be following.

Warm up: As with any workout, you shouldn’t neglect the warm up. At an easy walking pace warm up for five to 10 minutes.

Don’t hold onto the handrails: If you’re running on a treadmill at a pace that’s slightly too fast for you, it’s tempting to hold onto the console or the handrails. “This risks injury and it isn’t proper treadmill form,” warns Wilpers. If you find the speed too fast, reduce it until it feels comfortable enough to keep your elbows by your sides.

Don’t go out too fast: One common mistake some people make is cranking up the speed too soon. Wilpers says, “Make sure you do an easy warm-up or jog before transitioning into an actual run”.

Use your arms: It’s easy to forget about your arms if you’re jogging or running on a treadmill, but using your arms by swinging them as you run makes you a more efficient runner. “Make sure to keep them bent at around 90 degrees and by your sides and not swinging across the body because that is a sign that your torso is rotating too much,” advises Wilpers.

Run tall, run light, run relaxed: If you’re running on the treadmill, you want the movement to feel as natural as possible. Wilpers says, “Throughout runs, perform mental body scans to assess how you are doing from head to toe, including breathing.” When thinking about your form, running tall means you are maintaining an upright posture with a forward lean from the ankles, whereas running light refers to light quick feet, and running relaxed is relaxing everything else that isn’t driving the movement.

Who should avoid treadmills: It’s important to avoid hopping on a treadmill if you are currently injured, have illness, recently had surgery or are recently postpartum. “I would not recommend a tread workout at the moment, but once given clearance by your doctor the tread can likely be a good training tool to get you back in good condition,” says Kennedy. If you have heart conditions, vertigo, arthritis or disc issues, it’s best to consult with your doctor first.

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