Whether you’re a beginner or you’ve been hitting the gym for years, approaching an unfamiliar piece of equipment is intimidating. That’s why we’re tackling “The Don’t List”—things you should never do while using certain pieces of gym equipment. We’re starting with the treadmill.
Treadmill workouts might seem simple on the surface—you hop on, crank up the speed, maybe try an incline—but appearances are deceiving. There’s a right way and a wrong way to get your treadmill workout in. We reached out to Aaptiv trainer and treadmill expert Meghan Takacs to find out what we should never do on a treadmill.
Treadmill Workout Don’ts
1. Don’t hold the treadmill when you incline walk
Holding on while you walk on a treadmill defeats the purpose of using your own body weight to burn fat. The action of what is essentially pulling your body weight up a hill is essential to getting the most out of your treadmill workout.
2. Don’t put a towel over the numbers
You need to be mindful of pace and time when you run. There should never be a running workout wherein you are completely oblivious to your statistics. When you go into cruise control mode, it’s easy to lose sight of whether or not you’re improving week to week. Running is all about being mindful and aware.
3. Don’t let the treadmill pull you, you pull the treadmill
During any treadmill workout your mindset matters. Imagine pulling the treadmill with the balls of your feet and propelling yourself instead of the treadmill propelling you. Stay light on your feet and don’t strike the machine with your heels.
4. Don’t let the numbers you see intimidate you
When you increase the speed, immediately look up and allow your body to acclimate naturally. Let your physical body take over without mentally agonizing about the speed number you’ve chosen. Settle into the pace without freaking out.
5. Only use the treadmill for intervals and shorter workouts
Avoid the treadmill for long runs. This may seem counterintuitive (especially in the winter) but many treadmills are hard so it’s basically like you’re running on concrete.
6. Avoid watching TV during all workouts
You have the time you spend on the treadmill to unplug from life. Be mindful when you run and think about your body, the motion, and breathing. Watching TV isn’t going to give you any of that. Run because you want a mental release. It’s also all too easy to zone out to the TV and lose your footing.
Ready for a treadmill workout? Try these
Beginner: Take It From a Walk to a Run
Intermediate: What Are You Made Of?
Advanced: We Don’t Stop