Running

5 Common Mistakes That Are Ruining Your Treadmill Workout, According to a Run Coach

Zoe Weiner

Running is the most natural form of movement there is. Humans have been doing it since the dawn of time, and our bodies are well trained to perform these movements. Running on the treadmill, though, is a totally different story. Our bodies aren’t as equipped to stride on a machine as they are to do it outside, though, which can create some major problems as far as form is concerned. According to Nike Run Coach Jes Woods, there are lots of common mistakes that many of us are making when we hop on the tread.

To get the most out of your workout, it’s important to know how to run on the treadmill the right way. But in order to do that, you’ve gotta be aware of what you might be doing wrong. Some of the biggest errors Woods sees people making on the machine? Keep scrolling to find out.

5 common mistakes that happen on the treadmill

1. Running too close to the console: “You might be afraid of falling off the tread, so that’s why you’re running super close to the console,” says Woods. This, she explains, prevents you from opening up your stride to your natural running gait, so your steps may feel tighter and less comfortable than they would if you were running on the road.

2. Carrying your arms: When you’re running too close to the console—or if your body starts to fatigue —you’re more likely to hold your arms close to your body. Considering arm movement makes up for 30 percent of your speed, this can slow your stride.

3. Hunching over: As you get tired throughout your run, you’re more likely to collapse your shoulders and start to hunch. This means that you’re likely not engaging your core the way you should be, so you won’t be getting the most out of the workout.

4. Over striding: Because of where your body is located on the tread, your foot might strike too far out in front of you, causing you to overstriding. You want to take quick, short strides (especially when you’re running up hill) to maximize your run.

5. Looking down: We’re all counting down the minutes (seconds) until our treadmill workout is o-v-e-r, but staring down at the console to watch the clock is terrible for your form. It forces down your chin, which causes your chest to drop, and you wind up slumping over to run, instead of keeping proper arms-back form.

Now that you know all of the wrong ways you’re running on the treadmill, press play on the video above to find out how to run on the treadmill properly. Personal record (and perfect form), here you come.

Want to take your treadmill session to the next level? Try one of these interval training workouts, or kick it up even further with this tread/mat HIIT hybrid routine that will get your heart racing in under 15 minutes. 

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