Correct Treadmill Running Form

Running form tends to come more naturally when you run outside, compared to running on a treadmill. Whether you have a Proform treadmill, or any other brand, it doesn’t matter. Since the treadmill throws a lot of people off, here are a few tips on how to run correctly using a treadmill. By following these tips, you can maintain your form and stride, while getting the most out of your workout.

No Leaning

Since the belt pushes your body backwards as you run on the treadmill, many users naturally lean forward to balance themselves against the opposing force. This promotes bad body mechanics and will cause unnecessary strain on the spine. Your doctor and chiropractor will thank you if you keep your back straight while running on the treadmill. Practice keeping your body in a straight line, and let the belt do it’s work.

Don’t Hold On

Treadmills all have handles for you to hold on to, for comfort and balance. But by using the handles as a crutch you are losing your natural ability to balance yourself, and your comfort will be affected in the long run. By reaching forward with your arms, rather than allowing them to swing naturally at your side while you work out, you will probably start to experience shoulder pain. This in turn will mess up your spinal alignment and your back will start to suffer. Instead focus on maintaining correct arm form while you run.

Don’t Look Up

If you are one of those who likes to watch TV, play on your computer, or read while you walk or run on the treadmill, just make sure that you position your form of entertainment straight ahead so that you aren’t craning your neck upwards. Many people have built or purchased treadmill desks so that they can do work while working out. These are usually great, just make sure that yours is positioned in your line of vision. If you work out on the treadmill at the gym, see if you can find one that has a straight view of the TV, or else you might just have to set your tablet on the console and watch videos that way.

No Overextending of the Legs

Just like you shouldn’t lean, you will want to make sure that your feet aren’t landing out in front of your body. They should land right under you, keeping your posture in alignment. Because of the moving belt on the treadmill, there isn’t a reason to extend your legs out, and if you can get used to running with your legs under you, your body will benefit greatly.

This sillhouette shows pretty much every single thing that you shouldn’t be doing!
Photo credit: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1178014

For a video about how to run on the treadmill, check out this good one on About.com.

Happy treadmill running!