5 Common Mistakes People Make On A Treadmill And What To Do Instead

Whilst using a treadmill isn’t rocket science, it is still easy to develop bad habits that could sabotage your results or put you at increased risk of injury.

woman on treadmill

To help ensure you’re getting the most out of your treadmill, here are 5 common mistakes to avoid and what to do instead.

1. Not warming up

Before getting into your treadmill workout, it’s so important to warm up for 5 or 10 minutes, but many people skip this vital step.

Walking and slow jogging are good ways to warm up and will gently prepare your body for exercise by gradually increasing your heart rate. This also increases blood flow to your muscles, loosens up your joints and prevents injuries. 

2. Holding onto the handrails

While the handrails of your treadmill are designed to offer support during your workout, relying on them to keep you propped up during your run could be doing more harm than good.

The only instance when holding onto the handrails is acceptable is when you are walking on an incline. If you find it hard to run on the treadmill without holding on, it will either be because the belt is going too fast, or the incline is set too steep. If so, adjust the settings and let go of the handrails. 

3. Running too close to the front of the machine

To get the most out of your workout, make sure you’re running in the middle of the treadmill belt instead of the front.

Running on the front of the treadmill will restrict your arm swing and negatively impact your posture, as you will naturally lean back to avoid hitting the front of the belt. This will put a strain on your shoulders and could put you at risk of injuries like lower back pain. 

4. Wearing the wrong shoes

One very common mistake people make on the treadmill doesn’t even involve the machine itself – wearing the wrong shoes could put you at risk of hip and knee pain.

Choosing an appropriate pair of running shoes and prioritising function before style will provide plenty of support and keep your toes snug, reducing the risk of injury. They will also help you perform better by minimising aches and soreness, allowing you to go the distance.

Look for shoes with extra padding in the soles to protect your heels and foot bones from the high impact of each foot strike. 

5. Looking at your feet

Looking at your feet while running on the treadmill can not only cause you to lose balance and fall, but it can also strain the back of your neck and misalign the rest of your body. This puts stress on your spine, hips, and knees and increases your chances of being injured.

Instead, look straight ahead when on your treadmill, and keep your shoulders level and chest open. This will help your spine create a straight line from your head to your feet.


Running machines are extremely effective, however, they can easily cause harm if you use them incorrectly.

The above mistakes are easily avoidable once you're aware of them, allowing you to reduce your risk for injury and optimise your workout for great results.

*Collaborative post

No comments