Treadmill Workout Tips – Avoid These Three Common Mistakes

Do you use a treadmill as part of your overall fitness routine? Whether you are a runner or a walker, an efficient treadmill workout is one of the best ways to train your heart and reduce fat. And yet, many people who use treadmills don’t get the full benefit from their workouts. Here are three common mistakes to avoid…

Mistake #1: Not Varying Your Workouts

One of the most common complaints we hear about treadmill workouts is they are boring. Well, that’s not the treadmills fault. Let’s face it, we are all creatures of habit. Once we find something we are comfortable with, we tend to stick with it.

However, when it comes to treadmill workouts, familiarity is not the best approach.

In order to increase your capacity and make more progress in your fitness level, you need to vary your workouts. If you do the same workout week after week, your body will adapt and it will no longer present a challenge. Give yourself permission to become uncomfortable.

You should change your treadmill workout every two weeks. If you are running 30 minutes at no incline, switch to a workout with rolling hills. You can still run 30 minutes, but vary the incline for 3 minutes at a time, for example.

The incline on a treadmill is a wonderful thing. You will tone your hamstrings, glutes, and core muscles while giving yourself a challenging, rewarding workout.

Mistake #2: Holding On

Look around your local health club and you’ll see this common mistake quite often. When you hold onto the side rails or front rail of the treadmill, you are not using your entire body weight to propel you forward. In essence, you are cheating yourself.

Many people hold on to the front rail if the rail contains heart rate monitors. While it is important to monitor your heart rate, don’t let it distract you from getting a good workout. We suggest using a heart rate monitor instead. Your hands will be free and you will be using your entire body weight.

If you feel the need to hold on, reduce your speed or reduce the incline. It is actually far safer to be hands free on a treadmill than to hold on. Think about it… when you walk or run outdoors, are you holding on to anything?

Mistake #3: Not Using The Incline

As we alluded to above, the incline is one of the best things about a treadmill. You can increase your workout efficiency greatly by using the incline feature. Further, if you find yourself pressed for time, the incline allows you to get just as good of a workout in less time.

We recommend always having the incline at 1% minimum. This will help you use your body weight to propel forward and eliminate the feeling of running downhill. Further, you will tend to run more on your toes as opposed to the bottom of your feet taking a pounding.

A good approach is to alternate between speed, distance, and incline workouts, also known as interval workouts. You will not only eliminate boredom, but your body will be consistently challenged.


Always be sure to vary your routine to help keep you motivated. Using the incline feature is a great way to add a challenging dimension to your treadmill workout routine. Be prepared to change your regimen every two weeks or so to get the most from your treadmill, and always run hands free.

if you follow these three simple suggestions, you’ll find your treadmill workouts more enjoyable and effective.