10 Treadmill Mistakes to Avoid as a Beginner and Learn Good Walking


Did you just start using the treadmill for your workouts? Did you like using it for the first time?

Using the treadmill for your physical exercises must have made you feel pleasant because it is among the terrific ways to obtain cardio exercises.

However, when you walk on the treadmill, it is highly likely that you will experience the pangs of strain and other body pains since you are a beginner.


As a novice treadmill user, you can make the most out of your workout by learning how to use the exercise machine properly.

In this manner, you will understand how to walk smoothly and faster, burn calories effectively, and obtain the advantages of moderate-intensity cardio exercises.

Have a look at these ten common treadmill mistakes to avoid as a beginner:


Treadmill Mistakes to Avoid as a Beginner

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Getting on the treadmill while its belt is advancing rapidly

If you have just started using the treadmill for your workouts, among the main treadmill mistakes to avoid as a beginner is hopping on the machine while its belt is already moving.

A treadmill which has its belt moving unexpectedly at a fast speed should make you feel cautious.

It is because it is common for gym users, especially novice ones, to find themselves getting injured for committing this common error.

Hence, follow these six proper steps onhow to get on the treadmill correctly:

  1. Start standing with one of your feet on each side of the fitness equipment.
  2. To protect yourself against the possibilities of stumbling, clip the treadmill safety key onto your body so the treadmill will stop in case of emergency.
  3. Look for the emergency stop button.
  4. Begin walking on the exercise machine at a slow speed.
  5. After you have already gotten on board the fitness machine, accelerate the speed gradually.

You will undoubtedly achieve safety for yourself as well as a revitalizing treadmill workout if you follow these techniques when using the exercise machine.

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Holding onto the treadmill’s console or handrail

As a beginner, you may worry about stumbling while walking on the treadmill, so you hold onto its console or handrails for stability.

However, you should keep in mind that when using the treadmill, you are supposed to copy your natural walking form when you walk on an actual road.

Moreover, you are supposed to execute the proper walking posture, moving naturally with your natural arm motion and correct strides.

Thus, how can you achieve these targets if you are holding onto the treadmill’s handrails or console?

The proper thing to do is to let go of these parts of the treadmill even if this would mean walking at a slower speed.

But if you really need to use the treadmill’s handrails because of a balance problem or disability that you have, you need to talk to your physical therapist or gym trainer.

Ask them for advice regarding how you can achieve the proper walking posture even if you need to place your hands on the handrails.

Hunching one’s shoulders while walking and eyes looking downwards

Another of the common treadmill mistakes to avoid as a beginner is to reinforce poor walking posture.

A gym user commits this error by raising his shoulders while bending the body forward and looking down to read, send a text message, or watch a video using the treadmill’s console.

Just like when watching TV or using the computer for long hours, incorrect walking posture on the treadmill causes discomforts on the neck, lower back, and shoulders.

Besides, it does not permit you to breathe well. To avoid these harmful habits, you should learn how to execute a good walking posture.

This proper body position is done with your head and chin up and your eyes looking forward.

Moreover, position your reading material or the video you are watching at the same level as your face, so you are looking straight on it and not looking downwards or upwards.

Every few minutes throughout your physical exercise session, roll your shoulders backwards to ensure that you are not hunching them, too.

Uncomfortably leaning backward or forward on the treadmill

You should always remember that when you use the treadmill, it is all about having the proper walking posture as though you are walking on the actual road.

Your body should be in an upright position to execute the correct walking posture. Moreover, it should not be leaning backward or forward.

For you to observe this position, follow these steps:

  1. Pull your stomach in while tucking in your buttocks. Then, tilt your pelvis forward a little bit.
  2. Imagine that there is a string attached on top of your head, then pretend that you are pulling it upwards. This action will make you stand up straight.
  3. Ensure that your shoulders are not hunching by rolling your shoulder backwards.
  4. Now, when you feel that you have achieved a straight posture, step on the treadmill and begin walking.
  5. Tell yourself always to observe this proper upright walking position and check your body every time you alter your speed or incline as well.

Remember to relax when you perform these techniques. You do not have to feel awkward because these workouts help you feel your best.

Overstriding to be able to walk at a faster speed

Overstriding is another of the common treadmill mistakes to avoid as a beginner.

When you commit this error, you find your front heel landing on the ground distantly in front of your body.Novice gym users usually want to walk more rapidly, so they tend to overstride.

Moreover, you maycommitthis incorrect habit if you are using the treadmill beside your friends who could have longer strides or who are taller.

To correct this mistake, you can perform the proper and fast walking stride with your front heel striking close to your body.

You can also see your back foot staying on the ground longer, executing a forceful push-off. As you can see, this is the opposite of overstriding.

The push-off backwards is the action that makes your walk more powerful and faster. Moreover, it enables you to work harder on your leg muscles and to burn more calories.

To perform the correct quick walking stride, have a look at these strategies:

  1. Shorten your walking stride by taking shorter steps.
  2. Begin focusing on feeling your back foot and carrying out a correct push-off using it with every step.
  1. Concentrate on performing the right push-off for a few minutes of your treadmill sessions until you become more familiar with it.

By following these steps, you will soon find yourself walking more effortlessly and more rapidly.

Do not forget that the power in your treadmill walks lies on your back foot. Hence, you should lengthen your stride backwards and not forward.

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Walking on the treadmill with both feet moving inactively

If you are a beginner at the gym using the treadmill, your shoes may sometimes be the wrong pair, making you feel stiff when walking.Hence, you may find yourself dragging your feet.

On the other hand, if you are wearing the right shoes that are flexible and are designed for running and walking, you get to perform the correct walking steps.

To help your feet move actively when you use the treadmill, keep your feet a little longer on the ground, with your soles giving more contact on the treadmill belt.

Having the incorrect arm motion that causes body tension

You may not be advised to hold onto the handrails while using the treadmill. So what should your arms do then while your legs are busy walking?

When walking on the treadmill, there is the proper arm motion that you should follow. These techniques facilitate you to walk faster and to burn more calories.

Have a look at these strategies to achieve the proper arm motions on the treadmill:

  1. Bend both of your arms on a 90-degree angle. Then, hold them near your body.
  1. Remember that it is crucial to relax your shoulders.
  2. Move your arms forward and backward naturally.
  3. Make sure that your arms are moving opposite the direction of each of your legs.
  4. Avoid “speedwalking” which people commit by flinging both of their arms up in front of another person’s face or from side to side.

Keep your arms’ forward strokes brief, too.

The important thing for you to keep in mind here is to allow the motion of your arms and your legs to move at the same pace naturally.

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Being unfamiliar with the main features of the treadmill

It is common for novice treadmill users not to take an interest in getting to know the primary features of the exercise machine.

Thus, they are not able to get the maximum benefits of using it. Aside from switching the treadmill on and off, learn the following functions that you will commonly find in the treadmill:

  1. a) InclineThis is a common feature of the treadmill. Increasing the incline rate will boost your heart rate.

Moreover, plenty of treadmill models include pre-programmed hill exercises  which help in burning more calories per mile as the user walks uphill. To learn how to alter the incline rates and to obtain the benefits of treadmill incline exercises, you can go over the owner’s manual.

  1. b) Adjusting the Speed – It is vital that you understand how to accelerate or decelerate the speed in your treadmill when you engage in your exercises. When controlling the pace of your walking, you will typically begin at a comfortable

speed to give your body some warm-ups for three to five minutes.

Then, you can increase the speed to your desired level. You will then conclude your treadmill workout with a cooldown lasting for three to five minutes at a leisurely pace.

  1. c) Programmed ExercisesMixing up your treadmill workout is an ideal way to achieve your fitness objectives.

You can study the given exercise plans and select the one that you find exciting and that you think is undoubtedly helpful in achieving your weight-loss goals.

  1. d) Heart Rate or Pulse Monitor – You can find these features on the treadmill either in a clip or grip which you are supposed to attach to your body properly.

They offer you feedback regarding your heart rate during your walking session. A more accurate version of this treadmill feature is the chest strap heart rate monitor which works in synergy with the treadmill.

  1. e) Workout History of the Treadmill User – Some treadmill models feature data- saving mechanisms that help you check your progress.
  1. f) Amount of Calories Burned – You can determine the number of calories that you have burned on your treadmill. Make sure that you input your correct weight so you will get to see the accurate results.
  1. g) Applications or Apps – Some treadmill models can be linked to an application which you can access using your mobile device. This feature helps you save your workout history, gain fitness badges, and so forth.

Being well aware of these treadmill features will surely give you more advantages unlike if you are only familiar with the basic ones.

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Walking on the treadmill aimlessly and fast

As a beginner, you may find yourself walking on the treadmill fast without maintaining the proper walking form and posture.

This misstep is among the treadmill mistakes to avoid as a beginner. Hence, why not try jogging on the treadmill and see if this works well for you?

When you incorporate running routines to your treadmill workout, you are highly likely to develop your posture and form.

Follow these eight proper steps of performing running intervals in your treadmill workout:

  1. Warm up your body at a comfortable duration of three to five minutes.
  1. Accelerate your walking pace into a fast speed, but ensure that you are still executing the correct walking form.
  1. Begin running while increasing your speed to correspond to your pace.
  1. Continue jogging for one to three minutes.
  2. For three to five minutes, go back to your fast walking speed gradually.
  3. Then, jog for one to three minutes.
  4. Repeat this procedure until the conclusion of your workout for the day.
  5. To cool down, walk at a comfortable speed for three to five minutes.

As you can see, even if you are a novice treadmill user, you can also try jogging on the treadmill safely and properly.

Performing the same physical exercises for a long time

Performing the same workout exercises for a long time is actually detrimental for your body.

This fact is because your body has already completely adapted to these physical exercises to the extent that they lose their efficacy.

Hence, you can achieve your fitness goals if you infuse variations in your workout. Have a look at these tips:

  1. Increase your walking speed or incline to add more intensity to your workouts.
  2. Spend more time on the treadmill. For example, if you usually spend 30 minutes in the machine, increase the duration by adding 15 more minutes for at least one session every week. Then, from 45 minutes, take your walking duration to 60 minutes after a couple of weeks.
  3. You can walk on the treadmill every day of the week once you become accustomed to this physical exercise. To reduce health risks, you can walk at a brisk speed for 30 minutes to half an hour on most days of the week.
  4. This exercise amounts to 150 to 300 minutes a week. Add easy walking on the treadmill during your days off of the gym if you usually perform more challenging exercises and take a day-off.
  5. Do not limit your workouts to the treadmill. Aside from walking, try basic jogging on it, too.

Moreover, engage in other physical exercises using various equipment like the rowing machine, the exercise bike, or the stair climber. You can also infuse circuit and weight training as well as other routines that you find fun and will make your body move in new directions.

Learning the ten treadmill mistakes to avoid as a beginner will surely help you in walking on the treadmill the proper way.

They help you correct your walking posture and feet movement. Plus, you get to achieve the fitness and wellness goals that you have set for yourself quicker.


Wrap up

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About Gaurav Dhir

Gaurav Dhir, B. Tech, PGDCM is an engineer and MBA by training. A fitness aficionado, Gaurav follows a strict diet and exercise regimen to keep himself vigorously active. He loves playing sports and being outdoors. Gaurav is responsible for the health and wellness of 4 generations including his son, elderly parents and very elderly grandparents.