A recent article in Men’s Health suggests that the best way to run on your treadmill, is to run with “baby steps”, which not only may give you a better workout, but may also help you avoid injuries. Here’s why!
The next time you run on a treadmill, listen to the way your feet strike the belt. Is it loud? When running on your treadmill, a loud foot-strike is indicative of a heavy stride.
And, if you have a heavy stride, your strides are probably too long and too few, says exercise physiologist Adam St. Pierre. That can cause an aggressive heel strike that puts you at risk for stress fractures, knee pain, and shin splints.
Runners who shrank down their stride by 5 to 10 percent had less strain on commonly injured areas, like IT bands (iliotibial band) and knees, according to scientists at Iowa State.
Instead, the best way to run is with shorter, faster strides that are less jarring. This allows you to ease the impact on those vulnerable areas. And, as a bonus, when your stride is more like “baby steps”, your running overall is more efficient, allowing you to run faster and longer.
When you do run via “baby steps” (i.e. short stride running), make sure you don’t land flat footed. Landing flat-footed can cause muscle strain. Be as vertical as you can and walk or run as you would normally. Land on your midfoot or the ball of your foot—not your heel.
You also want to make sure you look forward when you run, rather than looking at your feet. This not only helps you to keep your balance, but you’ll also breathe better, while reducing strain on your neck, spine, hips, and knees. Gaze straight ahead and keep your shoulders level and chest open. Your hips, knees, and low-back will follow, making a relatively straight line from the head to your feet.
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Source: Men’s Health