By: Anthony Campo
A Treadmill can be an effective tool for certain of goals. They are useful, but not always optimal. For most of us, time is a limited resource, and in order to best achieve your goals it would be in your best interest to make sure you are using your time as efficiently as possible. Here is The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of treadmill usage.
The Good – If you are a running athlete the treadmill can be used in bad weather situations to help you stick to your program. It is important to note that running on the treadmill has a different impact than running outside on pavement or a track. If you are an athlete, remember to practice as often as possible on the surface your sport takes place on. The treadmill can be used for of conditioning, endurance, and energy burning goals. Try ramping up the incline and performing sprint intervals for great conditioning and fat loss training. Also try pushing the tread with the treadmill off to get many of the same benefits of pushing a sled such as posterior chain development and cardiovascular system training. The treadmill is also a good tool for helping to retrain gait mechanics that require improvement.
The Bad – If you have a limited amount of time it is better to focus on resistance exercise. You can get even better conditioning and cardiovascular system training by performing resisted compound movement exercise in a circuit or complex. This will help you maximize your time and results considering that resistance exercise is also optimal for body composition, strength, and overall health. You can walk in-between sets of resistance exercise from station to station or around the gym in order to get all the same benefits of the treadmill while still getting in your resistance training.
The Ugly – Most injuries stem from the repetitive use of poor mechanics. If you have mechanical flaws or muscular imbalances as we most do, consistently jogging on a treadmill will bring those issues to the surface and can cause injury. The treadmill motor also does some of the posterior chain movement for you, which in itself can lead to muscular imbalance and injury over time.