(THIS POST PROBABLY CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS. OUR FULL DISCLOSURE POLICY IS REALLY BORING, BUT YOU CAN FIND IT HERE.)
Best Treadmill Running Form Tips
Treadmill running is a great way to improve your cardiovascular fitness. I love using my Proform treadmill (great product for the price!) to make running more convenient with a 4 year old and full time job! Plus weather in Kansas can be a nightmare for running outside at times!
Therefore, I like to change it up and still get my runs in on the treadmill when outside isn’t an option. But I don’t want my treadmill running to harm my outdoor running.
Form is the biggest issue that I see runners have when it comes to running on the treadmill, if you don’t have good form, you could end up injured.
Poor form can also lead to bad habits that can transfer over to your outdoor running and eventually races.
In this blog post, I’ll give you five tips to help you run with good form on the treadmill.
Proper Running Form on the Treadmill
Is there such a thing as perfect running form? It’s debatable, but there are definitely some key components of good form that will help you run more efficiently and prevent injuries.
I always tell my patients that nothing is inherently good or bad. Everyone will have different body positions based on how their individual body is made.
However, there are some things that we all need to pay attention to when it comes to our treadmill running technique.
Here are Five Tips to Help YOU Improve Your Treadmill Running Form
1. Lean forward slightly from your ankles
This will help you engage your glutes and hamstrings, which will make running on the treadmill easier. This is a cue that is given often when working on running form no matter the surface.
Hinging at your ankles is the key to this cue, don’t bend forward at the waist. It is a small movement though so a little goes a long way!
2. Keep your shoulders relaxed.
This will help prevent tension in your neck and shoulders. Not only will this help prevent neck pain from running, it also uses less energy. we want our energy in our legs and lunges, not tense shoulders!
3. Let your arms swing naturally.
This will help you maintain balance and prevent your legs from getting too far ahead of your body. It is also a good cue to help keep your shoulders relaxed (see above).
Your arms should be at a 90-degree angle, with your elbows close to your body. They should be relaxed and comfortable.
4. Keep Feet Hip Width Apart when Running on the Treadmill
You don’t want your feet scissoring when you run. It is tempting to do this since you are on, what feels like, a super narrow surface. Trust me, you have plenty of room on the deck of the treadmill!
Placement on the deck of the treadmill is also important. Try not to run too close to the front. This will mess up your stride if you are constantly hitting the front of the deck and you will feel even more cramped between the handles.
5. Land Lightly on Your Feet and Don’t Reach Forward
This will help you run more efficiently and avoid getting injured. Something that I see a lot with runners on the treadmilll is that they start reaching their leg forward and landing with it outstretched.
This goes back to number 1 and hinging at your ankles. Overstriding is something that is way too easy to do on the treadmill!
Related: Stop Overstriding when Running
Treadmill Running Form vs Outdoor Running Form
The key thing to remember here is that your form shouldn’t change much. If you notice on the treadmill that your form is much different (try having someone video you doing both versions to compare) than it is outside, then something needs to be adjusted.
If you are still struggling with your form either outside or on the treadmill with these tips then maybe it is time to get a running gait analysis done.
You can do these at most physical therapy clinics or you can fill out this form here to get more information on a virtual running gait analysis done by a Doctor of Physical Therapy.
Final Thoughts on Treadmill Running Form
Following these five tips will help you improve your treadmill running form and prevent injury. Remember to focus on proper form and technique, and soon you’ll be a pro at running on the treadmill!
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This post may contain affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a commission. The Site may contain links to affiliate websites, and we receive an affiliate commission for any purchases made by you on the affiliate website using such links.
All information should be used as a tool for more knowledge on the subject topic, to use as references for later articles where applicable, or just keeping it in mind during future exercise routines or activities.
This article is not meant to give medical advice or to replace professional health care. Should any ailment occur please contact your doctor or physical therapist immediately to keep yourself safe and prevent further damage.
The author is not liable for any personal or commercial damage directly or indirectly related to the content hereof. You are responsible for adhering to local laws and regulations regarding health & safety, including proper use of equipment or safety gear, and compliance with governing health care associations, state, and federal regulations.
Best tips for Improving Treadmill Running Form
Dr. Abby Siler, PT, DPT is a Physical Therapist with 10 years of experience in a variety of settings. She has spent the majority of her time treating athletes in orthopedic clinics and worker’s compensation cases. She is a runner herself for the past 15 years and a lifelong athlete. Dr. Abby loves to teach runners how to stay injury free and out of her clinic.