Some people find they can't walk on the treadmill without holding the handlebars. But they are there to provide the support you need when you feel like your legs are giving up on you.
Most expert users and owners often debate whether you should run while holding your treadmill's handrails.
Why You Shouldn’t Hold Your Treadmill Handlebars
If you have ever used a treadmill, at some point, you have felt that holding on to the rails kills the vibe of your workout. And it's an experience that comes naturally when the treadmill is at high speed.
You aren't alone if you share these feelings and sentiments. But why does it feel wrong to walk/run on the treadmill while holding the rails yet they are there? Most people agree and understand that the handrails are there for safety reasons. Besides that, there's no gain in holding the rails.
But when you hold the rails, there's the perception that you are running fast or hard, giving you false satisfaction. According to fitness experts, the treadmill handrails take away the benefits you should gain when you walk or run on the treadmill.
The result is that;
· You mess with your body posture and alignment
· Burn few calories than you should
· You mess with your balance training
· Because you don't swing the arms, you lose your natural gait
Arm movement when walking or running is important for everyone as it drives you forward. Handrails affect your natural stride, especially when the treadmill is at a higher speed, and you should avoid it if you can.
The pressure you should feel on your leg muscles gets transferred to your upper body by holding the treadmill rails as you work out. Running is primarily a lower-body exercise, but once the effort is reduced, the leg muscles develop slower than they should.
Try running on a treadmill as you would outdoors. Take the center position of the treadmill belt and ensure that your arms swing with every step. Keep your shoulders far from your ears, engaging the gluteal muscles.
Even though the treadmill bars are present, try not to use them when walking or running to get the most from every session.
Reasons Why Treadmills Have Holding Bars
There are only four reasons, and they don't involve physical fitness.
People can become careless and throw caution to the wind if their mind isn't fully committed to the workout. Accidents happen, and you can injure yourself on the treadmill. This lowers the safety standard of the treadmill.
And treadmill companies have to put the handrails as a safety net so that they don't become liable if you fail to take precautions.
You must step onto the treadmill as you mount it; for this, you need support. The railings provide support for your first step before you find your rhythm and start running without holding.
You can attach your heart rate touchpads on the grip and let the machine monitor your beats per minute. It's a way to let the machine do the work for you when you don't have chest or wrist straps.
Not all the time, your body will be 100%, but you may still feel like working out. It's heartwarming to know that you can hold on to the rails should you feel dizzy or when you must look back and don't want to stop running.
Train Yourself to Stop Holding the Treadmill Rails
By keeping your hands away from the treadmill rails, you can burn calories by up to 20% more using the same time if they were on. Here's how to utilize your treadmill time efficiently.
Get familiar with the console area and learn what each button does. It should be almost automatic to start and stop the machine even with your eyes closed. Then, take time to program the machine the way you like.
Your body should always be in the right posture before you start running. Maintain a straight frame and face forward with your chin upright. Don't tense your shoulders. Instead, keep them relaxed and make sure to tighten the ab area.
Slightly lift your upper body by moving your pelvis slightly in front to stop your running motion from having a swayed back. Then, start running with your hands off the handlebars. Learning this habit is important instead of trying to break it later as you advance.
Start slow until you grasp how to maintain the right running posture that works all your leg and gluteal muscles. You will advance your speed as you get comfortable on the treadmill.
The same principles apply to learning how to balance on the bicycle. Always take care of your safety, and it's okay to grab the bar occasionally if you feel off balance. Run fast and take breaks by slowing the tempo to allow you to gain your breath. Adjust incline settings to make it more challenging and burn more calories within a short session.
There are special circumstances that require you hold the treadmill bar while exercising. If you are coming off from a long-term injury and your legs aren't fully rehabilitated. You may have other impairments that necessitate grabbing the handrails.