Tricks Of The Treadmill
Okay, so you made it to the gym, but are you really accomplishing anything by slugging away on the treadmill?
It’s all too easy to slouch into our steps, making the workout less engaged and less effective. When we forget to pay attention to our steps, all of a sudden our feet turn out, our lower back hyper-extends and our upper body scrunches up in discomfort.
What this means for your workout is that you’re no longer getting one – or at least not a good one. Paying attention to every single step on the treadmill will change the way you experience your workout.
No longer will you have any interest in the distractions around you – the TV’s, the people beside you, or those who pass by and stare. You’ll be fully connected to your body and the purposes behind your movements.
When we encounter areas of stress and discomfort, we are to push through them, or otherwise address them in the way we feel is best. Just like there is a lot of stress and tension stored in our muscles, there is also a lot of stress and tension stored in our brains and emotions.
When we focus on our movements, and the sensations of our movements, we allow ourselves to tap into our emotions in such a way that both our mind and body are getting a workout.
How To Tap In:
Turn on the treadmill at a low pace and a moderate incline – whatever is most comfortable for you. Allow yourself to walk naturally for the next five minutes while your body settles into the pace of the machine.
Let your mind go and wander, address any thoughts that may come up, and do your best to let them untangle themselves. Keep breathing through your nose, and focus on holding your shoulders down and away from the ears. Work up towards walking without holding onto any of the handles, as this will engage the most muscles throughout your workout.
Once you have feel for the machine, begin focusing your attention to rolling off your steps – heel, ball, toe, heel, ball, toe, heel, ball, toe – You may find that you put your weight off to the outer edge of your foot more than the inner edge. Feel how this affects the muscles that run up into your legs.
Do your best to balance out between the outer and inner edges of the foot while still rolling off the heel. Dig deeper and deeper into the heel, and feel how that forces your knees to bend forward to protect the joints. When the knees are bent more forward, we feel the calves fire up and more pressure is put onto the quads.
Walk like this for 5-10 minutes while maintaining strong upper body posture. Return to walking “naturally” for another five minutes to reset your step.
Now, with your elbows flaring out to the side, press your hands into your lower back as to push your hips down. Feel how this forces the pelvis forward, engaging through the lower abs and lengthening the lower back. Do your best to keep your hips from swaying side to side, and focus your attention to keeping the movements to forward and back.
Walking like this will contribute to a relaxed spinal posture, as the pressure on the low back acts as a support.
In effect, it releases the tension that builds up in our lower back while walking. Walk like this for 5-10 minutes, and then return to walking “naturally” for another five minutes to reset your step. By this point, your feet will be feeling a little funny.
I find that I don’t know how to walk normally after workouts like this.
By changing the way we take our steps, we also change the way that people perceive us. For example, someone who is rushing to work is going to walk very differently than someone who is on vacation.
What does your walk say about you? One way to find out how you look when you’re walking is to ask yourself how you feel when you’re walking.
If someone is walking with their head bowed, and their big toes slightly curved in, they may also find that their hands tuck in front of their bodies, and they feel shy or closed off. If someone is walking with grit in their heels, and their arms are tense and engaged, that person could quite possibly be pissed off.
Does changing the way you walk change the way you feel? Go find out!
Latest posts by Heather (see all)
- 5 Exercises You Can Do Absolutely Anywhere - 24/08/2015
- 5 Simple Ways You Can Fit Exercise Into Your Already Busy Schedule - 12/08/2015
- 6 Foods To Avoid When Trying To Lose Weight - 10/08/2015