Have you ever tried to run on the treadmill and you have nothing but issues? Sore or numb feet, shin splints, you feel different from running on the treadmill to outside, stomping on the treadmill?
Well, there are a few things you can do to help. First things first you need to record your body while you are running. Why do we need to do this? I always record my sessions to see what my GAIT looks like. What in the heck is GAIT? This is how a person moves, now with proper movement mechanics when we slow a video down of someone's GAIT we can see small limitations, or even large ones, such as uneven hips, collapsed feet, knees caving in, improper foot placement or striking, improper stride, upper body rotation etc.
Now once we review and go over your video and show you how your body moves, the next step is working toward helping you with those limitations.
Now, what else can we do to help with using the treadmill?
Standing too close to the console is the biggest one. By standing too close to the console we limit our leg stride to be able to move at the proper length. Now everyone's stride will be different due to their height. Please remember stride and steps are two different things.
"A stride is one complete revolution of the gait cycle, beginning at initial ground contact or heel strike and ending when that same foot comes to that same position again to make ground contact again." NAIT PFTR - (Performance training).
2. The second issue I see is the foot strike, this can determine if you're getting numb feet, sore feet, shin splints or Achilles pain, or hard stomping on the treadmill. So what should our foot placement look like?
- The foot placement should be mid-foot or fore-foot. Below will be a diagram of the foot. Just don't run on the toes, the best placement would be midfoot.
- If your stomp on the treadmill you are utilizing the heel more than the mid-foot. This is where you might get more Achilles pain or calve pain.
- Shin splints, this is a pain in the medial tibial muscle, or it becomes tender, and inflamed. One of the biggest things I try to teach my clients is proper ankle & foot mobility and warm-up. Make sure your rolling the feet and lower legs, and make sure you're stretching the ankle. ROLL YOUR FEET!!! We really take for granted what our feet do for us daily and what they provide for our bodies. Most body dysfunctions stem from the feet or ankles. The other issue is shoes, most shoe companies tend to give up more cushion for everything, BUT lack the actual design of shoes actually fit our feet properly. Most shoes bring the feet inward and raise the toes up as you can see from the diagram below.
The big toes are meant for balance, stability and shock absorption when we are doing powerful or explosive movements. When we bring that toe in we lose this.
"The big toe plays a critical role in both shock absorption and propulsion. In fact, the first Metatarsophalangeal joint bears 40-60% of the body's weight during the stance phase of gait. - Dr. Brian Abelson
When the foot can't properly utilize the big toe then we lose stability from the foot and this can directly impact the shock absorption of force on the body, and no ability to have the quality drive or push forward. This is called Propulsive.
Now, what are some things we can do to help?
1. Take a long loop band and wrap it around the handles on the treadmill. This will help you stay far enough away from the console that it won't affect the quality of your running form. You will have a better leg stride through the full movement.
2. This will also help with proper knee raise, the knees when running should graze the bottom of the band.
3. Feet placement If you're struggling with your feet, slow the treadmill down to a maintainable speed. Work your way up, you don't have to start going fast. That will come with time, patience and consistency. This is the same for walking on an incline, don't hang on because if you ever climb a mountain you will be utilizing different muscles than you have been training as you can see from the photo below. If you're holding onto the treadmill you will utilize more of the back muscles and none of the front of your body.
I hope this helps your treadmill running, and gives an inside on how to improve your running. Let me know your thoughts and as always if you have any questions my inbox is open to help.
Much Love Richelle