19 Treadmill Safety Tips To Keep You Injury-Free

Written By: Jeremy N

Treadmills may help you get in shape, but just like any other piece of exercise equipment, it's important to follow the proper technique and form so you don't end up hurting yourself. Accidents and injuries on treadmills are all too frequent, so it's vital to use the understand know some treadmill safety tips including correct form and method while running or walking on your treadmill at home.

A treadmill is great which is partly why it is common gym equipment found throughout the world.

19 Important Treadmill Safety Tips

19 Treadmill Safety Tips To Keep You Injury-Free

1. Where to Put it in your Home

I recently put together an article detailing the 4 best places to put a treadmill so I am going to summarize for you the BIG takeaways.

It's a good idea to double-check that there's nothing behind the treadmill that you might strike their head on if they fall off. The belts on treadmills move fast and if you are not prepared, you will fall.

I highly recommend finding a spot around your house or apartment that has plenty of space around it and is not cramped with stuff around it. Tight spots are not good for treadmills.

I tend to air on the side of having safety concerns when picking my spot - where can I have space to exercise without running into anything or anyone. Ultimately, put your treadmill in a room with a lot of space. 

2. Getting Ready to Use The Treadmill

If you haven't been exercising recently, try just doing a 20-minute walk around your area first thing in the morning. Jumping right in might be very tempting so I recommend taking a few minutes to get your body prepared for a run on the treadmill.

3. Don't Forget To Stretch

Studies have shown that individuals who stretch before engaging in any physical activity (such as running) experience less injury and soreness. So, whether you're using a treadmill or not, make sure to stretch beforehand (stretching actually aids in the recovery and relaxation of your muscles).

4. Be Safe by Starting Slow

You can start with a slow pace and gradually work your way up to a more demanding exercise as you become more active, but initially, you should go easy and steady (especially if you've never used a treadmill before).

Treadmills have a safety mechanism that turns off user goes too fast. It's a big RED button on many or a safety key magnet on others. This is fantastic just in case we start to exercise a little too fast when we are just getting started.

5. Set The Right Speed/Pace

Slowly work your way up to a speed you are comfortable with. You can adjust the speed slowly to a level that you should be able to handle, then gradually increase it as your body acclimates to the activity.

It may take some time to get started, but once you've gotten used to them, treadmills will become one of your favorite pieces of equipment. How do you know what the right speed is to start?

Great question. Straddling the Deck is the easiest way to see the pace and get comfortable with it as you go. This allows you to get a feel for the pace as you go. If you are a slower runner, then start at 2-3 MPH. If you are someone who likes to walk faster, then go ahead and start at 4 mph or more.

Just be sure that as you increase the speed, you maintain good form as discussed below.

Remember, you're in control of the treadmill. One of the most typical reasons why people suffer injuries while working out on a treadmill (or any other machine) is because they forget this. Always keep in mind that this is your workout session, not someone else's. So when working out, don't get caught up in music or TV shows.

-You may like: The Used Treadmill Price Guide (Don't Get Ripped Off!)

6. Hands off the Handrails

It's fine for someone using the treadmill to grasp the handrails as they become accustomed to a machine's movement, but grasping the handrails for an extended amount of time may place strain on their shoulders and elbows. It also indicates that the speed or incline is set too high, which must be changed to a more comfortable level.

Handrails can also cause an exerciser's balance to be thrown off, making them more likely to suffer from leg and foot injuries. Holding on to the rails lowers the number of calories burned since the core muscles are not working as much as they should be. It is a more natural movement for your arms to move freely.

7. Perfect Your Form

If you want to avoid injuries when working out on a treadmill, keep your posture correct. Make sure to concentrate on good form while using the treadmill (keep knees bent when running, feet always on the belt and not outside of it).

This will improve blood flow, which will lead to enhanced muscular recovery and a faster metabolism, resulting in better weight reduction outcomes.

It's typical for beginners to keep a careful eye on their feet, especially if they are new to treadmills. Exercisers who look down or away from the treadmill are more likely to lose their footing and fall. Most people's feet follow their gaze, so looking sideways is likely to cause their feet to shift side-to-side.

People who have only used a treadmill a few times frequently report dizziness. Users experience the sensation that the ground is moving while exercising on a treadmill. Stepping off of a treadmill may bring about feelings of disorientation, so be careful the first few times you hop off of the treadmill.

8. Wear Shoes - Don't Go Barefoot

Running on a treadmill barefoot or using other fitness equipment is a really bad idea. It is similar to running without socks.

There is heat and friction produced by a treadmill's moving belt which may create blisters or another treadmill injury. Those who run on a treadmill barefoot suffer from burns, scrapes, and blisters. When people exercise in properly fitting shoes, it reduces strain on the joints because they absorb the impact of movement and relieve pressure on the knees.

It's critical to wear shoes when using a treadmill at the gym since germs and fungus can be dispersed by bare feet. It's also just uncomfortable. Most gyms prohibit their members from exercising on equipment without shoes.

9. Set A Goal

Whether you want to reduce weight, stay healthy, or tone your body, it's always a good idea to focus on goals while working out on a treadmill. Keeping you committed and interested in finishing the whole session (and not getting discouraged by the time it takes).

Having goals also allows you to track your progress, whether week-to-week, month-to-month or even year-to-year.

When creating goals, be specific, measurable, and attainable (but not too easy). For example, "I want to be able to jog for 30 minutes without stopping" is a good goal. "I want to lose 10 pounds" is not as good because it's not specific or measurable. Add Variety -Doing the same routine on the treadmill week after week can become pretty boring. Not to mention, it can lead to a plateau in your weight loss or fitness goals.

10. Use a Treadmill Workout Program

When starting a new exercise program, having an effective workout plan is one of the greatest methods to go, especially with treadmills. This is significant since it will allow you to pick from a wider range of exercises, lowering boredom and resulting in higher-quality workouts overall.

Most newer treadmills have built-in programs that you can access. Peloton became extremely popular during the pandemic due to their built in programs

11. Increase The Speed or Incline

Maintaining a quick pace on a steep incline can be difficult. Anyone who uses their treadmill to increase the incline should initially raise the incline to a manageable degree, then gradually boost their speed. If runners increase their speed and incline abruptly without first adjusting them, they risk slipping and falling.

12. Warm Up First Before Cooling Down

Warm-up for at least 5-10 minutes (depending on how intense your workout was) before cooling down and stretching after your workout. This is critical to avoid dizziness and even migraines as a result of blood pressure plummeting during the cool-down phase.

13. Create A Routine

If you're feeling like you're close to puking after exercising, it's time to take a break (seriously). Always keep in mind that you should have a workout routine that leaves you feeling energized, not wiped out. Mixing up the intensity and length of your workouts is a great way to achieve this.

14. Stay Hydrated with Water

Before you start any exercise on a treadmill, as well as while breaks between intervals drink water. Dehydration can cause dizziness during exercises, therefore staying hydrated at all times is critical to your safety and avoiding health problems.

15. Get Your Mindset Right

If you're just getting started, your mind will be wondering how to survive this since it's a new experience for you. Don't worry; this is a common reaction and usually goes away after doing some regular treadmill running. Keep your attention and resolve focused at all times during each session.

It's critical to understand your limits when exercising and avoid pushing your body too hard. Keeping track of your heart rate while working out is a smart idea. Every person should know their intended heart rate and try to stay below 80% of it.

When the body is working at a rate of 50% to 70% of the desired heart rate, it can burn fat effectively and serious health problems such as heart attack and stroke are more probable.

16. Distractions Can Be Dangerous

It's good to avoid distractions like watching TV or listening to music while working out on a treadmill. This is due to the fact that, when immersed in an action sequence from your favorite TV program (such as Ted Lasso), you might be tempted to increase speed or incline and subsequently suffer serious bodily damage if you're not careful.

I tend to do this when I run, a certain song comes on and I pump up my pace. Most treadmills have built-in safety features like a safety key or programs that keep your attention where it should be prevent serious injury.

18. Do Not Leave A Treadmill Running

It's easy to forget that a treadmill is still operating while the user steps off for a few minutes to answer the door or go to the bathroom. Anyone in the vicinity of a moving belt of a treadmill should be careful and it should be completely shut down before stepping off the equipment.

Everyone who uses a treadmill should be aware of the emergency shut-off/safety key button's position so that they can quickly turn it off if they are harmed or a garment gets caught in the equipment.

19. Keep Your Children & Pets Away

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are about 8,700 injuries in children under the age of 14 every year caused by exercise equipment. Children and equipment with moving components should be kept out of harm's way.

Treadmills are dangerous to kids and pets who are curious about them and put their hands on the belt or between the belt and the rest of the machine. It is ideal for parents to use their treadmill only when another adult is watching over their children.

Many fitness folding treadmills make it easy to store which can be great to minimize the opportunity for kids or pets to get hurt. 

In conclusion, following these treadmill safety tips is essential to having a safe and enjoyable workout. Taking the time to learn about how to properly use this equipment will help keep you safe while achieving your fitness goals. Remember to always drink plenty of water, stay hydrated, and focus on your exercise routine.

Most importantly, be aware of your surroundings and the emergency shut-off button or safety key in case of an accident. With these precautions in mind, you can confidently enjoy a treadmill workout without any worries.

Hi, Jeremy Here, 

I am the the guy behind Train for a 5K. On this site, I share everything that learned along my running journey. The content I create is the running training I wish I had before we started this journeyAbout Me.

Hi, Jeremy Here, 

I am the the guy behind Train for a 5K. On this site, I share everything that learned along my running journey. The content I create is the running training I wish I had before we started this journeyAbout Jeremy. 

I have run over 250 races including the California International Marathon, Clarksburg Country Run, and various other 5K & 10K races throughout the United States. I am a former Athletics department employee at University of the Pacific and Shoe Consultant with Dicks Sporting Goods

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