We’ve made it through another long winter, and many of you may have used elliptical and treadmill machines to maintain conditioning during the colder months, exercising on these machines differs from moving on solid, unmoving ground.
While walking or running on a moving treadmill, it grabs the lead leg quicker than if the surface was still and your leg muscles had to pull your body forward. This mimics walking or running downhill
more than running on a flat surface, putting strain on the front shin muscle, which has to work harder to decelerate the leg. To compensate strengthen the front of the shins by walking backward.
Tighter Hip Flexors and Low Back Pain
The glutes don’t have to do as much work when moving on a treadmill as opposed to when moving outside as the belt of the machine is pulling the leg back with each stride. This puts more strain on the front hip flexors which can cause the shortening of the front of the hips and an increase in the arch of the lower back causing lower back pain. Stationary lunges are the best exercise to strengthen the glutes. Five per side. The bridge can also be used to counter all of these issues. Lie on your back with your arms crossed or at your sides and bend
your knees hip distance apart, 1-2 feet from your butt. Use your glutes to lift your hips and back off the ground. Lift in three seconds, hold for three seconds, lower in three seconds, three sets of 8-15 reps, three
times a week.
Tighter Achilles and calf muscles
The moving belt causes an increase in heel striking and the foot to flex more, which results in the back of the calf muscle shortening. Foam roll the calves. Using the elliptical does not allow your foot to move naturally. It shuts down more of your hip muscles than a treadmill. The arm movements do not mimic natural arm movements, thus resulting in neck, shoulder and back pain. Ideally you should be walking or running outside year round but if you are going to use these machines, work with your body and counter balance the damage that these machines do to your body.
Don’t forget to foam roll the front back and side of both legs before and after use.
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