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Walking and running are two of the most popular forms of exercise today, and equipment like treadmills and elliptical trainers can mimic outdoor training while helping you to achieve valuable cardio results. When using these pieces of equipment, biomechanics plays an important role in proper form, safety and injury prevention.
Follow these tips from the experts at Life Fitness to learn what is important in proper form and what to look for when choosing fitness equipment.
Achieve Proper Walking and Running Form:
What to look for in treadmills:
Ergonomically correct – When using a gym treadmill, make sure the console doesn’t place your body in an awkward position. It’s important that the console slants at a more vertical than horizontal level, keeping your body in an upright position.
Shock absorbers – Running on hard surfaces can negatively impact the joints and back. Having a more cushioned platform can help prevent injury and will put less stress on the knees and ankles.
Longer handrails – Extended rails expand the running space and allow for more freedom to move. Longer handrails will give you more room to swing your arms naturally, as well as the additional safety of extended support.
What to look for in elliptical trainers:
Smooth movement – Check if the drive mechanism is at the rear of the machine, allowing the pedals to support your feet through full range of motion. This will eliminate the common ‘numb foot’ experience from over-extending the ankle joint beyond the normal running or walking range.
Synchronization – When the arm handles and foot pedals work in tandem, your balance and body positioning happens faster. Interdependent arms and legs also accommodate different exercisers, providing a workout customized for your fitness level.
Whether you’re a loyal treadmill runner, an elliptical-trainer fan or a combination of both, a little education on how to properly use the equipment will make a big difference in achieving optimum results.
Fit Tips are provided by Life Fitness, the leader in designing and manufacturing high-quality exercise equipment for fitness facilities and homes worldwide. For more information on Fit Tips and other fitness advice and expertise visit www.lifefitness.com or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/lifefitness or join our Facebook fan page at www.facebook.com/lifefitness.