Fit Tip: Cardio Exercise Technique
Don’t cheat your body of a good workout by using poor form. Avoid the mistakes that can affect your workout results and cause injury by focusing on your technique. Next time you go for or a run or jump on the treadmill, keep in mind these dos and don’ts of cardio exercise technique.
- Don’t slump over the treadmill or elliptical, holding on for dear life. Your hands only belong on the equipment for balance and not support. When you use the equipment as your prop, you are not burning optimal calories and you aren’t effectively working your lower body. Plus, you are putting unnecessary strain on your wrists and back by leaning into the equipment.
- Do straighten up your back, look straight ahead, rest your hands lightly on the rails and get the most out of your workout.
- Don’t shorten your steps on the treadmill or tip-toe on the summit trainer. Fast and furious doesn’t necessarily equal a better workout. These shallow steps can reduce the benefits of your workout.
- Do think full range of motion. Taking longer, comfortable strides work the large muscle groups in your legs and burn even more calories in the long run.
- Don’t get too comfortable with your routine. Becoming adept at your routine is a good thing. Getting to the point where you can do it in your sleep is not. Remember, your muscles can become as bored as your mind.
- Do increase the incline or speed on the treadmill or do a different pre-programmed workout on that elliptical trainer for a change. Challenge your muscles and make sure you aren’t stuck in auto-pilot where you won’t make progress to a strong fit body.
- Don’t hold your breath or take shallow breathes while doing your cardio. Your muscles need oxygen to keep moving.
- Do take deep breaths and allow air in through both your mouth and nose when you are walking or running. Use the "talk test" to figure out if your pace is appropriate. If you are a beginner, you should be able to speak a sentence or two without gasping for air. If you are feeling breathless, slow the pace slightly and focus on deep breaths.
Follow these tips for good form and get a great cardio workout.