Healthy Moms

10 reasons to never hold on to a treadmill
December 13, 2012 at 11:31 PM

1. Holding on burns 20 percent fewer calories than letting go at the same speed.

2. It can throw off your walking gait and posture.

3. It can cause repetitive stress injuries in the hips and shoulders. I once had a new client who complained of mysterious shoulder pain. I found out she always held onto the treadmill while walking. I told her to let go. After she began walking hands off, after a few days, the shoulder pain disappeared.

4. When you hold on, you are not really, truly walking, because in everyday walking, you're not holding onto anything for support. So if you hold onto the treadmill, your body is not being trained to do anything. In fact, it's being UN-trained.

5. It Un-teaches your body how to balance. Your balance will become worse if you hold on. When you hold on, the machine becomes an external support system to your body. This teaches your body to rely on an external agent for balance. So when you're outside somewhere, and you have to balance or walk on uneven surfaces, or step around things or go down stairs, etc., your body won't be efficient at handling the demands of self-support without that external agent to hold onto.

6. Holding on at fast speeds can raise blood pressure, because you are gripping at something. A tight grip, especially, will raise blood pressure.

7. You will be tricked into thinking you're far more fit than you actually are, because no matter how high you set the incline, even at a fast speed, if you hold on tightly enough, you can keep up with the tread without any challenge if you hold on. This will fake you out into thinking you can handle actual hills outdoors.

8. Holding on can aggravate a pre-existing back problem, or knee problem. When you hold on, the entire kinetic chain is disrupted.

9. Holding on creates a false sense of accomplishment. You're not really doing anything. Even the most frail person can use a treadmill if he or she grasps the machine.

10. It looks ridiculous. It's like, "Gee, what is he SCARED of? Let go!" Or, "You call that walking?! That ain't walking!"



  • musicpisces
    December 14, 2012 at 1:05 AM


  • darbyakeep45
    December 14, 2012 at 4:29 AM

    When I read the title, I thought it meant 10 reasons to never keep a treadmill!  LOL!  Good post though!  I see lots of people holding on to treadmills at the gym:)

  • SabrinaLC
    December 14, 2012 at 9:04 AM

    Good to know!

  • LindaClement
    December 14, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    I like 10 the best!

    Thanks for sharing!

  • chrisnjoesmom
    December 14, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    Yes.  I have read about the balance thing before and I want to scream when I see people holding on to the treadmills at the gym.

  • cleanaturalady
    December 14, 2012 at 3:24 PM

    Wow.  I didn't know any of that.  TFS

  • Alyson121
    December 14, 2012 at 5:51 PM

    Oh wow . . .great info.  I wonder how many that use the treadmill know this?

  • mp3mom
    by mp3mom
    December 14, 2012 at 6:08 PM

    EW~ I didn't even read it~ germs, for one, plus I wouldn't hold anything walking... TG, not yet ;)

  • lga1965
    by lga1965
    December 14, 2012 at 10:47 PM

     But my treadmill has the pulse/heart rate function in the handles. If I want to check my heart rate, I hold onto the handles fairly often.

  • Krysden
    by Krysden
    December 17, 2012 at 5:17 PM


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