Have you, or have you ever seen anyone hold on for dear life while treadmill walking at a ridiculous speed and/or incline?
It may just be one of my top gym pet peeves, and both men and woman do it!
Treadmill walking at a rate which requires you to hold onto the handles or heart rate sensors is definitely a workout, however a very inefficient one. Holding the handles while on an incline provides support for your upper body and makes the workout easier for your lower body. Why not challenge yourself and find an incline and speed that enables you to work hard without holding on?! If this means 3mph on a 4% incline, that’s fine…you can work your way to the top!
Incline walking is excellent for the heart and all of the muscles of the lower body. It is much easier on the joints than running and still offers a considerable challenge. While walking on an incline, your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves get a crazy good workout. Your quadriceps must work to straighten out your leg as it sweeps forward while also assisting in driving the thigh upwards. Your hamstrings allow you to flex at the knee, and along with gluteus maximus, it helps extend the hip so you can push off and keep walking. The greater the incline, the more involved the hamstrings and gluteus maximus becomes. The calf muscles are responsible for extending your ankle which allows you to push off the ground and propel yourself forward.
Of course, all of the muscles are working heavily if, and only if, you let go of the damn handles! There aren’t any available in the great outdoors so I do not see how holding on while on a treadmill will help you when it comes to walking outside. Pump your arms and give some of the muscles of the upper body a good workout too!
I feel better now, thanks for reading!