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How to Make Your Hamstrings Work More When Running on a Treadmill

Treadmill Tip: Focus on Your Hamstrings

The cold, wet, snowy Winter months can definitely make running on a treadmill much more appealing than the great outdoors. There are advantages to both running locations, but one disadvantage of using a treadmill is the belt. The backward motion of the belt assists you by pulling your feet back underneath your body, which means you are exerting less energy to move your feet and legs than when running outdoors on a surface that doesn't provide any momentum. However, you can work your legs more by imagining that you are pulling the belt back with your hamstrings. This idea helps me feel like I am digging in my foot and accessing the power of my hamstrings, which really work to push the body forward when running. The treadmill can get pretty boring, but with this little trick, you have something else to focus on besides watching the clock, and you're building hamstring strength. I call that a win-win situation.

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justinmyoung justinmyoung 8 years
This simply is not true. The belt does not assist you in anyway. I can assure you. Focusing on your hamstrings would be just as an effective tool running outside as it would be running on a treadmill. There is an ever-evolving mythology associated with treadmill running that will continue so long as articles of this nature are written by people who generally don't know what they are talking about. Although I do like the tip to focus on a particular muscle during training...so it's not all bad...
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
Great tip!
wanderlusting wanderlusting 8 years
Excellent tip! I have VERY weak hamstrings from having casts on both legs for the first six years of my life, and I think this would help them very much. Plus I'm hitting up the treadmill tonight and I hate the idea that I'm not getting as good of a run as I do when outside (even though it's a million times easier on the treadmill).
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