10 Treadmill Walking Tips to Follow (2023)


BySimon Gould

After crawling, walking is the first thing we do as humans when we grow up. It’s also one of the easiest things to do. While that may be the case, we may get into bad habits where walking is concerned. Perhaps an injury may cause us to favor walking a certain way which isn’t healthy. Here I’ll go through my tips for walking on a treadmill correctly:

1 – Good posture

Walking on a treadmill is just like walking outside. The belt moves under you but you should have the same posture. It’s important you concentrate on this as sometimes you’ll be using the incline. When thinking about posture, you want to walk efficiently and with the least amount of effort for the speed you’re going.

When doing any exercise, you’re really fighting against gravity and your body weight. That’s why good posture is essential, it means you won’t suffer unnecessary injuries. Even from walking, you can injure yourself if you’re not doing it correctly. Walking is one of the most natural movements we do and it should still feel that way on a treadmill. We can even walk backward on a treadmill!

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2 – Speed

The treadmill has your speed shown on the console constantly in front of you. But how fast should you walk? The answer is what ever you feel comfortable with. You shouldn’t worry about a particular speed, but how fast it feels for you. Wikipedia says most people walk naturally at 3.1 mph. I think this is too fast. I’m an average height for a man and it feels fast.

It’s important to go by your height and stride length. If you’re short and you have short legs, then you’re going to walk slower, naturally, than other people. This is in spite of the same amount of perceived effort. Good exercise means a speed that is good for you. I would say between 2 and 3.5 mph is a good walking speed. But still go to your comfort zone.

3 – Don’t look down

This is good when walking on a treadmill or outside. You’re supposed to look in front of you, not down. Don’t think about your balance, even though you need to concentrate more on a treadmill to prevent falling off. Looking down is bad for your neck, it affects your whole posture in a negative way. Whether you walk or run, look straight ahead.

Not looking down means you stand up straight. It’s really tempting on a treadmill especially if you have nothing interesting in front of you. Some treadmills have a screen in the console, the problem with this, is it encourages you to look down instead of straight ahead. Always try and have your head face forward as you confidently walk.

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4 – Don’t hold on

Whether the rails or railings may be at the front of you or at the side, you may be tempted to hold on. This is especially the case during a hard workout, perhaps you’re walking fast on the incline. The advice I have is never hold on, only for safety reasons should you use the railings. Your arms should swing naturally to your side.

When I used to exercise in a gym on the treadmills, I would see some people holding on while walking. Perhaps they’re trying to get their heart rate from the pulse sensors. These are inaccurate anyway and I want to tell people not to hold on. Walking should be a relaxing movement for your upper body and it can’t be if you’re using the railings to support yourself.

5 – Walk upright and don’t slouch

They used to tell me at school when I was young to walk with my head held high. This advice holds true today. This will help your posture as well if you stand tall as you walk. Don’t tense up but at the same time don’t slouch. Don’t let your shoulders fall forward in front of you as this puts pressure on your back.

Try not to walk when you’re tried or not keen, this is when you’re liable to slouch and have poor form. Walking is just like running, with the proper form and standing upright and straight, you can get so much more from your exercise. You can walk faster and for longer which aids both weight loss and an improved fitness level.

(Video) FOLLOW-ALONG|10 Minute Treadmill Workout|Incline Walk|Great for Beginners

6 – Shoulders back and relax

Keep your shoulders back and, as I’ve said before, don’t tense them. Keep them back and relaxed, this means your arms will rotate and swing from the correct position. Try not to physically push your shoulders back, no matter what your form leads you to do. Your shoulders reflect the exercise your upper body does during walking on a treadmill.

Keep your back straight and don’t let it bend forward, this means your shoulders will stay back. Even if you’re walking fast, you should try and stay relaxed as possible, especially for your upper body. Your legs, although they are exerting the most effort, should be relaxed in the most part. The only muscles that should be working are the muscles propelling you forward.

7 – Swing your arms

Swing your arms but not excessively. You move your arms for stability and the correct motion matches the speed of your walk. Think of when we walk naturally, when the left leg strides forward, the opposite (right) arm matches the motion. Then back as the right leg moves forward as does the left arm. There’s no exaggerating going on.

Your elbows should be down by your side and not out, this is comfortable and natural for your limbs. I see people on treadmills doing what can be described as power walking. The arms move too much when this kind of walking goes on. Walk fast if you wish and you will feel the need to move your arms more, but don’t do a “power walking” motion.

8 – Land on the heel and push off the toe

Walking is unlike running, there is a walking motion your feet do on a treadmill or outside. You land on your heel and your foot rolls forward to the front. You then push off from the toe, your weight transfers from the back of the foot to the front. This is something we’ve done from an early age and sometimes we need to repeat the exercise.

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To walk quicker, we feel we need to increase our stride lengths. This is not true, to walk quicker we need to increase the rate at which we walk. This way we can still use minimal effort no matter how quick we go. Care is still needed at every foot fall, you don’t need to have your foot leave the ground for longer, you just need to accelerate your movements.

If you’re going to walk, for any length of time or distance, inside or out, you need good footwear. Proper walking or running shoes are essential, I personally favor running shoes for the extra cushioning. They may cost more, but are perfectly designed for the activity you have in mind. They are needed even for treadmills and walking.

When it comes to running shoes, there are certain types you can buy depending on how you pronate when you exercise. This is the rotation in the foot as you run, for walking you don’t need to be concerned with this. Just try the shoes on and make sure they’re comfortable for you and fit well. Most of all, the correct footwear will prevent you getting any unnecessary injuries.

10 – How long we should walk for

The World Health Organizationrecommendwe do 150 minutes of moderate physical activity, such as walking, per week. Spread out during the week that works out as 30 minutes per day, Monday to Friday. This is for important health benefits. This sounds like a lot but it can be broken down in to 10 minute chunks throughout the day.

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The health benefits of regular exercise are enormous. Reduction in blood pressure, blood sugar, elevating mood and regulation of weight. I do it and it makes me feel fantastic, I have more energy and motivation. I have concentrated on the treadmill but, if you feel like exercising outside, then there is not much difference to my recommendations for walking correctly.

Thinking of buying a treadmill? Here’s my favorite, I always recommend it when asked.


How can I make my treadmill walking more effective? ›

A key to getting the most out of your treadmill workout is to walk with the same good walking form you use for walking outdoors. It is important to use good walking posture and avoid common treadmill walking mistakes. It's also important to train yourself to let go of the handrails on the treadmill.

What is the 12 treadmill rule? ›

One viral trend known as the "12-3-30" workout did just that and is soothingly straightforward: You set your treadmill to an incline of 12 and a speed of 3 miles per hour and then walk for 30 minutes.

Is 10 minutes walking on a treadmill enough? ›

Ten minutes on a treadmill is not enough to improve your overall fitness level, help maintain your weight, or burn enough calories to make a dent in a weight-loss plan unless it's part of an overall exercise program.

What is a good speed to walk on a treadmill to lose weight? ›

Speed Matters When Walking for Fitness

If you're walking for your health, a pace of about 3 miles per hour (or about 120 steps per minute) is about right. That's a 20-minute mile. To walk for weight loss, you'll have to pick up the pace to 4 miles per hour (or 135 steps per minute), a 15-minute mile.

How long should I walk on the treadmill for it to be effective? ›

If you want to strengthen your cardiovascular system, you should walk briskly for 30 to 60 minutes at a minimum pace of 4 mph or at a pace that maintains your heart rate between 64-76% of your MHR. To lose body fat, aim for a slower pace ranging between 3 and 3.5 mph for a minimum of 30 minutes, five days a week.

What is the treadmill trick? ›

Popularly called the '12-3-30′ routine, this exercise requires you to: Warm up with five-minute walk. Set your treadmill's incline to 12% Set the treadmill speed to three mph (or 4.8km/h) Walk for 30 minutes.

What is the 12 30 treadmill trick? ›

The viral “12-3-30” workout involves setting a treadmill to 12 percent incline at 3 miles per hour and walking on it for 30 minutes. Experts say that the workout provides good exercise, but it doesn't offer unique benefits versus other cardio routines. Those who haven't been working out should build up to the workout.

How to lose 10 pounds in 3 weeks by walking? ›

The Bottom Line

Start with walking 10 to 15 minutes per day and work up to 30 to 60 minutes per day, depending on your fitness level and schedule. Increase speed and intensity to boost calorie burn, and consider doing two to three shorter walks each day versus one longer walk.

How long does it take to lose 10 pounds on a treadmill? ›

With a healthy diet and regular workouts on a treadmill, weight loss of 10 pounds in a month is possible. However, a more ​gradual​ weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds per week might be more sustainable in the long term.

How long does it take to lose 20 pounds walking on a treadmill? ›

At a weight loss rate of ½ -1 pound per week, it will likely take you at least 20 weeks to lose 20 pounds. Losing weight at this pace is safe and will help you keep the weight off long term. To accomplish a weight loss of ½ - 1 pound per week, try to burn an extra 250-500 calories per day by walking.

What incline and speed should I walk on a treadmill? ›

The 30-minute workout is simple: Set your treadmill to a 12% incline and the speed to 3 miles per hour, then go. An easier version geared toward beginners calls for the first 15 minutes at a 2.5% incline and the second 15 minutes at an 8.5% incline. “The 12-3-30 workout is a fantastic workout as well,” Bulay said.

How many miles is 10 minutes on a treadmill? ›

So if your treadmill speed setting is 6.0 (6 mph)… In other words, at a treadmill speed setting of 6.0, you will jog one mile in 10 minutes.

What happens if you walk on a treadmill for 30 minutes everyday? ›

Walking on a treadmill for 30 minutes daily offers numerous benefits, including improved cardiovascular health, weight loss, better mental health, better sleep, and increased energy.

How do you burn the most fat walking on a treadmill? ›

1. Incline walk
  1. Start with a flat incline or at 1%
  2. Warm up for 5 minutes with a brisk walk.
  3. After 5 minutes, increase the incline to 12%
  4. Keep the speed the same and walk for another 30 minutes.
  5. After 30 minutes, reduce the incline back down to flat or 1% for your cool down.
Aug 24, 2022

Is walking on the treadmill 30 minutes a day enough? ›

A 30-minute steady-state workout is a great place to start when it comes to treadmill walking for weight loss, better physical health, and improved mental health. A lot of good can happen in 30 minutes.

What happens to your body when you walk on treadmill everyday? ›

Treadmill working is an aerobic/ cardio exercise. Studies demonstrate that aerobic exercise can minimize the risk of heart diseases. Moreover, they can strengthen your heart muscles. This helps to lower blood pressure and allows the heart to pump blood more efficiently.

How long should you walk on a treadmill to lose belly fat? ›

Try to put in at least thirty minutes on a treadmill every day, and you'll start noticing results very soon. Yes, treadmills are that good when it comes to burning belly fat. However, in all honesty, it's not just about jumping on a treadmill and giving it your all.


1. 10 Surprising Benefits of Walking on a Treadmill
2. The Best Follow Along Beginner Treadmill Workout For Weight Loss
3. 20 Min Interval Walking Treadmill Workout for Beginners
(Sunny Health & Fitness)
4. Here's What 30 Minutes of Walking on a Treadmill Does For Weight Loss
5. Best treadmill settings for cardio? 🏃🏻😅
(Chris Bumstead)
6. How to Lose Weight on a Treadmill in 2 Weeks [10 & 20 POUNDS]
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