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Are Treadmill Declines Worth Using?

Treadmill Running
artyme83/Shutterstock.com

By Simon Gould

Treadmills built with a decline are now becoming more common. You never saw them a few years ago. There is not usually very much in the way of gradient. You usually see about 3%. They may help you simulate a race that has a downhill section but are they worth using? Is a decline on a treadmill something you should use? We answer that here.

Declines are bad for the joints

Running down a hill puts a lot of strain on your joints. You can feel it when you run outside that there is a large shock that goes through the leg when you land running downhill. You land heel fist and the foot transmits a big force as you land. This doesn't happen when you run on flat or uphill. This has to be absorbed and it's your joints that do that.

For this reason if you have a treadmill that does a decline we would advise that you use it sparingly. It's fortunate that they don't usually have much of a gradient because of the problems they can cause. Just like you shouldn't run excessively on a treadmill incline we would say the same for a decline, even though that maximum could be 3%.

Treadmill Running
Iam_Anupong/Shutterstock.com

By doing some strength training it would help ease any of the soreness from running both downhill and uphill. Your tendons that connect your tissues together get strengthened as well when do weight bearing activities and anaerobic exercise. We have some strength training routines, they don't take long and can make a difference.

The summary of all this is that just because a treadmill has a decline it does not make it any better than the others. If you have a choice then go for the one without if the price is more favorable. It really makes no difference to your exercising. With inclines going up to 15%, a decline of 3% isn't so great that you should look for it when you make a purchase.

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Meet The Author

Simon Gould

I'm Simon Gould. I've been around treadmills my whole life. From running on them at an early age to working in treadmill dept's of national stores. I've run outside and I've run on treadmills and I prefer running on treadmills. I still run on one nearly every day and love it.



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