Posted: January 5th, 2012
Walking backwards — a treadmill trick?
Yes, I had to try it. Like everyone else, I’ve read about this for years, and I tried it once last year, along with running barefoot on the treadmill. I did master the barefoot thing, but backwards was not for me. Until today.
I’ve been a treadmiller for 15 years, and I needed something fresh, so Googling workouts on a treadmill brought up some pretty unorthodox ideas that included intervals of hopping. I’m thinking I’ll save hopping for after I master walking backwards.
There is a trick to this back-peddling madness. You have to go slow and I mean really slow — 1 mph is a good starting speed, and I did it at a 10 percent incline. Now, I’m a pretty seasoned jogger/walker at 10 percent, so don’t go nuts if you try this out for the first time. I am also a seasoned tennis player so the backwards effort is not completely foreign to me.
Livestrong.com and other sites promise a really good workout for legs and hips, and I have to admit I felt it. The workouts also promise to improve balance. I worked my way up to 2 mph and finished a mile this morning — probably the slowest mile I have ever done. But it is a workout all right. Both Livestrong and about.com suggest that gradually working your way up in speed and incline are good ideas. And you really can’t cheat by holding on to the handrails.
If you see me walking backwards today, don’t be alarmed. Next week, I may be hopping at intervals!
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