Cavewomen didn’t hold onto anything for support when they ran or walked, so why do so many modern women hold onto the treadmill?
It’s a phenomenon that can be seen in every gym, health club and recreation center on earth: women gripping the treadmill while walking or jogging, believing they’re getting an effective workout.
They could not be more mistaken. If you want to work out like a cavewoman, you must mimic how she moved. She did not hold onto anything for support when she did any kind of ambulation.
Whether it was leisurely walking to pick berries, briskly walking towards the river to get some water, jogging across the savanna in search of a wandering child, or sprinting from danger, she moved unaided and naturally.
She had no rails or bars to cling to. Her entire body surged forward without an external support system. As a result, she was lithe, efficient, lean and swift.
Many industrialized women feel the need to grasp the treadmill—either the side rails or the bar in front. Often, they read a magazine perched in the magazine holder, hands holding fast to the console, which is a huge mistake.
Your ancient ancestors had no treadmills; instead, they swung their arms when jogging or walking, pumped their arms while walking up hills, or, they carried babies, children, rocks or food while walking or jogging.
Clinging to a support does not mimic natural movement. The bipedal human machine was designed to walk upright with good posture, while the arms swing in synchronization with the lower body. Holding onto the treadmill disrupts this natural gait pattern.
This means if you’ve been keeping your hands on the machine, and then you start walking briskly outdoors, walk for long periods or run, your body won’t be used to the sudden change in dynamics. You won’t be nearly as efficient as you think you’d be.
This is especially true of uphill walking. If you had to walk up a hill outdoors, what would your arms and hands be doing? They’d be swinging in unison with your lower body. This is exactly what you must do on a treadmill.
Holding on while using an incline will not prep you for outdoor inclines or yield the results you want. If you can’t walk the incline without holding on, slow the speed.
Holding on can actually cause the spinal column to “mold” into a forward posture. Many women who hold on are slumped forward with a subtraction in height.
Immobilization of the upper body from holding on causes excess hip rotation to compensate, which can lead to repetitive stress injuries, too. In fact, improper treadmill use deactivates the body’s balance system, making you less coordinated and less agile; it worsens your balance.
Holding on means your body is used to an external support while walking/jogging/running. You step off the treadmill and move around in open space with nothing to hold onto. This is your baseline ambulation. Hands on the treadmill is a downgrade from your baseline! Your cavewomen ancestors would not be pleased with you. So let go!
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