Health & FitnessJuly 29, 2015

Why unplugging the treadmill matters

If you're used to running on a treadmill and then go for a run in the great outdoors, one of the first things you might notice is that the real deal feels quite different. Tread runners often describe the difference as running less upright and feeling like the feet are pushing into the ground with more effort. In short, it's more challenging.

Those feelings happen to be real. While doing things like changing the elevation grade of the belt will help simulate what it's like to really run, traditional treadmills fall short of activating and conditioning the lower-body muscles the way they are trained during a sprint or a longer-distance jog.

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Unfortunately, these types of treadmills haven't made it into the mainstream yet, so they aren't easy to find in commercial gyms. And if you're thinking of buying one, they cost north of $5,000 new. What can you do in the interim to get a taste of what this type of training is like? Unplug the tread you normally run on. Click on the video to see me demonstrate what it's like.

Ron Kaspriske is the fitness editor of Golf Digest.*

Follow @ronkaspriske


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