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Treadmill Training: Walking Backwards

Ask the Expert – Infofit’s Andre Noel Potvin demonstrates a treadmill backwards walk.

Andre teaches you an innovative way to use the treadmill that will help rebalance the forces in and around the hip, knee and ankle while improving your balance.

Andre Treadmill walking backwardsFacing and straddling the treadmill (don’t stand on the belt), start the treadmill off slow (anywhere from 1.5 to 2.0 mph initially then gradually up to 2.0-3.0 mph). Holding on to the handrails, turn around and continue to straddle the machine. When ready, step on to the slow moving belt (keep holding on to the handrails) and begin walking backwards. Lead with your toes as you step backwards, this will help you maintain your balance.

Once you have practiced this for 1-2 minutes and feel comfortable with the movement, then you can let go of the handrails and engage your arms to help you achieve a comfortable walking gait. Walk backwards for 30-seconds to 1-minute; then take a break by straddling the treadmill for 10-30-seconds and repeat.

Make this treadmill training even more dynamic

To make this more dynamic, instead of straddling the treadmill between intervals, turn around and walking forwards (always hold on to the handrails and straddle the belt before turning around). Walk forward at your normal walking speed for 30-seconds then repeat 3-5 backward walking intervals. Your goal is to walk backwards for 2-minutes per interval with a 1-2 minute forward walk rest period.

As you improve, you can increase the speed of the treadmill by 0.5 mph every week (provided you do this 3x/wk or more) until you reach 3.0-4.0 mph or whatever speed you feel most comfortable at). Once you have reached your comfortable speed, begin to increase the incline of the treadmill by 1% every week until you reach a 4%-6% rise.

To increase the intensity even further

Finally, to increase the intensity further, you can add a slight squat into the walking backwards motion by bending your knees. This will work your legs and your cardio quite effectively.

Learn more with the Clinical Exercise & Rehabilitation Course Series (CES) presented by Andre Noel Potvin, M.Sc. Cardiac Rehabilitation, ACE, BCRPA-TFL, ACSM. These are a select group of courses specifically designed for the Fitness Trainer that has interest in expanding their knowledge in clinical exercise and rehabilitation. Students will learn foundational knowledge in exercise rehabilitation, training special population groups, and advanced knowledge in fitness testing and assessments.

Check out the courses and schedule at https://www.infofit.ca/infofit-courses/clinical-exercise-and-rehabilitation-series/. We offer a variety of courses including Exercise Rehabilitation for the Hip, Knee and Ankle, Stages of Injury Healing and Exercise Prescription, Muscle Testing, Function &Exercise, Postural Assessment & Correction and many other valuable courses.

Contact our administration team for more information at [email protected] or call and discuss which course would be right for you (604-683-0785).

Expand Your Knowledge in Clinical Exercise and Rehabilitation

Clinical Exercise and Post Injury Rehabilitation Specialist

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