10 Awesome Benefits of high speed treadmills for Winning Athletes

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High speed treadmills offer a variety of benefits to those who use them, such as improved cardiovascular health, increased muscular strength and endurance, and more efficient calorie burning. Additionally, they are a great way to break a sweat and have some fun while exercising.

What exactly are  overspeed or high-speed treadmills, and what are the little-known benefits of using them? The next section discusses more about the many advantages of using a high speed treadmill.


Overview High speed treadmill training

What is a high speed treadmill? High speed treadmills are just what the name says. Overspeed treadmills are a specialized type of treadmill designed to reach speeds faster than 12 miles per hour. They will hit speed higher than what a beginner and average fitness level person can attain during training and game speed conditions. The high velocity make the treadmills ideal for serious runners who want to train for higher speed and endurance performance.

The definition of high speed treadmills is that simple. The goal of overspeed treadmills is to let marathon runners and serious athletes maintain their peak output for a long time and also to build their heart performance. This king of speedy device is good for runners who aim to develop blazing speed  on their race track. The results of using or working out on a top treadmill speed beyond 12 miles per hour is to drill proper mechanics and body position.

Serious athletes need variations in volumes, run times, speed and elevations to achieve different training goals.  A better combination is one that gives higher intensity involves high speed and that can perfectly be achieved on a treadmill.

Let us see the detailed benefits of working out on a high speed treadmill.


Just a little history

The history of high speed treadmill training dates back to 1980s when John Frappier trained with the Soviet Olympic coaches who were e experimenting to develop athletes speed with “tow training”.

Tow training was a traditional way of developing athletes stride frequency. Sound quite funny, but athletes were towed behind a vehicle fitted with handlebars on the rear bumper.

Frappier saw that this traditional speed development was not safe enough and saw a need for a high speed treadmill as an alternative to the towing overspeed training.

Today, higher speed treadmill training has become a stable speed and power performance enhancement in most sports, within the last 2 decades. You will find it private fitness clubs, commercial gyms and in some professional organizations.

The hard to believe truth is that fast treadmill training has been the most successful tool in short training programs for speed and power. These high speed machines offer a more intense workout than regular treadmills and can help you burn more calories and build muscle faster.



The Benefits of Working Out on a High Speed Treadmill

high speed treadmill benefits and drawbacks

High speed treadmill training can be a great way to improve your cardiovascular and muscular fitness. It is a great way to increase your speed, power, and endurance. It can also be used to help you recover from an injury faster. Read on to find out more about the benefits of high speed treadmill training and how to get the most out of it.

High speed treadmill training has grown and increased in popularity over these years especially as athletes use it for sports performance enhancement for power sports and speed.


1. Improved performance/efficiency

Wondering if treadmill can improve your sprint speed? A treadmill is a perfect device to improve the velocity of your daily runs. The goal of every Olympic training coach is to improve the athletes speed. Footfall fitness instructors use the supramaximal speeds on a treadmill to Improve players sprinting performance.

There are many speed improvement programs for athletes to develop their sport performance. One of them is high speed treadmill training. The approach to increasing the sports performance may vary for sprinters, game players and endurance athletes. Working out on a fast moving treadmill is a plyometric exercise which has been used in US junior gymnastic and NFL (American Footfall) team to train athletes for speed and power.


2. Quick weight loss

One widely known benefits of slow speed high incline treadmill and high speed treadmill, is weight loss. Those people who have used High speed treadmill for sprint training, will tell you their weight loss results. Just like a low speed high incline treadmill workout, a high speed treadmill burns calories more quickly and faster and helps users to reduce body fat. You will easily achieve a calorie deficit if you are running at 10mph on a treadmill at an elevation of 5-percent.


3. Increased cardio health

One of the health benefits of treadmill exercises is improved cardiovascular health. Working out on a high performance treadmill is vigorous and if it is done in full speed and higher incline level, can increase heart rate to healthy levels, and burn even more calories.

You want a perfect cardiovascular exercise, hop on a treadmill for an intense HIIT cardio workout. A fast running treadmill machine is the most reliable tool to drive heart beat to healthy levels, build aerobic capacity, lower cholesterol levels, limit stroke and risk of heart diseases.


4. Injury prevention/improved safety

Another kind of treadmill benefits is injury prevention. Football is a sport that requires you to have an efficient style of running. The two highly intermittent running styles are long runs with higher flight time and sprints with lower acceleration. You need to have a high degree of control of these two styles to avoid injuries to the ligament and joints.

A perfect way to train for long run performance and high speed sprinting is to use a high speed treadmill.  In order to save energy or be economical while varying speed, players often use a large amount of force in a very short time. This could lead to serious strains or painful injuries. A high speed treadmill sprinting training helps athletes to have a powerful acceleration and deceleration. This makes most players do shortchange in their overall speed without increase their risk of injury on joints and ankles.


5. Injury rehabilitation

In the past decades, injured runners were given quick recovery through anti-gravity treadmills, body-weighted suspension systems and underwater treadmills. One treadmill that has been very useful in post-injury adaptation, and rehabilitation and injury prevention has been the Technogym SKILLRUN machine. Its WATT power monitoring system has been so useful in post-accident rehabilitation.

Today, medical sport research has proven that a high speed treadmill technology is very useful in helping football injury rehabilitation. Remember, sporting activities don’t go injury-free and athletes in football often suffer injury rate of 5-20% per season. Most fitness expert often perform tasks to minimize the rate of accidents associated with running, and to let athletes return to the field as soon as possible, after an injury.

Why should a fast moving treadmill be used to rehab a painful sore? Well, human brain and body have extremely efficient ways adapts to injuries and relief pains from injured part, isn’t it funny?. High intensity exercise like running at top treadmill speed, changes the mechanical behavior of the injured muscle and again, the body helps to increase stiffness of the injured muscles too, to help in quick recovery.


6. You get improved core stability

The Lack of proper core stability is detrimental to athletes and team performance during races. The good news is that regular training on treadmills boost stamina and endurance. High speed treadmill can be used to train the core to stabilize. If you perform holds within your high speed running workout, especially with elevations, you are sure to increase the intensity and promote adequate core stability and neuromuscular control.


7. Increase stride length

Running on a high speed motorized treadmill helps athletes get increased stride length and cover many miles, which can only be achieved by increasing speed. A high speed treadmill (HST) has been a unique instrument that is highly know to have traditionally improved muscle activity through uphill training and towing.  Mann and Hagy think of it as being effective with the magnification of gait speed since it will cause the body to increase muscle activity around the quads, hamstrings, and posterior calf muscles. Exercising at a greater the speed causes a greater the activation of the primary movers which results in longer stride length.


8. Increase stride frequency

stride frequency is the number of full strides per minute. High speed training on treadmills usually cause your legs to go through the same range of motion faster than normal. When you use a spotting technique on a treadmill that goes faster than 12 mph, the high speed will force you to run at speed faster than you are accustomed to. In a perfect environment, it ends of promoting faster knee drive and swings.

Moreover, an inclined treadmill sprinting helps to create a stride frequency adaptation by increasing lower muscle activation by increasing the joint angular velocities (Swanson, et. al. 2000)

One could increase his stride frequency in some traditional ways, apart from using a high speed treadmill. For example, downhill running is a kind of exercise under gravity and if done on the right elevation, an athlete can develop an unusual gait and leg-swing frequency downhill.


10. Improved mechanics (walking and running form)

Your body is natural asymmetrical and there is tendency to distribute weight unevenly. If you have improved biomechanics of walking or running, you make your ride more efficient, while saving energy and increasing oxygen consumption.

A treadmill is an excellent device to motion analysis in a controlled environment. Your coach or fitness instructors can easily study your walking or running mechanics without the need for video recording as it is the case with an athlete cycling.

Your instructor can easily check if your pelvic position is ok with the speed training. With a high speed treadmill, the coach can easily notice when you are unable to stabilize the pelvis in a neutral position and would know what to do to make you an efficient runner.

One other thing about walking or running mechanics is the core stability and flexibility. Since most athletes lack neuromuscular efficiency to control the pelvis, a high speed treadmill running while holding unto to rails can help the athlete find and maintain a neutral position.

Overspeed and high speed treadmills help in their ability to let coaches closely monitor any breakdown in an athlete’s mechanics.


11. Improved muscular metabolism

An increase in anaerobic capacity is another advantage that power athletes training at high speed enjoy. High speed treadmill exercises helps to increase oxygen uptake and lactate levels, especially with interval uphill running.

Again, interval sprint training, running uphill, and overspeed training on a fast treadmill will produce lactate. You body is sure going to increase lactate production, especially as the super speed treadmill workout will activate muscles around your legs and hips.

Unfortunately, lactate reduces muscular contraction and metabolism. For example, intramuscular lactate will cause most high speed runners to get fatigued easily, thus reducing performance.

Overall, an optimal environment that improves a client’s postural control, creates permanent changes toward recovery is the body-weight supported treadmill training. Therapists have used this technique to optimize recovery after neurological injury.


Challenges of high speed treadmill training

These advantages sound too good to be true, right? Like any other technology, over speed treadmills have some major drawbacks you will have to consider.

1. Cost

Most world class athletes and their professional coaches don’t use high speed treadmills because they are  costly, and just overly expensive to provide value. How much does Technogym SKILLRUN treadmill costs? The price will surprise you.

2. Physiological limitations

One limitation of using high speed treadmills is in the athletes backing off of the training or learning on the side treadmill. It is humanly impossible for someone to attain their top speed. Human being are physiologically limited to make use of these kind of fitness equipment with excessively high speeds.

3. Risk of Injury

A high speed training on a treadmill is not often the smarted or even safest route to attain optimal performance. You can get fatal injuries while running on an overspeed treadmill. For example, over striding also exposes your hamstrings to extremely high velocity eccentric forces, which can lead to hamstring tendionopathy, strains, and tears. A beginner/untrained athlete can still achieve the same speed adaptation from playing football, or sprinting.

Often times, trainers are reluctant to pursue high speed treadmill testing and training for concerns about safety. The risk of injuries associated with high speed treadmill exercises is high and injuries happens frequently. Think of what harm it causes is your treadmill shuts off at high speed or a treadmill circuit breaker trips at high speed.

Related:  How To Stay injury-free On A Treadmill? 


Injury incidence on high speed treadmills

A motorized treadmill allows people to fit personalized exercises into their busy schedule. While it comes with plenty of health and fitness benefits, it also brings high risk of injuries with adverse outcomes. Although similar risks are also associated with other fitness equipment, our focus here is on motorized high speed treadmills.

Winters approaches, and most runners start logging miles on their home treadmills, hoping to avoid injuries or treadmill accidents. High speed exercises on treadmills are not without injuries. The most painful thing of suffering a treadmill injury is that getting hurt cuts back on the time you spend working towards your fitness goals, which is very costly.

On average, over 400,000 Americans were treated for injuries related to exercise equipment. And according to Consumer product report Commission, treadmills cause more accidents than any other piece of fitness equipment.

Just in 2014, about 24,400 treadmills injuries were treated in the hospital emergency rooms. In 2019, US emergency department reported treating about 22.500 cases of injury incidence from treadmill and that number of accidents dropped to 15,800 cases in 2020.

You see that the risk factors seem so high, but you should be scared of this statistics. In fact, the risk is reducing as many users are brushing up op treadmill safety tips before using them.

The incidence of injury on the high speed treadmill has been reported to have a risk factor between 3.8-5.4%, where the majority of injuries are minor in horses.



High speed treadmill Injury types

Injuries from treadmills include

  • Lacerations
  • Mild exercise induced myopathies
  • Broken bones
  • Sprains
  • Abrasions
  • Friction burns / Third degree burns
  • Blunt trauma
  • Nasal or eye fractures
  • Achilles tendon injuries
  • Knee and patellofemoral pains


Reviewing Injury Prevention strategies on high speed treadmills

1) Proper warm up

Your movement on a high speed treadmill depend on your muscles for drive. Cold muscles aren’t flexible and don’t allow free blood flow, so you need to warm up. Yoga, Pilates and other form of stretches and range of motion exercises which runners have to do before hitting the treadmill start button.

2) Proper form and technique

Poor posture and form weakens musculoskeletal structure of the runner. One of the common cause of treadmill injuries is looking down on your feet while running on the treadmill. Such a habit is common in beginners and can throw you off your balance.

How you hold your arms also affect your posture on the treadmill. Always keep your shoulders pulled down and arms relaxed. Again, do not lean forward and hold on to the bar. Some instructors recommend you should never strike the treadmill platform with the ball of your foot.

3) Proper shoe wear

Wear proper shoes designed for running, which have adequate shock absorption insoles. Avoid minimalist shoes because they won’t be well cushioned enough to reduce impact of your foot strikes. If your running shoes have covered over 400 miles of distance, you should replace them immediately.

4) Treadmill positioning

Safety experts at Consumer Report say the right treadmill positioning can reduce injurie if a high speed treadmill trips or suddenly stops. It is a good idea to install the treadmill right up against the wall so you won’t be wedged between the wall and the machine when you take a hard fall. You would always have a space for escape if you allow a gap between the wall and the treadmill.

5) Other treadmill injury prevention strategies

  • Make sure your ceiling is high before you max out your treadmill incline
  • Not paying attention on a fast moving treadmill belt is dangerous and deadly. If text or email message notification from a nearby phone can distract you from your treadmill workout.
  • Losing balance can cause misstep.
  • Accelerate and decelerate gradually while holding onto your treadmill handrails.
  • Don’t ignore the emergency stop button as one major injury protection mechanism
  • Taste treadmill safety key periodically to ensure it is working properly.
  • Get a professional check your treadmill annually, according to Renee Rogers (American College of sport medicine). This is to avoid tripping hazards, dust accumulating o9nside motor, replace worn out nuts, or replace worn out belts.


Wrap Up High speed treadmill workouts

High-speed treadmills are an excellent option for those who want to take their workouts to the next level. These machines offer a more intense workout than regular treadmills and can help you burn more calories and build muscle faster. They also provide a more comfortable and secure running experience but you must consider preventing risk of serious injuries.

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