How to use a treadmill step by step – Basics for beginners

Treadmills have been a popular piece of fitness equipment for decades. They are excellent workout machine that allows you to run, walk and do indoor workouts without leaving the house. However, there’s a start to everything, I guess, and it goes for this running machine as well.

However, using a treadmill is actually not as difficult as it might look. You just follow the simple instructions, and everything will be good. And in this post, we will learn just about that, how we can easily and effectively use a treadmill machine. So let’s dive right into it.

How to use a Treadmill Step by Step

Before you Jump On the Treadmill for First Time

Workout-related injuries are not a rare thing, especially when we’re talking about a giant machine like the treadmill. These injuries often happen because of falling or tripping on the machine, and those might be pretty painful!

However, if you do the drill and follow the safety guidelines, these incidents can be avoided easily. Let’s see the checklist you should follow every time you run, walk or do a workout on a treadmill.

Btw, if you are love silence you might think about noise before you start. Do not worry we have a quiet treadmill buying guide for you! You can check out our awesome expert selection. And, buy one with a great deal! 

Let’s get back to our next step before you start..

Wear a Good Pair of Running Shoes

First of all, doing workouts without the proper equipment is not a good idea. And running or walking on a treadmill is also not the best idea at all. You might end up with various foot injuries, including swelling, strain, and pain. And that’s why a good pair of running shoes is a must-have. So, while running on the treadmill, put on your running shoes. Or you can get one from your local store or online stores like Amazon. I personally like the Under Armour Charged Assert 8, but it actually depends on what you feel comfortable with.


Warm-ups are equally important for all kinds of exercises, including intense and light exercise. Well, you can count light exercise as warm-ups, but you really shouldn’t skip the warm-ups. For example, you can do warm-ups on and off the treadmill. For on the treadmill, you can walk for 3 to 5 minutes at a slow speed between 2 to 4 mph. Or you can do warm-ups that don’t include the machine, such as stretches, jogging or marching for about 5 minutes.

Get Familiar with the Settings and Controls

Another key habit of avoiding workout injuries is getting familiar with the controls. You might end up with serious injuries if you lose focus on a treadmill while changing the settings. So, take out the user manual of the workout machine and know about the machine. It’s pretty easy and simple most of the time,

  • The start button will move the belt
  • The plus and minus buttons will raise or lower the speed
  • The incline up/down buttons will increase or decrease the incline angle
  • The stop button will stop the belt

The settings and controls usually depend on models or brands. But these are pretty much the basic controls every treadmill has. However, if you still don’t get anything, just ask your friend or fellow gym member; they’ll be happy to help, I guess.

Safety Clip

This is an excellent safety feature that most of the treadmill has. So, there’s a safety clip that is attached to the machine with a cord (most of the time). There’s a small clip on the other end of the cord that runners clip on their clothes. If you stop running or slip while running, the cord will be strained, and the belt will stop. This is so effective for beginners because if you don’t attach the clip, the belt will continue to spin even if you fall off. So, make sure you attach the safety clip to your cloth before you start running.

Do Not Mess with your Phone on A Treadmill

Using a cellphone or any kind of device on a treadmill or any workout machine is not a good idea at all. It’s not recommended, particularly when you are just a beginner. It’s true that once you get used to running on a treadmill, running while doing other stuff might seem easy. But anything that distracts you on a treadmill can be dangerous.

How to use a Treadmill for the first time - Steps

Now, let’s get down to the business, how you can use a treadmill machine. Using a running machine along with other exercise machines is quite easy if you get the basics. And they are pretty user-friendly as well. For starters, there’s no need to be afraid; just keep it simple, follow the simple instructions, and you’ll be good on a treadmill.


First, get on the treadmill and stand on the side rails. Do not press the start button while directly standing on the tread belt. Now that your feet are on the side rails press the start button. Most running machines have a large button start written on them; it might be a touch screen or a green button depending on the model. Start with a slow speed; you can increase speed or incline later if you want.


Now that the belt is moving, you can start walking on the belt. As mentioned, start with a slow pace so that you can easily adjust with the moving belt (considering it’s your first time). Keep walking for a minute or two, and try to adjust and be comfortable with the machine. Don’t come too forward to the console or too far to the bottom. Avoid looking down on your feet or the console too much. Back straight, head up, eyes forward, and you should be good.

Adjust the speed and incline

You can fine-tune the incline and speed on the running machine if you want. There should be a plus and a minus button (on the right side of the console most of the time) that controls the speed. Press the plus to increase the speed of walking. You can also decrease the running pace by pressing the minus button. While adjusting the speed, make sure you don’t long press the plus/minus button. It might jump to a higher or lower speed suddenly, and that can get you off balance.

Now, adjusting the incline is also pretty much similar to adjusting speed. There should be plus/minus or up/down buttons on the console (most likely on the left side). The front part of the deck will go up if you press up, and it will come down when you press down. Most treadmills offer an incline option between 0% to +15%, but some even decline up to -3%.


After you are finished with your running or walking, it’s time to stop. There’s a stop button on the console that will stop the belt. You can slow down a bit first and then completely stop running. And you should always do the cool down before you finish your running session. Give your muscles to cool down by walking for about 3 to 5 minutes. It’s nice to bring the incline to 0% so that you can start from a flat surface the next time you run or allow the next person if you are in a gym.

How to use a treadmill step by step- Literally!

To sum it up, here are the one-by-one steps you should follow when using a treadmill.

  • Start with feet on the side rails
  • Press the start button
  • Wait a bit till the belt starts fully moving
  • Step on the belt and start walking
  • Start slow
  • Increase the speed slowly if you want
  • Keep up with the machine
  • Increase the incline if you want
  • Do your workout
  • Cool down for about five minutes
  • Press the stop button to stop

Some additional beginner-friendly tips

  • Wear a good pair of running shoes
  • Wear workout-friendly clothes (easy to move)
  • Drink enough water or keep a bottle of water nearby
  • Do your warm-ups
  • Start by walking
  • Adjust speed or incline slowly
  • Slow down before you stop
  • Do your cool don and stop


If you’re looking for a way to get in shape without going outside, a treadmill can be the perfect solution. They might seem a bit scary to beginners at first, but mastering the art of running on a treadmill isn’t that hard.

All you need to do is follow the instructions on how to set up your machine correctly and then start running (or walking). With time, patience, and practice, anyone who has access to a treadmill should see fitness improvements happen quickly. I hope that answered all your questions and hesitations about using a treadmill; if not, let us know! We’ll be more than happy to help!

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