How to Stop Holding the Handrails on the Treadmill

As a first-timer on the treadmill, you’ll find it challenging to do your workout without holding the handrails. You will also get a rough balance between exercising and controlling the buttons while monitoring your heart rate if you’re used to working out while holding the handrails.

However, it’s not advisable to exercise while holding the rails on the treadmill, a reason why you should train yourself on how to let it go. Do you know the best method you can use to stop holding the handrails on the treadmill to benefit from the workout? Read this informative article and learn more.

Effects of Working Out While Holding the Treadmill Rails

When you enroll in any gym or embark on the fitness journey, your main aim is to cut down the extra calories in your body. However, when you exercise on the treadmill while holding the rails, this will take you time to achieve. When you hold the handrail, you’ll not be running or walking naturally, but instead, it’ll do the following;

  • Not make you develop a balance while on the treadmill.
  • It will reduce your leg muscle activation, muscle calves’ stimulation and raise your heart rate without increasing the risks of injuries.
  • You will also not be able to burn many calories, like when not holding the rails.
  • Your body and posture alignment will also change.

At a glance, the best treadmills in the market

Treadmills NameFeaturesPrice
NordicTrack• Overall Best
• Speed: 0 to 12 MPH
• Incline: -6 to 40%
• Screen size: 32 Inches
Check Price on Amazon
Sole F85• Runner Up
• Speed: 0 to 12 MPH
• Incline: 0 to 15%
• Screen Size: 9 Inches
Check Price on Amazon
NordicTrack 1750• Smart treadmill
• Speed: 0 to 12 MPH
• Incline: -3 to 15 %
• Screen Size: 10 Inches
Check Price on Amazon
ProForm Pro• Budget Friendly
• Speed: 0 to 12 MPH
• Incline: -3 to 12%
• Screen Size: 10 Inches
Check Price on Amazon

Must You Use Handrails?

Must You Use Handrails

Most of the time, when you go to a gym, you’ll find some people holding handrails while exercising on the treadmill. But do you copy the same thing or do it differently? If you want to benefit from the exercise, it’s advisable to develop confidence while on the treadmill and walk or run without holding the handrails. Remember, the rails are for preventing you from falling or getting hurt if you miss a step. It can also help you step into or out of the treadmill.

The treadmill handlebar also holds the heart rate monitor touchpads. With the touchpad monitor, you can set the time and amount of work you’re to do while monitoring your heartbeat. It will also help you get support if you get tired or feel dizzy while exercising.

If you work out holding the handrails, your body posture will be bending, putting stress on your back and the muscles around that area. If you’re taller, the risks increase, and you can also interfere with the treadmill extension handles. So, you should learn how to stop holding the side rails for treadmills to avoid constant treadmill handrail replacement.

Also Read: What is the Best Treadmill for the Money?

To achieve this, do the following;

● Reduce Your Walking or Running Pace

If you want to learn how to exercise hands-free, set your workout speed to a slower pace than the one you’re used to. You can then increase it gradually by a minute or two. When you do this, you’ll be able to change your body posture positively and get to stretch your muscles and legs more than when you’re holding the rails.

Doing this will help you exercise better and maintain your balance for longer or even achieve more than your daily target.

● Check on Your Posture

The other thing you should check on is your posture. Remember, with the treadmill handles too low, holding the rail won’t enable you to maintain your body upright. To achieve this, let your upper part be raised as if you’re targeting something above your shoulders. Hold your abdominal muscles tight and do some shoulder rolls to make your neck, upper back, and shoulder relax.

You should also hold your chin parallel to the ground with your eyes set forward without looking down. If you’re used to watching or reading while at the treadmill, place it in the right position or stop doing so. With this posture, you’ll be able to exercise with ease, breathing fully without straining.

● Workout without Inclining the Treadmill

Workout without inclining the treadmill

If you want to stop holding the handrails while exercising on the treadmill, you can use no incline. Even though incline will help you lose weight faster, it won’t allow you to walk or run if you’ve not mastered exercising without holding the treadmill side rails.

Since you’ll not support your body on the handrails, it’ll do you great as most of your muscles will be at work. To make the exercise effective, increase and reduce your pace at varying intervals.

● Workout with a Comfortable Incline Level

If you’ve been holding the handrails because of the amount of incline you set, check on, especially if you work out with higher speeds. Set the treadmills to incline to a level you can comfortably use without holding the handrails to benefit fully from the exercise.

With time you’ll be able to increase the incline amount and speed that’s after thorough practice. If you’ve been hiking slower uphill outdoors at a rate not more than three mph, that’s what you should set for your treadmill.

● Learn how to be Safe with the Handrail

Since the handrail for treadmill has other uses like ensuring your safety while using it, learn how it works that way. You can take your time to know how to get on or off a treadmill with moving handles to ensure your safety while using the rails and also hold them when you start walking or running on them.

If you’re not stable while doing this, hold the handrails until you gain your stability. You can also reduce the speed, especially if it’s a treadmill with long handrails to enable you to adjust your posture. Remember, you’ll achieve stability and balance off the rails within weeks, so don’t rush doing it.

If you realize some form of distraction that might interfere with your attention on the treadmill, though, don’t forget to stop or reduce the treadmill’s speed. Doing this will help you maintain balance and prevent you from holding the handrails with your arms for support. You can also stop the treadmill or reduce its speed when you’re tired and need to rest or feeling dizzy.


If you want to benefit fully from working out on a treadmill, it’s advisable to avoid holding the handrails. However, exercising without holding the rails if you’re used to doing so is never easy. To achieve this, reduce the amount of incline on the treadmill or your speed.

You should also check on your posture while exercising to avoid harming your upper body parts. If you can, use zero inclines and only use the handrail when working on your safety.


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  • Updated March 17, 2023
  • Blog