It May Sound Bizarre, But Walking Backward On The Treadmill Has A Lot Of Benefits

The treadmill is an excellent source of exercise for people who enjoy walking, jogging, or running. With that said, sometimes traditional walking and running on the treadmill gets repetitive and boring, so it can be fun and challenging to explore different treadmill exercises, such as the viral treadmill strut or TikTok's 12-3-30 treadmill workout. But one of the best — and arguably most underrated — treadmill techniques is to walk backward.


While it might sound strange, walking backward on the treadmill is healthy and helpful. On TikTok, @kali.ot, an occupational therapist who works in pediatrics, posted a video explaining that opting to walk backward instead of the more traditional way on the treadmill will make your knees stronger and can even help you avoid hurting yourself in the future. Many viewers agreed, commenting, "I've been doing this for years," "I have to run backwards in hockey training," and "My husband had a bilateral patellar tendon rupture and he does this daily for healing and recovery!"

Backward treadmill walks are helpful for balance

If you don't think you have a good sense of balance — maybe your friends tease you for having two left feet, or you've always been a bit clumsy — walking backward on the treadmill can help. "One of the primary benefits of backward walking is for balance training, including the ability to shift directions and maintain balance, which is essential in fall reduction," Nancy R. Kirsch, physical therapist and vice chair of Rehabilitation and Movement Sciences at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, told Health. Even if you already have a decent sense of balance, most people have room for improvement, so it can't hurt to give this workout a chance and see how it makes you feel.


TikToker @jayoffline — who has over 3 million followers at the time of writing — shared a video walking backward on the treadmill. The TikToker explained that since he's been doing the exercise nearly daily for months, he's had a greater sense of balance, better knees and ankles, and more powerful legs. And those are only a few of the benefits he listed!

It's a relatively quick workout

Don't assume this workout will take significant time out of your day! Walking backward on the treadmill won't take hours — or even over a half hour of your time. "At minimum, I'd say 10 to 15 minutes of walking backwards on the treadmill will get you benefits, but you can go longer depending on your fitness level. For safety purposes, though, just remember to stop before you fatigue and go at a pace where you can still talk," Kris Ceniza, a physical therapist and trainer, told Bustle. Thus, the backward treadmill walk is the perfect exercise for anyone looking for a relatively speedy yet beneficial workout.


Like any other workout, never forget to be safe and use the machine with caution — especially because the exercise is somewhat unconventional, so it may take some getting used to in the beginning. As always, stop if anything feels off during the workout, keep water with you, and double-check that there are no issues with the treadmill before starting. TikToker @rlcfitness recommends having a speed of only 1-2.5 mph and an incline no higher than 10.