22 August 19  |  Fitness   |  

Fitness Center Equipment

Proper Use of Fitness Center Equipment

Many members of Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Center use our fitness center — especially for the treadmill, elliptical, stationary bike and weight machines. Not everyone uses this equipment correctly, though, resulting in injury and an unfulfilling workout experience. But today, Director of Fitness Jeff Spaeth is attempting to change all of that — benefitting you and anyone else who is all about health and wellness.

Treading Lightly

Whether you are walking or running on the treadmill, it’s important to keep your back straight, shoulders back and eyes forward. Do not lean forward or backward, as this can lead to lower back, shoulder and neck pain. If you decide not to hold the arm rails, move your arms in unison with your legs, keep your front heal strides close to your body and push off with your back foot. This can only be done with proper footwear to prevent slippage.

But, as always, start from the beginning. Stretch before using the treadmill to avoid straining a muscle. Most importantly, never place your feet on the belt of a treadmill moving at full speed. Instead, stand on the sides, and familiarize yourself with the control counsel before use. This includes clipping the safety cord to your clothing and locating the emergency stop switch. Then, start the treadmill at a slow pace before gradually increasing momentum.

And of course, stay hydrated to maintain good health and prevent fainting and loss of control.

Boarding the Bike and Elliptical

When mounting a stationary bike, adjust the seat and foot position to your body type to provide an intense cardio workout, while building strength and endurance. If the seat is too high or low, pain in the knee or lower back could soon follow.

Meanwhile, neck pain could linger when the handles or handlebars are set too low, and foot pain could be the result of a gear that is so high that it can only be accommodated by applying pressure to the pedal.

Likewise, if you push too hard too soon on the elliptical trainer, the body has no time to build endurance and strength, leaving it vulnerable to injuries. However, if you bear the weight gradually, less stress will be placed on your joints, conditioning the lower body and heart as well as making for a low-impact exercise.

Mastering Weight Machines and Free Weights

Weight machines are designed to guide your body through a controlled range of motion. They employ a compounding element that targets multiple muscle groups and makes for stronger muscles and bones.  To maximize this level of potential, do not swing your body or use momentum. Instead, demonstrate control when lifting and lowering, while breathing properly — exhale as you lift, and inhale as you lower. Jeff Spaeth also recommends supervised instruction — at least until you get the hang of it. The same goes for the use of free weights, especially to avoid injuries to the rotator cuff and other joints.


For further advice on these and other popular pieces of equipment, call the Golden Ocala Fitness Center at (352) 402-4350.