Speed Walking Tips

by Bea | September 24th, 2009 | Walking

Some people are walkers, some people are joggers, and some people are runners. Others, well, they are speed walkers.

I do not know if you have ever seen a person speed walking. I remember the first time I saw a speed walker was on Malcolm in The Middle when Hal was training to be a speed walker. Seeing a speed walker is still a rare occasion for me, but I do know that it is popular amongst some people. There was even a lady (whose daughter ran track at a different high than me but during the same years) from New Hampshire who sped walked in the 2008 Beijing Olympics! Her name is Joanne Dow, and she has been one of the top female race walkers in the U.S. for more than 12 years.

So, how exactly does one speed walk? I am not an expert by any means, but I will do my best to try to give you some pointers.

arm positionFirst things first– Stand up tall. The key to speed walking is posture. Not only do you want to protect yourself from injuries, but without posture, your walk will be ruined. It is important to elongate the spine; keeping your behind under your body. A hint for this posture is to pull in your abdomen and to squeeze your butt cheeks. The next step of the posture is to keep your head up and your chin parallel to the ground. Your focus should be around 20-25 feet in front of you.

Arm swing is another important factor. Your arms should never be drawn up to your ears. It should be a relaxed motion, and your elbow should be bent to form a 90 degree angle in your arm . Your hands should be loosely closed.

One of the most important aspects of the walk that you need to learn how to do to distinguish yourself from a normal walker is the movement below your waist. This is a very difficult technique that requires you to have flexible hips. In theory, the leg will swing forward and land on the heel. The ankle is bent and the toes are pointed up at a 45 degree angle. More information about the leg movement can be found here.

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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.