Proper Walking Form
The foundation for all sports is good technique and form. Walking for fitness is no different. When you incorporate good mechanics to your exercise you will benefit in several ways:
- Increased efficiency
- Decreased injury
- Improved Fitness and weight loss
- More fun!
It all begins with good posture. An excellent starting point is to stand straight and raise your arms high, directly and straight overhead. This stretches you out and aligns you body over your hips. Let your arms fall gently to your side. You’re ready.
Keep your head straight and chin up. As your head goes, so your body follows. Keep centered and relaxed.
Bend your arms 90 degrees and tuck your thumbs into the top of your shorts or pants. This is the starting height of your hands. Swing your arms from your shoulders and imagine you’re reaching into you back pocket. That is how far back your arms should go. Now swing your arms actively forward and pretend you are hitting a punching bag close in front of you. Don’t swing your arms too far forward. Again, always swing from the shoulder joint and keep your arms lively and active. It dictates your stride pace.
Your legs support the rest of the body so it is important to have good form to minimize impact and fatigue. Because when you walk, one foot is always in contact with the ground, it is important how you hit the ground. You should swing your legs from the hip, reaching out and contacting with your heel first, toes point toward the air. This encourages a good rocker motion across the whole of your foot, reducing impact and producing power in your walk. As you move across your foot, concentrate on a good roll off and push from your toes. Do not over stride!
If you think compact and light you will be well on your way to enjoying the path to improved fitness.