Fast Walking Technique

How to Walk Faster

Silhouette of Walker
Great Fast Walking Posture. Momcilo Grujic/E+/Getty Images

Walking faster begins by walking with the right technique at any pace. This speed walking technique will ensure your body is properly aligned and your legs and arms are working together to transmit energy and power to your stride. You won't have any wasted motion that doesn't translate into speed.

You may need to slow down at first and concentrate on good technique. Once you have found your groove with the right technique, it will power you to faster speed.

Aches and Pains as You Change Walking Technique

Using the right technique can correct mistakes with your posture and stride that could have been contributing to neck, shoulder, knee and ankle pain. The posture, arm motion, foot motion and leg motion shown use good body mechanics that should be considered when walking at any speed.

But you can expect to be stiff in some new places as you learn a new technique. This should work itself out, but you can also use stretches and flexibility drills to get looser. Pain (beyond stiffness) that doesn't go away should be checked out with your medical provider. Shin splint pain is common when you change your walking technique. You may have to back off your training while it resolves as your shins strengthen and get used to the new technique. It's worth it, so don't give up.

Warm-Up and Cool Down for Fast Walking

Be sure to include the warm-up and cool-down phases in each workout.

Start each walking workout with a slow, easy pace. Spend the first five minutes walking casually and transitioning to good walking posture. You may want to top after five minutes and do stretches or flexibility drills to further loosen up. The warm-up period allows your muscles to warm up before you stretch, speed up, or tackle a hill.

At the end of your fast walking workout, budget five minutes as a cool down so you can slow to an easy pace and allow your breathing and heart rate to return to baseline.

Posture: Head and Torso Position for Faster Walking

How you hold your body is very important to walking comfortably and easily. With good posture you will be able to breathe easier and you will avoid back pain.

  • Stand up straight.
  • Think of being tall and straight, do not arch your back.
  • Do not lean back or sit back on your your hips, this strains the back.
  • Some coaches recommend leaning forward 5 degrees, but this usually results in too much lean, which doesn't improve speed.
  • Keep your eyes forward, not looking down but rather looking 20 feet ahead.
  • Chin up (parallel to the ground). This reduces strain on neck and back.
  • Relax your jaw and avoid tension in your neck.
  • Shrug once and let your shoulders fall and relax, with your shoulders slightly back. Do not hike up your shoulders or tense them.
  • Suck in your stomach - keep your abdominal muscles firm but not overtightened.
  • Tuck in your behind - rotate your hip forward slightly. This will keep you from arching your back.
  • Your head should remain level as you walk, all motion takes place from the shoulders down.
  • Your hips will rotate front to back as you walk, avoid side-to-side swaying which is wasted motion.

Next Page: Arm Motion for Faster Walking

Fast Walking Technique
1. Intro to Fast Walking Technique
2. Arm Motion for Fast Walking
3. Foot Motion for Fast Walking
4. Leg Motion for Fast Walking

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