How to Walk Faster: Foot Motion

How to Use Your Feet for a Fast, Powerful Step

Good Stride on Treadmill
Good Stride on Treadmill. PhotoAlto/Ale Ventura/PhotoAlto Agency RF Collections/Getty

To walk faster, your feet will take an active role rather than just being flat landing pads. You will use your heel and ankle to roll through the step and push off powerfully at the end of the stride.

  • The heel is what should hit the ground first. Keep your ankle flexed as your foot comes forward. You may think about showing the people in front of you the sole of your shoe.
  • As your foot lands on the heel, now your foot with flex and roll through the step from heel to toe. The foot naturally rotates as it does this. If your shoes are too still, you won't be able to roll smoothly through the step. As your foot is rolling, it is passing underneath your body and carrying your body weight.
  • The push off from your toe is the power portion of the step. Pay attention to the push off, which should happen as your foot is behind your body.
  • As you push off with the back foot, your opposite leg is moving forward to strike again with the heel.
  • If your shoes are too stiff, there are two effects. The first is that your feet can't roll, so they just slap down after the heel strike. The second may be that you get aches and pains as your feet and shins are fighting your shoes to be able to flex, but can't.
  • As you start walking faster, you may find your shins getting sore or even developing painful shin splints. This is common and should go away once you have strengthened your shins through building up your time in speed workouts. LearnĀ how to prevent and treat shin splints.
  • Your ankle should be doing the flexing on your forward stride, not the toes inside your shoes. If you find that your toes are aching or you feel them during the forward stride, concentrate on flexing your ankle instead.

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