How to Walk Faster: Leg Motion

Walking Stride - Overstriding and Correct Strides
Walking Stride - Overstriding and Correct Strides. Kzenon and Amickman/Depositphotos

If you want to walk faster, you need to work on preventing the natural tendency to overstride.

Overstriding is taking longer steps in front of your body in an attempt to increase speed. But it is actually an inefficient way to walk and can even lead to injury.

Have someone observe you from the side. Which of the photos do you resemble? Work first on eliminating the overstriding.

  • Keep your natural stride length, but learn to use it powerfully.
  • Your stride should be longer behind your body, where your toe is pushing off, rather than out in front of your body.
  • Think of keeping your rear foot on the ground the maximum amount of time, to really roll through the step and give a good push off with the toes.
  • The rear foot then passes under your body, knee flexing and driving forward but not up.
  • After the foot passes by the other leg, the ankle then flexes and knee straightens (still think of driving forward, not up with the knee) to present the heel to the ground.
  • The heel should strike the ground close to the front of the body, as it strikes the rear leg is rolling through the step and preparing to toe off powerfully and come forward.
  • To go faster, fast walkers take more, smaller steps rather than longer steps. Use the powerful back part of your stride to move you forward, and increase the number of steps per second.
  • Open up your stride behind your body by concentrating on getting a full roll through the rear foot and good push off with the rear toes.
  • If you find your feet slapping the ground in front, you likely have too stiff of shoes and/or weak shins. The shins will build with practice. But you will want to look into getting some more flexible shoes.
  • Hips: Your hips should rotate with each stride front to back, not side-to-side. Do not concentrate on adding hip motion at first, it should come naturally as part of a good stride and push off.

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