top
Click Here to Find the Right Team Beachbody Coach for You
How To Be Fit
Family Owned and Operated Since 1995
ABOUT CONTACT SHOP
On
Facebook
On
Twitter
My
Blog
Team Howtobefit on Facebook Team Howtobefit on Twitter Team Beachbody Coach Blog
Team Beachbody Coach Rich Dafter - Coach #1393
Click here to save $12.00 on superfood Shakeology on Home Direct
Workout of the Day
Core de Force Power Sculpt with Trainers Joel Freeman and Jericho McMatthews
Stream it for FREE
BOD and Shakeology Challenge Pack - $160.00
80 Day Obsession in Beachbody On Demand
Includes 80 Day Obsession with
Autumn Calabrese
Beachbody On Demand
Streaming Workouts
Beachbody On Demand 3 Month Membership with 14 Day Free Trial
3 Month Membership with a 14 day
FREE trial
Join Team Howtobefit and save 25% on all your Beachbody
health and fitness product purchases!

Connect with a Top Team Beachbody Coach Today for Support and Accountability
Team Beachbody Coach Rich Dafter
Rich Dafter
Coach, business owner, runner, father
Team Beachbody Coach George Penn
George Penn
Coach, entrepreneur, business owner, father
Team Beachbody Coach Ayanna Penn
Ayanna Penn
Coach, entrepreneur,
mother
Team Beachbody Coach Jessica Watters
Jessica Watters
Coach, Pilates instructor, mother
Team Beachbody Coach Robert Mainor
Robert Mainor
NYPD Officer,
Coach, father
Team Beachbody Coach Alexandria Garza Escobedo
Alexandria Garza
Coach, family doctor, mother
Team Beachbody Coach Kevin Grant
Kevin Grant
Coach, business owner, entrepreneur, father
Team Beachbody Coach Edmalia Constanza
Edmalia Constanza
Coach, yoga and CIZE
instructor and mother
Team Beachbody Coach Diane Beach
Diane Beach
Coach, business owner, mother
Team Beachbody Coach Robert Mainor
Michelle Weise
Coach, business owner, mother
Join our Facebook Groups for Support and Accountability
Healthy Eating Fitness Running
» Stream 100's of Workouts
» Shakeology
» 3 Day Refresh
» Ultimate Reset
» This Weeks's Best Deals
» Free Personal Coaching
» Enter the Challenge
» Team Beachbody Blog
» Workout Programs
» Nutritional Supplements
» Watch Product Videos
» Weekly Meal Planner
» Team Beachbody Tutorial
HOTTEST SELLING DVDS
» YOUv2
» Core de Force
» Country Heat
» 3 Week Yoga Retreat
» 22 Minute Hard Corps
» Hammer and Chisel
» CIZE
» 21 Day Fix
» 21 Day Fix Extreme
» PiYo
» Insanity Max:30
» Body Beast
» Focus T25
» P90
» P90X3
» Insanity
» TurboFire
» 10 Minute Trainer
» P90X2
» P90X
» Asylum
» Brazil Butt Lift
FITNESS TOOLS
» Body Fat Calculator
» Body Mass Calculator
» Caloric Needs Calculator
» Calories Burned Calculator
INDEX OF RESOURCES
» Aerobic Exercise
» Bicycling
» Fat Burning
» Fitness
» Flexibility
» Health
» Heart Rate Training
» Kid's Fitness
» Motivation
» Nutrition
» Outdoor Fitness
» Over 40 Fitness
» Running
» Swimming
» Synergy Fitness
» Walking
» Weight Loss
» Weight Training
GET TO KNOW US
» About Howtobefit.com
» Contact Us

Walking with Proper Technique and Form

by Jo Ann Taylor - The Walking Connection

You may hear many different terms to describe walking styles, such as: power walking, speed walking, aerobic walking, and race walking.

Of those names, race walking is the only form of walking that has a clear-cut definition because it is governed by a specific set of rules. The other terms are often used simply to help validate walking as a real form of exercise in the minds of the participants, and the different names do not usually refer to a technique different than the one we describe here.

For the purposes of this Walk Training series, we will not distinguish one from the other; we will simply call it "walking."

By closely following the technique and form described here, you can significantly improve your performance. You will safely cover more ground in less time, with less effort, and with greater consistency.

This training can help enhance the benefits you receive from walking, including:

  • Increased efficiency
  • Better use of energy supplies
  • Decreased risk of injury
  • Increased comfort
  • Faster times

    With regards to your general fitness and overall health, there are some more great advantages:

  • Increased calorie burn
  • Increased muscle conditioning
  • Body shaping

    Practicing and becoming comfortable with your form should be your first objective. As you practice your technique, break each component down to an individual motion and focus on one at a time. Then put it all together.

    It is up to you to select the portions of the walking stride that feel most comfortable and practice putting each piece into place to build the muscle memory that will help you achieve the consistency you will need.

    Each of us are individuals, and not all of us can or will want to perfect this technique in its entirety. It will be most productive if you select the pieces that you are most comfortable with. Go at your own pace.

    Stand tall, walk tall
    The foundation of a good basic stride is posture. The spine should be elongated by standing straight -- not in a rigid military position, merely straight, tall, and relaxed. You should be able to draw a straight line from your ear down to your shoulder, to your hip, knee and ankle

    A common problem to look for here is an unnatural arch in the lower back. Commonly known as a "sway back," this incorrect posture can create great discomfort, especially when walking long distances.

    To eliminate this problem, practice tucking your buttocks under your body, putting the pelvis area in a more neutral position. To accomplish this, pull in your abdominal muscles, and at the same time squeeze your buns.

    Heads up
    The head should be level, eyes looking forward, and the chin parallel to the ground. A protruding chin or tilting the head down to look at the ground are common mistakes.

    If the head is allowed to tilt forward, excess strain is put on the neck and shoulders, which can lead to undue fatigue. Focus on looking forward to about 12 to 20 feet in front of you. If you need to look closer to where you are stepping, lower your eyes, not your whole head.

    Arm swing
    A walker's shoulders should be relaxed, not drawn up toward the ears. Arms should swing naturally with each step, and should be bent at the elbow at a 90-degree angle. This is important.

    Straight arms on long walks lead to problems with swelling, tingling, and numbness of the fingers or hands. Bending them will not only eliminate this problem, it will also help you gain upper-body strength and tone your deltoids, biceps and triceps.

    For many walkers, weight loss is a goal. By bending the arms, you will also burn 5% - 10% more calories. One more great reason to keep the arms bent and moving in an athletic motion is that you will immediately be able to pick up your pace for greater periods of time.

    The bent arms should swing comfortable and naturally at about waist level. Your hands should be relaxed and loosely closed. Any excess tension in the arms or hands should be avoided -- it wastes energy.

    The elbows should be close to the torso, with the hands going no higher than the center of the chest on the forward swing, or past the back of the hip on the back swing. Again, more motion than this is wasted energy.

    If you are new to this technique, you might initially find your arms getting fatigued. When practicing, keep your arms bent for 5 - 10 minutes, then lower them to recover. As soon as you feel rested, raise them again.

    As part of your training, you might consider doing some upper-body weight work (not while you are walking) to increase your endurance. Specific exercises are suggested later.

    Below the belt
    Movement of the lower half of the body in this technique is the most difficult to describe, and for many walkers, the most difficult to achieve.

    This is usually due to the inflexibility of the hips. Flexibility can be improved by consistently stretching the hip flexors and lower back, and for most people, simply doing the technique will help them considerably.

    People new to this should go slow and practice. The time spent in learning and becoming comfortable with it will be rewarded with more efficient movement.

    In your lower body, the walking technique begins by using the abdominal muscles and hip flexors to rotate the hip forward and lead the leg in its forward motion. As the leg swings forward and straightens, the body will land on the heel.

    The ankle should be flexed, with toes pointed upward at about a 45-degree angle from the ground. The foot placement should be in front of the body, as if almost walking along a straight line. Keep in mind that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. As the body's weight passes over the leading leg, the foot should roll forward and push off from the toes to begin the next step. A strong push will give you more momentum and power.

    That's the basic technique. As you practice it and increase your hip flexibility, you will naturally develop a slightly longer stride.

    A word of caution: It is counterproductive and potentially harmful to your back if you try to increase the length of your stride by taking longer unnatural steps. Speed and efficiency in walking are generated by hip flexibility and quicker, not longer, steps.

    THAT'S IT! At first, this technique may seem complicated; but actually it is a natural motion where the whole body works in unison. Because of its low-impact nature, the head does not bob up and down. When done correctly, it is a very fluid movement that is easier on the body.

    By using this time-tested and proven technique of walking, you can become more efficient in your stride and confident in your ability to achieve your goals.


    Jo Ann Taylor is the co-founder and owner of The Walking Connection, one of the most highly rated walking, hiking and lifestyle related Web sites on the Internet with registered members in more than 40 countries. As a competitive racewalker, Jo Ann was a top 5 overall finisher in the Portland Marathon and led teams in the Portland, Anchorage, Catalina and Maui Marathons. As a sought-after lifestyle motivational speaker and fitness walking instructor, she has positively influenced the lives of thousands of people. As the Active Adventure Tour Director for her company, Jo Ann leads walking and hiking trips to destinations around the world.

back to top

Find It Fast
Shakeology

Beachbody Performance
3 Day Kickstart
Ultimate Reset
Daily Sunshine
Beachbody
Challenge Packs

Beachbody
Workout DVD's

Polar Heart Rate Monitors
SHAKEOLOGY
SUPERFOOD SHAKE
Superfood Packed Shakeology - Try It Risk Free
Save up to $15.00
Try Shakeology
Risk Free On Home Direct
BEACHBODY ON DEMAND
Beachbody On Demand Streaming Workouts
Stream every Beachbody workout for one year for just $99.00
BEACHBODY PERFORMANCE
Beachbody Performance
Beachbody Performance
Sports Performance
Supplements
3 DAY REFRESH
3 Day Refresh Kickstart
Quick Weight Loss
to Jump Start a New
Healthy Eating Lifestyle
POLAR HEART RATE MONITORS
Polar Heart Rate Monitors and Accessories
Best Deals on Polar
Heart Rate Monitors and
Accessories
Become a Team Beachbody Coach and Help Change People's Lives

The mission of Team Beachbody is to motivate you and to educate you about health, fitness and nutrition and the benefits of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Click here to learn more about Team Beachbody Coach Rich Dafter.


back to top
© 2018 Howtobefit.com  -  Join for Free -  Beachbody On Demand  -  Be a Coach  -  Shop  -  Earnings Statement  -  About   -  Contact  -  Home