Speedwalking? Here are some dos and don’ts
Speedwaking isn’t just about walking fast. It’s quite a technical sport and it is easy to forget the basics should you decide to take it up. So here are a few reminders that you should never forget when you’re out on the road:
DO Speak To A Doctor
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Have a word before you embark on this endeavour to ensure that you're basically fit enough and that there's minimal risk of hurting yourself. We are looking at those who have troubles with their hearts!
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Don't just Speedwalk away. Loosen up your muscles first with simple warm up exercises. Focus on the neck by swirling your head around, then move on to your arms, stretch out your hips, flex those quadriceps and calves, a couple of leg extensions and leg swings and you should be good to go!
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Don't stiffen up, especially your neck. The more relaxed you are, the lesser the chances of you being in perennial pain at the end of the day. To keep an upright posture, you'll need to firm up your abdominal muscles but overdoing it can lead to an aching lower back.
DO Land Properly
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Make sure every step you take, it lands on the heel and that your ankle supports every landing comfortably. Make sure only one foot is in contact with the ground in every stride.
DON'T Straighten Your Arms
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Keep your arms bent at 90 degrees at all times. Don't go around swinging, swaying or swishing them around. Any movement of the arms should only be limited forwards and backwards. Shoulders should be relaxed too as a firm stance would lead to discomfort, including in the neck as well.
DON’T Bend Your Knee
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The leg that makes contact with the ground? Yeah, don't bend the knee on that one. Keep the lead leg dead straight every time it lands.
DON’T Lean Forward Or Tilt Back
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Be proud and walk up straight with your upper body always perpendicular to the ground. Leaning forward or tilting back will lose you a bit of steam.
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Don't let your legs reach out and distance themselves too far apart. It's not very efficient as it'll actually slow you down soon and very likely cause an injury. If you do want to up your pace, increase the frequency of your landings, while keeping the same stride lengths.