Now that you have decided to take up racewalking, you will need to know on how to do this exercise properly. Although this exercise is practically injury-free, using the correct postures will provide your body the maximum benefits. Here are some of the things you should remember.
- First, your head should be level, not bowed nor turned upwards. The eyes should be looking at a distance of about 20 yards. Constantly twisting your head or staring at the ground may lead to a slower pace and neck pains.
- Second, the arms should be bent at about 85 to 90 degrees at the elbows. Your hands should be kept close to your body. At the end of a forward swing, your upper arm should parallel to your torso. You should never bring your clenched hand upwards. When you swing back, do it in a manner similar to getting a wallet from your pant’s back pocket. The purpose of your swinging arms is to propel your body forward. When it is your first time to racewalk, you will feel the muscles of your arms straining because of the controlled forward and backward swing. But console yourself with the unavoidable possibility of gaining muscle-toned powerful arms.
- Third, the whole upper body should be kept both straight and relaxed. Do not lean too far forward nor allow your torso to lean backward. The shoulder should be relaxed and the abdomen should be kept firm. If you over tighten your tummy, you will suffer from discomfort. If you relax your stomach, your speed will slow down.
- Fourth, you must remember to keep one foot in contact with the ground throughout the racewalk. Always land on your heel and roll your weight forward to your toes. Keep the toes on the ground while your ankle is being flexed. Otherwise, your ankle may be injured. Do not over stride for this may overstretch muscles such as your hamstring.
- And fifth, make sure that the knee of your advancing leg will be straightened as the foot of this leg lands on the ground. Do not pull up your knee.
Of course, before you racewalk, you must spend five to ten minutes of warm up easy walking, followed by another five to ten minutes of flexibility exercise. Warm up exercises reduces the risk of injury. And then, after the race walk, you should begin cooling down by spending five minutes of easy walking, followed by gentle stretching exercises. Do not abruptly stop right after racewalking. The cooling exercises will lessen muscle pains that will most likely result from the racewalking session.