Following are some tips to make your
walking workout effective and safe :
1) Hold your head high with eyes straight
ahead. With this posture, your head is balanced over the spine, the chin
is parallel to the ground, and you will have freer movement of the arms
2) Directing your vision forward
activates a righting reflex, which automatically contracts the erector
spine muscles of the lower back. This enables you to maintain an erect
position and allows the spine to assume its normal curvature.
Some experts suggest contracting the
abdominal muscles and tucking in the pelvis while walking. We don't
recommend this because when the abdominals are contracted, the pelvis is
tilted, which in turn flattens the lower back. When normal lower-back
curvature is eliminated, the spine is exposed to dangerous forces. Also,
the contracted abdominals and the tilted pelvis do not allow for proper
push-off and forward thigh movement.
3) Keep your shoulders back and your
chest out to allow for more effective arm movement. If you keep your
abdominals contracted, a concurrent "sinking" of the chest and rounding
of the shoulders occurs, which stretches the middle trapezius and
rhomboid muscles. The head-up/ erect-spine position automatically draws
back the shoulders, which allows you to breathe easier and more fully.
4) Swing your arms forward and
backward, in line with the direction of your feet. In fast fitness
walking, the shoulders tend to rotate (the arms and hands cross over the
front of the body), especially during long strides and when the arm
movement is fairly rapid. But by moving the arms forward and back with
only slight inward motion of the arms and hands, you stabilize the
shoulders, and the internal and external obliques hold the pelvic girdle in
5) Keep the pelvis (hips) facing
forward. In walking, and especially in fast fitness walking, the pelvis
should maintain the same forward-facing position at all times. This is
helped by keeping your feet in a straight line with each foot plant. For
example, if you straddle a line while you walk, the left foot plant will
be immediately to the left of the line and the right foot plant will be
on the right side of the line. The slower you walk, the farther apart
(away from the line) each foot plant becomes. The faster you walk, the
closer each foot plant gets to the midline.
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Effective and Safe Walking Workout Tips ...
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