Last Updated October 23, 2017
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Portland • OR • 97205
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RW Technique


Head level, eyes looking 15-20 feet ahead. Face and neck relaxed.

Chest: Hold chest in a lifted or expanded position. Abdominals & Buttocks: Contract the abdominals gently throughout the walk. Keep hands (arms) close to body. Fingers lightly curled in, thumbs resting on index fingers.

Leg action: Leg length, hamstring tightness, and pelvic rotation determine stride length. Look for a stride length that is comfortable and efficient. As you increase speed, the knee of the advancing leg should be fully extended when planted on the ground ( the knee is not locked, but straight). Bending the knee prematurely can cause bobbing or bouncing action, resulting in disqualification. To increase speed, increase stride frequency not stride length.

Crisp heel plant: Roll forward through the center of the forefoot and push off with the end of the toes, pointed straight ahead. Straddle an imaginary line (do not cross over).

Hold head in a neutral position. Keep the chin parallel to the ground. Balance the head comfortably, with minimum activity in the muscles of the neck. Shoulders should be held down and back rather than rounded; keep relaxed. Do not pinch shoulder blades together.

Maintain erect upper back.

Arms bent at 85 - 90 degree angle at the elbows & swing freely from relaxed shoulders. A driving straight back and forth motion. At the completion of the forward swing, the upper arm should be parallel with the torso. In the forward swing, the hands are not driven upward, rather a relaxed reaction from the drive back.

Hips: Keep abdominal muscles relaxed. The more relaxed the abdominals the quicker and smoother the hip rotation, initiated from the arm drive back. This being said relaxed abdominals does not mean slouch nor lean forward or back at the waist. Rotate (flex) hips forward and back horizontally. The action is similar to the "Twist" dance of the early 1960's. Avoid excessive side to side (lateral) hip motion as this can lead to an injury.

Stride is short in front, long in back. Do not over strike or reach out in front with advancing leg.

Racewalking is relatively injury free, but when done incorrectly can cause problems. Consult with a coach, a trainer familiar with the racewalk technique, or attend a racewalking clinic to make sure you are doing the technique correctly. You do not have to race to racewalk. You can maximize your walking efforts by incorporating the racewalk technique. For more information contact us.

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