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Walking Posture. Posture is the first step for walking comfort and energy. Good walking posture allows you to take full breaths, engage your core muscles, and use your leg and buttock muscles for a natural walking stride.Oct 11, 2018

4 Steps to a Great Walking Technique - Verywell Fit

A great fitness walking technique will give you better comfort, power, and speed. Whether you are a beginner or you want to improve your walking workouts, these four steps will make a difference. Many people take up walking without thinking about the proper walking form. But your posture, foot motion, stride, and use of arm motion make a big difference in your walking speed and ability to walk energetically. Learning to use good walking posture will help you breathe deeper, relax your shoulders and neck, and avoid back and hip pain. By using the right arm and foot motion, you will propel yourself forward with power and without wasted effort. You will use the same walking technique whether you walk on the sidewalk, track, the treadmill. Learn how to walk properly.

Walking Posture

Walker With Good Posture
Momcilo Grujic/E+/Getty Images

Posture is the first step for walking comfort and energy. Good walking posture allows you to take full breaths, engage your core muscles, and use your leg and buttock muscles for a natural walking stride. It is also an antidote to the hunching and slouching many people do at work and when using a mobile phone.

Bad walking posture can contribute to aches and pains after walking, while great walking posture can relieve them. At the start of every walk, take a few seconds to set your walking posture.

Steps for Great Walking Posture

  1. Stand up straight with your feet together a comfortable space apart. Your toes should be pointed forward, but if a slight angle is acceptable.
  2. Imagine a string attached to the top of your head. Feel it lift you up from your hips so you are tall and straight. Do not lean forward or backward.
  3. Don't arch your back.
  4. Suck in your stomach slightly, engaging your core muscles. This will help maintain proper posture while walking.
  5. Tuck in your buttocks by rotating your hip slightly forward. This keeps you from arching your back or leaning forward.
  6. Focus your eyes 20 feet ahead of you. Your head will follow where your eyes are looking.
  7. Keep your chin parallel to the ground. You probably already corrected this by looking 20 feet ahead of you, but take a moment to check that your chin isn't tilted either up or down. Walking with your head down (as when checking your mobile phone) puts a strain on your neck, as does craning your neck backward.
  8. Shrug your shoulders and let them relax, with your shoulders slightly back. This will help relieve the tension so many people carry in our shoulders. It will also set your position for using arm motion. Now you have the right posture to get started walking.

Arm Motion

Arm Motion for Walking
Gary John Norman/Image Source/Getty Images

Arm motion can lend power to your walking, burning 5 to 10 percent more calories and acting as a balance to your leg motion. It is common that you will speed up when you add arm motion.

Many poor examples of "speedwalking" arm motion are seen in popular culture, with arms pumped high in the air, crossing the body, or extending out. That kind of arm motion does not help you.

Steps for Proper Walking Arm Motion

  1. Bend your elbows 90 degrees.
  2. Partially close your hands, but do not clench them. Clenching your fists can raise your blood pressure..
  3. With each step, the arm opposite your forward foot comes straight forward, not diagonally.
  4. As the forward foot goes back, the opposite arm comes straight back.
  5. Keep your elbows close to your body; don't chicken wing (flapping your elbows out).
  6. Your forward hand should not cross the center point of your body.
  7. When coming forward, your hand should be kept low, no higher than your breastbone.
  8. If you find adding arm motion tiring, do it for 5 to 10 minutes at a time and then let your arms rest.

Foot Motion

Foot Motion - Rolling Through Step
Erik Isakson/Blend Images/Getty Images

The walking step is a rolling motion.

  1. Strike the ground first with your heel.
  2. Roll through the step from heel to toe.
  3. Push off with your toe.
  4. Bring the back leg forward to strike again with the heel.

Flexible shoes will ensure you are able to roll through the step. If your feet are slapping down rather than rolling through the step, your shoes are likely too stiff.

At first, your shin muscles may tire and be sore until they are strengthened. This is natural when you first start walking for fitness or when you change your foot motion, stride or shoes.


Walking Stride

Good Stride on a Treadmill
PhotoAlto/Ale Ventura/PhotoAlto Agency RF Collections/Getty

The push off by your rear foot is the key to walking with power and speed. Unfortunately, many people fall into the bad habit of overstriding—taking a longer step in front. This puts more stress on your lower leg joints, and it doesn't give your stride power. Ask a friend to watch you walk to see if you are overstriding with your usual walking pattern.

Lengthen Your Stride in Back

Lengthen your stride in back to improve power and efficiency in your stride. Your forward foot should strike closer to the center of your body. You don't gain anything by stepping out farther with your forward foot.

Think about keeping your back foot on the ground longer and giving yourself a good push off to add power to your stride. Your feet are rolling through the step from heel strike in front to pushing off with your toe in back.

Practice Your Stride

As you walk with the good posture and roll-through from heel to toe, concentrate on keeping the back foot on the ground longer and giving yourself a good push off. You can also think about keeping your stride shorter in front, but that will probably correct itself if your rear foot is on the ground longer.

As you get comfortable with this new walking pattern, you can increase speed by taking more, smaller steps. This is what fast walkers do rather than overstriding.

The following are techniques that can help a person jog and run better with little to no negative effects on the body.

  1. Footwork. There is a proper cycle for the feet when jogging or running. ...
  2. Proper Body Posture ...
  3. Head ...
  4. Shoulders ...
  5. Torso ...
  6. Hips ...
  7. Legs ...
  8. Ankles ...

Jogging and running are aerobic exercises that give the body positive health benefits such as weight loss and decreasing blood pressure levels. Both are beneficial but require different body techniques. Running needs more speed and power and is more intense. On the other hand, jogging has a slower pace and involves more muscle use. These two exercises differ in several aspects.


Jogging was not discovered at any particular time. One of the first mentions of jogging was when William Shakespeare wrote about it in his book, “The Taming of the Shrew.” A line in the book mentioned the word jogging, but it was speaking about leaving and not the exercise itself. The exercise was not recorded until the mid 17th century in England, and it became popular in the United States as a training exercise for athletes. Jogging has now evolved into an exercise to lose weight. On the other hand, running has long been a common activity even among our earliest ancestors. It is an activity that naturally occurred as a form of traveling at a fast pace. Ancestors ran for hunting food and protection.

Definition and Intensity

Almost anyone can jog. Jogging can be performed at any pace depending on the person's desired results. It can also be done at a leisurely pace that is only a little faster than walking.

Running is the more intense version of jogging. Running requires more speed and body tolerance as it can tire the person and use up oxygen quickly. It is the fastest activity that people can perform with their feet.

Also read: 9 Great Reasons to Participate in the Men's Health Women's Health Night Run

Health Benefits

Jogging is usually performed for mild health benefits. Joggers can lose weight and strengthen their heart muscles with this exercise. This activity is recommended for those who can perform exercise faster than walking but are not able to run. Jogging is also facilitates social interaction and serves as a prerequisite to running.

Running also has all the health benefits that a person can achieve from jogging. This exercise will also help the person lose weight and increase heart muscle tone and strength. However, running is a good form of cardiovascular exercise. It also strengthens the muscles and bones while lowering blood pressure. This exercise is commonly done by people who prepare for big races or competitions.

Both jogging and running have their own health benefits and advantages. However, there are also other factors that can affect the person's speed, power and energy. Jogging is best done in the morning because the pace is slower and it does not require much energy and effort on the person's body. On the other hand, running should be done in the evening or during a workout session at the gym as it uses up most of a person's energy and strength. The following are techniques that can help a person jog and run better with little to no negative effects on the body.


There is a proper cycle for the feet when jogging or running. The ball and the toes should not be parallel when hitting the ground. The ball should touch the ground lightly first while the toes point downward. Only these areas and not the whole foot should touch the ground. The foot should then move in a constant graceful rhythm.

Also read: Wonderful Running Vacation: Why Run in Singapore?

Proper Body Posture

The pace, power, energy and results that a person can get from jogging and running will depend on thebody posture. Incorrect posture while doing these exercises can lead to muscle strain and pain. It can also use up energy faster and leave a person more tired in the end. Each body part is vital in achieving proper body posture while jogging and running.

Back to Basics: Proper Jogging and Running Techniques

Photo Credit:123RF


The head is an important body part when jogging or running. It can be heavy and drag a person down when proper posture is not achieved. The body including the head should be relaxed and erect. The head should face straight forward and not down as this will make it heavier with gravity.


The shoulders should be relaxed and properly stretched before jogging or running. These should be loose so as not to drain energy fast. The shoulders should not feel any tension while running to avoid unnecessary muscle pain and stiffness after the exercise.


Correct posture in the torso will help in maximizing breathing techniques. This body area is responsible for keeping the whole body properly stretched and aligned while in motion. Less torso rotation can also increase the person's speed and use less energy.


The hips should be properly positioned to avoid lower back pain. This body area is near the centre of gravity so it is essential in keeping the whole body straight with less drag. A properly aligned head and torso will also result in the proper hip posture.

Also read: Want to Lose Weight Better? Try These Top Running Gear


The legs are the most important body area when running or jogging. Lifting the knees too high will make the pace slower while keeping them low will make it faster and smoother. The legs are heavy and will require a lot of energy to lift so quicker leg work will be less strenuous.

Back to Basics: Proper Jogging and Running Techniques

Photo Credit: 123RF


The speed and power of the exercise mostly depends on the technique used in the ankles. Maximum power in every stride is achieved when the ankles are properly positioned. Ankle rotation should be avoided so as not to strain them.


Arms can either add to the speed or drag the body down. These should swing forward and back at the side to decrease body torso rotation. The elbows should be bent 90 degrees with minimal movement in the upper arms.


Do you think having the correct running technique is important or is it not necessary as long as you are comfortable with how you run? Discuss your thoughts with us and let us know which technique works for you best.

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