These techniques have been developed to help align your muscles effectively, minimising impact through your joints, improving posture and most significantly improving your body shape and fitness.
Make sure you walk through your whole foot. With each foot strike be aware of walking through the heel, arch of the foot and pushing off the toes so you create what I call an ‘open ankle’. Each stride helps lengthen the leg by lengthening your muscles, giving you a leaner, more streamlined look, unlike running where your muscles tend to ‘bulk’ up. An open ankle is key as it helps your leg lengthen getting leaner firmer thighs and importantly makes your buttock muscle, the gluteus maximus, contract firm and lift.
STABILISE YOUR HIPS
Stabilise your hips as your walk, a swing may look sexy but it does nothing for your spine or firming your bottom. The best way to achieve this is by imagine you have a glass of champagne on each hip and that you have to keep them full as you walk. To do this you’ll need to draw up and in through your tummy muscles. This will help you improve your posture, flatten your tummy and also make your buttocks work more effectively with each step. The end result: a flatter tummy.
KEEP YOUR DISTANCE
Combat rounded shoulders by lengthening through the neck. The best way to do this is to try to make as much distance as possible between your shoulders and your ear lobes. This helps correct rounded shoulders and instantly makes you look taller and leaner. This simple action also helps align your spine correctly, reducing stiffness and soreness. This is a great tip for people who spend their days hunched over a computer at work, as it is something you can do sat down too!
USE YOUR ARMS
Your speed when walking actually comes from your arms not your legs surprisingly! To speed up try swinging your arms faster, your legs will automatically move faster. Aim to hold the arms at a comfortable level bent at the elbow and swing them backwards and forwards as you walk. This action pushes your shoulder blades back which opens up your chest area, again helping to improve your posture. Your arms are key also to getting your pace right. At all our Walkactive events we work with you to help you get the very best technique and walking pace that’s right for you as everyone’s is different – we call this your Personal Optimum Walking Pace.
GET YOUR PACE RIGHT
Now that you have mastered the right technique – let’s look at your pace. Walking at the right pace to get fitter, firmer leaner doesn’t mean you need to be walking around at break neck speed. All you need to do is find your Optimum Walking Pace. This is the pace that has been clinically shown to improve your health as well as fitness, and body shape. Again, this varies from person to person – so one person may see great results at a slower pace than another, but each will be challenged!
For full details of courses, spa breaks in the UK and training camps abroad check the website. Joanna Hall