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If you are serious about trying to walk athletically, you must pay attention to the application of the leg-straightening portion of the rules and how it pertains to technique. At the beginning adding this action may slow you down, but there is a return on the investment. For even if you do not wish to compete, there are some health benefits to be gained due to this facet of athletic walking technique.

After you master pointing your toe on placement and pushing off behind you, try to straighten your knee. As an athletic walker you should straighten their knee when your foot strikes the ground and it must remain straight until your leg passes under your body. As their leg swings forward you can bend it.


In an attempt to straighten their knee, as the leg passes under the body, some people force the knee back causing it to hyperextend (bend backwards). Try to avoid this as it may lead to injury problems.


The final benefit of landing with a straight knee, is avoiding the stress caused by landing with a bent knee. With proper straightening, the stress bypasses the knee and proceeds to the hip. Some people might be worried that their hips will start to bother them. This is usually not the case. The hip is a larger, less abused joint and can generally handle more stress than your knee.



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