Technique > LOWER BODY

Figure 1.
Marinelli Study
race walking in slow motion
The lower body refers to the hips, thighs, knees, lower legs (shanks), ankles, and feet. In race walking, as in running, this area of the body operates as an integrated unit that plays the dominant role in making the body move forward.
The legs are complex pendulums where the feet hang from the ankles ... which, along with the lower legs, hang from the knees ... which, along with the thighs, hand from the hips. It is these six pendulums that allow us to walk, and their proper coordination that allows us to race walk. Most of the technical elements for using the legs in race walking are covered on the pages dedicated to the hips, knees, and feet. The two elements not covered on the other pages are those of step position and step length. They are covered on the Step Rate and Length page in this section.
Figure 1 at right is part of the Marinelli Study in the Video Studies section of this Web site, and illustrates the technical aspects of lower body usage discussed on these pages. This study is used here because the walker uses lower body movement quite extensively and hyperextends her knees. No suggestion is being made, however, that her technique is the one you should, or should not, use. (At about 68 steps per minute--on my computer screen, this slow-motion animation shows her walking at about one third her racing speed.)
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