4 - USING GOOD RACE WALKING POSTURE
1. Stand tall but not rigid. You should feel "proud" but not "military."
1. Stand straight up; do not lean forward. Forward lean not only does not help, it is usually done from the waist rather than from the ankles--and leaning from the waist will impair hip rotations (as we will see on a later screen).
1. Many new race walkers tend to watch their feet, and do so by lowering their chin almost to their chest. There is no need to watch the feet, and holding the head down will make breathing more difficult as you close off the windpipe. Hold your head up and use your eyes to look down at the walking surface some 15-20 feet ahead of you.
2. If you are using good race walking technique, your hips will compensate for the ups and downs caused by vaulting over a straight leg (which you do with every step), and your head will remain almost level (i.e., not bounce up and down). This is important because, while they are supposed to judge your walking by your knees and your foot contact, some judges will take a bobbing head as a symptom that you might be lifting. It is important not to unnecessarily attract such attention for, even though you may well be legal, such attention causes a judge to spend more time watching you than you would like.
Icabod is shown with a slight forward lean. Since drawing him, I have become convinced that the lean is not only not needed, it can cause problems for properly rotating the hips.